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British Gurkhas threaten legal action for their rights


The British Gurkha Satyagraha United Struggle Committee UK-Nepal has warned that it will be compelled to move with various diplomatic and legal actions if the demands put forth by the British Gurkhas continue to be ignored.

"Our pay, perks, and other benefits were 1,000 times less than the British counterparts.

We have been serving the British Crown for the last 206 years, but we have been victimized from day-1 of our enlistment.

Such an act by the British government is inhuman, shameful, and intolerable to all dignified people and countries of the world," read a press release issued by the committee.

"The friendly relationship between Nepal and Britain has been strained for this reason. If Britain wants to maintain its relationship with Nepal, it should address the genuine grievances of Gurkhas without delay," it added. The committee said that it had been struggling to obtain equal and genuine rights for the last three decades.

A joint technical report was submitted on 22 March 2018, and along with these, the Government of Nepal had also sent a requisition letter for dialogue to the British government on 12 February 2020. "But unfortunately, the UK government hasn't taken it into account and has not initiated further steps to address the genuine request of the sovereign country of Nepal.

Such discrimination is very disgraceful and inhuman to the Gurkha soldiers who fought on the frontline in the interest of Britain. It is against international laws," read the release signed by LB Ghising, the committee coordinator.

"If they choose to keep on ignoring this issue, we have no other alternative except to carry out various diplomatic and legal actions. They have been betraying and exploiting the British Gurkhas, especially on the pension issue for those who joined before 30 September 1993. There is an urgent and dire need to address the issues on both the Gurkha Pension Scheme and the Armed Forces Pension Scheme, 1975. The whole world is aware that the Gurkhas have been discriminated with regard to their pay, perks, pensions, and other benefits ever since they joined the army," the committee warned.

The committee said it was considering submitting an ultimatum to the UK government in early May. If both governments ignore it again, the Gurkhas will be compelled to seek the assistance of international lawyers for further action.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 7, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.

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