August 13, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Vancouver, Canada (August 13, 2013): According to a release by a US based human rights and advocacy gorup – Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), the SFJ with the support of various international human rights groups, Sikh organizations and Gurudwara committees across Canada is holding “Sikh Sovereignty and Genocide Conference” on August 17, 2013 in Surrey, BC.
US-based human rights lawyer and activist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who founded SFJ, has led a charge against human rights violators, some still in power in India’s central government as well as Punjab state officials such Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, and murderous officials in India’s police force and other agencies.
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and his colleague Jatinder Grewal met with members of the local Punjabi media to discuss the Sikh Sovereignty conference and why it is being held to coincide with India’s Independence Day.
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to Sikhs for Justice, said the conference will focus on the history of Sikh Genocide starting from June 1984 Invasion of Sri Harmandir Sahib (Amritsar), November 1984 genocidal attacks on Sikhs throughout India and a 1984-98 an organized and systematic ethnic cleansing of Sikhs by Indian Security Forces.
“While India will be celebrating 66th independence anniversary, we will spread awareness and educate international community about the usurpation of religious identity of Sikhs under Indian constitution, denial of right to self determination and genocidal attacks on Sikhs population of India,” he said.
In recent times, India has been propagating that Canadian Sikhs are promoting extremism and violence and has been pressurizing the Canadian government to curb the activities of Canadian Sikhs.
Canadian PM Harper, during his last visit to India made his government’s position very clear by stating that “violence and terrorism cannot be confused with the right of Canadians to hold and promote their political views.”
Citing the 1980 and 1995 examples of Canadian referendums to determine the demand for separation and sovereignty from Canada by the Province Quebec, Jatinder Singh Grewal, Director SFJ, stated that “India should recognize Sikhs’ right to self determination and recognize Sikhs as an independent nation.”
PM Harper said that he believes other political parties in Canada agree that merely advocating for a Khalistan homeland in the Punjab is not illegal. “We can’t interfere with the right of political freedom of expression”.
GPS Pannun said usurpation of separate Sikh identity in Indian Constitution, genocidal attacks on Sikhs and continuous impunity to security forces responsible for extra judicial killing of Sikhs justify the Sikhs’ demand for right to self determination.
The Sikh Sovereignty and Genocide Conference will be held at Punjab Banquet Hall, Surrey, BC, from 6-8 PM on August 17. SFJ is an international human rights group working to achieve recognition of Sikhs’ right to “self determination” as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. SFJ is also striving to collect and disseminate information, statistics, figures and data regarding the Genocide of Sikhs (1984-1998) that took place in India.
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