KATHMANDU, June 6: As Prime Minister KP Oli prepares to visit Britain next week as part of his visit to three European nations, former British Gurkha veterans have urged him to raise their demand for pay parity during his scheduled meeting with his British counterpart.
While expressing happiness over the visit, agitating Joint Satyagraha Struggle Committee (FGJSSC)-Nepal-UK has said that they hope that the prime minister will raise the issue strongly with the British prime minister and help settle the issue once and for all.
“The visit of Prime Minister of Nepal to UK after a hiatus of 17 years in itself is a time to enhance cordiality between the two countries. We urge both the governments to make our demand an agenda for discussion while utilizing this unique opportunity,” the FGJSSC said in a statement.
While stating that the injustice and inequality that former British Gurkha faced for over 204 years has created hiccups in the relations between Nepal and Britain, the FGJSSC has drawn attention of Prime Minister Oli and his British counterpart to amicably settle the issues through discussions during the meeting. “The discrimination that exists among former British Gurkha must be ended in order to further strengthen the relations [between Nepal and the UK],” it said.
While threatening to obstruct the upcoming Gurkha recruitment if their demand is not met, the FGJSSC has urged both Nepal and UK governments to form high-level dialogue teams and start negotiations to settle the problem on the basis of the recommendations made in March 2018 by a technical committee comprising British and Nepali officials and representatives of the ex-Gurkhas’ organizations.
The FGJSSC has put forth a 4-point demand, which among other things, calls for equal perks and benefits and compensation for the services they were denied as compared to their British counterparts.