Indian nationalists piling into Australia


The Canadian-Indian strife is on he move again. Australia is involved:

Information shared by members of an intelligence-sharing alliance was part of what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used to make public allegations of the Indian government’s possible involvement in the assassination of a Sikh Canadian, a US diplomat said.

“There was shared intelligence among ‘Five Eyes’ partners that helped lead Canada to (make) the statements that the prime minister made,” US Ambassador David Cohen told Canadian CTV News network.

CTV News released some of Cohen’s comments late on Friday, and the network said that it would air the full interview with the US envoy on Sunday (Monday AEST).

Is Australia next?

…one of the Khalistan [Skih seperatist] movement’s leaders, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, said peaceful protests in Australia had been disrupted, quasi-referendums had been blocked and demonstrators had been intimidated by Indian government supporters in Australia.

“Australia is the next target for Indian agents,” he said.

Asked about the claims by Pannun, the Indian High Commission in Canberra said it had nothing further to add to the statement issued by New Delhi.

In May, Blacktown City Council cancelled a Khalistan event over security concerns. Indian government supporters had earlier claimed that a Hindu temple in Rosehill had been vandalised with anti-Indian messages.

They alleged they had been attacked by pro-Khalistan supporters who had put up posters with “wanted” signs for Indian diplomats. Khalistan freedom rally posters had also been plastered with “Kill India” signs.

Australia has an excellent record of containing diaspora strife. The modus operandi of police and security officials to play down scandals, play up multiculturalism, and keep strong links with the diaspora has worked very well. It is peculiarly pragmatic Australiana in action.

However, the trend is not our friend. The Economist:


For Rory Cormac of the University of Nottingham in Britain, the shooting in Canada is evidence of a weakening of international norms against assassination: “With every high-profile killing the taboo erodes a bit,” he says. He cites two reasons: authoritarian regimes “are becoming more brazen” in challenging liberal norms; and democracies’ resort to targeted killings has “emboldened other states”. Other factors, such as ease of travel and drones that make possible long-distance surveillance and strikes, probably worsen the problem. Over the years America has killed thousands of suspected jihadists—and many civilians, too—with drones.

“Assassination has never changed the history of the world,” the British politician Benjamin Disraeli remarked, after Abraham Lincoln’s killing. Yet some murders can have a dramatic impact. A bullet fired by a Serbian nationalist, killing Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914, detonated the first world war. And assassination risks retaliation: both Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, the former America secretary of state and national security adviser respectively, have been the targets of an alleged Iranian assassination plot. In Britain the country’s domestic-intelligence service, mi5, says Iran has “ambitions to kidnap or even kill British or uk-based individuals perceived as enemies of the regime”.

…India could well argue—as government-friendly newspapers do—that Mr Nijjar’s killing falls within the West’s ideas of counter-terrorism. Sikh separatism has led to past bloodshed, not least the assassination in 1984 of the prime minister, Indira Gandhi, and the bombing the following year of an Air India jet flying from Montreal to London. Though much abated, Sikh violence could flare up again. India claims Mr Nijjar was involved in violent activity, and offered a reward for his capture. In its view, the West’s refusal to clamp down on Sikh separatists poses a menace. The government, though, prefers to say it has nothing to do with Mr Nijjar’s death. As for law enforcement, co-operation becomes harder the more India chips away at democratic liberties.

Developing a long arm for covert operations is not easy. It requires resources and know-how to track a target, organise a hit and avoid arrest. India’s spooks may think they are emulating those of America and Israel as the necessarily harsh defenders of democracy. Some talk of the “Israelification” of India’s foreign-intelligence service, the Research and Analysis Wing (raw). But if it is seen to turn from mitigating clear security threats to bumping off political foes, raw will become the shadowy outward face of repression at home, akin to Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s spooks. Assassinations can do much to alert the world to the brutality of the regimes ordering them.

During the Chinese “silent invasion” of 2012-2017, Australia was flooded with CCP agents of influence culminating in mass scandal and collapsing relations. It would be naive to think that India is not next on the list given Albo’s great embrace.

At least this time we share a topline belief in democracy.

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.