July 14, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: In a written statement issued on Thursday (July 13) the Sikh Federation UK announced that the Sikh nationalists would develop alliance with nationalist movements across the globe.
The full statement issued by the Sikh Federation UK reads as follows:
London – 13 July 2017
The Sikh Federation (UK) arranged for Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema, the President of Dal Khalsa to meet UK Parliamentarians yesterday. The first meeting was with Alison Thewliss the Scottish National Party (SNP) MP for Glasgow Central who earlier this week also became one of the six Vice Chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs.
The issue of self determination was discussed and an invitation was extended by Harpal Singh for SNP politicians to visit the Sikh homeland. The Sikh Federation (UK) mentioned that a series of conferences on self determination would be organised across the globe on the rise of nationalist movements around the world and further details would be given at the European Parliament event next Tuesday.
Harpal Singh spoke about his experience of having spent some 15 years in prison without trial or successful conviction in the USA (10 years) and India (5 years) and the torture he witnessed and experienced in jail in India. Sikh Federation (UK) representatives explained what happen in 1947 and how killings and human rights abuses by the Indian authorities for the last 40 years and a lack of justice had legitimised and turned a demand for greater autonomy in 1he 1970s to a popular demand for Sikh independence in the 1980s.
Later the group were joined by Preet Kaur Gill, the newly elected Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston and new chair of the APPG for British Sikhs. A number of other issues were discussed with Alison Thewliss and Preet Kaur Gill in relation to Scotland such as a separate ethnic tick box for Sikhs in the Census in Scotland, a site for a monument in Glasgow (or Edinburgh) to recognise Sikh sacrifices in the First World War, an independent public inquiry linked to the 1984 Sikh Genocide and a Code of Practice for the five Kakaars and Sikh turban in Scotland, issues that the Sikh Federation (UK) discussed with Nicola Surgeon the leader of the SNP in April 2015.
The group also briefly met John Spellar, the Labour MP for Warley who first became an MP in 1982 and has been a leading figure for several decades in raising the full range of human rights issues impacting on Sikhs, especially in Punjab. Others the group were introduced to included Kezia Dugdale, the leader of the Scottish Labour Party where the above issues in relation to Sikhs and Scotland were also discussed. The group briefly met Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, the newly elected Labour MP for Slough as they were leaving Parliament.