As several members of the international community continue to comment on the farmers' agitation that has gripped New Delhi for the past ten days, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' spokesperson has said that it was the people's right to demonstrate peacefully and that authorities must allow them to do so.
"People have the right to demonstrate peacefully and authorities need to let them do so," said Stephane Dujarric on Friday, when asked a question about the farmers' protests in India.
Meanwhile, a group of 36 parliamentarians in the UK wrote to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab requesting him to make representations with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar about the impact that the demonstrations have had on British Punjabis.
Earlier, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had come out in support of the farmers protesting in India. During an online event to mark the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, Trudeau had said, “The news coming out of India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning and we are all very worried about family and friends. I know that's a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protest.”
Reacting to the statement, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) labelled Trudeau's comments as "ill-informed" and "unwarranted", while also maintaining that the protests pertained to "the internal affairs of a democratic country". The MEA subsequently summoned the Canadian High Commissioner and stated that the comments made by the PM, some Canadian cabinet ministers, as well as MPs were "an unacceptable interference in our internal affairs". The MEA had added that the comments have encouraged "gatherings of extremist activities" in front of the Indian High Commission and consulates in Canada, raising issues of safety and security.
Having condemned the comments made on the farmers' agitation from several quarters globally, India has now announced that Jaishankar will not participate in a meeting on the Covid situation led by Canada.