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London, (22nd of July 2013):  The Same Sex Marriage Bill passed through Royal Assent last week and was enacted. In a final debate in the Lords, Lord Singh, the Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) proposed a referendum, stating that the ‘wider implications’ of the legislation had not yet been fully considered.

Please see full text of Lord Singh’s speech on the 10th of July:

London, Saturday (June 29th 2013): In two separate debates recently, Lord Singh of Wimbledon the Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) gave a Sikh view, during the Committee stage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. Please see text of speech below:

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Following on from a series of high profile convictions of predominantly Pakistani men in places like Rochdale, reports including those published by the BBC chose to describe those convicted of sexual grooming as ‘Asian.’ This caused significant disquiet amongst many British Sikhs and Hindus. In 2012 the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) led a campaign challenging the vague description, galvanizing support from both the Hindu Forum and Hindu Council of Britain, who equally expressed concerns.

London, (23rd of April 2013): The House of Lords voted in favour of an amendment to the Equality Bill which will outlaw caste discrimination in Britain. Lord Singh of Wimbledon the Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) contributed to the debate yesterday, challenging previously uninformed views about Sikhism’s position on caste discrimination.

London, [22nd of Dec 2012): Earlier this month, Lord Singh of Wimbledon the Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) contributed to a debate moved by the Lord Bishop of Exeter, regarding the rights of Israeli Arabs in the state of Israel.

The full text is given below:

London, Sunday (25th of Nov 2012): In a debate in the House of Lords earlier this week, the Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations, Lord Singh of Wimbledon spoke passionately on the role of religion in society.

“My Lords, I am grateful for this opportunity to discuss the role of religion in public life.

London, (11th of April 2012): The Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) Lord Singh has advised the BBC’s department of Religion & Ethics for a series of documentaries, including a forthcoming one ‘The Story of the Turban’ which is to be aired on Thursday the 12th of April 23:20 on BBC One.

London, Thursday (05th April 2012): Lord Howell of Guildford responds to the Director of The Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) Lord Singh, who raised concerns about the case of Balwant Singh Rajoana by tabling a question to Her Majesty’s Government. The question was initially raised in the House of Lords on the 27th of March 2012.

“Lord Singh of Wimbledon to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to discuss with the
government of India their commitment to human rights following the sentence of capital punishment
in the case of Balwant Singh Rajoana; and if so, what matters they intend to raise.” [HL16673]

London, Thursday (29th March 2012) Lord Singh the Director of The Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO), has raised concerns about the case of Balwant Singh Rajoana by tabling a question to Her Majesty’s Government. The question was tabled in the House of Lords, last week.
“Lord Singh of Wimbledon to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to discuss with the
government of India their commitment to human rights following the sentence of capital punishment
in the case of Balwant Singh Rajoana; and if so, what matters they intend to raise.” [HL166~5]
For reasons of protocol, Lord Singh was not able to include that Balwant Singh had been in jail, whilst on death row for 16 years
Recent reports indicate that the Indian state has granted a stay of execution. The hanging, which was scheduled for this Saturday, would have been India’s first capital punishment for eight years.
The South Asian Director of Human Rights Watch, Meenakshi Ganguly has also condemned the Indian death penalty, further to the news of  the planned execution by the Indian state.

London, Sunday (March 18th 2012): In a recent letter to Lord Indarjit Singh, the Director of The Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO), the Ambassador to Poland, Robin Barnett confirms he will review Mr. Shaminder Puri’s case. Mr Puri is a Gursikh geophysicist working with the UN in Poland. In 2010 the Polish Border Guards on grounds of security began a policy of asking Sikhs to remove their turbans and place them on the conveyor for inspection. Mr. Puri fell foul of the Border Guard’s policy. The Ambassador, Robin

Barnett writes:
“The Embassy was aware of this issue. However, I personally took over in Warsaw only last year. We will look into this matter and get back to you as soon as possible.”

The NSO’s Polish campaign began August 2010, following a terse plea from Mr. Puri. With the help of UK gurdwaras and other Sikh organisations, the NSO took advantage of a Prime Minister led Polish trade delegation to India to get the Indian government to criticise the Polish behaviour. The lobbying was effective. External affairs minister Preneet Kaur outraged by the behaviour of the Polish authorities towards her fellow Sikhs made her feelings known to the Polish Prime Minister in no uncertain terms, leading to the Polish authorities grudgingly halting their harassment of Sikh visitors to Poland.

Further to detailed discussion between the NSO, Shammy Puri Secretary General of a scientific organisation working with the UN in Poland and other Sikhs in Poland along with advice from human rights lawyers Bindman and Partners, it was decided to ventilate the issue in the Polish courts direct, rather than approaching the European Court of Human Rights. The NSO have also supported Mr. Puri financially and The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR) took up his case pro bono. The case has gone to appeal against the decision of the first instance court, which dismissed all of Mr. Puri’s claims in December 2011.

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