Ex-Gurkhas warn of protests over unmet demandsEx-British Gurkha soldiers have warned of further protests if their concerns are not addressed by governments of Nepal and the UK by the end of October.
Ex-British Gurkha soldiers have warned of further protests if their concerns are not addressed by governments of Nepal and the UK by the end of October.
According to Krishna Bahadur Rai of Gurkha Satyagraha Joint Struggle Committee, talk committee that included members from both the governments submitted a proposal to address the former Gurkha servicemen’s concerns seven months ago, but so far, there has been no updates from either of the government.
The ex-Gurkhas have been demanding the UK government to address issues including the right to live and work in the UK, equal pension and benefit schemes as granted to their British counterparts, compensation and pension guarantee for those who were laid off from the British Army, equal pension rights to Gurkha’s widow and welfare scheme and free medical facilities for ex-Gurkhas in Nepal. One of the major demands of the ex-Gurkhas living in the UK, however, is to get permission for residential rights of their adult children living in Nepal. All these demands have already been tabled to the British government.
Rai said UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel Mark Lancaster proposed a package deal to former Gurkhas, and if the Gurkhas do not accept the package, Lancaster offered resolution through talks by forming high-level committees from the two governments.
But Nepali Ambassador to the UK Durga Bahadur Subedi, who is privy to Lancaster’s proposal, had told the latter that the former Gurkhas would not accept the deal, adding that he had asked the foreign ministers of both the two countries to take initiatives to resolve the issue.
The Gurkhas also met with Prime Minister K P Oli in Kathmandu and shared their concern. In a recent meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May in New York at the margin of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, PM Oli drew the attention of May to the issues of the ex-Gurkhas.