Category Archives: Press Release

11th October 2014 the General Assembly will be selecting the 3rd Administration of the Council

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Dear Member

Following two memorable and successful terms of Sikh Council UK, we are progressing fast towards the 3rd term for which Sikh Council UKs membership renewal process has started; On the 11th October 2014 the General Assembly will be selecting the 3rd Administration of the Council.

We request your attention in completing the attached relevant renewal of membership forms and returning these back to us at your earliest convenience along with the relevant fee of membership.

The complete process will be as follows:

  1. Renewal of membership/s  onto Sikh Council UK General Assembly by the Gurdwara Sahib/s or Sikh Organisation/s must be received by 22nd September 2014 (while this is an ongoing and open process we urge everyone to renew their membership in the coming weeks).
  2. Nominations for the new Executive Committee by General Assembly members must be received by 30th September 2014 
  3. Selection of the Executive Committee to progress the new administration of the council for the 3rd term will take place at the General Assembly on the 11th October 2014 (details to follow)

 

Please find attached (zip file containing all below documents or individual documents)

  • Introduction of Sikh Council UK
  • Structure diagram of Sikh Council UK
  • Membership renewal form
  • Nomination form for Executive Committee
  • Barclays Bank Standing order (for donations)
Zip file containing all documents for membership renewal:.

Introduction SCUK.doc
Executive Committee Nomination details and form.doc
New Membership Cover Letter.doc
Renewal of Membership Cover Letter.pdf
SCUK-Affiliation-Forms 1.doc
 

Completed forms can be returned via email with direct bank payment or by posted to: Sikh Council UK, PO BOX 16788, Smethwick, B67 9FH with cheque payment

E:  info@sikhcounciluk.org

Membership information and relevant forms are also available on our website http://www.sikhcounciluk.org

https://twitter.com/SikhCouncilUK, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sikh-Council-UK-SCUK,
Telephone contact: 07867 608417

We look forward to our continued work together for the benefit of the Panth through a single cohesive voice.

Kind Regards

————————————

S.Surinder S Jandu
Co-ordinator of Affiliate OrganisationsSikh Council UK
Please avoid printing where possible. Thank you.Privacy and Confidentiality Notice:This is strictly confidential and intended solely for the person or organisation to whom it is addressed. It may contain privileged and confidential information and if you are not an intended recipient, you must not copy, distribute or take any action in reliance on it. If you have received this message in error, please notify us as soon as possible and delete it and any attached files from your system.
The views and opinions expressed in this email message are the author’s own and may not reflect the views and opinions of the author’s organisation.
Sikh Council UK Correspondence Address: P.O Box 16788, Smethwick, B67 9FH

Lights out across UK to mark First World War – 4 August 2014

Sikhs and Panjab made a significant contribution towards the British efforts during World War I. The wounded Sikh soldiers along with other Indian troops were cared for at the Brighton pavilion. A gate was built by Maharajah of Patiala outside of the pavilion to thank people of Brighton .Those that  sadly died were cremated on the Patcham Downs near Brighton where a Chatei build by Maharajah of Patiala marks the spot. There memorials to the Sikhs in a no of European towns.Several Sikh organisations are working towards commemorative events which include exhibitions, marching team of Gursikhs , workshops and memorials. It provides a great opportunity to  highlight the contribution of Dastaar wearing Sikhs towards the freedom of Europe .The Gurdwaras across UK and Europe are being invited to join in the candle light vigil on the 4th August this year. See the news extract below:
 
Lights out across UK to mark First World War

The whole of the United Kingdom will be invited to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War by turning off their lights — echoing the famous words of foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey: “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”  On August 4 — the day Britain declared war on Germany — the public will be invited to extinguish all their lights, but for a single one. The event, Lights Out, will complement a candelit vigil at Westminster Abbey and BBC coverage to mark the start of four years of cultural commissions remembering the war.

Sikh Council UK India Visit – Update

A delegation of senior members of the Sikh Council UK is currently engaged on an historic visit to India. Notable events of the visit so far:

  • Ardas (prayer) was done at Sri Akal Takhat Sahib Ji by Singh Sahib Gurmukh Singh – Head Granthi of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib.
  • Addressed over 60 students at Shaheed Sikh Missionary College – these students are being trained as Granthis, Parcharaks and Kirtanias (Sikh ‘priests’ and preachers). Students come from all over India and are connected to the grassroots congregation and villages.
  • Meeting with the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Amritsar. Discussed streamlining the process of identity verification for voluntary returnees as it currently takes several months and no feedback on progress is available.
  • Meeting with the Principal of Khalsa College, Amritsar and addressed large number of students.
  • Meeting with the Dean of Students Affairs of Guru Nanak University.
  • Press conference held at the Press Club in Jallandar. Very well attended by media of all shades and types including print and broadcast, local, regional and national. Main focus was on Voluntary Returns Programme with much positive interest. Some questions regarding 1984 and other issues.
  • Meeting with an Executive Member and the PA to the President of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC – Central Gurdwara Management Committee – responsible for managing Gurdwaras across India). Meeting with the SGPC President to follow. http://new.sgpc.net/
  • Meeting with Jathedar (Leader) of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib (temporal head of the Sikh faith) http://www.akaltakhatsahib.com/eng/index. Range of issues were discussed including:
  • – continuance of Gurdwara buildings being used as party halls
  • – prisoners in India and abroad
  • – genocide of Sikhs
  • – disclosure of documents relating to 1984 in UK
  • – recent mass grave found in Punjab
  • – communication protocols
  • – guidance for mixed marriages
  • – structures for engagement with the diaspora community
  • – role of Sikh Council UK
  • Visited Pingalwara – http://www.pingalwara.net/

 

Sikh Council UK Delegation Visit to India

A delegation of senior members of the Sikh Council UK will today (12March 2014) begin an historic visit to India with an Ardas (prayer) at SriAkal Takhat Sahib, Amritsar.

The visit is being led by Sikh Council UK Secretary General, Gurmel Singh and will last ten days. He is accompanied by senior staff and representatives of Sikh Council UK including Board of Jathedars members. Amongst the delegation of sixteen are representatives of the Sikh Council UK affiliated member organisations including Gurdwaras, Jathebandian and campaign organisations.

During the visit, the Sikh Council UK delegation will hold meetings, press conferences and networking sessions with a cross section of Sikh representatives and society in India including Jathedars, politicians, academics, media and campaigners. The delegation will visit the key locations of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Anandpur Sahib and Delhi.

A key focus of the visit is the Voluntary Returns Programme being run by Sikh Council UK and the launch of a specially commissioned documentary. Special showings of the documentary will be held across Punjab.

 


					

Sikh Council UK arrange meeting with Senior Foreign Office Minister

The Sikh Council UK facilitated a meeting with Baroness Warsi to feedback on the report by the Cabinet Secretary into UK involvement in the 1984 attack on Sri Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar and discus further actions to address the concerns of the Sikh community.

On Tuesday 25th February 2014 the Sikh Council UK accompanied by many prominent
Sikhs and Sikh Organisations including Lord Indarjit Singh, Judge Mota Singh, Bhai Sahib
Bhai Mohinder Singh, Sikh Federation (UK), Federation of Sikh Organisations, Sikh
Organisation for Prisoner Welfare (SOPW), Kesri Lehar and some ex-Sikh politicians, met
with Baroness Warsi a Senior Minister of State at the Foreign Commonwealth Office
(FCO) and Minister for Faith and Communities in the Department for Communities and
Local Government (DCLG) and a number of government officials from the FCO, Home
Office & DCLG.

The meeting on the Sikh side was chaired by Gurmel Singh (Secretary General of the Sikh
Council UK) and was the first with any cabinet minister to provide direct feedback and
comments following the Cabinet Secretary’s report and the statement by the Foreign
Secretary in Parliament confirming the British Government advice on the attack on the Sri
Harmandir Sahib Complex.

Sikh representatives expressed their deep disappointment with the outcome of the Cabinet
Secretary’s report highlighting serious limitations, omissions and misleading conclusions.
Furthermore it was highlighted that the Prime Minster was yet to respond to Sikh
organisations correspondence prior to the release of the report about the narrow terms of
the review and a substantive written response to the report. The Sikh delegation explained
the community demanded an independent public inquiry and options were discussed at
both a national and international level.

Other key requests for Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) delivered through the meeting
were;
• HMG to condemn the attacks on Sikhs in 1984
• HMG to recognise 1984 as Sikh Genocide
• HMG to examine the relationship and proscription of UK Sikhs (paradigm shift)

Baroness Warsi listened with interest to the concerns raised by all the representatives and
was keen to provide open realistic feedback to the Sikh Communities request whilst
remaining fully supportive in ensuring the commendable contribution and integration of the Sikh Community within British society remained a shining example.

Secretary General of the Sikh Council UK, Gurmel Singh said, “We welcome this opportunity to discuss our concerns with Baroness Warsi. The Sikh Community was united

in their dismay and disappointment in the report and very clear on their expectations of
Government, these were made loud and clear to all the officials in attendance.”

The Sikh Council UK will remain in contact with Baroness Warsi to ensure a timely follow
up to this meeting with an update and reaction to the requests discussed. We will also be
looking to meet with both the Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister to ensure full governmental focus on this issue remains.

Birth anniversary of Bhagat Ravidass Ji

The Sikh Council UK, and affiliated member organisations, are delighted to congratulate all our brothers and sisters on the auspicious occasion of the 637th birth anniversary of Bhagat Ravidass Ji whose inspiring bani is included within the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Bhagat Ravidass Ji is revered by all those who see the divine truth in his bani and he will always continue to occupy a unique place in our faith and within our hearts.

Congratulations to all and may we all be blessed with eternal peace.

Sikh Council UK look forward to continuing working together for the betterment of the entire community.

Sikh Centenary Celebrations Release of Sikh postage stamps Uganda

Uganda Government’s inclusive polices encourages the investors.

At the beginning of January, in recognising the contribution by Sikhs in Uganda over the last century, the Ugandan government released four commemorative Sikh stamps as part of the centenary celebrations. This historical event was also attended by the Secretary General of the Council; the moment of the launch was received with much enthusiasm by the global Sikh community. This was a remarkable step by the President of Uganda Kaguta Yoweri Museveni towards community cohesion.Uganda_Stamps1
 
The confidence of Asian community was also further boosted when Justice Anup Singh Choudry, a Ugandan born Sikh was a appointed a High Court judge
Gurmel Singh Secretary General of Sikh Council said ‘We congratulate the Uganda authorities and people for recognising the Sikh contributions and hope that as a result there will be great goodwill and global Sikh businesses will want to invest in Uganda and support charitable causes to alleviate poverty’.

The issuance of commemorative stamps has given a loud message of the inclusiveness of the current Uganda’s government policies and a positive signal towards racial harmony.
END

‘Panj Singh Sahib’ Issue Order for Sikh Council UK to Work to Resolve UK Sikh Issues

A meeting of the Panj Singh Sahib held at the Secretariat of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, Amritsar on 27 January 2014 agreed for the Sikh Council UK to work to resolve matters concerning UK Sikhs.

The decision, issued in the form of an Adesh (order) requires Sikh Council UK, in carrying out this work, to consult with UK religious Jathebandian (organisations) and Gurdwara Committees and to inform and take permission of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib.

The Panj Singh Sahib (five respected Singh’s) led by the Jathedar (leader) of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib are the most senior temporal authority of the Sikhs. They meet regularly to discuss and issue declarations on issues relating to Sikhs. Sikhs across the world will abide by the decisions of the Panj Singh Sahib. The Panj Singh Sahib will typically include the Jathedars of the Five Takhats (seats or thrones of authority) of the Sikh faith or their representatives.

The Panj Singh Sahib met on 27 January 2014 at Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, Amritsar under the headship of Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, Jathedar of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib. Also present were Jathedar Balwant Singh, Jathedar of Sri Damdama Sahib; Jathedar Mal Singh, Jathedar of Sri Keshgar Sahib; Giani Jagtar Singh, Head Granthi Sri Harmander Sahib and Giani Sukhjinder Singh, Granthi Sri Harmander Sahib.

Secretary General of the Sikh Council UK, Gurmel Singh said, “The decision of the Panj Singh Sahib for Sikh Council UK to lead on matters concerning UK Sikhs came as a surprise and is very humbling. Whilst the decision is welcome we will now need to consider how we implement the Adesh and how we improve communication between UK Sikhs and Sri Akal Takhat Sahib.”

Member of the Board of Jathedars of Sikh Council UK, Gurmukh Singh said, “I believe this Adesh is recognition of the affiliated member organisations of Sikh Council UK as well as being an expression of confidence in the Sikh community of UK. The Sikh Council UK must continue working to bring all our Gurdwaras and institutions together either as affiliated member organisations or through partnerships and dialogue with existing Sikh organisations and Institutions.”

Spokesperson of the Sikh Council UK, Kulwant Singh Dhesi said, “This historic announcement is the first time the Panj Singh Sahib have given such a decision in relation to any organisation in any country. Whilst this reflects the progress made by the Sikh Council UK in such a short time it is also a welcome recognition of the role and contribution of Sikhs in the diaspora.”

He added, “Sikhs in the UK and across the world have always respected and worked in accordance with our traditional Jathedar systems but in recent years have sought recognition of the large Sikh diaspora. This is a welcome first step in accommodating and integrating Sikhs outside of India into our central authorities. We will continue supporting our traditional structures, particularly the supremacy of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, whilst working within them in this new way for the benefit of the entire community.”

END

Notes for Editors
The written Adesh (order) of the Panj Singh Sahib is attached. As this is in Punjabi, an English translation is below:
“5 Singh Sahiban met at the Akal Takhat Secretariat on 27 Jan 2014. After deliberation it was resolved that the religious organisation set up by the congregation of the UK the “Sikh Council UK” should use appropriate efforts / endeavours to resolve all the UK’s religious and community issues having consulted all religious Jathebandian and Gurdwara committees and inform and take permission from the Akal Takhat before reaching the final form.”
Final form means final conclusions / resolutions etc.

UPDATE Helmets : Sikhs

Please see below a question put by Rt Hon John Spellar MP to Mike Penning MP, the Minister of State for Disabled People at the Department for Works & Pensions and the answer given on 3rd February.

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to extend to industrial premises the exemption for Sikhs from requirements to wear safety helmets on construction sites.

Mike Penning: As the law currently stands, turban-wearing Sikhs are exempt from wearing head protection in a high hazard industry, construction, but may be required to wear it in lower hazard workplaces. I am seeking to table an amendment to the De-regulation Bill, which is currently before Parliament, to extend this exemption to all workplaces, including industrial premises. The amendment will also extend the limitation on liability for employers to any work situation where a turban-wearing Sikh chooses not to wear head protection. There may be very limited exceptions, such as for specific roles in the emergency services or armed forces. The Health and Safety Executive is currently consulting on the proposals.