Canada flirting with Sikhs & Pro-LTTE – is it just for votes?


The fact that Canada is flirting with “terrorists” should be cause for concern to India as well as Sri Lanka. Even if India weighs issue down to “vote bank” politics, India must factor in that Canada is playing footsie with both Sikhs and pro-LTTE fronts who are able to influence Canada’s legislature. If Sikhs in Canada can influence Canada against India, there is no stopping Tamil separatists influencing Canada against India too (just as they are doing against Sri Lanka). If separatist movements suddenly emerge in Tamil Nadu too – what will India do?

India has accused Canada of being driven by vote bank politics & compulsions. Perhaps India can replay its statement to itself vis a vis Tamil Nadu. Canada swayed by Sikhs in Canada & India swayed by Tamil Nadu against Sri Lanka. If Khalistan is a “longstanding issue” for India, so too is the Tamil Eelam, India palmed off to Sri Lanka. If India doesn’t desire Tamil Nadu to separate from India, India should not encourage same in Sri Lanka. India should also not consider annexing Sri Lanka to India either. If India responds to Canada for impinging on India’s sovereignty, territorial integrity & security – why is India doing the same in Sri Lanka?

It is no coincidence how pro-separatist are activated whenever Sri Lanka participates in an international forum. Reports, statements, protests & processions appear from nowhere. Thus, the protests in Canada & UK by Sikhs cannot be a coincidence & the sudden impetus given again to the Akali Dal Sikh separate homeland bid appears to have some external boosting after India got closer to Russia & BRICS by the patronage of the same external players that boost anti-Sri Lanka slogans too.

History of Punjab

  • Britain annexed Punjab in 1849
  • Sikh soldiers were favored above Hindus or Muslims as they supported Britain during Great Mutiny in 1857 (Pauline Spence)
  • Punjab was split into 2 during independent with part going to newly created Pakistan. The partitioning made Sikhs lose their fertile land & over 140 shrines.
  • The demand for a separate Sikh state (Khalistan) was made in 1946, 1958, 1972 & 1984 with Akali Dal agitating against the Indian Government.
  • Sikhs new leader is Amritpal Singh who indirectly threated Home Minister Amit Shah that he could meet the same fate as Indira Gandhi for speaking against Khalistan.
  • It is said that 15,000 Sikhs were killed following Indira Gandhi’s assassination – no such incident happened following Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination

Similarities between Sikhs & Tamils for separatism

  • Britain is the cause for both problems – With time these issues are used to generate the internal conflicts that serve the geopolitical interests of those who created them and provides collateral benefit to their alliance partners.
  • Both sought a separate state in 1947 but were denied by Colonial Britain.
  • Both turned “homeland” quests into armed struggles
  • Indira Gandhi stormed the Golden Temple (Sikhs holiest shrine) in Amritsar & was assassinated by her 2 Sikh bodyguards in 1984 / Rajiv Gandhi her son was assassinated by the LTTE in 1991.
  • Indira Gandhi created Bhindranwale the man behind the Khalistan movement who was eventually killed by the Indian Army / Indira Gandhi also created Tamil militancy but before Prabakaran was assassinated on orders of Indian PM, LTTE killed him.
  • When Amritpal Singh & supporters protested, India even cut off electricity to 27million in Punjab where Sikhs comprise 2% of India’s 1.3b population/ Tamils are the majority in Tamil Nadu.
  • Khalistan movement was first announced in London with the Khalistani flag raised in Birmingham in late 1970s during the same time LTTE opened its international headquarters in London by Bishop Rayappu Joseph.
  • Akali Dal contested elections though LTTE chose to create a political proxy in the form of TNA & promote them
  • Sikh & Tamil Diaspora are the primary reason for the homeland movements to prevail as they roll out propaganda & fundraising drumming communalism & “ethnic” tag to mobilize people & generate international publicity.
  • Number of asylum seekers to Canada from Sikhs & Tamils are regularly increasing

At the 1985 Thimpu Talks the LTTE/TULF & other Tamil militant groups made 4 demands.

  1. Recognition of Tamils of Ceylon as a nation
  2. Recognition of the existence of an identified homeland for Tamils of Ceylon
  3. Recognition of the right to self-determination of the Tamil Nation
  4. Recognition of the right of citizenship & fundamental rights of all Tamils of Ceylon

Note: the term Tamils of Ceylon or Ceylon Tamils emerged only in 1911. There was no such group called Tamils of Ceylon or Ceylon Tamils before 1505 or even after foreign occupation until 1911.

The Akali Dal’s demands were

  1. Devolution of powers with a federal structure
  2. Transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab & Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab
  3. Allocation of river waters, farm product prices, central & provincial taxation & financial powers, quota for Sikh recruitment to the armies
  4. Indian Gurudwaras to be managed by an elected body of Sikhs, sacred city status for Amritsar, broadcast of scriptures from the Golden Temple

Ironically, it was Rajiv Gandhi as PM who signed the “Punjab Accord” & the Indo-Lanka Accord in 1987. The Akali state government was dismissed in 1987 on the ground that it was “secessionist”. Three years later late President Premadasa annulled the India merged North-East province and packed off the Indian Peace Keeping Force in 1990, which cost him his life 3 years later in 1993.

At the same time there is another angle we may have overlooked. The Akali Dal movement was silent all these years yet when India began closer ties with Russia and began playing a greater role with BRICS, 2 incidents suddenly occurred in Canada & UK at the Indian Missions. It is also strange that the developments took place at the same time regime change took place in Sri Lanka with help of QUAD partners US & India.

A Canadian Sikh, Jagmeet Singh, is the head of the Canadian Left-leaning New Democratic Party. There are 18 Sikh legislative members  in Canada’s 338-member House of Commons. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who has only 156 members and are critically dependent on the support of the New Democratic Party headed by Khalistan supporter Jagmeet Singh, who has 25 members of Parliament with him. There are 3 Sikhs in Trudeaus govt – Harjit Sajjan was earlier defense minister. Now we understand behavior of Trudeau.

Brampton (Greater Toronto area) – Canada

2021 census says there are over 1.6 lakh Sikhs in Brampton. Brampton’s Sikhs constitute nearly 25 per cent, or a quarter, of the town’s population.

Brampton Sikhs held a ‘referendum’ on the creation of a Khalistan state – in September 2022 inspite of the Indian Govt warning Canada against allowing an illegal exercise.  Canada’s response was that the exercise was a “freedom of speech” & we see how that is unfolding now in France!

  • A 5km parade in Brampton Canada, was allowed to glorify the assassination of PM Indira Gandhi in 1984 by her 2 Sikh bodyguards after she ordered the storming of the Sikhs Golden Temple in Amritsar that led to killings of many innocent people.
  • Only a year later Air India Flight “Kanishka” which left Canada’s Montreal for Mumbai was blown up in the sky in June 1985. 328 passengers died of which 278 were Canadian citizens
  • PM Justin Trudeau even criticized Indian PM Narendra Modi’s treatment of Punjabi farmers.
  • Hardeep Singh Nijar, President of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Temple in British Columbia was shot dead in the temple car park (Jun 2023) shows the situation is intensifying. The killing comes as a global effort calling for a separate Khalistan is emerging in Canada, UK, Australia & US from the Sikh communities.
  • The Sikh movement has a new leader who is now hounded by India.

Brampton Tamils

As per the 2021 Canadian census, Tamil Canadians number approximately 240,000 and account for roughly 0.7% of Canada’s population. Does that mean the rest are illegals? /

This excellent compilation by Dr. Neville Hewage will answer many questions

Canada may like to take some advice from France at this stage for allowing refugees and asylum seekers to rule & dictate diplomacy against countries is not going to land Canada anywhere.

No government should encourage separate homelands – if at all Canada is inclined to promote such a notion, they may well consider creating a Sikh & Tamil homeland in Canada. Coincidentally, all of these demands for separate homelands are only coming from people who are living abroad and these people are unlikely to ever give up living in Canada to come & live in Punjab or Eelam (whether in Tamil Nadu or Sri Lanka).


Shenali D Waduge

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