Coalition of Sikhs and Allies for Justice – PRESS RELEASE

admin March 18, 2010 1 Comment

Rally Against Alleged Mass Murderer in Toronto.

McGuinty Government supports speaker despite community outcry!

Coalition of Sikhs and Allies for Justice

TORONTO– The Sikh community and its allies are angry that the McGuinty government is still endorsing the arrival of Kamal Nath, India’s Minister for Road and Highways despite protest.  Kamal Nath has been identified as being directly involved in leading the attacks on Sikhs  which took place in New Delhi in November 1984 after Indira Gandhi’s assassination.

“As Sikhs who sought refuge in Canada after the events 1984, we are horror-stricken by the arrival of a man who has been identified and named as an actor in the targeted attacks against our community” said a Sikh university student asking to remain anonymous. “It is shocking to me that the McGuinty government is ignoring the concerns of over 100,000 Sikhs that call Ontario home”.

Kamal Nath, a deeply influential member of the leading Congress I Party, has been implicated by independent commission reports and eyewitness testimonials in having directly led a mob towards a Sikh Gurdwara in New Delhi, where a number of Sikhs were then burnt alive.

In 2002 Nath was also found guilty by the Supreme Court of India of damaging India’s ecosystem and fined USD $25 000 for his role in building a motel which led to ecological imbalance in a Himalayan region.

Given its international reputation as an upholder of human rights, Canada should be especially concerned regarding the violation of human rights which occurred in November 1984, where estimates of Sikhs killed range from 5000 to 8000. During this time, widespread communal violence took place across India against the Sikhs, not only causing a loss of life but also destroying homes and complete neighborhoods. Kamal Nath’s entry will also become a black spot on Canada’s commitment to human rights and will violate Canada’s stated position on “Crimes Against Humanity”.

Amnesty International has pushed the Indian government to address the issues of 1984 with fair trials in accordance with international laws. However, the Indian government has yet to do so.

Although there have been many letters in protest sent by Canadian citizens to key figures in parliament condemning the government’s actions in welcoming Nath, these letters have been widely ignored.

“As a voter, I am shocked that my tax dollars are going to fund a man whose credibility is in question, especially since it is in regards to human rights violations. The Government does not allow criminals to enter Canada, so why is this murderer allowed in?”

Canada prides itself as being an ethnically diverse country. Sikh Canadians are an integral part of the multicultural fabric of Canada. However, these massacres have left the Sikh community in Canada and around the world deeply scarred. The Coalition of Sikhs and Allies for Justice calls upon the Canadian government to recognize Kamal Nath’s direct involvement in human rights violations, and in doing so, acknowledging the concerns of its citizens as well as upholding its commitment to justice and human rights issues around the world.

Nath is scheduled to speak at a dinner organized by the Canada-India Business Council on March 23, 2010 at Le Meriden King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto. We call upon the Canada-India Business Council and related sponsors such as the Bank of Montreal and Bennett Jones LLP to cancel this event. If the event continues, the Coalition will be organizing a peaceful demonstration for Sikh Canadians and our allies outside of the venue.

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