Canadian PM to apologise for rejecting Sikh immigrants in 1914

Ottawa: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will offer a full apology in Parliament next month for a government decision in 1914 to turn away a ship carrying hundreds of South Asian immigrants.

Members of the Sikh Caucus surround Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. AP

Members of the Sikh Caucus surround Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. AP

The Komagata Maru from Hong Kong arrived off Vancouver only to have almost all of its 376 passengers, nearly all Sikhs, denied entry due to immigration laws at the time.

The ship was eventually sent to Calcutta, and least 19 people were killed in a skirmish with British soldiers. Others were jailed.

Former prime minister Stephen Harper apologised at an event in British Columbia in 2008, but members of the Sikh community have long said an apology should be offered formally in Parliament.

Trudeau had pledged to make an apology during his election campaign last year.

Updated Date: Apr 12, 2016 12:03 PM

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