September 25, 2019 | By Harnek Singh
by: Harnek Singh
(National Press Secretary,
Sikh Federation UK)
At the Sikh Federation (UK) Convention a week earlier it was pointed out that some of the issues in the Sikh Manifesto were longer term and required international co-ordination and a global approach to be successfully delivered. For example, securing international support for a UN-led inquiry into the 1984 Sikh Genocide and the Sikhs’ right to self-determination required campaigning and lobbying of politicians and governments across the globe.
At an international event held at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Bobigny in Paris on Sunday 22 September speakers from the Sikh Federation (UK) provided further details about the International Sikh Manifesto. Those present were told it would provide a framework that will be used to co-ordinate political activities in different countries to secure international support for justice and a Sikh homeland.
The introduction of the International Sikh Manifesto would provide important historic context, including the previous existence of a sovereign Sikh state that was recognised by all the world powers. The document will also set out the historic and current contribution of Sikhs on the global stage and the potential benefits to all those living in a Sikh homeland as well as those in the Sikh Diaspora.
The final text of the International Sikh Manifesto will be developed and agreed by Sikh activists from several countries and will be a high-level document that will be released in several languages, including English, French, Spanish, German and Italian in January 2020. It will provide a tool or resource for individual Sikh activists from Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations to campaign systematically with individual politicians, political parties and governments in different countries.
An international network of Sikh activists from around 40 different countries are eventually expected to come together to campaign for justice and a Sikh homeland using the International Sikh Manifesto. Activists from each country are expected to report back on efforts every 6 months. At the end of each calendar year the activities would be pulled together and progress assessed with the view to learn from each other. The launch of the International Sikh Manifesto in January 2020 would be followed by events every 6 months.
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “Sikhs can each work on highlighting injustice and call for freedom for the Sikhs, but the framework that is being developed in the way of an International Sikh Manifesto will allow co-ordinated efforts from like-minded people across the globe.”
“Over many years we have developed extensive contacts with Sikh activists in Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations in different countries that we wish to build upon.”
“We call upon those we have worked with and others to register for the international network, so they can be invited to the launch event in January 2020 and can be connected with others in their own country and abroad to co-ordinate efforts.”