Canada India Foundation urges rejection of anti-India petition by Canadian Members of Parliament Andrew Kania & Sukh Dhaliwal
Toronto June 9, 2010
Canada India Foundation
In recent years, Canada has made serious and progressive efforts in engaging with India and India's political and business leaders have reciprocated with substantial commitments garnering investment of $12 Billion in Canada compared to Canadian investment of $500 Million in India.
Against this backdrop, a petition, calculated to inflame anti-India sentiments among the Sikh community, is scheduled to be presented in the Canadian Parliament today by Mr. Andrew Kania, MP– Brampton West and Mr. Sukh Dhaliwal, MP– Newton/North Delta. In a letter sent to all Canadian Parliamentarians, Ramesh Chotai, Chair, Canada India Foundation, said, “We are writing to express our deepest concerns about the petition whose authors fail to reflect the views of a significant number of Canadian Sikhs who are proud of their Indian heritage and continue to have and grow their business, family and cultural ties to India”.
Canada India Foundation deplores the senseless and horrible violence, the loss of innocent lives and the damage that was done to innocent members of the Sikh Community in India during the events in 1984, in the aftermath of the assassination of India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, said Aditya Jha, National Convenor, Canada India Foundation. India has been dealing with the aftermath of the tragic events of 1984 through a democratic and judicial process and it is therefore considered an internal matter. The Sikh Community in India continues to be one of the most vibrant Indian ethnic and religious communities participating with full integration in all aspects of Indian public and private life, in harmony with all other Indians. The State of Punjab, the home to 80 % of the Sikhs in India, is once again one of the most industrialized states of India, free of the violent strife that characterized the 1980’s. The most compelling example of the integration of Sikhs in India’s institutions is, of course, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India. Another is that of Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of India’s Planning Commission, who is the architect of India’s phenomenal economic growth. There are many more highly regarded members of ethnic and religious communities who have held and continue to hold the highest positions in various public and private capacities in India, Mr. Jha said.
“The presentation of the petition in Parliament is ill-advised and ill-intentioned since there is no justification for Canada to take the position that the petition demands”, said Manoj Pundit, National Spokesperson, Canada India Foundation, “ We would surmise that the petition is deliberately timed to coincide with the upcoming arrival of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Canada for the G8/ G20 summit”. The petition will serve to embarrass both countries and is yet another measure by an extremist fringe element to foment division with and within the Sikh community in Canada. These incidents are damaging to the interests of stronger India-Canada relations and it is therefore essential to express our collective disapproval of these actions, Mr. Pundit added.
Tragic, violent and horrible events such as the events of 1984 in India, the bombing of Air India which resulted in the death of innocent Canadians and other senseless incidents around the world will continue to be deplored and condemned by all peace-loving people with a resolve to prevent similar events from happening again, Mr. Chotai said.
About Canada India Foundation:
Canada India Foundation is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to fostering support for stronger bi-lateral relations between Canada and India. By leveraging the individual and collective capabilities of Indo-Canadians, CIF serves the interests of Canada by advocating deeper engagement with India. Canada India Foundation’s membership comprises members from the entire Indo-Canadian community.
For further information, please contact: Kalyan Sundaram, Executive Director, Canada India Foundation. 289- 291-0277
Confirmed this report by calling Mr. Kalyan Sundaram on June 10, 2010, about 1.30 pst...Gs