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British PM voices regret over 1919 India Amritsar massacre

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UK Flags'Financial Implications Of Jallianwala Bagh Apology

Jallianwala Bagh: Theresa May was speaking in the British parliament.

A recently-released researched book "Jallianwala Bagh, 1919 - The Real Story" by author and columnist Kishwar Desai indicated that the British rulers of that time were unnerved by the unrest in Punjab in general, and Amritsar in particular, which led them to do something which could "teach a lesson" to the citizens. "As Her Majesty the Queen said before visiting Jallianwala Bagh in 1997, it is a distressing example of our past history with India", May said on Wednesday.

"We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused", May told the British parliament on Wednesday.

"Something is holding us back fulfilling the full potential of the flourishing relationship (with India) and I do accept that it (Jallianwala Bagh) perhaps grates particularly strongly", the minister said.

Residents here will be organizing events on Saturday (April 13) to commemorate the massacre and pay tribute to hundreds of innocent people killed at the Bagh, which is located close to the holiest of Sikh shrines - "Harmandir Sahib" (popularly known as Golden Temple). May wants to postpone Brexit from April 12 to June 30 for an orderly departure - but the European Union leaders gathered in Brussels for a summit are expected to off er her a longer delay, of up to a year.

A day earlier, on Tuesday, the UK's Foreign Office minister Mark Field had said that while past shameful incidents have to be marked in red, issuing repeated apologies for events in Britain's colonial past could come with financial implications. "I feel little reluctant to make apologies for things that have happened in the past", the minister said.

Field said "We debase the currency of apologies if we make them for many events".

"These issues are an important way of trying to draw a line under the past".

100 years ago, on the 13th April of the year 1919, a crowd gathered at Jallianwala Bagh, in the city of Amritsar, to protest the deportation of two nationalist leaders.

"I have on these matters sort of slightly orthodox view I guess in this regard". "Churchill called it monstrous, David Cameron said it was shameful".

"Importantly, our modern relationship with India is focussed on the future, on pooling our strengths... Yet that does not mean an apology would not be good", notes the letter, initiated by Labour MP Pat McFadden. Further added, "The issue of appropriately marking the somber 100th anniversary remains a work in progress and an active debate was taking place amongst ministers and senior officials".

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