Ex-Gurkhas halt protests after govt writes to UK

Kathmandu, February 17

Agitating British Gurkha veterans have postponed their protest programmes after the Nepal government wrote to the UK government requesting a review of the Nepal-India-UK tripartite agreement that allowed recruitment of Nepali citizens in British and Indian armies.

Government sources confirmed that the letter was dispatched on February 12 through the embassy of the UK in Kathmandu.

“The government is positive about addressing the Gurkhas’ concerns,” a source said.

The government’s move comes at a time when former British Gurkhas have been staging protests in both Nepal and the UK demanding pay, pension, and other facilities equal to those paid to British nationals.

The former Gurkhas have also demanded that concrete efforts be made towards addressing their demands by forming a high-level dialogue team in line with the ‘Report of The Technical Committee on Gurkha Veterans’.

The tripartite committee’s report, which has documented discrimination faced by British Gurkhas over the years, was submitted to both the governments on 22 March 2018.

Moreover, the Parliamentary International Relations Committee, in the second week of March 2018, had directed the government to form a high-level talks team to hold dialogue with the British government in line with the report.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, during his visit to the UK in June, had proposed that Nepal-India-UK tripartite agreement of 1947 on Gurkha recruitment be revised and a new agreement be signed between Nepal and the UK.

PM Oli had put forth the proposal during his talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May held at her office at 10 Downing Street in London.