We are today commemorating the first anniversary of the massacre at the Golden Temple of Sikh men, women and children by the Indian Army.
In memory of those who laid their lives, the Sikhs appeal to the conscience of Canadians and concerned people of the world for sympathy and support in calling upon the Indian Government to stop terrorism against the Sikhs, restore fundamental human rights and let them determine their own destiny with dignity and respect.
Sikhism, a monotheistic and progressive religion, is being seriously threatened by the Indian Government’s actions including the violation of sacred religious places, burning of Sikh archives in Amritsar, mass killings of innocent pilgrims and other Sikhs, arbitrary detention and torture, blatant denial of human rights, and military occupation of Punjab.
Sikhs waged a peaceful agitation for decades for the redress of genuine religious political and _ economic grievances. Unfortunately the Indian Government totally ignored these. In June, 1984, instead of a political solution, the Government of India chose to silence the Sikh voice by a brutal army attack on the Golden Temple. Every Sikh felt personally wounded by the desecration of Golden Temple. There have been drastic human rights violations of the Sikhs and these continue with deplorable events of mass butchering of Sikhs, dishonouring of Sikh women and burning of Sikh properties under the Gandhi dynastic rule. Thousands of homeless Sikhs are huddled in refugee camps and thousands of arbitrarily arrested .Sikhs remains in jail and are tried in Special Courts.
In the name of innocent Sikhs suffering or kiedrat the hands of the Indian. Government, we urge the Canadian Government, Canadian religious institutions, media and the public at large to:
* Impress upon the Indian Government our grave concern for violation of human rights and freedom of the Sikhs in India.
* Send an independent fact finding mission to Punjab and the rest of India to make objective assessment of the Sikh situation.
* Make representation to the Indian Government to remove the ban from foreign media and internationally recognized civil rights bodies to investigate and report independently.
* To urge the Canadian Parliament to hold hearings and call Canadian Sikh Organizations, individuals and other witnesses to voice their concern.
* Persuade the Indian Government to restore Sikh rights and freedoms, repeal arbitrary and repressive measures of detention and trial, and create an atmosphere for mutual trust and constructive dialogue.
The Situation is desperate. Active intervention by the Canadian government and people on the side of humanity, religious and political freedoms, justice and fairness is being awaited.
There were about 200 Sikhs who participated in this candle light vigil and March on parliament hill in Ottawa on 8 June, 1985.
Ottawa Chapter of W.S.O Canada
June 8, 1985
Article extracted from this publication >> June 28, 1985