September 14, 2012 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Toronto: (September 13, 2012): Taking serious note of Foreign Minister John Baird’s statement avowing to prevent activities of Canadian Sikhs campaigning for a separate Sikh state, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a human rights group approached PM Harper demanding expulsion of John Baird.
On September 12, while meeting his Indian counterpart SM Krishana in New Delhi, Minister Baird vowed to prevent activities in Canada by Sikhs campaigning for separate homeland in India. The rights group demanded resignation of Minister Baird because his statement maligns the lawful activities of Canadian Sikhs and violates the constitution of Canada.
Since the 2010 visit of Indian Minister Nath to Canada, Canadian Sikhs have intensified the campaign to raise awareness about the Genocide of Sikhs (1984-98); against the continuous denial of justice for the victims of this Genocide and the blatant practice of impunity for all those responsible for organizing the Genocide. In June 2010 Members of Parliament presented the Sikh Genocide Petition before the House of Commons, which was supported by thousands of Canadians.
According to Jatinder Singh Grewal, Director SFJ Canada, it is alarming that voice of Sikh Citizens of Canada is being muzzled by their own Government under the pressure from foreign regime notorious for its practices of torture, extra judicial killings and impunity towards killers of Sikhs. We strongly object to India’s interference into Canada’s internal affairs and will not allow a foreign regime to dictate our government, added Grewal.
Demanding retraction of Baird’s statement and his expulsion, the NGO’s memo to PM states that “the assurance of curbing the activities of Canadian Sikhs given by John Baird to India’s Minister for External Affairs not only violates Canada’s constitution, international law, Canadian values but it also puts into question the moral legitimacy of your government as it fails to stand with the victims of human rights violations to gain economic benefits. Mr. Prime Minister, it is your duty to protect Canadian’s “freedom of speech and expression” as provided in Charter of Rights and Freedom. As Canadians, it is frightening to see the voice of Canadian Sikhs is being muzzled by your Cabinet member John Baird.”
According to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ who practices human rights law, Canadian Government has constitutional duty to uphold Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and prosecute those committed or participated in human rights violations. Instead, Canada is shaking hands with India for economic benefits while turning a blind eye to India’s deteriorating record on human rights.
SFJ announced to release “Sikh Genocide-1984” report in November 2012 in Ottawa to appraise the House of Commons about the facts, figures and true magnitude of genocidal attacks on Sikhs and the subsequent cover up by the Indian Government.
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