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Head-scarf Is A Nonissue (SFJ) - Obama Shies Away From Paying Tribute To Innocent Sikhs Massacred At


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Forwarded for posting by forum mentor Gyani Jarnail Singh ji Dhillon "Arshi"


New York:

Reacting to the President Obama's refusal to visit Golden Temple, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a human rights advocacy group backed by hundreds of Sikh Gurudwaras across North America stated that cancellation of visit by President is not due to headscarf issue as Indian lobbyists want everyone to believe but instead President has shied away from speaking about and paying tribute to the thousands of innocent pilgrims who were murdered in Golden Temple by Indian Army in June 1984.

According to Attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ, President Obama is going to Mumbai a city of about 20 million populations to pay tribute to victims of terrorist attacks while ignoring Sikh victims of violence who had approached him ahead of his visit to Golden Temple.

Attorney Pannun further added that President Obama's visit to Golden Temple would have given a tremendous push to key Sikh issues such as separate religious identity of Sikhs, massacre of Sikhs at Golden Temple by the Indian Army and his visit would have been seen around world as a gesture of support to suppressed religious minorities. No other world leader is more capable to understand the plight of India Sikhs than President Obama who himself comes from a community that had suffered discrimination and injustice, added attorney Pannun.

President Obama, has played right into the hands of Indian lobbyists who have successfully thwarted his visit to Golden Temple. The refusal by President Obama to visit Golden Temple exposes hollowness of Obama's claim of respect for religious diversity, and undermines the so called "world leader" stature of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is a Sikh.

In his January 19, 2008 statement, President Obama stated that he will be a President who will "respond forcefully to all genocides", however, President Obama's refusal to visit Golden Temple has become another instance where he failed to fulfill his electoral promise and caved in to the Indian lobbying.

According to attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ, any electoral promise aside, Article 1 of U.N Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948) requires the United States President to take all actions necessary to prevent and punish acts of genocide. The obligation to act on the issue of every Genocide, added attorney Pannun, is neither absolved because of the economic status of the country where the Genocide was committed (i.e. India) nor is it mitigated by the number and status of victims (i.e. Sikhs).

SJF backed and supported by hundreds of Sikh Gurdwaras across America approached President Obama in September 2010 in Philadelphia and urged him to show solidarity during his visit to Golden Temple, where thousands of innocent Sikh pilgrims were ruthlessly murdered by the Indian Security Forces in this very Temple, the Vatican of Sikhs, in June 1984. President Obama's visit to Golden Temple and SFJ's campaign was going to expose the gross human rights violations and murders committed by the Indian Army in the same very Golden Temple in June 1984. Unfortunately President Obama who himself comes from a minority community, caved in to the pressure of lobbyists and cancelled his visit to Golden Temple instead of standing with an oppressed minority of India.

According to Attorney Pannun who practices human rights, refugee and asylum law in the United States, such efforts on part of Indian lobbyists are not new or surprising because since June 1984, Indian Government has consistently blocked and disallowed visits to Punjab by foreign human rights organizations in order to cover the atrocities perpetrated against Sikhs in India. He further added that most recently members of United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCRIF) who wanted to visit India to investigate the state of affairs viz`-a-viz´ Indian Christians, were denied visas by the Indian Government. In April 2009 Amnesty International was forced to close its office in New Delhi, making India the only democracy in the world without the presence of even a single international human rights organization.
Coordination Committee

Sikhs For Justice

E: support@sikhsforjustice.org

Supported and Endorsed By:


Gurdwara Sikh Cultural Society, Richmond Hill - Gurdwara Baba Makhan Shah Lobana Sikh Centre, Richmond Hill - Gurdwara Sikh Center of New York, Flushing - Gurdwara Singh Sabha of New York (Bowne St.), Flushing - Gurdwara Sant Sagar, Bellerose - Khalsa (Flushing School), Queens Village - Gurdwara Mata Sahib Kaur Glen Cove, Long Island - Gurdwara Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Center, Plainview - Ramgharia Sikh Society, Richmond Hill - Gurdwara Sant Baba Majha Singh, South Ozone Park - Gurdwara Shri Guru Ravidass Temple, Woodside - Hudson Valley Sikh Society, Middle Town, Sikh Gurdwara of Westchester, Chappaqua - Sikh Association of Staten Island, Staten Island - Gurdwara of Rochester, Penfield - Mid Hudson Sikh Cultural Society, Fiskhill, Majha Singh, Ozen Park - Sikh Youth of America


Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar, Carteret - Gurdwara Singh Sabha , Carteret - Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha Inc., Glenrock - Gurdwara Garden State Sikh Association , Bridge Water - Central Jersey Sikh Association, Windsor - Gurdwara Sikh Sabha Central Jersey - Khalsa Darbar, Burlington - Gurdwara Guru Nanak Sikh Society of Delaware Valley, Deptford - Nanak Naam Jahaj, Jersey City


Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, MD - GNFA, MD - Sikh Association of Baltimore, Maryland - Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Brodeck - Sikh Center of Virginia -Sikh Foundation of Virginia - Sikh Gurdwara of Greater Washington, Virginia - Gurdwara Raaj Khalsa, Renden, Virginia


Philadelphia Sikh Society (Philadelphia) - Guru Nanak Sikh Society (Philadelphia) - Guru Nanak Sikh Society of C. PA (Blue Mountain)


Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, Plymouth Twp - Guru Ram Das Ashram, Ferndale - Gurudwara Singh Sabha of Kalamazoo, Portage - Sikh Gurdwara of Michigan, Williamston - Sikh Society of Michigan, Madison Heights


Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar, Southington - Gurdwara Tegh Bahadur ji Foundation, Norwalk


Sikh Religious Society of Chicago, Palatine


Gurdwara Sahib, Sacramento - Sikh Center of Pacific Coast, Selma - Sikh Gurdwara, San Jose - Pacific Khalsa Diwan Society, Fresno - Sikh Temple, Livingston - Sikh Gurdwara Sahib, Stockton - Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha of Los Angeles, Alhambra - Sikh Temple, Turlock - Sikh Gurdwara Sahib, West Sacramento - Gurdwara Sahib, Fremont - Guru Nanak Sikh Society, Fresno - Gurudwara Guru Nanak Prakash, Fresno - Gurdwara Sahib El Sobrante - Gurudwara Guru Nanak Prakash, Tracy - Guru Ram Das Ashram, Los Angeles - The Sikh Temple, Los Angeles - Sikh Temple, Riverside - Sikh Temple, Yuba City - Sri Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, Yuba City
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