Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Gurkhas veterans gain ground

Gurkha troopers on guard at a carpark entrance of Raffles City during the 117th IOC Session. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License. In short: you are free to share and make derivative works of the file under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license identical to this one.by Kathryn Hadley

Last week, Gurkha veterans won an initial battle in their fight for the right for UK residence when the London High Court ruled in favour of five Gurkha veterans and a Gurkha widow, who had condemned the immigration law, which prohibited UK residence to Gurkhas who had retired before July 1997, when the Brigade of Gurkhas base was moved from Hong Kong to the UK.

The majority of foreign soldiers in the British Army are granted the right to settle in the UK following four years service anywhere in the world. Gurkhas who had retired before 1997 were, however, forced to apply for individual visas in order to be permitted to stay in the UK. The judge Mr Blake set the Home Office a deadline of three months to review the specific immigration restrictions which apply to Gurkhas.

The Nepalese Gurkha soldiers form an integral part of the British Army and have fought for Britain for almost 200 years. More than 200,000 Gurkhas notably fought for Britain during the two world wars and have since notably been involved in the Falklands, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Old Photo with Gurkha Soldiers This photo is from the Following its invasion of Nepal, the British East India Company signed a peace treaty in 1815 which notably allowed it to recruit from the ranks of the former enemy. More than 130 years later, following the partition of Nepal in 1947, an agreement was signed between Britain, India and Nepal which provided for the transfer of four Gurkha regiments from the Indian Army into the British Army.

Their recent legal victory is, however, part of a wider campaign for equal rights to British soldiers, which is not over yet. It is hoped that the court ruling will be a first step towards granting UK residence to the 2,000 other veterans who were refused residence as a result of their retirement prior to 1997. The battle continues and will now focus on legislation to ensure that all Gurkha veterans have the same settlement rights as any soldiers in the British Army.

1 comment:

Business e-review said...

yea i heard a lot of them are employed during the WW2!is this true..??

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