Alliance MLA Kieran McCarthy and Castlereagh Councillor Geraldine Rice have condemned racist graffiti painted on a Chinese takeaway restaurant at Carryduff shopping centre.
Councillor Rice, a regular customer in the New Century takeaway, said she had been saddened and angered by the racist graffiti.
“The owners of the takeaway are very respected people, and well liked by the Carryduff community. Many people I have spoken to are upset and angry that racist vandals would write these offensive slogans.”
“This is blatant intimidation, and it has insulted and hurt the local Chinese community. All these people want to do is get on with their business and live their lives in peace.”
Mr McCarthy said: “Alliance has been campaigning for years for tougher sentences for hate crimes like this. Racism, like sectarianism, is an attack on the whole community and I fully condemn those behind this disgusting graffiti.”
“Unfortunately, race attacks and race-related robberies in South Belfast are on the increase. I would urge the community to unite against the bully boys of Combat 18, and let them know that racism against any minority is unacceptable in Carryduff or anywhere else.”
Mr McCarthy said the Government was stalling over bringing forward proposals for Hate Crime legislation, which has been in the pipeline since the end of last year.
He said: “The sooner the Government gets its finger out and makes a real move on Hate Crime legislation, the sooner we can lock up thugs – like those behind this graffiti – for much longer.”