Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ex-Gurkhas submit 111,000 signatures to British PM

KATHMANDU, JUL 12 - Former British Gurkaha soldiers staged protest outside 10 Downing Street in London on Wednesday demanding equal pension and other benefits them that are on a par with their British counterparts. The Gurkha veterans were protesting against the unfair military pensions to Gurkhas who retired before 1995.

The agitating former British Gurkhas submitted one hundred eleven thousand signatures and five-point demand to the British prime minister’s office through, British MP Roberl Buckland, who is also the chairman of All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gurkha.

United British Gurkhas Ex-Servicemen’s Association (UBGEA), the umbrella body of former Gurkhas, had collected the signatures from the British public.

After receiving the demand paper, Buckland said the issue would be taken seriously, said one of the participants.

Gurkhas who retired before 1997 get about a third of the pension received by their British comrades of equivalent rank and years of service. There are 10,000 Gurkha veterans living in the UK, the majority in Hampshire and Berkshire.

A spokesman for the Gurkha Welfare Trust said many of the retired soldiers would return to Nepal if they received the full pension.

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