Expressing concern over the ongoing farmer’s protest against the central government’s three farm laws, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “situation is concerning”.
During a virtual address to members of the Sikh community on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti on Monday, Trudeau said “I would be remiss if I didn’t start by recognising the news coming from India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning. We are all very worried about family and friends. I know that’s a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protest.”
He added, “We believe in the process of dialogue. We’ve reached out through multiple means to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns. This is a moment for all of us to pull together.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the first world leader to comment the agitation at the borders of Delhi and to address the Sikh Community members of his cabinet.
Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan on November 29 also expressed concerns over the protest. “The reports of peaceful protesters being brutalised in India are very troubling. Many of my constituents have family there and are worried about the safety of their loved ones. Healthy democracies allow peaceful protest. I urge those involved to uphold this fundamental right,” Sajjan said.
Other politicians from Canada came out in support of the farmers’ agitation.
In a video message on Twitter, Erin Michael O’Toole, Leader of the Canada’s Official Opposition, said “Farmers feed cities. The right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly are fundamental rights in any democracy. I want you to know that Conservatives are aware of the situation. We’ve always supported people’s right to peaceful protest.”
“Guru Nanak Sahib Ji led a social revolution believing that we are all one & equal. Today, as millions of farmers march towards India’s capital to oppose privatization — they walk w/ this spirit. To them & all who are celebrating, Happy Gurpurab! , said New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh in his tweet.
An online campaign calling on Trudeau to condemn the Indian Governments violent repression of protests is started by NDP MP Jack Harris.
Protesting against the Centre’s agriculture laws, thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been camping at the Delhi borders.