World Sikh Organization raises objections about CBC reporter Terry Milewski

The World Sikh Organization has written a "letter of concern" to CBC Ombudsman Kirk LaPointe about its senior Ottawa correspondent, Terry Milewski.

Last month, the WSO objected to Milewski allegedly claiming that Sikhs held a rally on Parliament Hill for a "suicide bomber".

"WSO has been very clear that there is no evidence of extremism in the Canadian Sikh community," the organization stated on its website. "Those who claim otherwise have yet to offer any proof."

A former Duncan electrician, Inderjit Singh Reyat, has been convicted for his role in bombs being placed on two Air India planes in 1985, resulting in the deaths of 331 people.

Reyat was later convicted of committing perjury during the trials of Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik, who were acquitted on charges stemming from the world's worst case of aviation terrorism before 9/11.

Milewski covered the Air India bombing trial for CBC TV and broadcast numerous stories about Bagri and Malik, as well as about the victims of the attack.

"Mr. Milewski cannot prove there are Sikhs advocating for violence in Canada, because there are none," the WSO declared in its letter to LaPointe. "So instead, he writes rhetoric: 'And if there were any doubt that Canada remains a stronghold of Sikh separatism, Wednesday’s demonstration should settle it.' Claiming a rally against capital punishment is a marshalling of terrorist forces is akin to arguing that every gathering of Irish Catholics is just a front for terrorists and gun runners because the IRA was active in Ireland 30 years ago. Or that the Quebecois in a crowd may be plotting to kidnap and murder politicians because the FLQ was active there 40 years ago."

In 2010, Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh—himself a Sikh—claimed that there are some elements in Canada that are wedded to terrorism.

The WSO, on the other hand, completely rejects this assertion.

"They were rallying to oppose Balwant Singh Rajoana’s death sentence—a far different activity," the WSO stated. "The Sikh faith specifically opposes capital punishment and Sikhs have been protesting around the world. There is a feeling that the cycle of violence which has already claimed too many lives in India must end and that includes state-sanctioned killings."

The WSO also criticized Milewski's alleged "contempt for the idea that Sikhs would defend human rights—to his way of thinking the only possible reason for such an outpouring of support is for terrorism".

"He ignores the fact that both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also spoken against Rajoana’s execution," the WSO added. "Even the daughters and grandchildren of the man he conspired to assassinate have asked for his execution to be halted."

Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.

Comments (24) Add New Comment
Ron S.
"Mr. Milewski cannot prove there are Sikhs advocating for violence in Canada, because there are none," Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor from laughing at that one. Oh and by the way "Pigs can fly."
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Raskolnikov
"WSO has been very clear that there is no evidence of extremism in the Canadian Sikh community,"

The Air India bombing was what type of event please?
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Mark Fornataro
Sophistry by the WSO will not dissuade any thinking person who has followed Mr Milewski's career from acknowledging that he is a gutsy,very smart reporter who sticks to the facts.
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Jakub Marks
The Air India bombing took place 27 years ago. Let's keep that in context. Has there been any terrorism or extremism in the Canadian Sikh community since that time? Can't seem to find it.
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don't shoot the messenger literally
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Jakub Marks
Hmm...Mr. Hayer was killed in 1998, 14 years ago. Seems his killers haven't been found or convicted.
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BvB
labelling a whole community of millions as terrorists because of the actions of 4-5 people is completely wrong.
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Ron S.
So Jakub, it seems you agree there is Sikh Terrorists in BC. Thanks for the clarification. Oh by the way, who do they celebrate with pictures in their parades....... Oh those are heros. I see....????
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Jay1
What about Sikhs killed in India 1984. It was a tragic period and there was no justice. Any violence is bad; including state sponsored, but Terry will write only one sided story.
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Truth Hurts
bottom line is ... yes Rajoana was a suicide bomber. But he was going to kill someone who had killed innocent sikhs. The chief minister Beant Singh was a ruthless killer, he did despicable things. The fact that Balwant Singh Rajoana offered his own life to rid the world of this tryant makes him a great hero in the eyes of every sikh, eventhough the indian government views him as a terrorist. I say he is a great man, we need more selfless people like him the world would be a better place.
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Jagmohan Singh
I have read the piece by this author which is full of insinuation directed against the Sikhs. The article is nothing bu typical stereotyping with a nagging fear at the collective response of the Sikh community.

It will be interesting to see what the Ombudsman says.
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Sheeple
There are extremist in every community ethnic and white...

That does not mean that most of that Community are violent and/or extremists...

- Blood & Honor = Extreme White Supremacists

- Willy the White Pig Farmer

- The Terrorist who bombed Air India the Sikh who is in prison and the ones that are still loose hope they get caught soon

- the Norwegian who massacred his Country men with nary a Muslim in sight does not mean all Norwegians are Violent killers,

So to state the obvious most Sikhs are not Violent they are hard working religious Vegans a lot of whom serve this great Country in the nations forces.

I guess there are a lot of ignorant Sheep out there :)

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all right how about this one
@Jakob

http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2010/05/02/khalistan-separation-boils-up-i...

ps why do you think Hayer's shooters haven't been found? could it be because Hayer is an example of what happens to whisteblowers? come on
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Meena
@Charlie: what a biased blog. You call that journalism. Reference to an event that occurred 27 years is used to paint a whole community. What does the Air India crash have to do with Balwant Singh Rajoana? Give me a break? Whose funding your coffiers? After Indian money are you?
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Meena
I suppose this article which is anti Sikh balances the other one about the Vaisakhi parade. Must the Georgia Straight trying to keep the Indian Government happy....as always Canadian media and the Canadian people...for sale.
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Sharma
There is no freedom like USA, Canada, or Europe in any other country. Everyone has their own rights over here, but when you go to other countries, the governments are not stable, they abuse your rights, and treat you like 2nd class citizens. The air india bombing happened in 1985, I don't see anything happening after that year. Milewski is just a reporter who wants attention, he defiantly "googled" his information before reporting this unless article. He has no experience or background information on what happens beyond these elite countries. India is the biggest democracy abuser, this country will never level up to any western nations.
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Find the Truth
Their have been links tied to the India government for the Air India Bombing 27 years ago.To what extend, we want to know. This is the government that planned and killed thousands of inocent families after the PM was killed.

I would like everyone to read "soft target" and form thier own opinions and then lets discuss if a person like Rajoana is a terrorist or hero..

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Amanda
A lot of you got no clue about Sikh history and neither any tom, dick or harry are interested in it. From comments it clearly shows the hidden hatred that some people keep against such a wonderful community. Try to live a day in India as a regular citizen and then only you will know the reality otherwise keep reading garbage that terry or Kim bolan spews.
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Godzilla Vs. Rodan
So every time a white christian person or white christian people do something in Canada the mainstream media should specify which sunday school they went to and which church and outline the acts of violence perpetrated by the people who belong to that group. The acts don't have to be related at all to the article or have occurred recently. If the mainstream media were to do that then I think Sikhs would feel that they weren't being singled out for particular scorn or derision by the media. The thing that sticks in the craw of the mainstream media is that Sikhs like living large and have their own ethno-linguistic media. Sikhs don't like following the agenda that the mainstream media and society puts out for the sheeple. Since we like standing out and being counted the mainstream media finds us to be worthy of targeting. That's okay though. We won't change cuz we've had to deal with a lot worse than their words. Our history and beliefs are a lot stronger than those of the people who want us to 'fall in line'.
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in the community
Sikh extremism in Canada is a myth made by the likes of Terry Milewksi. It just doesn't exist, anybody in the community will tell you the same.

Even the public support of Sikh independance is no more, because most sikhs are afraid of the backlash from the Canadian media. I find that quite sad, that we cannot even bring up the issue of sikh soveirgnty without fear of being labelled terrorists by the cbc and nationalpost.
I ask any of my Canadian brothers to take a vegetarian meal at a Sikh temple, some of which will serve you at any time of the day. We are a community of love and tolerance, and our doors are open to all.
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