'Canada to blame for Kanishka'

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Oracle, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    TORONTO: The final report into the 1985 Air India Kanishka bombing, on Thursday recommended ex gratia payment to the families of 329 victims, mostly of Indian origin as it blamed the Canadian government for its failure to prevent the the country’s worst terrorist attack.

    “A cascading series of errors contributed to our police and security forces” failing to stop the bombing, Justice John Major, the head of the Kanishka bombing inquiry commission recommended today, nearly 25 years after the tragedy.

    Canadian authorities should have known that Air India Flight 182 was a terrorism target, Major said, adding the failure of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canada’s spy agency Canadian Security and Intelligence Services (CSIS) to prevent the tragedy was “inexcusable.”

    “The government needs to take responsibility to avoid further failure and to prevent a return to a culture of complacency,” said Major in his 3,200 pages report.

    It called for an independent body to be created to recommend an appropriate ex gratia payment
    and to oversee its distribution, though it offered little relief to the families of those who were killed in the tragedy. “This was the largest mass-murder in Canadian history,” said Major, adding the “finest tribute” that could be paid the victims of the bombing is to create a rigorous aviation security system.

    Air India Flight 182 on June 23, 1985, which was travelling from Canada to India, crashed into the Atlantic killing all 329 people on board. The report blamed the Canadian government for its failure to prevent the tragedy and recommended the appointment of a powerful security czar to resolve disputes between conflicting interests among security agencies.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Canada-to-blame-for-Kanishka/articleshow/6061334.cms
     
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  3. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    'Kanishka an Air India, Canadian atrocity'

    Justice John Major released a scathing report on the 1985 Air India Kanishka bombing investigation at the Media Center in Ottawa on Thursday, in which he stressed, "This is an Air India, Canadian atrocity."

    "For too long the greatest loss of Canadian lives at the hands of terrorists has been somehow relegated outside the Canadian consciousness," he said.

    Another sad part for the Chief Commissioner of the Air India inquiry was that 'the families, in some ways, have often been treated as adversaries, as if they had somehow brought this calamity upon themselves' and this to Justice Major 'goes against the Canadian sense of fairness and propriety.'

    So, the report 'sets out the inherent injustice of what has transpired in terms of the treatment of the families of the victims to date at the hands of the governments.'

    'The time to right that historical wrong is now," Justice Major emphatically suggested.

    It was as a consequence, after the report was released, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was present with half a dozen members of the victims' families when Justice Major released his report. They were invited to the prime minister's office at the House of Commons Building.

    In a statement following that meeting, Canadian minister Nicholson responded to the report quickly by saying that they would issue some sort of apology to the victims' families and will also give them some 'ex-gratia payment,' but he didn't reveal what that amount would be.

    Based on this report running to five volumes and over 3,000 pages, Justice Major read out a seven-page statement, summary of what his report contains.

    The story of Air India flight 182 'goes beyond the loss of life, as terrible as that is,' Major said.

    He called it 'the largest mass murder in Canadian history' and attributed this to a 'series of errors contributed to the failure of our police and security to prevent this atrocity.'

    Major used very strong expressions in criticising the Canadian law enforcement agencies that resulted in the tragic loss of 331 innocent lives (329 aboard the Air India flight 182, and two Japanese baggage handlers at the Narita Airport in Tokyo).

    The bomb that blew up the ill-fated Air India flight, Major stated categorically, "was manufactured in Canada as part of a plot that was developed in Canada. (And) 'the bomb', he said was hidden in luggage that was placed on a Canadian plane in Vancouver and later transferred to Air India 182 in Toronto which stopped in Montreal to pick up additional passengers before it commenced its fatal flight."

    What Justice Major found 'surprising and disturbing (was the fact that) overall, the government of Canada and its agencies in 1985 were not prepared for a terrorist act like the bombing of Air India Flight 182 Â… (despite the fact) that the threat of sabotage was well known by the early 1980s (and so sadly for Justice Major and his team of investigators) Canadian agencies still focused on hijacking and operated as if it was the primary threat.'

    In this connection he detailed in the report that the telex that Air India had sent in 'early June 1985 (which was several days before the bombing of Boeing 747 Kanishka) warning of the potential for bombs being hidden in luggage.'

    Here Major pointed out in amazement as to how 'the Canadian Security Intelligence Service didn't see that 'information Â… because that telex was not sent to anyone by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.'

    On the contrary, RCMP provided 'erroneous information Â… to (former Ontario Premier (Bob Rae) whose investigation in 2005 (that was done when Paul Martin was the Prime Minister) (in fact) led to the creation of this Commission of Inquiry.'

    Justice Major rightly called this aspect 'disturbing' by wondering as to how could such an important telex from Air India be ignored, and not shared by the RCMP with other agencies.

    This was not the only part of the aviation security lapses by the Canadian law enforcement agencies, Justice Major stated. He referred to one summer employee, Brian Simpson, who 'boarded Flight 182 at Pearson International Airport in Toronto without detection on the afternoon of June 22, 1985' and this person 'had complete access to the aircraft from the cockpit to the equipment at the rear.'

    And the further sad part to Major was that during testimonies the 'government counsel' tried 'to discredit this witness.' Simpson's evidence, he said, 'revealed numerous weaknesses in security.'

    It is widely known since the beginning as to how the RCMP and CSIS didn't cooperate with each other in the Air India investigation, either during the pre-bombing period or following the tragedy.'

    In this regard Justice Major said there were people 'in the Sikh community who claimed to have knowledge about the bombing and its perpetrators.'

    These Canadian law enforcement agencies, to his dismay, 'failed (not only) to obtain that information (but) to preserve it for use as evidence, or to offer adequate protection to those individuals.'

    Instead, Justice Major said, the two agencies 'engaged in "turf-wars", failed to share information, and adopted a misguided approach to the sources.

    'In the end, of the three individuals who were to be the key witnesses in the Air India trial, one was murdered -- (he was a Vancouver-based journalist Tara Singh Hayer, who reportedly knew too much about the perpetrators of the Air India bombing and wanted to testify against them in the British Columbia Supreme Court, but before he could do that he was killed).

    "One feigned memory loss because she was too frightened to testify, and one was forced to enter the Witness Protection Program two years earlier than planned, due to the RCMP's inadvertent disclosure of her identity," Major noted.

    The report details how the two agencies have been fighting between themselves, not sharing information, etc. Justice Major has also recommended creation of a Director of Terrorism Prosecutions, appointed by the Attorney-General of Canada and also the appointment of the National Witness Protection Coordinator 'to manage the protection of those who are willing to risk their well-being to assist the prosecution of terrorists.'

    Justice Major has proposed 'the development of an academic center to study terrorism and counter-terrorism' and 'to commemorate the victims of the Air India bombing. "This center should be named Kaniskha," he suggested.

    Justice Major strongly urged 'the Canadian government to establish some sort of an oversight mechanism to report on how our recommendations are being addressed: those that have been implemented; those that have been rejected; and those that require further study.'

    While concluding his statement, Justice Major noted that issues that have been addressed in his report 'confront us today; albeit in a different context, as much as they did 25 years ago.'

    He was obviously referring to global terrorism.

    Ajit Jain in Toronto

    http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/jun/18/kanishka-an-air-india-canadian-atrocity.htm
     
  4. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    Terror groups will not be given any quarter: Canada

    Canada said on Saturday that terrorist groups would not be given any quarter in the nation even as it stepped up security at airports and other vital installation as recommended by the Kanishka inquiry commission.

    Talking to the families of the victims of the Air India aircraft bombing, most of them of India-origin, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the compensation package for them would be worked out fast and other major findings of the commission would also be implemented speedily.

    An Air India Flight 182, Kanishka plunged into the Atlantic on June 23, 1985, after an explosion in the aircraft killing all 329 people on board. A probe led by retired Supreme Court Justice John Major blamed the Canadian police and intelligence for laxity in not detecting the bombs.

    Kenney, who met them on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, made it clear that the government would not support in any manner any terrorist group. Canada has large number of Sikh radicals who have taken shelter in the country.

    "The government is committed to implement recommendations made by Justice John Major inquiry commission as far as feasible in a reasonable period of time," he said.

    Kenney, who invited the families of Kanishka victims and top leaders of Indo-Canadian community for their comments about the report, said that similar meetings would be held in Montreal and Vancouver shortly.

    He said that the government would take Justice John Major's recommendations into consideration and make sure "we drive forward with real change, and the bureaucracy will not be allowed to scuttle them."

    A group of more than 20 families of the Kanishka victims, including Lata Pada and Bal Gupta, told the minister that the government must act to implement the report without any delay and should involve the families in speedyimplementation of the report.

    Kenney sought active support from the Indo-Canadian community in curbing the activities of banned Sikh groups.

    In his 3,200-page report, Kanishka inquiry commissioner John Major criticised the way successive governments treated the families.

    The report found plenty of blame to spread around, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and successive federal governments.

    Lata Pada, whose husband and two daughters died in the tragedy, said, "If the government is sincere about the support for families, then they must implement the recommendations without delay to help prevent a similar tragedy from occurring."

    Bal Gupta, who lost his wife and two sons, suggested that the government should seek undertaking from newcomers that they did not belong to any banned organisations; and members of the outlawed groups should not be allowed to sit onthe board of Charitable Trusts which support terrorism or glorification of terrorism.

    Asha Luthra, president of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, demanded that the government must disclose scheme of compensation to the families of victims. Radha Krishna who lost his wife in the tragedy made the similar demand.

    http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/jun/19/terror-groups-wont-be-given-any-quarter-canada.htm
     
  5. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Does a country really owe compensation payments when a terrorist act occurs under their watch? It is one thing if the government caused an accident or some-such event, but really. If that is the model we can sue Pakistan for a trillion dollars.
     
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  6. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    Yeah! Did not the Libyan Government pay almost 3 Billion dollars to IRA victims in Britain? This is a moral responsibility.

    And Pakistan will pay? They are yet to pay us 55 crores rupees that we paid to them during partition. Now add interest (say at a meagre rate of 1%) compounded to 55 crores with number of years = 63. Beggars eh!
     
  7. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    The Libyan government caused it by shipping weapons to a terrorist organisation. They also housed their terrorist training camps. It is completely different situation and they only paid for favourable trade deals with the UK.

    They won't pay in cases they are responsible for or not, and neither will anyone else who is not responsible for the act.
     
  8. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    Armand, Indian Intelligence agencies warned Canadian intelligence about a possible terror attack, however Canadian authorities did not pay any heed to that. This is not that different a situation. At the end of the day, people lost their lives because of two disgusting state machineries, one Libyan, the other Canadian.
     
  9. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Is the US government needing to pay compensation to multinationals lost in 9-11? Is Spain needing to pay for those lost in the subway blast? Or Indonesia needing to pay Australia for those lost in the Bali bombing? It isn't going to happen unless the government is responsible for the attack in some way, not preventing it.
     
  10. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    Armand, terrorist attack is something different. But Governments who are hand in gloves with terrorist organizations and sponsoring their actions need to take a moral responsibility. I am not saying someone should pay up for some terrorist act, it is moral responsibility I am talking about, nothing else.
     
  11. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Is Canada having any hand in the terrorism in their own country? Obviously not. Should countries apologise if their intel screws up, sure but nothing more. Bringing up a 25 year old issue is even more absurd.
     
  12. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    I suppose you are not familiar with recent news on the "Bloody Sunday" investigations..or for that matter the disclosure of declassified Russian documents from the Soviet era, which disclose the extent of Soviet involvement in Polish massacres. For the victims and their loved ones..it's never too late. Which is why bringing up holocaust is never absurd even though it happened over 60 years ago..or the Khmer rouge atrocities...Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat its mistakes. The French should know, from their experiences in Algeria and elsewhere..
     
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  13. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    It is absurd bringing up the issue of money.
     
  14. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Canada to apologise for Kanishka bombing

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  15. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Learning from tragedy



    Twenty-five years ago, Air India flight 182 from Montréal to New Delhi exploded over the Irish sea, killing all 329 on board. Even though most of the victims were Indian nationals or of Indian origin, the tragedy disappeared from the foreground of public consciousness with a strange speed — displaced perhaps by the succession of horrors that have scarred the country since then. In Canada, however, victims' rights groups and community campaigners mounted sustained pressure on the government. Earlier this month, their relentless work yielded results when a commission of inquiry led by a retired Canadian Supreme Court judge, John Major, published its findings. The report slammed Canada's security services for a series of staggering failures they committed in the months leading up to the bombing, and for the botched investigation that followed it. The commission's report will not set right wrongs. But Justice Major has brought out the truth — or at least a great part of it. In the months to come, the commission's findings could conceivably help Indian diplomats persuade Pakistan to hand over key figures linked to the Flight 182 perpetrators, like the Babbar Khalsa International chief Wadhawa Singh Babbar and International Sikh Youth Federation leader Lakhbir Singh Brar.

    India needs to learn lessons from the institutional processes that allowed Canada to engage in a thoroughgoing audit of the Flight 182 disaster, no matter how embarrassing it has proved to the country's intelligence and police services. No Indian government has seen it fit to engage in a rigorous, transparent audit of the multiple failures of administration, policing, and intelligence that allowed so many regional conflicts to develop into murderous insurgencies. Nor have the reasons why it took five years for India's police and intelligence services to unravel the operations of the jihadist networks we now know as the Indian Mujahideen been laid bare. Even the Ram Pradhan-V. Balachandran committee, which unearthed a mass of detail on intelligence and police failures before and during the November 26, 2008 Lashkar-e-Taiba assault on Mumbai, was not given the power to summon witnesses or demand classified central government documentation. India's experience with commissions of enquiry has not been brilliant. Justice M.C. Jain's quixotic report on the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and the less-than-optimal course of Justice M.S. Liberhan's investigation of the Babri Masjid demolition are cases in point. The failure over the long term to establish institutions that can explore the truth and present it boldly to the public has led to pervasive deficits of accountability.
     
  16. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    25 years later, Canada offers $25,000 to each Kanishka victim family

    The Canadian government has reportedly offered $20,000 to $25,000 to families of each Air India Kanishka victim - 25 years after all 329 people on board Flight 182 from Montreal to New Delhi perished when it was blown off mid-air near the Irish coast June 23, 1985. A public inquiry by former


    Canadian chief justice John Major in June blamed various Canadian agencies for failing to stop the bombing plot by Khalistani militants and asked the government to compensate the families.
    Member of some victim families met Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and public safety minister Vic Toews here Friday for discussions on the package.

    The ministers are said to have made no offers at the meeting, but reports say the Canadian government has told the families that compensation offered in similar cases ranged from $20,000 to $25,000 for each victim.

    Though the families have already been paid about $75,000 each in an out-of-court settlement a few years ago, the John Major inquiry report asked the government to compensate them further.

    But some families are not happy with the reported offer, citing the huge payout of $10 million by Libya to relatives of each victim in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

    The proposed compensation is part of the current Canadian government to put closure on the tragedy.

    On the 25th anniversary of the bombing this June, Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally apologized to the victim families and the Indo-Canadian community for the tragedy.

    There were 280 were Canadian citizens of Indian origin among the 329 victims.

    The Kanishka bombing was the worst aviation tragedy till 9/11 happened. The bomb was planted by Khalistani militants to avenge the Indian Army action at the Golden Temple in June 1984.

    Though two main suspects - Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri - were acquitted and only one - Inderjit Singh Reyat - jailed, the Canadian authorities are still working on the Air India file.
     

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