May 18, 2022, Wednesday
२०७९ जेष्ठ ४
1:37:26 pm

GURKHA’S HUNGER STRIKE POSTPONED UNTIL 21 JULY

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London – Agitating British Gurkhas Satyagraha United Struggle Committee (BGSUSC) has decided to postpone its hunger strike planned from July 1 after the Nepal government assured that there would be iniatiation of dialogue with the British government to resolve the outstanding Gurkha issues.

Issuing a press statement on Wednesday, the BGSUSC said its planned hunger strike has been postponed until July 21, 2021. “If there is no action from either side, there will not be another delay or an ultimatum,” reads the press statement.

The Gurkha Satyagraha Sangharsh Samiti said the Gurkha soldiers in the British Army were prejudiced and segregated from day one. They were compensated 1800% – 2000% less in pay and pension compared to any British soldier. “To bring attention to the continued discrimination, Gurkha veteran Gyanraj Rai went on a hunger strike unto death, for 15 days, in 2013. To persuade Rai to end the hunger strike, the British Government promised a thorough investigation of the Gurkha grievances. That ended in a sham,” reads the press statement.

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The agitating British Gurkha ex-servicemen have long been staging protests demanding pension parity and other perks and benefits as compared to their British counterparts. The agitating BGSUSC has demanded that the British government ensure equal pension, free of cost health facilities, residential visa to their children and equal pension to the widows of the British Gurkha servicemen killed in line of duty as compared to their British counterparts.

The United Gurkha Struggle Committee (Gurkha Satyagraha), has lobbied both British and Nepal governments to hold bilateral dialogue to address the ongoing grievances at their earliest convenience. The Nepal government dispatched two diplomatic requests to London, but they were ignored.

They have urged the governments of Nepal and Britain to promptly start dialogue over the Report of Technical Committee that comprises the UK envoy to Nepal, Minister of Defense (UK) and representatives of British Gurkha ex-servicemen associations. They have also asked the Nepal government to recognize the report, introduced on 15 March 2019 by the International Relations Committee of the federal parliament, as a guiding instrument.

They have called for appointing one of the members of International Relations Committee of the federal parliament as the coordinator and a representative of legal professional who has gained expertise through continued engagement in research about the issue of Gurkha servicemen, representative of civil society, and representative of ex-servicemen community as members to resolve their demands once and for all.