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November 1st, 2019

NDP Statement on the Remembrance of the 1984 Sikh Genocide

Today, the NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh made the following statement:

"From November 1st to 4th, Canadians and Human Rights Advocates will mark the 35th remembrance of the 1984 Sikh Genocide.

Sikh men were burned alive. Women were subject to unthinkable sexual violence and children were murdered in gruesome fashion.

Many, including, former Indian Supreme Court Justice, GT Nanavati have pointed out that state resources were instrumental in these premeditated killings.

Further, the Delhi High Court recently rendered a decision that acknowledged that an instantly combustible white powder – presumably phosphorous – was used in the targeted killing of Sikhs.

Despite these horrifying atrocities deployed by the state, many Hindu and Muslim neighbours provided refuge and assistance to Sikhs, in the face of serious risk to themselves and their families.

That is why I join and express my solidarity with the thousands of Canadians that live with this pain as survivors and bearers of intergenerational trauma.

It is also why efforts for healing and reconciliation must be prioritized.

Truth-telling is a prerequisite to justice and the naming of these crimes is instrumental to the healing and reconciliation process for those impacted.

In this spirit, India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh and as well as the Delhi Assembly and the Ontario Legislature have recognized these atrocities as genocide.

It is my hope that the House of Commons in Canada and this government will do the same.

The path to reconciliation will not be easy, but for the victims and survivors, today we remember."