Canada says sorry

Twenty-five years after the Kanishka tragedy that claimed 329 lives, Canadian premier Stephen Harper apologized for the “institutional failings” that led to the Air India bombing and took the first step towards providing compensation to the victims’ families.In an emotional speech marking the 25th anniversary of the attack, Harper said: “The mere fact of the destruction of Air India Flight 182 is the primary evidence that something went very, very wrong. For that, we are sorry... For that, and also for the years during which your legitimate need for answers and, indeed, for empathy, were treated with administrative disdain.” The PM recommended that an independent commission be established to determine appropriate amounts of compensation for the victims’ families. Air India Flight 182, Kanishka plunged into the Atlantic on June 23, 1985, after an explosion in the aircraft killing all 329 people on board. Without naming Khalistan demand by a section of Sikh community in Canada, Harper said that his government was committed to marginalize extremists and would not allow them to use Canadian soil to export terrorism to India. “It is incumbent upon us all ... to carefully and systematically marginalize those extremists who seek to import the battles of India’s past here and then to export them back to that great and forward-looking nation,” he said.

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