Sajjan Kumar Verdict Only a First Step: WSO

Ottawa (December 17, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada welcomes the conviction of veteran Congress Party leader Sajjan Kumar by the Delhi High Court today.  Kumar was sentenced to life in prison for crimes committed during the 1984 Sikh Genocide, specifically the killing of five Sikhs and the arson of a Delhi gurdwara.  Ironically, Monday also saw the swearing-in of Kamal Nath as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.  Nath is also accused of leading a mob that attacked a gurdwara and burnt several Sikhs alive in Delhi during the 1984 Sikh Genocide. 

In its judgment released today, the Delhi High Court found that “the mass killings of Sikhs in Delhi and elsewhere in November 1984 were in fact ‘crimes against humanity’. They will continue to shock the collective conscience of society for a long time to come.”

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Canadian Sikhs Outraged with Selection of Kamal Nath as CM: WSO

Ottawa (December 13, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada is outraged by the selection of Kamal Nath as the next Chief Minister of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.  Nath is accused of leading a mob that burned several Sikhs alive in Delhi during the 1984 Sikh Genocide.  The appointment of Nath follows the victory of the Congress party in the recent Madhya Pradesh election.

Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi announced today that Kamal Nath would be the next Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. The Congress Party announced from its Twitter handle that "an era of change is upon MP with him [Kamal Nath] at the helm." 

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WSO Requests Meeting With Minister Goodale on Maligning of Sikh Community

WSO has today sent the below letter to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale on the maligning of the Sikh community in the recently released 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada.

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Public Safety Canada Terror Report Maligns Canadian Sikhs

Ottawa (December 11, 2018):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada is deeply disappointed by the addition of “Sikh (Khalistani) Extremism” to the Public Safety Canada’s 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada that was released today.  The 2018 report on Canada’s terrorist threat environment included the “Sikh extremism” component for the first time this year.  The move appears correlated to repeated unsubstantiated Indian accusations of rising extremism in the Sikh community that reached a crescendo during the visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India earlier this year.

While the 2018 Public Safety report does not make any reference to current extremist activities in the Sikh community, it does state, “some individuals in Canada continue to support Sikh (Khalistani) extremist ideologies and movements.”

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Reconsideration Motion Filed At Supreme Court for QNA Kirpan Appeal

(French follows below)

Ottawa (December 5, 2018): A motion for reconsideration has been filed with the Supreme Court of Canada with respect to the court’s decision to deny leave for appeal in the Singh, et al. v. Attorney General of Québec.  The appellants, Balpreet Singh and Harminder Kaur argue in their motion that two unusual and interrelated circumstances have given rise to the “exceedingly rare circumstances” which warrant the court’s reconsideration.  Specifically, the Supreme Court’s decision in Chagnon v. Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec and secondly, the election of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), which has championed discriminatory policies that will disproportionately affect religious minorities.

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Security Report Raises Spectre of Indian Interference in Sikh Canadian Affairs

Ottawa (December 4, 2018):  The release of a special security report by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to India earlier this year raises many troubling questions about foreign interference, particularly with respect to the reputation of the Sikh community in Canada and unfounded allegations of Sikh extremism.  The heavily-redacted 40-page report was released on Monday after the Prime Minister’s Office removed portions "deemed injurious to national security and international relations.”

The report examined three issues: allegations of foreign interference related to the Prime Minister’s visit; security issues around Canadian events in India; and a briefing to journalists given by the government’s national security adviser.

Most of the section on foreign interference is redacted, including all six of the Committee’s findings. 

Despite the heavy redaction, it is clear the Committee found that with “strategically released” media articles and repeated allegations of “Sikh extremism” in Canada, there was sufficient evidence to suggest an “orchestrated attempt” to “embarrass the Canadian government.”

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WSO Successfully Advocates for Religious Head Coverings at World Karate Federation

Ottawa (November 29, 2018) – The World Sikh Organization of Canada welcomes the World Karate Federation (WKF) accommodation of religiously mandated headwear for male competitors. Prior to the change, only female athletes were permitted to wear head coverings. The rule change, coming into effect on January 1, 2019,  will allow all Sikh competitors across the world  to wear religious head-coverings while competing.

The WKF has announced that it has approved a new version of its rules which allows all athletes to wear plain black head coverings during competition for religious reasons.  The WSO had worked with Karate Canada to advocate for the rule change at the international level.  

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WSO & Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation Welcome Approval of Afghan Hindu & Sikh Refugee Applications

Ottawa (November 28, 2018):  Yesterday, the Government of Canada announced that it is approving the resettlement of Sikh and Hindu refugees to Canada, who had fled Afghanistan due to religious persecution. These private sponsorship applications were spearheaded by the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation and World Sikh Organization of Canada, along with community groups, and individuals carrying on the tireless work of Manmeet Singh Bhullar.
 
In 2015, through the World Sikh Organization of Canada, Manmeet Singh Bhullar learned about the plight of these children, women, and men. He began what was seen as an insurmountable task, by sharing with government officials in Canada and abroad, organizations, and individuals, the dire need to find a viable solution to the daily atrocities Sikhs and Hindus face in Afghanistan. He individually oversaw the safe exit of one family at a time from the province of Helmand into a neighbouring country. While settling them in and finding local organizations that would provide food, shelter, clothing, he knew that a permanent solution was needed.
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WSO Condemns Racist Vandalism of Kelowna Gurdwara

Kelowna (November 19, 2018)  The World Sikh Organization of Canada condemns the racist vandalism of the Gurdwara Guru Amardas Darbar Sikh Society in Kelowna, British Columbia.  The racist graffiti was discovered today as a congregation was starting.    

The WSO has been in contact with members of the Guru Amardas Darbar Sikh Society gurdwara, including President Tarsem Singh, and offered support and assistance in dealing with this incident. 

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WSO Works to Introduce Kirpan Accommodation on BC Ferries

Surrey (November 14, 2018):  The WSO has worked to implement a kirpan accommodation policy with BC Ferries after several Sikh passengers were told they could not wear their kirpans while travelling.

BC Ferries provides transportation for many BC residents who travel between the mainland and coastal and island communities.

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