TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 30, 2013) -
Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this release.
Respected member of the Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Jagmeet Singh Dhaliwal has been denied an entry visa by the Government of India. The denial, given without explanation resulted in MPP Singh missing a significant gala event in Amritsar hosted by the non profit organization SEWA, that selected Mr. Singh as 'Sikh of the Year' for 2013.
"Not only is the denial of an entry visa to a Canadian elected official a shocking decision by the Indian government," says MPP Singh, "it is an affront to the people of the country of Canada, which is a country where hundreds of thousands of Indian ex-pats make their home and the Government of India has identified as a close economic priority and ally. My own parents left Punjab for Canada over 35 years ago but I continue to have strong ties with family and friends there."
In fact, MPP Singh has a strong family history within the Indian government with several direct family members serving in high-ranking positions within the Indian army. Further, MPP Singh has traveled to India on many occasions, including as recently as January 2013, and suspects this decision by the Government of India is a result of his continued advocacy against human rights offenses and policies in India.
"It is my belief that true democracy is not merely a political ideal but a complete social philosophy, and the right to freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democratic freedoms," says MPP Singh. "As a Canadian elected official I believe it is my obligation to speak out against injustice."
The SEWA Sikh of the Year Award was presented at an award ceremony at the International Fateh Academy in Amritsar, India. MPP Singh received his award in a video presentation played to the crowd, which included a number of highly influential representatives of a number of global charities as well as other notable dignitaries.
About MPP Jagmeet Dhaliwal:
Jagmeet Singh, Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament. MPP Singh represents the electoral district of Bramalea-Gore-Malton for the Ontario New Democratic Party, the 4th largest riding (by population) in Canada. The 34 -year-old MPP is a lawyer and outspoken advocate for a number of human rights issues in Canada and globally. He has been named one of Toronto's 'top 12 personalities to watch'. Mr. Singh has been recognized as one of the 5 rising stars in Toronto Life's 50 Most Influential list.
A non-profit organization based in India and committed to social justice initiatives like ending drug abuse, promoting the equality of women by opposing both the dowry system and female feticide. The annual Sikh of the Year award is given to a single recipient in recognition for his or her work in the area of human rights and humanitarian issues.
To view the photo associated with this release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20131229-mppsingh.jpg.