Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, has spoke of the values of community, harvest and coming together in a special Vasakhi message shared to coincide with the Sikh festival.

Highlighting why its celebrated and the principles behind it, the Member of Parliament also touched on how the Offensive Weapons Bill has been amended so Sikhs will not be criminalised for purchasing or possessing a knife.

She also referenced the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in her address, and endorsed a push for students to be taught about the tragic event as part of their educational curriculum in the future.

Today we mark the 100th anniversary of the #JallianwalaBaghMassacre and this weekend #Sikhs will be celebrating #Vaisakhi. On behalf of myself and #UKLabour I want to wish you all a very Happy Vaisakhi.

Posted by Preet Kaur Gill MP on Saturday, 13 April 2019

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Read her full message below:

“Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa. Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

“I would like to wish you a very Happy Vaisakhi on behalf of myself and the Labour Party.

“Vaisakhi is a time when our families and communities come together to mark and remember the gifts and blessings given to us by out tenth Guru, Guru Gorbind Singh and we remember and celebrate the Khalsa.

“It is also of course harvest time in Punjab and a reminder of a time of renewal and New Year. It is a time of great celebration and  it reaffirms our principles of justice, defending the rights of others and building a compassionate society for the many, and not the few.

“I’m delighted that the APPG for British Sikhs working cross party secured an amendment to the Offensive Weapons Bill which meant Sikhs will not be criminalised for purchasing or possessing a 50cm kirpan for religious reasons.

“The Vaisakhi also marks the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The senseless murder of hundreds of people in Amritsar by British troops mere weeks after the First World War. As Labour announced in 2017 in government we would issue a state apology. And in opposition we continue to push for that. And push for students across the country to be taught about this tragic event as part of their curriculum.

“Today we celebrate and participate in festivities and strengthen our core values of truth, compassion and service to others embodied by Sikhs across the country. These are values that make our society better, stronger and more tolerant.

“Happy Vaisakhi. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa. Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.”

Public Vaisakhi celebrations take place in Birmingham at Handsworth Park on Saturday 28th April, 2019. For more details, click here.

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