Tweed Indians mourn loss of lives in former homeland



THE Tweed's Indian community has been saddened by the loss of many lives in southern India and many thousands more throughout south and south-east Asia.

Many local families are holidaying on the sub-continent, including Murwillumbah's Regent Supermarket co-owner, Harry Singh, who left for the Punjab region on Monday night to visit relatives.

Mr Singh's brother, Yaad Singh - who owns the business with his brother - was at work at the supermarket yesterday, deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives.

Although most Tweed residents of Indian descent were Punjabi Sikhs from the north of India - an area well removed from the devastation in the south - Mr Singh said the local Indian community had been deeply troubled by the loss of so many Indian lives.

"Most of the people down there would have been Hindus or Christians - but that doesn't matter when it comes to an event like this, we're all Indians," Mr Singh said.

The Sikh community will meet on Sunday at their Nullum Street temple, where Mr Singh expects an appeal will be launched.

"We definitely would want to do something," he said.

Other locals holidaying in India include Joginder and Balbir Gosel of Stokers Siding and their daughter Susan.

The Gosel's daughter-in-law Suzanne Gosel, also of Stokers Siding, said she and her husband Geoff had received phone calls from friends and relatives concerned about the elder Gosel's safety.

But they knew the Gosels were safe in the Punjab, visiting their home village, where they were building a holiday house.

"But it really hit home - are we safe anywhere?" Mrs Gosel said.

India's known dead account for about one-third of the known tally of more than 23,000 killed across Asia by the tsunami, which was triggered by a huge earthquake off Indonesia on Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands of others are homeless.



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