Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Sikhs Rally Together for Gloabal Independence Reffendum

LONDON: Thousands of people from the Sikh community will rally in Trafalgar square on Sunday 12th August to call for the first ever referendum of the global community of almost 30 million Sikhs to re-establish Punjab as an independent country.

Organised by US and Canada based advocacy group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a case for Sikhs right to self- determination as per UN Charter and Covenants will be unveiled at the August 12th event.  The rally will be attended by Sikhs from the UK, India, Europe and North America. The referendum will give Sikhs a chance to vote for the creation of an independent sovereign state of Khalistan.

The August 12th event has prompted New Delhi to demand that London clamp down on Sikh political activists who hold pro Khalistani views.

LONDON – THOUSANDS of people from the Sikh community will rally in Trafalgar square on Sunday 12th August to call for the first ever referendum of the global community of almost 30 million Sikhs to re-establish Punjab as an independent country.

Organised by US and Canada based advocacy group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a case for Sikhs right to self- determination as per UN Charter and Covenants will be unveiled at the August 12th event.  The rally will be attended by Sikhs from the UK, India, Europe and North America. The referendum will give Sikhs a chance to vote for the creation of an independent sovereign state of Khalistan.

The August 12th event has prompted New Delhi to demand that London clamp down on Sikh political activists who hold pro Khalistani views.

India’s Ministry of external affairs and the Indian high commission in London sent verbal notes to the UK foreign office, requesting the British government to deny permission for the event. Indian high commissioner YK Sinha also met Mark Field, the British Minister for Asia and the Pacific on this issue.

In response to India’s demand, the British government has taken the position that: “In the UK, people have the right to gather together and to demonstrate their views, provided that they do so within the law.”

“London Declaration” is a peaceful campaign for a non-binding referendum on the question of Sikhs’ right to self-determination, as guaranteed by the UN Charter and International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. Campaigners are making the case for independence on the basis that Sikhs are the indigenous people of Punjab, with a separate and distinct religious, cultural and linguistic identity, and have been repressed by the Indian state.

The build up to the day itself has been at the centre of a diplomatic spat between the UK and India as Britain has rejected a request by the Indian government to the ban the demonstration.

Campaigners believe that Sikhs should be allowed to vote for independence from India because they meet the five-part test for self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter:

  • They have an identifiable territory
  • A history of self-governance in that territory
  • A distinct culture involving religion, language, social and other characteristics
  • A will for self-governance
  • The capacity for self-governance

Under the principle of self-determination, a group with a common identity and link to a defined territory is entitled to decide its political future in a democratic fashion. Since the United Nations was created in 1945, dozens of countries have come into existence through a referendum, and high-profile independence campaigns are currently being fought in Catalonia, Scotland and Kurdistan.

Sikhs For Justice says Sikhs have also been victims of economic exploitation, with the majority of Punjab’s river water diverted by the Indian government to the Hindu-dominated states of Haryana and Rajastan, causing widespread hardship in Indian Punjab, where most people are dependent on agriculture.

Check Also

Armenia launches snap elections after gov’t fails to select PM

ARMENIA kicked off snap elections to pick a new parliament for the next five years, ...

Leave a Reply