Mayor's Temple Visit

November 16, 2008

Author: Glenda Luymes

Source: The Province

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts put aside past conflict and visited the Dasmesh Darbar temple Thursday evening for a celebration honouring the birthday of a notable Sikh guru.

The temple was at the centre of a political controversy earlier this year, when its leaders decided not to prevent participants in Surrey's Vaisakhi parade from displaying images of "martyrs" linked to terrorist groups in India. As a result, Watts boycotted the parade's formal events.

During the April parade, large placards displayed outside the temple honoured the assassins of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and two killers known as Jinda and Sukha, who gunned down a retired Indian army general in 1986.

Some parade attendees told The Province they felt it was an opportunity to honour the men who fought against Sikh oppression by the Indian government.

When asked about her involvement in the birthday celebrations Thursday evening, the mayor said that she was at the temple to celebrate with the community.