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HOW FAR WILL UK PRIME MINISTER GO TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR SIKHS WHILE IN INDIA?

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HOW FAR WILL UK PRIME MINISTER GO TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR SIKHS WHILE IN INDIA?

17 February 2013

British Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived in India and is expected to visit Amritsar on Wednesday 20 February and visit Harmandar Sahib and Jallianwala Bagh. There will be several challenging issues for David Cameron to address while in India.

The Daily Telegraph national newspaper in the UK has reported the Prime Minister is said to be considering voicing Britains regret for the massacre in 1919 in Jallianwala Bagh, when over a thousand peacefully protesting Sikhs, including women and children, were shot dead by British troops.

The Prime Minister must also decide if he will publicly condemn India for two hangings in the last three months and the growing trend to hang others. Last week the Sikh Federation (UK) wrote to the Prime Minister and got dozens of UK Members of Parliament to urge him to condemn India for the recent hangings.

Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:

The Sikh Nation would greatly appreciate a public apology from the British Prime Minister for the 1919 bloody massacre in Amritsar.

We also have no doubt David Cameron will raise UK and EU opposition to the death penalty while in India as this is the official policy, but we suspect he will express his concerns in private and not make a public statement during this trip.

However, the debate planned in the UK Parliament on 28 February for the Abolition of the Death Penalty in India will almost certainly result in disquiet and the Indian media may force David Camerons hand to make a public statement condemning India.

We also reminded the Prime Minister last week that it is on record that he along with around another 180 UK MPs specifically supported opposition against the death penalty against Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar and called for his release by signing an Early Day Motion before he became leader of the Conservatives and Prime Minister.

Another issue that may come up is Indias own massacre in Amritsar in June 1984. An apology for the 1919 Amritsar massacre will make it possible for David Cameron to show public sympathy towards the Sikhs for the events of June 1984 when the Indian Army used tanks and artillery to attack the Harmandir Sahib Complex and kill thousands of innocent Sikh pilgrims.

The Sikh Federation (UK) letter to David Cameron last week referred to June 1984 and asked him to reflect on this when he experiences the peace and tranquillity when he pays his respects at Darbar Sahib. It will not be lost on David Cameron, that when in opposition the Conservatives raised two separate Early Day Motions on the 25th anniversary of the June 1984 and November 1984 massacres.

Another issue that may complicate David Camerons visit is his unusually strong declaration of support for Pakistan last Tuesday when he told the country's Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, at 10 Downing Street that, your friends are our friends, and your enemies are our enemies.

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It would be good if Sikh organisations in India could organise a peaceful protest against Indian policies when the British PM visits Punjab, but are careful not to shown anti British The protest against the French re turbans got a lot of publicity. If some articulate people could interact with the British delegation and numerous British journalists also that would create a big impact.

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Based on my opinion. David Cameron will not bother over issues that matter the Sikhs within India. It's clearly outlined in his agenda, Prime minster is only in India to strengthen the trade agreements and India to sign the contracts regarding the Euro fighter (Fighter plane). The issue we have currently with the Sikh majority in India and rest of the world, Sikhs are seen as a nuisance and terrorists. Yes, Sikhs do need stamp on these issues, which have been going around for years. These issues have not been moved forward because the Sikh organisations lack any political route. As a Sikh community, we seem to ignorant in supporting Manmohan Singh, which is a great downfall.

Sikhs need to understand, Manmohan Singh runs a country of billion people, which includes different races and religions. As a leader to vast country, there can be no indication of being bias towards a particular race or religion. Then we have to understand, India is a majority Hindu country and Sikhs are a minority.

Sikhs will not rectify the current issues till Sikhs differentiate between political issues and religious power.

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Unfortunately Manmohan Singh has very little real power. A few years ago he announced several projects for the Punjab non of which were executed as even relatively junior civil servants refused to carry out his orders. He does make sure that the Hindu community is well served and has promoted many of those involved in the massacres of Sikhs to high positions. Whilst he is happy that Sikhs and Hindus are executed he does not take action against the criminals sitting next to him in his cabinet room. Sonia is the real power and she is about to replace him with her son.

People power in the Punjab and across India will make the change.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Punjab/Amritsar/Administration-SGPC-gear-up-to-welcome-British-Prime-Minister/SP-Article1-1013464.aspx

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Could you do us a favour and throw him in a hole near Kolkata? Thanks.

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ਬਰਤਾਨਵੀ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ 1919 ਦੇ ਜਲਿ੍ਹਆਂ ਵਾਲੇ ਬਾਗ ਦੀ ਘਟਨਾ 'ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾ ਸਕਦੇ ਹਨ ਅਫਸੋਸ...!

ਲੰਡਨ, 18 ਫਰਵਰੀ (ਮਨਪ੍ਰੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਬੱਧਨੀ ਕਲਾਂ)-ਬਰਤਾਨਵੀ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਡੇਵਿਡ ਕੈਮਰੂਨ ਦੀ ਭਾਰਤ ਫੇਰੀ ਨੂੰ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਸਿੱਖ ਹਲਕਿਆਂ ਅੰਦਰ ਕਾਫੀ ਹਲਚਲ ਮਚੀ ਹੋਈ ਹੈ | ਇਸ ਫੇਰੀ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ 20 ਫਰਵਰੀ ਨੂੰ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅੰਮਿ੍ਤਸਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਵਿਖੇ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਵਿਖੇ ਮੱਥਾ ਟੇਕਣਗੇ | ਇਸੇ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਜਲਿ੍ਹਆਂ ਵਾਲੇ ਬਾਗ 'ਚ ਜਾਣ ਦੀ ਖ਼ਬਰ ਮਿਲੀ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਬਰਤਾਨੀਆ ਦੇ ਡੇਲੀ ਟੈਲੀ ਗ੍ਰਾਫ ਦੀ ਇੱਕ ਰਿਪੋਰਟ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਇਸ ਮੌਕੇ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਵੱਲੋਂ 13 ਅਪ੍ਰੈਲ 1919 ਦੀ ਜਲਿ੍ਹਆਂ ਵਾਲੇ ਬਾਗ 'ਚ ਵਾਪਰੀ ਘਟਨਾ ਸਬੰਧੀ ਜਨਤਕ ਤੌਰ 'ਤੇ ਅਫਸੋਸ ਪ੍ਰਗਟ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ | ਰਿਪੋਰਟਾਂ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਕਿਹਾ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਸੋਚ ਰਹੇ ਹਨ ਕਿ ਬੀਤੇ ਸਮਿਆਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਕਈ ਕੌੜੀਆਂ ਯਾਦਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਭੁਲਾਇਆ ਤਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ ਤੇ ਨਾ ਹੀ ਇਤਿਹਾਸ ਨੂੰ ਬਦਲਿਆ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਪਰ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅੰਮਿ੍ਤਸਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਵਿਖੇ 1919 ਦੀ ਵਿਸਾਖੀ ਨੂੰ ਸ਼ਾਂਤਮਈ ਢੰਗ ਨਾਲ ਰੋਸ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾ ਰਹੇ ਹਜ਼ਾਰਾਂ ਲੋਕਾਂ 'ਤੇ ਗੋਲੀਆਂ ਚਲਾ ਕੇ ਮੌਤ ਦੇ ਘਾਟ ਉਤਾਰ ਦੇਣ ਦੀ ਘਟਨਾ 'ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਜਨਤਕ ਤੌਰ 'ਤੇ ਅਫਸੋਸ ਪ੍ਰਗਟ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਕਰ ਰਹੇ ਹਨ | ਦੂਜੇ ਪਾਸੇ ਸਿੱਖ ਫੈਡਰੇਸ਼ਨ ਯੂ. ਕੇ. ਵੱਲੋਂ ਸ. ਅਮਰੀਕ ਸਿੰਘ ਗਿੱਲ ਨੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਜੇ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਆਪਣੀ ਪਹਿਲੀ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਯਾਤਰਾ ਮੌਕੇ ਜਨਤਕ ਤੌਰ 'ਤੇ ਜਲਿ੍ਹਆਂ ਵਾਲੇ ਬਾਗ ਦੀ ਘਟਨਾ ਤੇ ਅਫਸੋਸ ਪ੍ਰਗਟ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ ਤਾਂ ਬਹੁਤ ਹੀ ਸ਼ਲਾਘਾਯੋਗ ਕਦਮ ਹੋਵੇਗਾ | ਸਿੱਖ ਫੈਡਰੇਸ਼ਨ ਯੂ. ਕੇ. ਨੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਆਸ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਜਨਤਕ ਤੌਰ 'ਤੇ 1984 ਦੇ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ 'ਤੇ ਹੋਏ ਹਮਲੇ ਬਾਰੇ ਵੀ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਹਮਦਰਦੀ ਵਿਖਾਉਣਗੇ | ਦੂਜੇ ਪਾਸੇ 28 ਫਰਵਰੀ ਨੂੰ ਬਰਤਾਨਵੀ ਸੰਸਦ 'ਚ ਹੋ ਰਹੀ ਕੇਸਰੀ ਲਹਿਰ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਪੇਸ਼ ਕੀਤੀ ਪਟੀਸ਼ਨ 'ਤੇ ਹੋ ਰਹੀ ਬਹਿਸ ਬਾਰੇ ਵੀ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਡੇਵਿਡ ਕੈਮਰੂਨ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਕੁਝ ਕਹੇ ਜਾਣ ਦੀ ਆਸ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾਈ ਜਾ ਰਹੀ ਹੈ | ਸਿੱਖ ਫੈਡਰੇਸ਼ਨ ਯੂ. ਕੇ. ਵੱਲੋਂ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਤੇ ਸਥਾਨਕ ਕਈ ਸੰਸਦ ਮੈਂਬਰਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਚਿੱਠੀਆਂ ਲਿਖ ਕੇ ਮੰਗ ਕੀਤੀ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਭਾਰਤ 'ਚ ਵੱਧ ਰਹੀ ਫਾਂਸੀ ਦੀ ਸਜ਼ਾ ਨੂੰ ਖ਼ਤਮ ਕਰਵਾਉਣ ਲਈ ਭਾਰਤ ਫੇਰੀ ਮੌਕੇ ਬਰਤਾਨੀਆ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਭਾਰਤ 'ਤੇ ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਜ਼ੋਰ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਵੇ |

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UK Sikhs hope Cameron will regret Jallianwala

Prabhjot Singh/TNS

Chandigarh, February 18

Nearly half a million strong Sikh community in the UK, 56 per cent of which has British birth, hopes that Prime Minister David Cameron would regret the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, where hundreds of peacefully protesting Sikhs, including women and children, were done to death by British troops, during his visit to Amritsar on February 20.

Representatives of Sikh community in Great Britain has over the weeks submitted memoranda and held meetings with the ruling Conservatives with a hope that the British Prime Minister would also take up the issue of abolition of death penalty as India has witnessed two hangings in the past three months.

The Sikhs also want the British Prime Minister to reflect on the Operation Bluestar and the killing of innocent Sikhs in many parts of India in November 1984 as a fallout of the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. A section of the Sikh community believes that to avoid embarrassment to the hosts, he may take up some of these issues privately with the Indian Prime Minister than making any public statements.

All these issues have been raised in a memorandum the Sikh Federation of the UK sent to David Cameron before he left for India on a three-day official tour.

The Conservatives are keen to win over the British Sikh community over its side.

Traditionally majority of Sikhs had been supporters of the Labour Party that was voted out of power in the last General Election.

The Sikh Federation has reminded Cameron that when in Opposition, the Conservatives had raised two separate Early Day Motions on the 25th anniversary of both the 1984 Operation Bluestar and the Sikh massacre of November 1984.

Going by reports in the British media, there is a strong feeling that Cameron during his visit to Jallianwala Bagh may convey British regret for what had been described as one of the major massacres of innocent people that took place on the Baisakhi Day of 1919.

Even Canada regretted the Kama Gata Maru episode in which a large number of Indians, mostly Sikhs, were killed. The Canadian Government has also now raised even Kama Gata Maru memorials. Incidentally, both Canada and Great Britain have Conservatives in power.

Both the Canadian and British Governments, recognising great contribution of Sikh immigrants towards nation building, have been bowing backwards to appease them and win them over.

Of late while the Sikh community in Canada has won a foothold in federal politics by returning eight to nine Members of Parliament, their counterparts in England, however, are yet to become a strong political identity.

Early this month, large number of British MPs had gathered in the House of Commons to pay tributes to Lord Tarsem Singh King, the first Sikh to be honoured as a Lord in 1999. India in Test cricket. A couple of other Sikhs, including Ravi Bopara, have also played for England.

In Hockey, a number of Sikhs, including Sutinder and Kulbir, played for both England and Great Britain, in major hockey tournaments, including World Cup and Olympics. Though the first wave of Sikh immigrants to Great Britain were those who fought for the British in the first World War, most of the Sikhs who made Britain their home came from India while the rest moved from Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania) and Hong Kong.

Maharaja Duleep Singh still holds the official record of first Sikh settler in Great Britain in 1846. His statue in Butten Island is a major attraction for tourists in general and Sikhs in particular. The statue was unveiled in 1999.

The first Sikh Gurdwara in Britain came up at Putney in London in 1911. Now there are hundreds of gurdwaras, including one of the biggest at Southall.

A recent survey conducted by a British newspaper about different ethnicities and communities to have made Britain their home placed the Sikhs at number one, above Jews and Christians. Sikhs have the highest percentage, 82, for owning houses among all communities.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130219/main3.htm

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