UNITED SIKHS Condemns Ontario's Vote to Defeat 1984 Sikh Genocide Motion
ONTARIO: - The UNITED SIKHS expresses dissatisfaction with the Ontario Liberal Government's vote to defeat a motion that would have recognized the brutal murder of thousands of innocent Sikhs as genocide.
The November 1984 Sikh Massacre, in which an estimated 3,000 Sikh men, women and children were murdered throughout India, is widely regarded as one of the deadliest attacks on Sikhs in history. In June, the Ontario Liberal Government voted against a motion that would have recognized the attacks as genocide.
On June 2nd, the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) Deputy Leader, Jagmeet Singh, introduced a Private Members' Motion reading, "That, in the opinion of this House, the Government of Ontario should recognize the November 1984 state organized violence perpetrated against the Sikhs throughout India as a genocide. " Despite backing from both the NDP and Progressive Conservative caucuses, the motion was defeated 40 to 22. Three Sikh MPPs were among the members of legislature who voted against the motion. The UNITED SIKHS has praised Singh for his efforts while admonishing the outcome of the vote.
"We stood, and continue to stand in solidarity with Jagmeet Singh and others who have worked to get this tragedy the attention and truth it deserves. We are deeply disappointed and troubled by the vote. It's a let down to the families of those who have lost loved ones and a blow to Sikhs across the world, " Sukhwinder Singh, Director for the UNITED SIKHS Canada division said.
Many hoped that by moving the issue forward it would bring some closure and reconciliation to the communities affected by the crimes that took place 32 years prior. Following the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984, thousands of Sikhs were brutally murdered across India. The attacks were said to have been carried out under the guidance of members of the legislature. Law enforcement was suspected to have actively assisted in the mass executions. While official reports note nearly 3,000 Sikhs were murdered during this time, unofficial estimates are much higher.
Several cities in the United States have already recognized the massacre as genocide, however the Ontario Government would have been the first legislative assembly to formally do so.
"While the ruling does nothing to change the horrific events that took place 32 years ago, it changes how it will be viewed by communities for years to come. It's important that the rest of the world acknowledge this mass tragedy for what it was, " Sukhwinder Singh stated. "It was in no doubt genocide and members of this legislature missed an important opportunity for reconciliation and the overdue exoneration of the innocent. "

Issued by:
Sukhwinder Singh
Tel: 1-905-672-2245
E: unitedsikhs-canada@unitedsikhs.org | contact@unitedsikhs.org
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