Sikhs happy in Canada, won’t raise any issue with Trudeau: SGPC
SCPC President Gobind Singh Longowal said they have no plan to hand over a memorandum of demands to the Canadian PM during his Amritsar visit on February 21punjab Updated: Feb 18, 2018 22:38 IST
Asserting that Sikhs are happy in Canada, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Sunday said they will not raise any community-related issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to Amritsar on February 21.
SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal, who chaired a special meeting of senior office-bearers and officials, said they have no plan to hand over a memorandum of demands to the Canadian PM. On previous occasions, the SGPC used to give memorandums to dignitaries on their visits to the Golden Temple.
“First, it is not fair to give a memorandum to someone who comes to Sri Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple) to pay obeisance. People themselves visit the shrine with their demands,” said Roop Singh, chief secretary of the SGPC, giving rationale behind the decision.
“Second, Sikhs living in Canada are happy in every respect. The country is already honouring the Sikhs in a big way. The fact that Canada has four Sikh ministers reflects that,” he said.
He said, “The fundamental rights of the Sikhs are protected by the Canadian government. There are several gurdwaras in Canada. Besides, Punjabi is a well recognised language there and conditions are favourable for promoting Punjabi culture as well. If the Sikhs do not face any problem there, there is no question of raising any demand with him.”
Radical Sikh organisation Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) led by Simranjit Singh Mann and Sikh rights advocacy group ‘Khalra Mission Organisation’ have announced to hand over a charter of demands concerning the Sikhs to Trudeau.
But Longowal insisted, “No individual or organisation will be allowed give a memorandum (to the Canadian PM) as protocol of the visit is strict.”
On the organisations’ demand to take up issues of independent probe into the Operation Bluestar and anti-Sikh riots with Trudeau, the SGPC said they want to keep the visit purely religious and not politicise it.
Trudeau and other dignitaries accompanying him will be honoured with panthic traditions, Longowal said.
Trudeau to stay in Amritsar for over 3 hours
District administration officials said after landing at the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport at 10.30am, the Canadian PM will go to the Golden Temple via Bhandari bridge and Hall Bazaar. After paying obeisance at the shrine, he is likely to visit the Indo-Pak Partition museum.
Then he will go to the Taj Swarna Hotel near Government Medical College for lunch and leave the city at 2pm.
First Published: Feb 18, 2018 22:38 IST