British Sikh Federation – Dreadful decision by the ONS against the British Sikh Community on Sikh ethnic group monitoring

WaheGuru Ji Ka Khalsa, WaheGuru Ji Ke Fateh

It is a dreadful decision by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) against Sikh ethnic group monitoring category in the next census. It shows the extent of the racial discrimination by ONS against the British Sikh Community, despite the overwhelming support from every Gurdwara that had written in, previous signed Petitions by Sikh Organisations, support by so many Members of Parliament, etc.

It is not surprising that the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) has welcomed the ONS decision, since they had been lobbying against Sikh ethnic group monitoring in the next census, and subsequently about 40,000 public bodies would also have monitored Sikhs as an ethnic group.

Time for next steps…and full exposure of the wrong-doing and wrong-doers.

Posted by Kashmir Singh
British Sikh Federation
<british.sikh.federation@gmail.com>
to Sikh News Discussion Yahoo Group

The Tribune – UK Census 2021 : UK MPs campaign for separate Sikh ethnicity

London – UK, 18 December 2018. A group of British MPs have launched a year-long campaign to lobby for Sikhism to be added as a separate ethnicity tick box in the next UK Census in 2021 after the country’s statistical authority concluded it was not required.

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs accused the Office of National Statistics (ONS) of ignoring “overwhelming” Sikh community support for such an additional category in order to ensure fair treatment of British Sikhs and address racial discrimination.

“The ONS with its latest proposals in the White Paper has now opened itself up to legal action and a claim of institutionalising discrimination against Sikhs,” said Labour MP Preet Kaur Gill, Chair of the APPG for British Sikhs.

“The MPs with the support of gurdwaras, Sikh organisations and the community are starting a year-long nationwide campaign to put this right and a Sikh ethnic tick box to be added when the Census Order 2019 is presented in the House of Commons,” she said.

In a recently released White Paper, titled “Help Shape Our Future: The 2021 Census of Population and Housing in England and Wales”, the ONS said the estimates of the Sikh population could be met through data from the specific response option in the Sikh religion question.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/uk-mps-campaign-for-separate-sikh-ethnicity/700607.html

Leuven NMBS and Gent Rabot

Leuven NMBS
03 December 2018


Leuven station – Train to Brussel Schuman


IC train to Blankenberge via Gent

Gent Rabot
05 December 2018


Rabot


Tram 1 to Evergem, Tram 4 to Muide


Tram 1 to Evergem


Tram 4 to Muide

To see all my pictures:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

DNA India – US man jailed for attacking Sikh cab driver with hammer

Seattle – Washington State – USA, 19 December 2018. A man in the US has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for brutally attacking a 53-year-old Indian-origin Sikh taxi driver in Seattle last year.

Swarn Singh was assaulted with a deadly weapon by Rory Benson in December 2017, according to Sikhs civil rights group The Sikh Coalition.

Benson, who pleaded guilty to assaulting him, was sentenced to 15 months in prison by a court in Seattle on Friday.

Singh, who maintains Sikh articles of faith including unshorn hair and a turban, had parked outside an apartment building to drop off Benson and his mother.

Benson, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, attempted to suffocate him with a piece of cloth kept in the taxi to wipe the windshield, the coalition said in a statement.

He immediately ran out of the taxi, and Benson grabbed a hammer from his bag, chasing him on-foot. Benson hit Singh in the head repeatedly, specifically targeting his turban and knocking it to the ground, it said.

He suffered a scalp laceration and a skull fracture as a result of the attack and was rushed to hospital. Benson was arrested.

The coalition said it worked with Singh for 11 months to make sure the Bellevue Police Department and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office were properly investigating the incident and reviewing appropriate charges.

Singh submitted an impact statement to the King County Superior Court, urging his attacker to recognise the damage caused, detailing his injuries and the impact of the assault on the Sikh community.

https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-american-jailed-for-attacking-sikh-cab-driver-with-hammer-2697982

The Hindu – Conference slams Pakistan for political witch-hunts

Sriram Lakshman

‘A nation should be its people, not just one institution’

Washington DC – USA, 17 December 2018. Washington hosted a gathering over the weekend of progressive intellectuals, human rights activists, Congressmen and media persons to discuss ‘Pakistan: After the Elections’, organised by a forum called SAATH (South Asians Against Terrorism and for Human Rights).

The event was co-hosted by Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the USA and columnist Mohammad Taqi. This is the third such annual conference for SAATH, the first two were held in London.

Speaking on the final afternoon of the conference, Mr. Haqqani said many overseas do not like any discussion of negative facts about Pakistan and call it Pakistan bashing.

“It would constitute Pakistan bashing to say Pakistan cannot do better,” Congressman Brad Sherman, who will head the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Asia in the new USA Congress said in his remarks. (Mr. Sherman also mentioned the misuse of sedition laws in India).

Before the final afternoon session started at least two men appeared in the lobby area outside the conference hall and words were exchanged with the organisers, including Mr. Haqqani around the issue of “bashing” Pakistan.

Later, one of the men, identified as Sajjad Burki, was seen outside the hotel with several others holding placards that called Mr. Haqqani a “traitor”. A business card Mr. Burki gave The Hindu identified him as President of PTI USA, LLC.

PTI or Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party. One placard read “Haqani agenda = RAW agenda.”

In his introductory remarks on Sunday afternoon, Mr. Haqqani said, “A nation should be its people, not just one institution that dominates all aspects of life,” in the context of Pakistan’s military might but lagging human development indicators such as literacy.

Mr. Haqqani also referred to the “mainstreaming” of terrorists and a conference declaration “demanded that action be taken against hate groups and extremist organisations.

Mr. Sherman also said he thinks the cutbacks in U.S. aid to Pakistan will not be “restored to major levels” until Shakil Afridi, who had helped the U.S. capture Osama bin Laden, is released.

Mr. Sherman spoke of the willingness to consider a prisoner swap to get Mr. Afridi to the U.S. and said the U.S “almost has a veto power on IMF loans” and told David Malpaas, the U.S’s IMF representative, that any IMF loan cannot be used by Pakistan to pay off its debts to China.

Expressing its concern over Pakistan’s drift towards authoritarianism, the conference “denounced the growing tendency of the state to use the superior judiciary and the National Accountability Bureau for political witch-hunts.

The new government of Prime Minister Khan has exposed itself through a series of U-turns, immature claims and outlandish promises, which has become a source of alarm at home and abroad about the government’s capacity and aptitude to tackle Pakistan’s complex problems, as well as their spill-over in the South Asian region and across the world.” the declaration said.

It also denounced the blocking of websites including Voice of America in various languages (Pashtu Deewa and Urdu) and the pressure on media houses to engage in self-censorship and “official attempts to generate ‘positive reporting’through coercion will neither improve Pakistan’s image nor address Pakistan’s deep underlying problems.”

The participants “reaffirmed their commitment to work towards a democratic and pluralistic Pakistan which is at peace with itself and its neighbours,” as per the declaration.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/conference-slams-pakistan-for-political-witch-hunts/article25765460.ece