Monday, November 29, 1999

Canadian Sikh MP distances himself from riots petition

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A senior Sikh member in the Canadian Parliament has distanced himself from a petition on the 1984 anti-Skih riots that was introduced in the House of Commons recently, saying he did not sign on it.Signed by a section of the Sikh community, the motion by Indo-Canadian MP Sukh Dhaliwal - and supported by MP Andrew Kania - had called upon Canada to recognise the 1984 riots as 'genocide'.But, Gurbax Malhi, denied reports that he had signed the petition, which was tabled last week in the House of Commons."Recent media reports have alleged that I supported the petition. I did not sign the petition," Malhi said.He said his statement in the House of Commons that justice be delivered to victims of the anti-Sikh riots was independent of the petition."I was not present at the June 9 memorial/rally event on Parliament Hill (the seat of parliament) when the petition was read out in public and I was not in attendance on June 10 when the petition was read in the House of Commons," Malhi told PTI.He, however, urged the Indian and Canadian governments to take all "reasonable measures" to ensure that justice prevails for innocent victims' families."The statement read by me in the House of Commons on June 9, 2010, demanding justice for the families of victims in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the 1985 Air India bombing is independent, not related to the petition," he said."Both countries should work together to ensure that such tragedies never happen again," Malhi said.

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