In a recent turn of events, Canadian authorities have made the decision to cancel a proposed Khalistan referendum event that was originally set to take place on September 10 at Tamanawis Secondary School in Surrey, British Columbia. The decision was made in response to mounting concerns within the community.
The Associate Director of Communication for the Surrey school board, Ritinder Matthew, elaborated on the reasons behind the cancellation. She explained, “Today, our district had to terminate a community rental agreement for one of our schools due to a violation of our rental terms. The promotional materials associated with the event displayed our school in conjunction with images of weaponry that were alarming and inappropriate.”
Despite repeated efforts to address this issue with the event organizers, the problematic visuals persisted and were widely circulated across Surrey and various social media platforms. The school board’s decision was rooted in their commitment to providing a safe and enriching environment for students, emphasizing that all renters must adhere to these standards.
Matthew underscored that the decision neither endorsed nor criticized any specific political standpoint. The local community took action when organizers, linked with Sikhs For Justice and led by Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, displayed posters featuring Talwinder Singh Parmar, the mastermind behind the 1985 Air India Flight 182 bombing, along with images of weapons.
Security experts have noted the timing of this decision in relation to the G20 Summit scheduled in India, where Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to attend. Although the cancellation decision was made at the school board level, it’s speculated that governmental influence might have played a role.
Interestingly, the Sikh referendum was planned for September 10 to coincide with the G20 Summit. Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, the founder of Sikh Forum for Justice (SFJ) and labeled a terrorist by Indian authorities, has launched a campaign aimed at undermining India’s reputation ahead of the G20 Summit.
Retired Punjab Police officers with experience in counter-insurgency operations applauded the decision, viewing it as a commendable effort to hold local administration and the government accountable through legal means.
Officials have labeled this situation as a form of “lawfare,” an attempt to employ legal channels to deter such activities. Additionally, it has come to light that the school gymnasium, which was intended to be used by pro-Khalistan factions, is situated near the Gurudwara Nanak in Surrey.
Despite the cancellation, certain pro-Khalistan groups remain steadfast in their commitment to the referendum, asserting their intention to proceed with the scheduled vote on September 10. The situation continues to unfold as various stakeholders navigate this complex and sensitive issue.