ARE the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Conservative government nothing but RACIST HYPOCRITES?
While they went out of the way to kick out South Asian refugee claimant Laibar Singh – who took refuge in different gurdwaras – back in 2007-2008, they have been DRAGGING THEIR FEET in the case of the former KGB spy Mikhail Lennikov who’s took refuge in a church in 2009 after being ordered to leave Canada.
The CBSA’s excuse? Since he’s not considered a threat, they prefer that he comes out of the church on his own to be arrested.
So how come they went all-out to pressure Laibar Singh to come out of the gurdwara back in 2007-2008.
Why was a paralyzed person like Laibar Singh considered a threat?
Because Laibar Singh was NOT white?
Because Laibar Singh was NOT in a church?
Are Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his ministers VERY CONVENIENTLY looking the other way?
Lubomyr Luciuk, an Ontario professor and a member of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association told a reporter: “The CBSA should go in and get Lennikov. The church is aiding and abetting a fugitive of the law.”
Regarding Lennikov’s past, he noted: “He has admitted to being a captain. I doubt one can rise in the KGB by just mopping around.”
I wrote a few years ago: “The fact is that he did NOT qualify to be an immigrant. He came here on a student visa and even before he revealed his KGB past, he failed to make it as an immigrant in the independent skilled working class.”
So when will the CBSA and the Conservative government take action?
MANY years ago, I warned the government that if they tolerated illegal immigrants and failed refugee claimants to seek refuge in churches, soon other religious places such as mosques, Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras would also be used for the same purpose. No one should be above the law.
I was proved right when failed refugee claimant Laibar Singh sought refugee in gurdwaras in the Lower Mainland in 2007-2008, sparking off racism against South Asians.
I opposed the tactics Laibar Singh’s supporters resorted to and was even targeted by a South Asian radio station that ended up making a fool of itself.
Singh took sanctuary in July 2007 in the Abbotsford Kalgidhar Darbar Gurdwara. While there, Singh’s health deteriorated and he had to be hospitalized. While in hospital, Abbottsford police and Canadian Border Services Agency officers detained Singh. Due to immense community and political pressure, Singh was granted a 60-day stay in August and then another stay in October, pending a decision on his humanitarian and compassionate claim. He was finally served a deportation order for December.
But thousands of protestors blocked the CBSA officers at Vancouver International Airport from deporting him and he was whisked away to another gurdwara and finally to Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara where another attempt by CBSA officers to deport him was thwarted by protestors in January 2008 and the temple’s executive committee even declared the gurdwara a sanctuary.
Then in March, following disagreement with the gurdwara authorities, Laibar Singh was taken once again to Abbotsford’s Kalgidhar Darbar Gurdwara.
Meanwhile, all those who had contributed to Laibar Singh’s bond of $50,000 posted as security for him (Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara contributed $10,000) lost their money as Laibar Singh and his supporters refused to surrender him to the CBSA. This case tarnished the image of South Asians.
My stand was that he should be sent back to India and that his supporters, if they really were so sincere should collect some serious money for him that would cover his medical and costs and living expenses.
Evidently, most of his supporters turned out to be hypocrites as then-president of Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara told me in March 2008 that Laibar Singh received only “small contributions.” His supporters lost all credibility with both the mainstream and the ethnic media as many of the most prominent ones started backing out.
Finally in November 2008, Laibar Singh was flown back to India after he decided to give up his fight to stay in Canada. His supporters were able to collect only $38,000 for him after boasting they would collect hundreds of thousands of dollars for his cause!