"After over two decades of seeking an official apology in Parliament, we are making this historic journey"
SURREY, BC (May 12, 2016) – Next week members of the Prof. Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation embark on a journey to Ottawa to witness the Canadian Government’s official apology (in Parliament) for the Komagata Maru Tragedy. The Prime Minister had initially promised this apology at the Foundation’s annual Melas (festivals) in 2014 and 2015.
Sahib Thind, President of the Professor Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, thanks the Federal Government for this apology. The Prof. Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, a human rights non-profit organization, has been seeking an official Parliamentary apology for this sad chapter in Canadian history for over two decades, and initiated the whole process with multiple petitions introduced (on our behalf) by various MPs in Ottawa. The foundation has remained steadfast in its resolve for an official apology in the House of Commons.
The Prof. Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation worked to successfully obtain an apology from the Government of British Columbia (May 23rd, 2008), and on March 25th 2014 worked with the Punjab State Assembly in India for a unanimous resolution to ask the Government of India to encourage the Canadian Government to offer a formal apology in Parliament.
“We are pleased to make this journey in memory and celebration of the hundreds who made the ill-fated original journey back in 1914,” said Mr. Thind.
“Next week’s apology is the culmination of almost a quarter century of effort by our organization. We never asked for any compensation, and single-mindedly kept the goal to have the official apology made in Parliament, and written into Hansard. Anything short of that was, to us, only a political statement - not a part of the public record. We once again thank the tens of thousands of South Asian Canadians across the land who we represent in this cause, and the others who have worked with us to seek this apology, we say “thank you” for your resolve”. Mr. Thind added that “this is a historic moment for South Asian Canadians, and for Canada as a whole. We can now bring closure to this tragic series of events. Our foundation will continue to work with all levels of government to ensure our education system recognizes this as a key part of our history and our national fabric".
Adds Herman Thind (Communications Director): “The Foundation’s story is one of almost 25 years of struggle and determination. While many wavered, this group held to the firm belief that an official apology must be made IN the House of Commons. The stories of personal sacrifice and perseverance by members of this Foundation are truly incredible. From traveling the world engaging governments, to holding an annual ‘Mela’ (festival) for the past 21 years, that attracted over 50,000 visitors annually and brought attention to the cause, the foundation’s relentless dedication is unmatched”.
“Renewed Call for Komagata Maru Apology In Commons”: "
"In 2002, the Professor Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation of Canada initiated a petition calling for a respectful apology from the Canadian government. Successive governments, including the Conservative government refused to do so.
In 2014, attending Mela Gadri Babian Da, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a pre-election commitment to the community that he would make a formal apology for the Komagata Maru incident in the House of Commons within the first 90 days of a Liberal Government’s mandate."
- The Voice Newspaper, Feb 3, 2016
“Speaker Honours Office Bearers of Prof. Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation & Gadri Memorial Foundation”:
- The Punjab Update, March 25, 2015
“Apology Seekers… Upset”:
""An apology made outside of parliament by any political spokesperson, whether they're the Prime Minister or any other Member of Parliament, is a political statement," Amandeep Singh told the CBC. Singh is part of the Professor Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, the group that arranged the Prime Minister's visit in 2008."
- CBC News, May 25, 2015
More details on the Prof. Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation: