Canada: In a statement released earlier today, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff thrust a dagger into the hearts of Sikhs after slamming any possibility of his support for a motion to recognize November 1984 as a Genocide, adding that that the Liberal Party and its parliamentary caucus would never support the motion. After leaving the Sikh community stunned by his comments, the community, traditionally a large basin for Liberal support, was then pounded by an arsenal of unprovoked low blows . In his statement, Ignatieff characterized the genocide and organized killing of Sikhs as “a highly-charged atmosphere of religious tensions” and that “describing these events as genocide is not accurate or appropriate.” Ignatieff’s comments came as a signal of his ignorance of the numerous investigations and inquiries conducted in India, that have identified the killings as pre-planned and organized. Given its international reputation as an upholder of human rights, Canada should be especially concerned regarding the violation of human rights which occurred in 1984, where estimates of Sikhs killed in New Delhi range from 5000 to 8000 in the city and upwards to 20 000 across India. During this time, widespread targeted killings of Sikhs took place within New Delhi against the Sikhs, not only causing a loss of life but also destroying homes and complete neighbourhoods. Methods of murder used included burning Sikhs alive with the use of tires and kerosene oil while Sikh women were subjected to days of sexual violence. Further, Ignatieff’s attack on the Sikh community was not limited by these comments. Rather, the leader of the official opposition went on to launch numerous unprovoked attacks on Sikh Canadians. In the same statement, Ignatieff suggested that the petition being put forth was irrational and an attempt to cause divisions, citing that the party would ”never stand with those who seek to polarize the community, or aggravate the tensions…” The actions of the Liberal leader have left Sikh Canadians shocked and feeling puzzled after being blindsided by the attack initiated by the Liberal Party Leader. The leader has firstly failed to recognize what many human rights commissions and investigations have identified as organized and pre-planned killings of Sikhs. Secondly, the liberal leader denied the citizens of Canada a process for healing and reconciliation by refusing to acknowledge their horrific experiences. After witnessing and experiencing the annihilation and burning alive of entire families, victims have now been further ostracized and marginalized by Liberal Leader, Michael Ignatieff’s statements. As Sikhs await the outcome of the June 9th, 2010 reading of the petition, a community that has traditionally voted for the Liberals are now being forced to re-evaluate their democratic vote in favour of a party and leaders that hold a high standard for human rights and justice.