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London 2012 Olympics: UK Foreign Minister responds to Sikh concerns about the possible visit of Jagdish Tytler and KPS Gill

August 1, 2012 | By

Ludhiana (August 01, 2012): As per information available with Sikh Siyasat over the last few weeks many Sikhs have written to MPs about the possible visit of Jagdish Tytler, KPS Gill and others from India as part of the official Indian delegation for the London 2012 Olympics.

In the run up to the start of the Games the Sikh Federation, a UK based Sikh body, was pushing Shadow Foreign Office Ministers to get a response from the Foreign Minister responsible for relations with India. As per reports the staff working for John Spellar MP had been in daily contact with Sikh Federation representatives and at the end of last week the organization complained due to a lack of response from the UK Government.

On July 31, 2012 the Sikh Federation (UK) was reported to have been copied the letter sent to John Spellar MP, a Shadow Foreign Minister, by Jeremy Browne the Foreign Minister responsible for relations with India.

The letter states:

“The Foreign Office ‘do not routinely comment on individual cases.’ But has confirmed its policy is clear ‘that accreditation shall be refused to any individual who may present a safety or security risk, where their presence at the Games or in the United Kingdom would not be conducive to the public good or if there is independent, reliable and credible evidence that they have committed human rights abuses”.

The Foreign Minister continues:

‘I am aware of the level of concern in the Sikh community in Britain about the treatment of their fellow Sikhs in India. We note that in 2005 Indian Prime Minister Singh offered an apology for the 1984 massacre in Parliament during discussions on a new judicial inquiry into the violence. Whilst the Indian government has indicated that the events of 1984 will be looked into further, the British Government has no locus to intervene in India’s judicial process.’

It is notable that the letter has not confirmed or denied Jadish Tytler and KPS Gill will be at the London 2012 Olympics so we must be on guard if they still turn up. However, the language used by the Foreign Minister implies ‘accreditation’ may have been refused.

“The Foreign Office was very unlikely to categorically state the Indian Government has been told the likes of Jadish Tytler and KPS Gill are not welcome, but UK MPs who are familiar with the type of diplomatic language used by the UK Foreign Office have suggested the Sikh community should interpret from this letter that the UK Government has taken the matter seriously and India would not now risk these individuals representing them in any capacity at the London Olympics”, informed Dabinderjit Singh of Sikh Federation (UK).

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