UK decision elates British Lahures

Pokhara, October 1:

The British High Court’s decision to provide all ex-Gurkha soldiers the right to settle in Britain has brought happiness among the British Lahure community in Pokhara and other areas.

Before this decision, only the Gurkha soldiers retiring after 1997 had the right to resettle in Britain.

“We will enjoy double celebration during this Dashain,” said Prem Jung Shahi (67), an ex-Gurkha soldier from Siddha VDC in Kaski, who retired in 1968. He also said that his family would now resettle in Britain to ensure better future for his children. “But I will not live there permanently,” an elated Shahi said.

Another ex-Gurkha soldier Nur Prasad Gautam of Bastolatar said he would now go to Britain but would return to Nepal to pass the final days of his life. “I will return to Nepal only after my sons become able to settle there (Britain) permanently,” Gautam said.

“We finally won. Now we have got automatic right to settle in Britain,” said Tika Pun of Lakeside, Pokhara.

Meanwhile, Nepal is expected to lose remittance worth billions of rupees when the ex-Gurkha soldiers leave for Britain. Many ex-Gurkha men, who retired after 1997, have already resettled in Britain.

Hundreds of ex-Gurkha soldiers, who retired before 1997, are also expected to leave the country. There are some 2,000 ex-Gurkha soldiers who retired before 1997.

President of Pokhara Chamber of Commerce and Industries Mankaji Makaju said the flow of remittance to the country would be severely affected after a large number of ex-Gurkha soldiers resettle in Britain. “They have got rights to settle there and they should not be stopped from enjoying their rights. It’s up to them to think of the impact on Nepal of their resettlement in Britain,” he added. He also said that it was the flow of remittance that sustained the national economy during the period of crisis.