February 3, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London, United Kingdom (According to information available with the Sikh Siaysat News (SSN), UK’s Sikh diaspora has been conducting a letter writing campaign, in which individuals are writing letters to their MPs about UK government complicity in the massacre of innocent Sikhs in June 1984.
A copy of such a letter, accessed by the Sikh Siyasat News, reads as follows:
Dear [Name of MP]*,
UK GOVERNMENT COMPLICITY IN THE MASSACRE OF INNOCENT SIKHS IN JUNE 1984
Following the release of documents under the ’30-year rule’ and revelations that the UK Government had direct involvement in the Indian army assault on the Sri Harmander Sahib Complex (often referred to the Golden temple Complex) the Prime Minister asked the Cabinet Secretary to undertake an urgent internal review on 13 January 2014.
Three weeks later many more questions have arisen and the British Sikh community and Parliament need urgent answers. Sikh representatives met with the Cabinet Secretary last week on Wednesday 29 January and were provided with the terms of the review a couple of days later on 31 January.
The Sikh Federation (UK) has shared the terms of the review widely within the Sikh community. I am dismayed the terms of the review were not formally made available to Parliamentarians or the Sikh community at the outset.
I am also concerned that certain documents and files that may not be sensitive from a security perspective will not be disclosed as they may show the UK Government and the Indian authorities in a bad light at the time.
Media reports suggested that the review would also examine why the initial letters from February 1984 had been released under the 30-year rule. It has been suggested the letters came out in error, although the letters appear not to come under any FOI exemption. The terms of the review we have been sent make no mention of what has been reported in the mainstream media and inconsistent with what the Prime Minister’s spokesman stated to the media when the review was first announced.
I would be grateful if you could raise the following questions with the Prime Minister and/or Foreign Secretary immediately or when an announcement is made about the review in the House and you are able to put questions directly:
i) When will an announcement be made in Parliament on the results of the review and if a report will be made available in advance to Parliamentarians to allow appropriate questions to be asked.
ii) Why the terms of the review have not yet been made available to Parliamentarians and not shared at the outset with the Sikh community.
iii) If and why the terms of the review have been changed since the announcement on 13 January.
iv) Whether the review will be looking at Operation Sundown involving the possible advice and training input of an SAS officer on the kidnapping of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from the Sri Harmander Sahib Complex.
v) Whether the review will look at the broader events of 1984 raised in Prime Minister Questions on 15 January. For example, Operation Woodrose, which was designed to crush public protest by Sikhs in Punjab, that took place in the months after Operation Blue Star. Within four to six weeks of the operation around 100,000 Sikhs, overwhelmingly young men were taken into custody, interrogated, tortured and many went missing.
vi) Whether the Prime Minister will use this opportunity to disclose what the UK Government knows of the Genocide of tens of thousands of Sikhs in November 1984 and the involvement of Indian politicians, police officers and other officials.
vii) Whether the Prime Minister will support the campaign to have the events of 1984 to be recognised as Genocide on the international stage.
viii) Whether the Prime Minister will agree to a wide-ranging independent judge-led inquiry given the revelations of direct UK involvement and the huge loss of innocent Sikhs lives in 1984.
ix) The extent of engagement with the Indian authorities in the last few weeks since the revelations and the announcement of the review and if the Indian authorities have tried to influence the findings for the UK Parliament.
x) Why the review has been limited to a document search and interviews in relation to a narrow period mainly running up to June 1984, but not looked at the last half of 1984. For example, did the review look at the threat of possible sanctions by India against the UK, Germany, Canada and USA towards the end of 1984 for sympathising with Sikhs in the Diaspora following Operation Blue Star, Operation Woodrose and the Genocide of Sikhs in November 1984.
xi) Whether the Prime Minister to avoid a repeat of the situation will disclose early others papers concerning Sikhs, the UK Government and the Indian establishment so the truth can come out on the extent to which the Indian authorities have over the last 30 years tried to silence the Sikh voice of opposition in the UK.
xii) Whether the Foreign Secretary will commit for there to be quarterly meetings between Sikh representatives and Foreign Office Ministers.
As your constituent I would like you to continue to raise this matter directly with the Prime Minister and in Parliament.
I shall be grateful if you would provide me with your personal views on this matter and also provide me with a copy of any representations you make on my behalf.
I look forward to hearing from you.
[Name of the persons who has written the letter]*
[Address and Postcode]*.
* Names and some other personal details were were withheld due to privacy reasons.
Sikh Federation UK has urged the Sikh masses in UK to take part in this letter writing campaign.
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