Jan 28, 2008 - New Delhi: The protests by Sikh groups on Friday prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up the issue of French ban on turbans with visiting President Nicholas Sarkozy.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today took up with French President Nicolas Sarkozy the issue of ban on turban in France.

Dr Singh raised the issue during his talks with Sarkozy who responded by saying that there is no ban on wearing of turban in France though use of religious symbols in certain situations was prohibited, sources said. The French government had said in 2004 that Sikh students could not wear turbans to schools as turbans were religious symbols.

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  • French President Nicholas Sarkozy is visiting India starting today, and he’ll be meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. I’m sure they’ll have a lot to talk about. But a big elephant lurks in the room: Manmohan Singh would not be allowed to attend public school in Sarkozy’s France. Isn’t that just a little awkward/funny? United Sikhs and other groups hope Manmohan Singh brings this up. It would really be a showing of character if Manmohan Singh can stand up for himself and immutable identity.

    Sikhs Seek Assurance from Indian PM that he would Raise Turban Issue with French President
    Sikhs Will Persist to Keep The French Turban Ban Issue Alive Until it is Resolved

    New Delhi, 25th January 2008 –UNITED SIKHS, a United Nations affiliated international advocacy NGO and other Sikh organizations request the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to publicly state if he will discuss the Sikh Turban issue in France with French President Nicholas Sarkozy during the latter’s visit to India, which starts today.

    In the last week, UNITED SIKHS and Sikhs organizations globally have requested a meeting with Dr. Manmohan Singh to request that he raise the French ban on the Sikh Turban issue with Mr Sarkozy. We have also written to the Chairperson of the UPA, Sonia Gandhi and the Indian External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, seeking an assurance that the issue will be on the top of Dr. Manmohan Singh’s agenda with Mr Sarkozy.

    “No Sikh organization has been granted a meeting with Dr. Manmohan Singh or the External Affairs Minister, but we will persist in our request for a meeting so that we are able to effectively apprise him of the issues,” said Mejindarpal Kaur, UNITED SIKHS director who is leading the legal challenge to the French ban on the Sikh Turban in schools and on ID document photos.

    (more…)

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