Man convicted of attempted murder invited to Trudeau party in India

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) along with his wife Sophie Gregoire (L) and their children Ella-Grace (2L) and son Xavier (3L) pay their respects at the Sikh Shrine Golden temple in Amritsar on February 21, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 23 February 2018
0

Man convicted of attempted murder invited to Trudeau party in India

OTTAWA: A stunning oversight that allowed a man convicted of attempted murder to be invited to a party in India with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is prompting many to say the Trudeau government is too close to Sikh separatists.
Former Cabinet minister Ujjal Dosanjh has long accused his old party of being too friendly to Sikh separatists but said Thursday that the invitation of Jaspal Atwal to a reception was the last straw.
Atwal was convicted of attempting to kill an Indian Cabinet minister in Canada in 1986. He was also charged, but not convicted, in connection with a 1985 attack on Dosanjh, a staunch opponent of the Sikh separatist movement’s push for an independent state of Khalistan.
Trudeau’s office said the invitation was a mistake and was rescinded as soon as Atwal was discovered on the guest list. However, he showed up at a reception earlier in the week in Mumbai and was photographed with Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the prime minister’s wife.
Dosanjh said Canada-India relations have hit “rock bottom.” Dosanjh said he couldn’t believe what he was seeing when he saw the photograph and wondered how the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Trudeau’s office and Canadian officials in India could be blind to it.
Atwal was added to the guest list by British Columbia Liberal party lawmaker Randeep Sarai, one of 14 members of Parliament in India with Trudeau. Sarai has acknowledged he should have used better judgment.
Trudeau’s turbulent trip to India has drawn criticism from the opposition lawmakers and raised eyebrows internationally.
Trudeau had to profess his support for a united India after meeting with the chief minister of Punjab, who had accused the prime minister of appointing Sikh separatists to his Cabinet. And some critics insist Trudeau is being snubbed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even though the two are to meet on Friday.
Modi tweeted Thursday that he is looking forward to meeting Trudeau and that he appreciated “his deep commitment to ties between our two countries.”
But David Mulroney, a prominent former Canadian diplomat, said Modi’s decision to wait five days to meet Trudeau is a deliberate demonstration of his displeasure over Canada’s handling of the Sikh issue.


Steve Bannon planning foundation to boost far right in Europe: report

France's far-right party Front National (FN) president Marine Le Pen (R) applauds former US President advisor Steve Bannon after his speech during the Front National party annual congress, on March 10, 2018 at the Grand Palais in Lille, northern France. (AFP)
Updated 8 min 23 sec ago
0

Steve Bannon planning foundation to boost far right in Europe: report

  • The organization will likely be based out of Brussels initially and has set its sights on the 2019 European parliament elections

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump’s controversial former adviser Steve Bannon plans to set up a foundation in Europe called “The Movement” to spark a populist rightwing revolt, according to a report.
Bannon envisages the organization rivalling George Soros’ Open Foundation, which has given away $32 billion to liberal causes since it was established in 1984, according to the report by the Daily Beast published late Friday.
The non-profit will be a central source of polling, advice on messaging, data targeting, and think-tank research.
He told the Daily Beat he was convinced the coming years will see an end to decades of European integration.
“Right-wing populist nationalism is what will happen. That’s what will govern,” he said. “You’re going to have individual nation states with their own identities, their own borders.”
He added he had held talks with right-wing groups across the continent, from Nigel Farage and members of Marine Le Pen’s Front National (recently renamed Rassemblement National) in the West, to Hungary’s Viktor Orban and the Polish populists in the East.
The organization will likely be based out of Brussels initially and has set its sights on the 2019 European parliament elections.
The architect of Trump’s nationalist-populist campaign and his election victory, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was nicknamed the “Prince of Darkness” and the “Shadow President.”
His economic nationalism became the lynchpin of Trump policies, even as many of his other ideas were rebuffed by policy rivals.
After new Chief of Staff John Kelly arrived, Bannon’s constant clashes with other advisers became untenable, as did his ties to the extreme right, which drew accusations that Trump fostered racists. Bannon left the White House last August.