WSO Events to Focus on Human Rights & Canadian Sikh Achievements

Ottawa (May 25, 2012):  Continuing a 28 year tradition, the World Sikh Organization of Canada will be hosting human rights events across Canada in the month of June, including their annual Parliamentary Dinner in Ottawa on Wednesday June 6thin Ottawa.  This year’s keynote speaker will be leading Indian human rights activist Prashant Bhushan. 

Mr. Bhushan, is a senior advocate at the Indian Supreme Court and also a senior member of “Team Anna” which supports Anna Hazare in his anti-corruption campaign.  Mr. Bhushan has argued over 500 Public Interest Litigation cases. 

In November 1984, Mr. Bhushan was present in Delhi and personally saw the carnage that took place against the Sikh community.  He along with a group of other Supreme Court lawyers, helped rescue several Sikh families who had been trapped by the mobs.  The car Mr. Bhushan was driving at the time was also attacked and stoned. 

Mr. Bhushan is currently a key advisor in the Anna Hazare campaign and a strong advocate for greater judicial accountability and an end to corruption. 

The topic of Mr. Bhushan’s talk will be “human rights:  a threat to one is a threat to all.”

In addition to the annual Parliamentary Dinner, events are also scheduled for Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary. WSO expects to host several MPs and members of human rights and civil society groups.  

Exhibit on Early Sikh History in Canada

This year, WSO’s dinners will also be focusing on the history and achievements of Sikhs in Canada.  Notable members of the community will be recognized for the contributions in the fields of community service, politics and media. 

In addition, during the Ottawa and Toronto events,  the Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada will be presenting a fascinating exhibition highlighting early Canadian Sikh history.

The Exhibit will showcase the contributions of Canadian Sikh Soldiers who valiantly served on behalf of Canada in WW1. The Stories of Canadian Privates Buckam Singh and Waryam Singh will be told while also featuring the enormous valour displayed by Sikh soldiers serving other countries in WW1.  The Exhibit will feature rare period specific artifacts including an original 1914 magazine article highlighting the infamous Canadian incident involving the Komagata Maru. Further, a letter from the Govenor General related to MacKenzie King and his intimate knowledge of the Sikhs and the desire for the then Canadian Government to send the Sikhs to British Honduras.  Finally, the Exhibit will also encompass some of the earliest known images related to Canadian Sikh pioneers and their families.

WSO’s June events schedule is below:

June 4th:  Vancouver Inter-community Dinner, Dhaliwal Banquet Hall, Surrey beginning at 6pm

June 6th:  Ottawa Parliamentary Dinner at the Government Conference Centre, beginning at 6.30pm

June 8th:  Toronto Press Conference & Media Dinner, National Banquet Hall, beginning at 6pm. 

June 9th:  Brampton Inter-community dinner, Chandni Convention Centre, beginning at 6pm

June 12th:  Edmonton Inter-community dinner, Maharaja Banquet Hall, Millwoods, beginning at 6pm

June 14th : Calgary Inter-community dinner, the Magnolia Banquet Hall, beginning at 6pm

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit international organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of the Sikh Diaspora, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status

If you’re interested in attending these events or arranging an interview with Mr. Bhushan, please contact:

Amanpreet Singh Bal, WSO Event Coordinator

asinghbal@gmail.com

phone:  (416) 677-1528