Senior UK civil servant criticised for calling Harminder Sahib "The Golden Mosque"
By Barfi Culture Team
23rd April 2018

A senior Foreign Office official faced a barrage of criticism for knowing little about Sikh issues after tweeting about the "Golden Mosque in Amritsar" last night.

Sir Simon Mcdonald was already the target of criticism earlier when he tweeted about visiting dignitaries in Punjab but had said nothing about the detention of British citizen Jagtar Singh Johal.

His brother Gurpreet Singh told the Sikh Press Association yesterday: "This morning I found out from Twitter of all places that the most senior official at the Foreign Office, Sir Simon McDonald, is currently in Punjab, where my brother Jagtar Singh has been in custody without charge for nearly six months."

"I am outraged that the Foreign Office has sent its most senior official to Punjab behind my back, not to talk about a British citizen’s human rights, but about post-Brexit trade in Chandigarh. While at the residence of Captain Amrinder Singh in Patiala, Sir Simon was less than 15 miles from Nabha jail, where my brother languishes in custody without charge, without an independent medical examination, and without private consular access," he added.

Jagtar Singh's local MP, SNP's Martin Docherty-Hughes tweeted that he had hope "there was discussion on the case of Jagtar Singh Johal," but the FCO stayed silent on the matter.

To make matters worse Sir Mcdonald then sent out the tweet above.

It was immediately criticised by Sikhs on Twitter

Sir Simon McDonald has since sent out another tweet apologising:

We have asked the FCO whether he intends to raise the issue of Jagtar Singh Johal's detention, what questions he intends to ask and who he will put those questions to.

Get our weekly email on the desi diaspora
Barfi Culture is a (recently launched!) news magazine, covering South Asians living in Europe and North America.

»   Balanced news, informative opinions
»   Celebrating our cultures
»   A platform for people

We publish daily. Get our email or find us on social media (tw: news; fb: culture; insta: images).

Find out more | Tell us your story
Barfi Culture is a news-magazine on South Asians in Europe and North America.
(This is what makes us different)

Editorial Policy | Contact Us