The Gurkhas have been perpetually shedding a river of blood, sweat and tear for Britain and its people for the last two-centuries. Having said that we have been glaringly discriminated against. Immediately after every dreadful war, including the devastating Second World War, Britain ruthlessly demobilised tens of thousands of Gurkhas empty handed and bare footed. They were given hardly enough money to get to their homes.
With the passage of time, thousands of these starved in the rugged, remote and hilly villages of Nepal and thousands passed away for not being able to afford just basic medicines and treatments; their offspring have been malnourished and play with cattle in shabby clothes in high pasture land at the time of schooling. Further, thousands have been loosing their priceless lives in the Gulf countries in doing dangerous and insecure jobs as well as bound to tolerate enormous amount of suffering, anguish and neglect just to earn less than £100 a month.
Therefore, we have been campaigning for the last two-decades to end the existing serious discriminations once and for all. And during those two-decades, we did everything we could both in Nepal and Britain to get addressed our long-overdue grievances. Ironically, Britain hasn’t addressed them; why it has long been remained a mindboggling million dollar question!
Having been left with no option, we resorted to a relay hunger strike in the name of the 13 Gurkha VCs on 25 October 2013 which ended at 1pm on 7 November. Unfortunately, during that time too, we didn’t hear anything from the British government. Therefore, as declared before, we have commenced a hunger-strike-unto-death on the same day. The hunger strikers are: Mr Gyanraj Rai (Gurkha veteran), Dr David O’ Halloran (retired medical doctor) and Ms Bobbie Wason (senior human right activist).
Our five-point demands are as follows:
- Equal Pension (including retrospective)
- Preserved Pension for the redundant
- Settlement Right in the UK for Adult Gurkha Children
- 100% Free of Charge Medical Facilities in Nepal for the Gurkha Pensioners
Special Appeal To The British Veterans
We have been cohorts for the last two-centuries as we fought numerous devastating local, regional and even world wars together across the world. Both you and we have been shedding an immense amount of blood, sweat and tear for the defence and prosperity of this great country and the people. During that long saga and romance, we have tolerated a lot of dreadful as well as emotional moments especially during the attacks, skirmishes and confrontation with enemies in various battle fields. On many occasions, we have saved your priceless lives and vice versa. A loyal and brave Gurkha gave his life to save Dr David O’ Halloran when the latter was discharging his duty in South Africa and now he is sacrificing for the great cause of the Gurkhas.
Ironically, we are now at critical juncture. We have been unceasingly campaigning for the last two-decades for equality, justice and respect; however, that haven’t been brought off yet. As we ran out of options, we resorted to a relay hunger strike and on 7 November 2013 embarked upon hunger-strike-unto-death. Therefore, dear comrade-in-arms, we are in dire need of your support, help and suggestions to end the age-old serious discriminations against us once and for all.
This is not only our problem; this is a burning problem of the entire humanity of today. We can never imagine peace and prosperity in the world by perpetuating discriminations of any forms.
Finally, the British government should imbibe, inter alia, the norms and values of the current world. It means it must respect its loyal and bravest of the brave Gurkhas by treating absolutely equally.
For the last two-centuries, the Gurkhas immensely sacrificed themselves for the British Crown and its people and will be keep sacrificing in the future; sadly this time they are, with a compulsion, fully prepared to sacrifice their own lives for their own cause.
We are organising another glorious, historical mass meeting on 19 November 2013 at King George V Statue at 11am sharp. Please join and support us.
For further details please contact:
Dr Ram Narayan Kandangwa
Gurkha Satyagraha, London
United Struggle Committee
Phone: 07446 886089
Posted by Ret Major Surya Prasad Upadhaya