RCMP Refusal to Accommodate Sikh Officers is Discrimination: WSO

Ottawa: (September 24, 2020) The World Sikh Organization of Canada is disappointed by the RCMP’s refusal to accommodate bearded Sikh officers.  The officers have been removed from frontline policing duties since March 31 2020 due to their religiously mandated facial hair. 

The affected officers have been placed on desk duty for almost six months as the RCMP says that the N100 mask does not seal with facial hair.  The wearing of the mask however, is not mandatory and left to front line officers’ discretion and only necessary after an assessment of risk factors. 

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MLI Khalistan Report Parrots Indian Narratives: WSO

Ottawa (September 16, 2020):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada joins calls for the retraction of the report entitled “Khalistan: a Project of Pakistan”, published by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. The report is authored by controversial, retired CBC journalist, Terry Milewski and includes an introduction by former politician, Ujjal Dosanjh, and former Conservative staffer, Shuvaloy Majumdar. 

Published on September 9, 2020, the report claims that the Khalistan movement is driven by Pakistan and that Sikh activism in Canada- a “predictable drumbeat of victimization, persecution and genocide commemoration….[is] part of a stunningly orchestrated campaign that seduces the best intentions of earnest politicians.”

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WSO Stands With Prashant Bhushan

Ottawa (August 31, 2020):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada stands in solidarity with lawyer Prashant Bhushan who was fined one Rupee by the Supreme Court of India (SCI) for tweets critical of the court and its Chief Justice.  Last June, Bhushan posted a single sentence tweet about eroding freedoms in India and the role of the SCI. 

The SCI took suo motu notice of the tweets and initiated contempt of court proceedings against Bhushan.  Bhushan was found guilty by the court on August 14.

WSO President Tejinder Singh Sidhu said today,

“Prashant Bhushan’s strength and courage have been inspirational throughout his legal career and his most recent decision to not apologize for his criticism of the Supreme Court of India has been no different.  There is no question that India is facing a human rights crisis and the role of the judiciary has been incredibly disappointing.  Prashant Bhushan’s conviction for contempt of court has galvanized the legal and human rights communities in India and is a wakeup call against growing authoritarianism and the crackdown on freedom of expression.  We salute Prashant’s courage and are proud to call him a friend.”

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals.

25 Canadian MPs Call for Special Refugee Program for Afghan Sikhs & Hindus

Ottawa (July 29, 2020):  25 Canadian MPs, from the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) and the Green Party have written to Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino calling for a special program for Afghan Sikh and Hindu refugees so that they can be brought to safety in Canada.

The letter expresses “concern about the existential threat to religious minorities in Afghanistan, specifically, Sikhs and Hindus.”

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WSO Releases Report on Indian Crackdown on Sikh Social Media

Ottawa (July 20, 2020):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada has released a report on the crackdown on Sikh social media by Indian authorities. The report entitled “Enforcing Silence:  India’s War on Sikh Social Media” examines recent developments and offers suggestions to social media platforms with respect to Sikh content.

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WSO Raises Concerns Over Indian Interference in Canada

Ottawa (April 17, 2020) The World Sikh Organization of Canada is deeply disturbed by a report published today by Global News revealing that Indian intelligence agencies “attempted to use money and disinformation to “covertly influence” Canadian politicians”.

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WSO Calls For Urgent Assistance to Afghan Sikhs After Kabul Attack

Ottawa (March 25, 2020): The World Sikh Organization of Canada is deeply saddened by the terrorist attack on Gurdwara Guru Har Rai in Shor Bazaar, Kabul, Afghanistan, today. Several attackers raided the gurdwara premises shortly before 8am and according to reports, killed at least 23 Sikhs. Afghan security forces continue to engage in a gun battle with the attackers.

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Sikh One Billion Rising Seva Initiative Prepares 2300 Care Packages Across Canada

Ottawa (February 27, 2020):  For the seventh consecutive year, Sikhs across Canada, in partnership with the World Sikh Organization of Canada, took part in the One Billion Rising movement by preparing over 2300 care packages for  women and children in shelters in 11 Canadian cities:  Surrey, Vancouver, Kamloops, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Guelph, London, Ottawa and Montreal.  Personal care items, edibles and handmade Valentine’s cards prepared by Sikh children accompanied the packages. 

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WSO Welcomes Tabling of Sikh Genocide Awareness Week Bill in Ontario Legislature

Toronto (February 26, 2020):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada welcomes the tabling of An Act to Proclaim Sikh Genocide Awareness Week in the Ontario Legislature.  The Private Members’ Bill was tabled today by Brampton East MPP Gurratan Singh and calls for the proclamation of the first seven days of November as Sikh Genocide Awareness Week. 

The Bill recognizes that Sikhs continue to be impacted by the genocide and other atrocity crimes perpetrated by the Government of India both in 1984 and in the decade that followed. 

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India Must Ensure a Stop to Delhi Violence: WSO

Ottawa (February 25, 2020):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada is gravely concerned by the deteriorating situation in Delhi, India.  According to news reports, mobs shouting “Jai Shri Ram” have attacked Muslim homes and businesses in Muslim populated areas in north-east Delhi and also set a mosque ablaze in Delhi’s Ashok Nagar.  Reporters themselves have in many cases been attacked or asked to prove that they are not Muslims.  Indian police have been ineffective in controlling the violence and in some cases have been recorded siding with the mobs and attacking Muslims.  Thirteen deaths have so far been reported. 

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