NDP to continue to push for Komagata Maru apology

Views: 34

Vancouver, February 12 (CINEWS): When Amrit Sandhu (name changed) first arrived in Canada five years ago, he thought he knew everything about Sikh suffering but had no idea what the Komagata Maru incident was all about. “It’s not a big thing in Punjab but here I am surprised it is such an important thing,” he said.
It is so important that NDP Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Critic Jenny Kwan, MP for Vancouver East, is introducing a motion in Parliament to call on the Liberal government to honour their pre-election promise to the Indo-Canadian community to officially apologize for the Komagata Maru incident in the House of Commons.
In 2002, the Professor Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation of Canada initiated a petition calling for a respectful apology from the Canadian government. Successive governments, including the Conservative government refused to do so.
In 2014, attending Mela Gadri Babian Da, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a pre-election commitment to the community that he would make a formal apology for the Komagata Maru incident in the House of Commons within the first 90 days of a Liberal Government’s mandate.
“It’s now 2016, more than 100 days into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate, and we are still waiting for the formal apology in the House of Commons,” said Sahib Thind, President of Professor Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation of Canada.
“The descendants of those who were on the Komagata Maru need closure and they deserve the respect to have a formal apology in the House of Commons,” said Kwan. “If the Liberals want real change from the Conservatives, they would listen to the community, support this motion and officially apologize for the Komagata Maru.”
The Komagata Maru marks a dark chapter in Canadian history. Nearly 400 passengers were refused entry into Canada under a discriminatory law and sent back to India where 20 of them were killed.
“New Democrats have been pushing for years to have this formal apology made in the House of Commons,” added Kwan. The Komagata Maru tragedy is a reminder of a policy of discriminatory, unjust exclusion laws targeted towards the immigrant community. I am proud to be introducing this motion and I hope the government will act to finally bring justice and healing after 102 years.”

Comments: 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *