Should Gurkha soldiers, who give 17 years to the British Army, and hence the British people, be allowed to apply for British citizenship?
Have a Google around and see some of the examples of the service these people have given to the country.
Gurkhas may get the right to live in UK
LONDON, SEP 15: An urgent review of immigration laws is being done to enable former Gurkhas, who served with the British Army, to be treated as special cases for granting the right to stay in Britain.
The Immigration Minister Beverley Hughes, said that the review by Defence chiefs and Home Office officials and of the Foreign and Commonwealth office has already started and further talks have been planned as well. It may also become possible for them to come back to the country after discharge on the basis of work permit or immigration concessions.
The move has been initiated following an increasing numbers of Nepalese soldiers, part of the British Army since the 19th century, turn to the asylum system to claim naturalisation after their military career ends. All political parties and Army chiefs have been campaigning for long for better treatment of the Gurkhas by Whitehall.
They have been pointing out to the government their exemplary record and tradition while averring that these should be considered when they apply for citizenship. So far only five Gurkhas have been given naturalisation in the past 30 years, including the nephew of Tenzing Norgay.
Anne Widdecombe, Tory MP, who has a large Gurkha detachment in her constituency, has been pleading for their case. Now, Hughes has assured Widdecombe that the current policy is being reviewed for the naturalisation and settlement of Gurkhas.
There are about 35,000 Gurkhas serving with the British Army and retired ones are embroiled with the Ministry of Defence over their demand for the same pay, pension and service conditions as British soldiers. At present they allege that they barely receive a sixth of the pension that British troops are entitled to.
Retired GurkhasThe Gurkhas who retire after 17 years' of service receive a pension of £91 per month as against £623 a month given to British soldiers who retire after 22 years.
Widdecombe said that while many of the 110,000 asylum seekers would be allowed to stay on by default, "we sternly resist the claims of 200 or 250 Gurkhas who have rendered sterling service to this country".
Seven retired Gurkhas have challenged a High Court ruling that the Ministry of Defence had not unlawfully denied them equal pay and pensions. They claim that the denial to treat them equal to the British soldiers is a breach of their human rights.
(Courtesy: Hindustan Times)