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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Turban-wearing Sikhs riding motorbikes in Ontario must wear helmets

TORONTO -- Ontario won't allow turban-wearing Sikhs to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet, a decision the Canadian Sikh Association called "deeply" disappointing.
Premier Kathleen Wynne wrote to the organization last week, saying she had struggled with striking the right balance between public safety and religious accommodation.
"After careful deliberation, we have determined that we will not grant this type of exemption as it would pose a road safety risk," she wrote in the Aug. 14 letter.
"Ultimately, the safety of Ontarians is my utmost priority, and I cannot justify setting that concern aside on this issue."
The mandatory helmet law is based on extensive research that shows the high risk of injury and death for motorcyclists who ride without a helmet, she added. Mortality rates have gone down 30 per cent and head injury rates down 75 per cent in jurisdictions with such laws.
Courts have also found that Ontario's law doesn't infringe on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the Ontario Human Rights Code, she said.
The association has been a strong advocate for an exemption and presented "compelling arguments," Wynne wrote.

with thanks : ctvnews : link : for detailed news.

Sikhs in the American tapestry

Sikhism is not new to the United States, having been introduced here well over a century ago, and having now grown to an estimated 250,000 members, including many in New England. Still, many Americans still know little about the Sikh religion. 

Plans by the New England Sikh Study Circle to build a new, larger temple on Flanders Road in Westboro — replacing a smaller one they have used in Milford since 1991 — are an opportunity for all to learn more about one of the world's important monotheistic faiths, and celebrate the diverse and rich religious landscape of our nation. 

Sikhism was founded in the Punjab region of South Asia in the 15th century, and emphasizes the oneness of God and living life in truthfulness. 

with thanks : telegram : link : for detailed news.

Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus passengers have narrow escape

Passengers travelling in Nankana Sahib-Amritsar bus had a narrow escape today after it got involved in a multi-vehicle collision, in which three policemen were injured. 

The five passengers travelling in the bus were safe, police said today. 

The accident took place at Amritsar-Loharka bypass, about 30-km away from Attari-Wagah border, when it was coming from Nankana Sahib in Lahore and heading towards Amritsar International Bus stand. 

According to police, the pilot vehicle which was moving ahead of the bus collided with an SUV, as a result of which the bus travelling behind, hit the pilot vehicle. Unable to control, the escort vehicle following the bus rammed into it. 

with thanks : Business standard : LINK : for detailed news.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

British Sikh campaigners urge for Cameroon's intervention on Afghan Sikh's persecution

AMRITSAR: British Sikh campaigners have urged British Prime Minister David Cameroon to match his rhetoric on fighting jihadism, by directly intervening on the case of these 35 Sikhs — one of whom has died in the process of the agonizing struggle to get to the safety of the UK.

"Sikhs, along-with Hindu and Buddhist, have been direct and whole-scale victims of the horrifying Taliban jihad warfare on non-Muslim minorities and communities in Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of Afghan Sikhs have fled to the UK and other parts of Europe, over the course of the last 15- years" said Jagdeesh Singh of UK based Sikh Community Action Network while talking to TOI on Monday.

with thanks : TOI : LINK : for detailed news.

Sikh emigre buys Marley Park center in Surprise for $12.5M

A Sikh immigrant who emigrated to Canada alone as a teenager and built a business career in Vancouver has acquired a Surprise shopping center and adjacent land for $12.5 million.
Kulwant Sarai’s Imman Enterprises LLC has acquired the Marley Park Plaza shopping center for $11.7 million and an adjoining parcel for $750,000. He hopes to develop another 16,700 square feet of retail space on that land. The shopping center is located at Waddell and Reems roads in the West Valley. The existing center totals just over 77,500 square feet.
with thanks : bizjournals : LINK : for detailed news.

Speakers show concern over targeted killing of Sikhs : DAWN

A member of Sikh community speaks at a seminar in Peshawar on Monday. — White Star
PESHAWAR: Speakers at a seminar here on Monday expressed grave concern over the targeted killing of several Sikh traders and demanded of the government to protect minorities and remove the unrest among them.
The seminar titled ‘Stop violence against minorities’ was organised by Commission for Peace and Minorities Rights (CPMR).
With thanks : DAWN : LINK : for detailed news.

Hit-and-run driver in custody after calling victim a terrorist

Hit-and-run driver in custody after calling victim a terrorist
The rage-fueled driver who allegedly called a Sikh man a terrorist moments before mowing him down in a Queens street last month is in custody, cops said Tuesday.
Joseph Caleca, 55, allegedly yelled “You motherf—ing Bin Laden, go back to your country!” at 29-year-old Sandeep Singh before plowing into the victim with his GMC pick-up truck on 99th Street near 101st Avenue in Richmond Hill, according to police.
Authorities said the hate-filled hothead leveled Singh at around midnight, July 30, after the two exchanged words because the victim’s open car door was blocking the street.
Caleca, of Setauket, Long Island, allegedly dragged Singh with his truck for 30 feet before speeding off, according to cops.
with thanks : nypost : LINK : for detailed news.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sikhs in Afghanistan !

By Inayatulhaq Yasini, BBC Pashto
The history of Sikhs in Afghanistan goes back about two centuries. In the 1970s they are thought to have numbered about 200,000, with most living side-by-side with other communities in cities like Kabul, Jalalabad and Kandahar and involved in the fabrics and clothing business.
Norstream (library image)
But the population is now thought to number less than 5,000. After the Soviet invasion in 1980, a great number migrated to India. A second phase of migration took place after the fall of communist government in 1992. And during the civil war that followed, Sikh business and homes were occupied. They were forced to leave the country with other minorities, including Hindus.
During the Taliban era, Sikhs gained some independence. However, they were forced to wear yellow patches in order to be "recognised or differentiated" from other Afghans.
with thanks : BBC : LINK : for detailed news.

Tilbury container stowaways included 13 children

Thirteen children aged between one and 12 were among 35 Afghan Sikh immigrants found in a shipping container at Tilbury Docks, Essex Police have said.
Members of the local Sikh community were seen brining food and clothes to the stowaways at Tilbury
The group arrived on Saturday on a ship from Belgium and were said by police to be victims of "people trafficking".
One man was found dead and the others were taken to hospital to be treated for severe dehydration and hypothermia.
The 30 people released to police include nine men and eight women aged between 18 and 72.
They have been brought to a makeshift reception centre set up inside the terminal buildings at Tilbury Docks.
Police said they are "being spoken to about their ordeal" before they are passed on to the UK Border Force.
with thanks : BBC : LINK : for detailed news & A Video.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Community spirit? Sikhs and Lord Suri

The very notion of a community leader promotes the idea that ethnic or religious identity defines an individual's views on all other matters

It turns out that Ranbir Singh Suri isn't a leading representative of the Sikh community; he's just a Sikh bloke. How easily we become confused. In fact Lord Suri, who was ennobled last week, is many things beside being Sikh. He's been a magistrate for more than a decade, he's the chairman of a very successful jewellery company and a long-term donor to the Tory party. 

 According to the Sikh Federation UK he also has about as much to do with Sikh community organisations as Lord Alan Sugar. Lord Suri is, however, a leading representative of another misunderstood group: "community leaders". 

 This is not a status Lord Suri claimed for himself. The title is almost always awarded by a second party, usually the government or the media. In Lord Suri's case it was a No 10 spokesperson who described him as a leading figure in the British Sikh community and an official citation which represented him as "former General Secretary of the Board of British Sikhs" – a group which folded more than 20 years ago after holding a few meetings.

with thanks : Independent : LINK : for detailed news.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Together let us Bowl Out Religious Discrimination from Sports - Bishan Singh Bedi

Dear Friends,
Sat Sri Akal
The world knows me as a Master Off-Spinner and the Turban has been my identity. I have represented India from 1966 to 1979, finding a place in Wisden Cricketer's Almanack and while playing across the world, I always sported a colourful Patka and never have I been asked to remove my turban.

Exactly opposite happened last month to two young basketball players from India -Amarpal and Amjyot Singh. They were representing India at the Asia Cup Championship in China.

Just before the game, both of them were asked to remove their turbans if they wanted to play. They were told that wearing turbans violated the rules of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

This is a shame! How can our country’s top sportsmen be humiliated like that?Sign this petition and ask FIBA to change its policies. Sikhs should be able to play with their turban on if they want to.

My faith and religion have played a big part in my successful career. FIBA’s policies should be more sensitive to people’s faith. Sign this petition and tell them so.

If atleast 25,000 people sign this petition, FIBA will know that this is an issue of great importance and change its policies to be more sensitive.

After you sign this petition, forward my mail to your friends and family. Let us support our country’s sportsmen in every way that we can.

Thanks in Advance

The Master Spinner