Ottawa – June 27, 2009: The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) commends the courageous political initiative of Tarlochan Singh, independent member of India’s parliament for calling a ‘spade a spade’ and asking, for the first time ever, an apology of genocidal crimes and restoration of collective self-esteem of India’s twenty million Sikhs.
On the floor of India’s parliament, Tarlochan Singh, the former chairman of National Commission for Minorities in India, said,” Those Army officers who attacked and demolished the Golden Temple and Akal Takhat were given gallantry awards. It is shameful on the part of the government that within India, for attack on its own people, the government...gave them gallantry awards."
He questioned, "What for?. ..They [had] killed Sikhs ! that is why you gave them gallantry awards. I propose that these gallantry awards be withdrawn, the officers be told that this was no gallantry." He further reminded the congress lead government that the ,“Gallantry awards are given to the soldiers for fighting the enemy and not attacking your own people.”… “There is no city in this world where the Sikhs have not demonstrated (to mark the anniversary of ‘Operation Blue star’), but no one from the government has ever mourned."
The WSO is confident that he was echoing the truest and deepest feelings and sentiments of Sikhs that have been repressed for the past twenty five years and have been brought to life with his passionate words in India’s house of parliament.
Speaking on this issue, Gian Singh Sandhu, Senior Policy Advisor of the WSO stated, “Tragically, the Sikh community has been severely victimized, initially in the brutal military offensive against the Sikhs, then through a vicious media campaign of slander and the diplomatic pressure on foreign governments, including the government of Canada, to refrain from attending the Sikhs’ commemorative activities”.
“As in the case of Jewish holocaust, tragedy and injustices faced by the Sikhs cannot and must not be forgotten. The memory of innocent victims shows us the way to peace and good will in human society” said Gurpreet Singh Bal, President of the WSO.
The World Sikh Organization (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..
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For more information, please contact:
Jasbeer Singh, Media Relations, at 780-457-3333 or (780)235-6000; E-mail [email protected] or;
Amanpreet Singh Bal, at 416-677-1528, E-mail: [email protected]