The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) expresses concern at unacceptable attempts by the Indian Government to silence “freedom of speech”, a fundamental right of Canadian-Sikhs.
In response to the display of banners supporting advocacy of Sikh self-determination in India at recent Sikh Vaisakhi parades in Surrey and Rexdale, Indian Consul General, Ashok Kumar, has told Canadian Press, "We are in touch with Canadian authorities on a regular basis, and we would like to see more progress on this issue .... so that this signage, these slogans, these banners are not displayed."
Such interference in the freedom of speech of Sikh Canadians is completely unacceptable. “Mr. Kumar is reminded that unlike in his native India, freedom of speech is a jealously guarded right in Canada, and his desire to silence the voice of Canadian-Sikhs will not be tolerated by Canadians” said Gurpreet Singh Bal, President WSO Canada.
Since 1984, the Indian Government, in its attempt to crush the Sikh freedom movement in India, has killed tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children. Just few weeks ago, Human Rights Watch reported on India’s “abysmal” human rights record, where the State is responsible for torture, arbitrary detentions, killings and disappearances.
“Rather than toeing the Indian Government propaganda, the Canadian Government, and other elected leaders need to learn to defend Canadians’ basic right to freedom of speech and freedom of association,” said Gian Singh Sandhu, Senior Policy Advisor of WSO.
WSO is a non-profit 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.
WSO has been condemning all kinds of violence since its inception and firmly believe that Sikh Canadians have a right to peacefully commemorate genocide inflicted on their brethrens and keep their cause & memory alive. Before interfering in Canadian affairs, the Indian Government is advised to clean up its own act.
For more information, please contact Maj (retd.) Jasbeer Singh, Media Relations, Tel. 780-457-3333, Cell. 780-235-6000, Email: [email protected]
Gian Singh Sandhu, Tel. 250-305-2440, Email: [email protected]