By our community reporter
Melbourne: The Minister for Overseas Indians, Vayalar Ravi was here recently and spoke to the Indian community at the Collinwood Town Hall. The Minister had earlier raised the new proposed visa cap law which could send thousands of Indian students back home.
The 80 or so present along with the Indian Consul General Anita Nayar and a few media persons had an interaction with the Minister with a speech, question and answer session and then dinner laced with lots of red and white wine. Ravi went around and shook hands and posed for traditional photographs. FIAV President, Vasan Srinivasan welcomed the Minister in his welcome speech and then the Minister addressed those gathered. He touched the international students issue with the issue of new proposed immigration changes that would cap visas. He seemed to be not happy with the retrospective implementation of the proposed changes.
When asked by South Asia Times and others as to what talks he had with the Australian Government on the visa cap issue, he said, the issue was discussed but refused to tell whether the outcome was positive. He also said, “I had fruitful talks with the Victorian Premier John Brumby.”
The Minister also talked about the issue of NRI marriages issue and voting rights for Indian citizens living abroad.
The reception to the Minister was organised by the Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria (FIAV), the Indian Consulate in Melbourne and the Australia India Business Council. The dinner was served by the Tandoori Junction Indian restaurant.