Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Canada regrets visa refusal letters

News Flash!
The following statement was issued by Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney on visa refusals by the Canadian High Commission in India:

Ottawa, May 28, 2010 — “Canada has the highest regard for India, its government institutions and processes. Our friendship as democratic nations who operate under the rule of law grows ever stronger and we share a common bond of ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversity. Our economic and trade ties continue to strengthen both of our economies.
“Furthermore, at a time when global security continues to be a cause for concern, Canada values the increasing ties and cooperation with India in the fields of defence, security and counter-terrorism. Each year, Canada welcomes about 131,000 Indian residents on both a temporary and permanent basis, including many individuals from the various Indian security forces.
“The Government of Canada therefore deeply regrets the recent incident in which letters drafted by public service officials during routine visa refusals to Indian nationals cast false aspersions on the legitimacy of work carried out by Indian defence and security institutions, which operate under the framework of democratic processes and the rule of law.
“This language, or the inaccurate impression it has created, in no way reflects the policy or position of the Government of Canada. While, under Canadian law, admissibility to Canada is determined by a number of different criteria, candidate assessments should in no way question Indian institutions which operate under the rule of law and within a democratic framework.
“As to the decision process itself, decisions on visa applications are made on a case-by-case basis by non-partisan public servants following an independent process based on Canada’s immigration law as it currently stands. However, this unfortunate incident has demonstrated that the deliberately broad legislation may create instances when the net is cast too widely by officials, creating irritants with our trusted and valued international allies. For this reason the admissibility policy within the legislation is under active review at this time.”

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May 26, 2010
Canada cans India!

*Canadian High Commission officers malign, insult India

*No need for diplomatic niceties with boorish 'diplomats'

Last week when media reported how the High Commission of Canada had denied visa to a retired head constable of the BSF (whose daughter lives in Canada) on the grounds that the para-military force he had served was a “violent” and “notorious” force, there was more amusement than anger in New Delhi. Here was a naïve visa officer being self-righteously sanctimonious.
I was later told that the visa officer is a relatively junior official, a First Secretary, who knows next to nothing about India, is a cussed individual prone to being nasty, and for the most basic facts about her host country and its institutions, ‘googles’ for information. It is possible she looked up ‘BSF’ on Website operated by Kashmiri separatists and came to the conclusion that it is a “violent” and “notorious” force.
It now transpires that there is a pattern to Canada rejecting visa applications submitted by a certain category of Indians. On Wednesday, May 26, PTI put out the following story:
New Delhi, May 26: In fresh revelations of provocative actions, Canada has denied visas to a member of the Armed Forces Tribunal, three serving Brigadiers, a retired Lt General and a former senior IB official on the grounds that their organisations have been “engaging in violence”.
A serving Intelligence Bureau officer, assigned to travel to Toronto in connection with the Prime Minister's trip there next month, was also denied visa recently but was later allowed to travel after protest from India.
The denial of visas, over the last two years, has angered the Home Ministry which has warned that India would also "retaliate" by denying visas to Canadian officials who go to Afghanistan via this country.
I have posted alongside a copy of the letter issued to the former senior IB officer by the High Commission of Canada, signed by First Secretary S Auger. The details are self-explanatory. You can read it by clicking on it. I wonder if Ms Auger is the visa officer at the High Commission who decided on the visa applications that were turned down by citing the most absurd, outrageous and astonishing reasons.
If the Manmohan Singh Government had any sense of self-respect and dignity, had it been bothered about India’s stature and national pride, and had the Prime Minister not been so enamoured of Western Governments whose approval matters to him more than approval by the masses at home, then the Ministry of External Affairs would have been instructed to summon the Canadian High Commissioner, give him 24 hours to set things right, de-roster the guilty visa officer/s and send them back to wherever they have come from. Simultaneously, it would have issued a statement declaring no more visas for Canadians travelling to and from Afghanistan via New Delhi.
Since no ostensible purpose will be served by the Prime Minister’s tax-payer funded junket to Toronto, it should have been called off too. In the event of the Canadians not complying with the MEA’s demands, the relevant officers should have been declared persona non grata and asked to leave the country by the first available flight. There is no scope for diplomatic niceties over another country’s diplomatic crudity.

Canada has no moral authority to play good cop. Its own record of officially-sanctioned racism and racist violence would shame any country. The ‘exclusion laws’ devised by Canada to keep ‘darkies’ out of the country are not entirely forgotten. The Komagata Maru incident in 1914 will forever remain a blot on Canada’s history.
We must also not forget that Canada was the biggest sanctuary for Khalistani terrorists wanted for crimes against civilians in India. Canada refused to entertain any requests from India on either restraining the Khalistanis or handing over criminals to stand trial for murder and worse in India. The Babbar Khalsa International was launched right under the noses of Canadian authorities.

The bombing of Air India’s Kanishka (flying on the Montreal-London-Delhi-Bombay route) on June 23, 1985, was planned and executed by Khalistanis living in Canada. The aircraft blew up off Ireland, killing 329 people on board – 307 passengers and 22 crew members. Among the dead were 280 Canadian nationals, most of them of Indian origin, and 22 Indians. Twenty-five years and a 20-year sham trial later, the conspirators remain unpunished.
Canada also happens to be one of the most secure sanctuaries for supporters, members and fund-raisers of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam.
I have travelled through Canada and have happy and fond memories of that country and its people. I don’t think the denial of visa by ill-informed, boorish officials at the Canadian mission in New Delhi on such ridiculous grounds enjoys any degree of support among Canadians and their political leadership. Yet, this nonsense must be halted and an example made out of it so that other missions are not tempted to treat India and Indians shabbily while enjoying our hospitality.


Jess Sikand said...

They are afraid that if they seem like they support Indian armed forces the Kashmiris, Khalistanis, Taliban, Al Qaeda will create havoc in their country. So taking less controversial road.

Must see documentary on Air India 1985 on DocZone. very thorough. will have to purchase though.

Satendra Tewari said...

The problem is that the MEA under SM Krishna and the overall Indian regime under MMS are so much influenced by anything western especially American, that they will go on accepting these humiliations. A few weeks back there was this stupid Minister from a tiny nation like Finland talking of need for mediation between India and Pak. So every Tom , Dick and Harry can shower insults on India and Indians , but who cares: and we are the self styled super powers of tomorrow!

sunaath said...

MM Singh and self respect? Very funny! This World Bank clerk is a PM appointed by Sonia Gandhi.He is not elected to that position. Look, how he praised the British for colonising India during the REWARDING Ceremony of a Doctorate to him! How much scared he was to call Australia racist when the Indians were attacked there! Every country on this earth now dares to spit on the face of India because our leader welcomes that without any feeling of shame.

pulkit mishra said...

How can shameless Canada which is infamous for providing shelter to Khalistani militants frame such poopycock allegations against an elite force like B.S.F? Hundreds of soldiers give up their lives to save this nation.Canadian government should be asked to shut down their embassy as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with Kanchan on this issue. It is a sad incident and the job is very unprofessional.

A small comment to Satendra who points Finland as tiny pricky nation. I have lived in Finland, and let me tell you, to enjoy infrastructure as Finland, India will need a thousand years. Their education policy in school is best in europe.

uthamanarayanan said...

Till the time we stop standing before the embassies and hight commissions for visas , this will continue.Be a Sheik without fundamentals of either language or anything worth mentioning except wealth, every nation will spread red carpet to welcome.So instead of part of being a corrupt country with this standard of politicians every filth will be heaped on us Indians.I would rather be a wood cutter,a cobbler,a daily wage earner or a scavenger than being a scientist or Doctor in other countries and being looked down.

sarathy.amudhan said...

What do you expect from a Govt which is not a true representative and won the election by foul means. I was reading an article on ‘Abolition of EVMs needed to save democracy – by Jayasreesaranathan in her blog ‘Non-random-Thoughts’ and found an interesting and shocking article on how the spreadsheets showing election results were seen in ECI website, 13 days before the announcement of poll results. What many people had feared has actually happened. This Govt ably aided and abetted by CEC will go to any extent to obtain favourable results. Please give this the widest possible coverage through all means available. Read