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
• 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.