7th November 2018   •   article
Sikh Federation UK apologises for 'unacceptable' tweet on death of civil servant

by Barfi Culture Team | @barfi_culture.
Image: Sikh Federation UK
The Sikh Federation UK apologised last night for a tweet they sent out after the death of the British civil servant Sir Jeremy Heywood.

The original tweet by SF UK said:

"Sikhs will remember Jeremy Heywood who died on Sunday, aged 56, of lung cancer for cover-up of UK involvement in 1984 Sikh Genocide. What goes around comes around - a person's actions, whether good or bad, will often have consequences for that person."

One reader responded to SF UK with: "This comment should be removed as are not representing Sikhs and this kind of comments should not be associated with Sikhi."

The Sikh Fed UK hit back with: "Do you deny 'Karma' as a Sikh or Jeremy Hewyood (sic) covered up the Genocide of the Sikhs in 1984?"

The respected academic Dr Jagbir Jhutti-Johal also noticed the tweet.

After more criticism the SF UK deleted their original tweet and quietly replaced it with more measured criticism.

Last night, after mounting criticism, it apologised for the original tweet.

The SF UK's criticism related to the widely-held belief among Sikh activists that in 2012, Sir Heywood helped David Cameron and Margaret Thatcher by distancing the UK from its role in helping Indira Gandhi's attack on Sri Harmandir Sahib (the Golden Temple) in 1984.

In the Indian newspaper The Telegraph, Amit Roy wrote: "There had been a huge row when Thatcher’s Downing Street papers, released under the 30-year rule, revealed she had responded positively to an appeal from the then Indian prime minister for help with dealing with Sikh militancy in 1984. Sikhs in Britain and elsewhere were outraged and demanded details of Britain’s involvement in Bluestar.

"Heywood’s job was to get the Cameron government off the hook by distancing Britain from the actions taken by the Indian government. "

The Sikh Federation UK is also the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on UK Sikhs and manages its Twitter account.
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