Saturday, 22 March 2008

Give OUR Gurkhas British citizenship petition.

Last year I posted several times on the subject of our Gurkhas and the appalling treatment handed out to them by the British Government. It started with the pitiful story of the government's refusal to allow VC hero Tul Bahadur Pun to come to Britain for desperately needed health care. Eventually Mr Pun was allowed to come to Britain, but only after massive pressure from the general public.

In March last year I posted the following:

The Ministry of Defence is to pay ex-Gurkhas the same pensions as British soldiers. Ex-Gurkhas Currently receive just a sixth of the average army pension (£984 a year) and many ex-Gurkhas say they are left destitute. The new pension deal will not apply to Nepalese soldiers who retired before July 1997, leaving many disappointed. Padam Bahadur Gurung, President of the Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen's Organisation, said: "This is good news for serving Gurkhas, but not for the Gurkhas who fought in the Second World War and the Falklands. "There are currently about 3,500 Gurkhas serving in the Army and close to 20,000 former soldiers living in Britain and Nepal.
Every single day in this country 2,000 immigrants are given national insurance numbers.

Later came this story:

Yet another Gurkha hero, L/Cpl Gyanendra Rai, has been denied entry to Britain because he: "did not have strong ties to the UK". L/Cpl Rai was badly wounded during the Falklands War and discharged from the service on medical grounds. Members of the British Armed Forces receive a tax free medical pension if they have to leave the service on medical grounds. L/Cpl Rai served in the British Army but does not get a medical pension because he is a Gurkha. In fact he doesn't even receive a basic pension because he only served 13 years of the 15 required to qualify for the one sixth of a basic Army pension that Gurkhas receive.
During this week's PMQs Nick Clegg asked Brown: "Can you explain to the Gurkhas why on earth you believe that Gurkhas who served in the Army after 1997 are worthy of British citizenship but those who served before that date should be deported?".

Gordon replied: "Now why is the date 1997? It's the date that the Gurkhas - once based in Hong Kong - moved to be based in Britain. "And that's why we are honouring the promises we made for the period after 1997."

What a total and utter load of rubbish. Prior to the 1997 Handover of Hong Kong to China, the region was a Crown Colony, and those Gurkhas based there were serving in the British Army.

It is well beyond time to recognise loyal service to Britain, with equally loyal treatment of those who have served.

There is a petition asking the Prime Minister to give all Ex Gurkha soldiers and their families who have served our country British citizenship on leaving the service.

To sign the petition click HERE.

3 comments:

curly15 said...

It seems absurd to open our doors to criminals yet slam them closed in the face of the Gurkhas!

Daily Referendum said...

Curly,

They've got to sort this out. I can't see how they can ignore it.

Pablo the Scot said...

This is truly a stain on our Nation's honour, but expecting the ramshackle mob of military haters who are currently running the country to fix it is a step too far.

The Gurkhas are the Bravest of the Brave, the Truest of the True, never has a nation had true friends than these. They serve our country out of bonds as old as time, putting their lives on the line to preserve our principles and values. How on earth can service in the some of the most famous Regiments in the British Army NOT demonstarte exceptional connections to the UK?