First Hand Accounts of the Murder of Jathedar Gurdev Singh Kaunke

Today we mark the anniversary of the murder of Jathedar Gurdev Singh Kaunke on January 1, 1993. Jathedar Gurdev Singh Kaunke, the acting Jathedar of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, was tortured to death in custody by the Indian police on January 1, 1993.  Jathedar Kaunke had been serving in his role since January 1986 and was widely respected by all sides in Punjab.  He was a voice of reason and principle and had an unblemished and towering character Continue reading

2015 Election Issues Guide

Federal Election 2015:  Questions & Issues Guide The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1984 as a national body, with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of the Canadian Sikhs, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights of all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status. With the Canadian federal election campaign now well underway, Canadian Sikhs are deciding which candidates and parties to support. Like other Canadians, issues such as the economy, the environment and poverty are of great interest this election. The major parties continue to address these concerns through their party platforms and during debates.  There are, however, issues of special concern to Canadian Sikhs that do not receive as much consideration.  In order to draw attention to these issues and understand where the parties stand, we are putting the below seven questions (along with a brief backgrounder to each question) to the four major parties and encourage Canadian Sikhs to do the same.  Continue reading

April's Letter From The Director

On March 21, WSO Board Members and Executives from across the country came together in Surrey, BC. The purpose of the meeting? To re-energize the WSO, re-focus our priorities, and re-engage the community. Continue reading

Remembering Rajni Kothari: Author of 'Who Are the Guilty?'

Today we remember Shri Rajni Kothari, who passed away today in New Delhi at the age of 86.  Kothari was well known and respected for his work in the fields of human rights, political science and public service.  For the Sikh community, Kothari will be best remembered for raising his voice for justice in the case of the 1984 anti-Sikh genocide.  As the then President of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, he had the fortitude and courage to write a forthright and probing report on the events of November 1984 which continues to be one of the most reliable accounts of what happened.  The report “Who Are the Guilty?” gave a description of the massacres that took place and was a damning indictment of those politicians who orchestrated the violence.   Continue reading

WSO: Celebrating 30 Years

December 2014 commemorates a special milestone. The WSO of Canada was founded on Dec 2, 1984.  For 3 decades we have been the voice of Canadian Sikhs. Through your invaluable support, we have helped shape Canadian law and culture, making this country one of the best places on earth.  As we reflect upon the past, we are reminded of the incredible progress that we have made, and the challenges that lie ahead in an increasingly interconnected world. Continue reading

A Soldier's Uniform: A Canadian Sikh Perspective

By Mukhbir Singh (WSO VP for Quebec and Eastern Canada) Remembrance Day has particular significance for Canadians this year as we remember not only the sacrifices of soldiers who died in the World Wars but also those soldiers who recently died in the line of duty.  Canadians were shocked by the attacks last month on Canadian Forces members Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent who died after being struck by a vehicle in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo who was gunned down while standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. Continue reading

Upcoming WSO June Events- Remembering 1984

WSO will be holding events across Canada in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Indian Army assault on Sri Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar. This year, we will be sharing video presentations on 1984 and having a photo exhibit of the tragic assault. Continue reading

International Women's Day: 5 Sikh Women Making a Difference

Today people around the world are marking International Women's Day.  As Sikhs, we are fortunate to have and celebrate the forward-thinking teachings of the Sikh Gurus who affirmed the complete equality of men and women.  But, while Sikh history is filled with inspirational Sikh women from Bibi Nanaki to Mata Khivi to Mata Sahib Kaur to Mata Bhag Kaur, our community today still has considerable work to do in order for women to take their rightful places in leadership roles.  Continue reading

WSO Provides Training Session for Hudson's Bay in Toronto

On Friday August 2, the World Sikh Organization of Canada provided a training session at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto for Hudson’s Bay managers and employees on the Sikh faith and the law of accommodation in Canada.  WSO legal counsel Balpreet Singh delivered a presentation focused on Sikh beliefs, Sikh articles of faith, Canadian jurisprudence on accommodation and a question & answer session. Continue reading

Regulatory Changes to Flying With Cremated Remains

WSO has been contacted by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) about regulatory changes to airport screening of cremation containers (urns) when flying.  As many Sikh families do travel with cremated remains, the below will be of particular importance.  Punjabi version follows the English.  Continue reading