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Agenda

1 - British Sikhs and the establishment

  • Increased participation in local and national decision making bodies - the number of public appointments for Sikhs to increase from around 50 to 300 in the next three to four years.
  • Greater political representation, particularly from practising Sikhs - four more Sikh MPs, five new Sikh Lords and an increase in the number of councillors from about 90 to 200 in the next three to four years.
  • Fairer representation in employment - in terms of numbers and seniority in local government, central government, the media, the police and the armed forces.
  • Greater participation and representation - in all areas from practicing Sikh women.

2 - Government funding for Sikh organisations

  • A fair share for Sikh organisations and Sikh projects - For example, Sikh organisations need to aim to obtain £20 million of the annual funding available from the independent distributing bodies

3 - Promotion of the Sikh identity and the Panjabi language

  • Recognition and separate monitoring by public authorities - this assists in obtaining fair treatment as regards employment and the provision of public services to the Sikh community.
  • Increased understanding and awareness of the Sikh religion, the Sikh identity and the Sikh articles of faith
  • Removal of all restrictions on Sikh articles of faith e.g. Kesh, Kirpan, Kara, Turban etc. at work, in business and in public places.
  • Panjabi as a modern language option for school children - this would implement the motion passed by the National Association of Head Teachers that the national curriculum be changed to bring this about.

4 - Sikhs and Education

  • National Curriculum - secure changes to better reflect the Sikh religion, Sikh way of life and Sikh history.
  • Increased awareness of Sikhism in schools - through the provision of school assemblies about Sikhism, recognition of the right of Sikh children to take religious holidays without being penalised and the provision of suitable food reflecting the specific needs of Sikhs.
  • State funded Sikh schools - parity of treatment with other faith groups in terms of overall numbers and provision of relevant resources.

5 - Preserving Sikh heritage

  • Working with the UK Government and its agencies to preserve Sikh heritage and promote a wider appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of the Sikh Nation.

6 - Protecting the human rights of Sikhs and humanitarian aid

  • Travel - Ensure the UK Government removes unnecessary travel restrictions and stops harassment at airports and seaports of law-abiding Sikhs wishing to travel to and from the UK regardless of whether they are politically active or not.
  • Sikh human rights abuses in India - Seek action from the UK Government on the continuing abuse of Sikh and other minority groups human rights by the Indian authorities. Particular attention should be directed at individual cases, such as that of Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar.
  • 1984 massacres - Highlight the lack of justice for Sikhs in India following the massacre in November 1984 of tens of thousands of innocent Sikhs in several cities across India, including Delhi, which involved government officials and politicians of the ruling political bloc encouraging and leading well-orchestrated gangs.
  • Human rights abusers travelling to the UK - Urge the UK Government to take appropriate action against individual Indian politicians, police officers and army personnel, if and when they visit the UK, who have been implicated or directly involved in the murder, torture, abuse and disappearances of Sikhs in India.
  • Humanitarian assistance for victims of human rights abuses - Encourage the UK Government to work with British Sikhs to provide financial support and humanitarian assistance to orphaned children and bereaved Sikh family members and those who have suffered from torture, false imprisonment, human rights abuses and state oppression in the Indian subcontinent.
  • Status and rights of women - Highlight the plight of women in the Indian subcontinent, including abortion of female foetuses after scanning, dowry deaths and honour killings. Encourage the UK government to link development programmes in the subcontinent with projects to empower women.

7 - Self determination for the Sikh Nation

  • Right to self determination - Lobby the UK Government, official representatives of foreign governments in the UK, the European Parliament and at the UN to accept the Sikh Nation’s right to self-determination enshrined in International Covenants on Economic, Social, Cultural, Civil and Political Rights.
  • Lobby the UK Government, official representatives of foreign governments in the UK, the European Parliament and at the UN for a change in policy towards the Indian subcontinent so that it adequately reflects the Sikh Nation’s desire for self-determination and complements the need to reduce the threat of nuclear war.
  • Khalistan - Make known and explain the reasons why Sikhs want to establish an independent sovereign state of Khalistan to the British public, political organisations and the UK Government.

8 - Challenging the ban and restrictions on Sikh organisations

  • Removal of the ban on the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) - Increase political pressure on the UK Government to have the ban removed in the UK and to clear the name of the many thousands that previously belonged to and associated with the ISYF since 1984.
  • Release of frozen funds - Urge the UK Government to release funds held in UK bank accounts that were frozen after 9/11. These relate to assistance provided to orphaned children, bereaved Sikh family members and those that are suffering from false imprisonment and human rights abuses in the Indian sub-continent.
  • Work with Sikhs in European countries, Canada, USA and Australia to lobby individual governments, the European Parliament and the UN to have restrictions removed against Sikh organisations from holding funds that were imposed erroneously following 9/11 and the passing of a UN order.
  • Brief Parliamentarians, including those responsible for the review of anti-terrorism legislation, on the impact and inappropriate nature of restrictions on British Sikh organisations and individuals. To put in perspective the motivations of those seeking such restrictions, given the wider political context, propaganda and underlying reality of the status of Sikhs in India.

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