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1984 Anti-Sikh Pogrom Move To Condemn 1984 Genocide Ahead?


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Move to Condemn 1984 Genocide Ahead?

South Asian Focus - The Voice of Brampton's South Asian Community

Even as Canada struggles to identify definitively the perpetrators of the Air India Flight 182 disaster which claimed 329 lives - 280 of them Canadian - a "motion" will be introduced into Parliament next week urging our government recognize the 1984 "genocide" carried out against Sikhs in India, claims a website.Presenting this "motion" will be none other than Peel's own Andrew Kania, MP for Brampton West, the website Sikh Philosophy Network further claims.

It urges "all (com)passionate youth" to support the initiative by signing an online petition it says will be read out in the House of Commons by Kania, and to turn out in Ottawa Wednesday, June 9, "to attend the reading of the motion in the house."

This latest battle being fought by elements of the Sikh diaspora over the aspirational homeland Khalistan comes at an interesting juncture, on both the social and political fronts.

On the social front, the Sikh community has found itself in the spotlight after some in the Peel Region flashed their kirpans during ill-natured wranglings and fisticuffs, waged ostensibly for control of the holy temples - even as others threatened BC area politicians with violence, sparking an outcry across Canada.

And on the political front, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives have in recent days tied themselves into knots protesting their friendship with India and all things Indian - after denying ex-BSF and other paramilitary personnel visas on grounds they're jobs may have made them commit "war crimes" - even as the Liberals, always considered a close friend of new immigrants, get set to demonstrate just how far they're willing to go for such friendship.

Perhaps not too far - but possibly far enough, initial moves suggest.
"People tend to confuse 'motion' with 'petition'," Sukh Dhaliwal, MP for Newton - North Delta, explained to Focus this week.
Among other things, chatter in social circles and online has Dhaliwal set to present the 'motion' to Parliament jointly with Kania.

Asked about the rumours, Dhaliwal sought to distance himself from any 'motion,' but seemed quite willing to present a 'petition' on behalf of his constituents.

"It would indeed be my duty," Dhaliwal added. Because, he explained, presenting a petition doesn't necessarily mean he supports itâ?¦ even if he does present it.

"In presenting a petition I'd be working on my constitutents' behalf to make known their feelings - but it doesn't necessarily mean I myself support it," he contended.

Dhaliwal added he was aware of such a petition going around, "seeking justice for the 1984 pogroms (against) Sikhs in New Delhi."

The issue has become a political hot potato.

Several calls and messages to Kania's office remained unanswered at the time of going to press.

Asked for his comments, the office of generally outspoken Vancouver South MP Ujjal Dosanjh indicated the issue was being handled by the Party High Command.

The Party High Command did field our call, but didn't say much.
John Delacourt, spokesperson for Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, told Focus the office was in the process of roughing out a draft in response to the online petition naming Kania.

Delacourt too indicated a motion and a petition could be two entirely different issues.

The official Liberal response was still awaited at the time of going to press.
But Liberal Leader Ignatieff had earlier made his feelings on multiculturalism known only too well.

Addressing members of the ethnic press in recent weeks - a little after the kirpan incident in a Brampton area gurdwara - Ignatieff had indicated Canada's support for multiculturalism shouldn't be, wilfully or otherwise, misinterpreted or misused in any form.

But come June 9, whether Kania and Dhaliwal do present the motion/petition to Parliament or not, some among our South Asian communities are reportedly gearing up to make their voices heard in Ottawaâ?¦

Meanwhile the website Sikh Philosophy Network (along with other websites such as Global Sikh News) says, under the headline 'Recognizing the Sikh Genocide in Canada Parliament':

"On June 9, 2010 Member of Parliament Andrew Kania will join Sikhs in marking a moment in history that will forever be enshrined in the Sikh struggle for justice and aspirations for Human Rights. On this day, Mr Kania will read a motion in the House of Commons for the Government of Canada to officially recognize the genocides of November 1984 carried out in India.
"The Sikh Activist Network, strongly urges all (com)passionate youth to take part in this landmark moment in Sikh History, in at least one of two ways:

- Sign the Petition to show your support for the motion that will be read by Mr Kania

- Join us on June 9 as we travel to Ottawa to attend the reading of the motion in the house.

"The reading of the motion will be presented by Liberal MP Andrew Kania at which point the Conservative Government will have 21 days to respond. For any youth interested in attending please send (your) information (to enable us) make arrangements for free transportation to Ottawa."

The site also says:

"'Terrorism' is a description of a means, a method of deliberately attacking or threatening to attack civilian targets in order to achieve political goals. 'Freedom fighting' is a description of an end, as a freedom fighter's goal is national liberation."

Interestingly, it adds:

"An individual could participate in 'terrorism' and 'freedom fighting' simultaneously, because one word describes means, while the other describes ends."

The petition

The text of the petition reads as follows:

"WE, THE UNDERSIGNED CITIZENS OF CANADA, draw the attention of the House to the following:

"WHEREAS, the Sikh community in Canada has been a vibrant part of the Canadian cultural mosaic since 1897;

"WHEREAS, the Sikh community in Canada is amongst one of the largest religious groups within the Indo-Canadian community;

"WHEREAS, members of the Canadian Sikh Community have become an integral part of Canada's culture as they continue to contribute significantly to the national economy;

"AND WHEREAS, there was an organized campaign of Genocide against the members of the Sikh Community in India in November of 1984, resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent Persons, we call on the Government of Canada to:

1 Recognize that an organized campaign of violence, rapes and killings took place in India in November of 1984, against the Sikh Community, resulting in the deaths of thousands.

2 Call upon the government of India to take all reasonable measures to bring all persons responsible for this organized campaign of violence to justice. This includes criminal prosecutions against the responsible persons following due process of law.

3 Formally recognize that this organized killing spree resulting in the deaths of thousands is "Genocide" as per the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide."



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