‘Extremist views from old conflicts not welcome in Canada’

April 22nd, 2010 - 10:50 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh By Gurmukh Singh
Vancouver, April 22 (IANS) As pro-Khalistan flags and slogans raised at the weekend Vaisakhi parade here continue to make the headlines here, a Canadian minister said bluntly that “extremist views from old conflicts” were not welcome in Canada.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews Wednesday said expressed his alarm at rising extremism in some pockets. Obliquley hinting at Khalistani supporters, the minister said bringing “extremist views from old conflicts” into Canada is not acceptable.

“Our government and these communities themselves have to be vigilant to isolate extremism,” the minister was quoted as saying in the local media. In a strong warning to terrorist sympathizers, the minister also introduced the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa.

The bill will empower victims of terrorism - such as the Air India bombing in 1985 - to sue perpetrators and supporters of these acts for damages. Under the bill, countries which support terrorism could also be sued. “This government is responding to calls from victims who seek justice, and demonstrating leadership in the global fight against terrorism,” the minister said while introducing the bill.

“Perpetrators and supporters of terrorism must be held accountable for their actions,”’ he said.

The bill will lift immunity for countries which are listed as supporters of terrorism by Canada, allowing the victims to claim damages from them. “Today’s legislation shows our government’s continuing commitment to standing up for the rights of victims,” said deputy minister Daniel Petit.

With the new bill, he said, the Canadian government is “taking the next logical step in the fight against terrorism.”

Wednesday’s bill is another major anti-terror step by Canada which banned many terrorist organizations, including the Babbar Khalsa, the International Sikh Youth Federation and the LTTE in 2006. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had raised his concern about rising Sikh extremism in Canada with Prime Minister Stephen Harper during their recent meeting in Washington.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at gurmukh.s@ians.in)

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