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Thread: The Gurkhas

  1. #1
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    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)

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  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    bigboab's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +1
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    Originally posted by Billy_Dean@20 October 2003 - 13:08
    Should Gurkha soldiers, who give 17 years to the British Army, and hence the British people, be allowed to apply for British citizenship?

    Simple answer yes.
    The best way to keep a secret:- Tell everyone not to tell anyone.

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    the two things (poor pay and where they live) are linked, apparently the justification is that living in Nepal is so cheap compared to living in Britain. Basically they get the same pay while they stay in Britain, but when they take leave home to Nepal their pay is drastically cut (if its any consolation they probably get free travel). I suppose the pension thing is the same, but they weren't given nationality so they couldn't stay in Britain, the assumption is probably that they'd go back to Nepal and hence get less pension.
    It all seems pretty harsh really.

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    echidna's Avatar Poster
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    i think that they should get citizenship, like the foreign legion does in france. there should be serious fringe benefits for these poor old colonial shit kickers. they are the ones asked to do the deeds too messy for the homeland sourced divisions.

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
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    I believe the Nepali government were always against such a deal. They wanted the soldiers to return with their money and help the Nepali economy.

    When you travel around the Gorkha region of Nepal, you see that a lot, most maybe, of the wealth comes from returned soldiers.

    As ilw pointed out, pay is linked to the cost of living in Nepal. This is shit! To gauge a man's worth by the level of abject poverty in Nepal is wrong. Add to this the fact that his family would have paid to get him in. Even tho the British don't charge, the endemic corruption in Nepal ensures they pay. The family unit there is extended too, with more dependants than the standard western family.



  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Originally posted by Billy_Dean@20 October 2003 - 09:49
    I believe the Nepali government were always against such a deal. They wanted the soldiers to return with their money and help the Nepali economy.

    When you travel around the Gorkha region of Nepal, you see that a lot, most maybe, of the wealth comes from returned soldiers.

    Billy-

    What kinds of numbers are we talking here?

    Soldiers, I mean?
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
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    35,000 Gurkhas are in the British army, 200 to 250 have applied to stay. Obviously, many more would if the law were to change.





  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    The considerations here are manifold:

    Are the Gurkhas motivated to apply for citizenship and re-locate in the U.K. for the sole purpose of securing a higher compensation?

    Is this motivation self-indulgence on the part of these soldiers, or are they "sending money home"?

    Do the amounts of these conpensations constitute an influence great enough to give a long-term boost (i.e. create development) to their home economies?


    Is the U.K. government just being cheap by "conditionalizing" compensation which, by all rights, should be the same for everyone?

    I could go on, but time is short......
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
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    All of the above.

    A few days walking around Gorkha, or any other part of Nepal, and it would become obvious why someone would want to leave for a place like Britain, especially if you had kids.



  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    Originally posted by Billy_Dean@20 October 2003 - 15:49
    To gauge a man's worth by the level of abject poverty in Nepal is wrong.
    I think the point is that with a pension your supposed to be paying for someone to live the rest of their life comfortably, in repayment for their years of service. I just checked out a couple of websites and the estimated average annual income is about 120 quid so 90 quid a month would probably get you quite a lot (though 42% of the population are below the poverty line so comfortably would necessarily be a lot higher than 120 quid a year). It seems harsh that they can't get British residency, but i can see that the counter argument about impoverishing Nepal is also valid.
    I'm not sure which way is better, undoubtedly you would get a significant number of Gurkha's claiming residency and although its not really a big immigration problem for us it may be an emigration problem for Nepal. Its debatable how much of a problem, Nepal's population is larger than i had thought at over 23 million, but it is also very poor. Simply paying the ex-soldiers more and sending them back to Nepal would probably also have unwanted effects in Nepal and apparently (unreliable source) there are already problems with people commiting suicide for failing to get in to the army, massively increasing the wealth of the ex-soldiers living there is unlikely to help.

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