February 26, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Geneva: The United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday began its 37th session in Geneva, Switzerland. Sikh representatives from a number of countries linked to the World Sikh Parliament (WSP) are in Geneva to update UN officials and Member States on the WSP initiative.
On 13 August last year a 15-member co-ordination committee for the WSP was announced that has been working behind the scenes to establish 150 Sikh representatives from across the Sikh Diaspora. Getting all political campaigners lobbying for the ‘right to self-determination’ across the globe together has proved challenging and some further work is required with major stakeholders in Canada and the USA in particular.
However, the co-ordination committee is expected to reach the end of its task of gathering names and completing relevant due diligence of those proposed to take their place in the Parliament within three or four months. The co-ordination committee has nearly served its limited purpose and will soon disband as announced on 13 August last year.
In advance of the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council communications have taken place with Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Vojislav Šuc, the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
They have been told the WSP when fully developed will become the representative political body of the sovereign Sikh Quam, which is currently stateless, at the international level. The WSP will be the international voice of the sovereign Sikh Quam and will lead engagement with international political institutions and structures like the United Nations, Commonwealth and European Union on relevant issues.
Furthermore, 193 sovereign member states of the United Nations will be informed the WSP concept is a diaspora led initiative that started over a decade ago to bring together like-minded Sikhs openly campaigning at a political level for the ‘right to self-determination’ and a Sovereign Sikh State.
In the last decade meetings have taken place in Vancouver, Toronto, New York, London, Birmingham, Paris, Brussels, Melbourne and Geneva to name a few to establish the dream of a World Sikh Parliament. On 10 November 2015 the hundreds of thousands that had gathered for the Panthic gathering (the gathering of all from the Sikh Nation) in the Sikh homeland endorsed the proposal of a World Sikh Parliament put forward by Sikhs from the diaspora who met ten days earlier at a G20 World Sikh Summit in Birmingham in the UK.
Initially progress with the WSP concept was limited with a lack of clarity, differences of opinion and a number of set backs. However it is claimed that, with the involvement of key players from the diaspora from the UK, Canada, USA and Europe in July 2017 and the announcement of the co-ordination committee the following month alarm bells started ringing in Delhi.
This latest political development at the United Nations this week will be a huge boost to those campaigning for a Sovereign Sikh State with the agreed mission statement for the World Sikh Parliament being “to work towards the creation of a Sovereign Sikh State of Khalistan”.
Those at the UN Human Rights Council this week will also be updating Pablo de Greiff, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence on developments on the 1984 Sikh Genocide with recent revelations about Jagdish Tylter and Rajiv Gandhi.
A meeting has also been set with Ahmed Shaheed the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.