THE Canadian Sikh community has for the past few years extended the fullest cooperation to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and other information gathering agencies. We have welcomed them to our homes, met them at our business addresses and other places convenient to them. We have provided them with refreshments, drinks and hospitality as well as information.
The result of this cooperation by the Sikh community has been increased harassment, misinformation, and distortions, in vision of privacy, intimidation and violations of our fundamental civil liberties as Canadians. The amateurish cloak and dagger behavior of various investigators, their total lack of significant convictions, convinces us that further cooperation is a waste of time. It feeds a fiction about the Sikh community which never had any foundation or basis except in the paranoid perceptions of Government of India officials. These were unfortunately transferred to ignorant officials in the Canadian government, especially the Ministry of External Affairs. The Sikh community and its friends and associates are now part of a ping pong of exchanged misreporting, fabrications, garble, mumble and slurs in which CSIS appears to play a central role.
In view of this, it is now necessary for the Sikh community to reconsider its traditional role of cooperation and hospitality which has been so abused and exploited. Much of the information requested has been general, vague and an endless shikara to catch anything. Our legal advisors inform us that no Sikh is legally required to answer any questions from CSIS.
In the future, in those rare cases where the information requested is specific, limited, and important to clearly assist national security, Sikhs may consider meeting at a time and place completely convenient to ourselves. In all such cases, however, Sikhs are advised to hold such meetings only in the presence of a lawyer, newspaper reporter, or opposition member of Parliament. Please advise the World Sikh Organization representative before holding such a meeting. For accuracy and future reference, all such meetings should be openly tape recorded or not held at all.
In all other cases, the advice of the World Sikh Organization to all requests for meetings or information is to just say no thank you.
Article extracted from this publication >> April 15, 1988