Better late than never
New British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, seems to have demonstrated genuine interest in doing justice to the ex-British Gurkhas at long last. The ex-Gurkhas’ demands — pensions on the scale available to British natives, permanent settlement in the UK and right to compensation — were justifiable, but sidelined under one pretext or the other. Until now, the British government had only made token gestures under pressure from the ex-Gurkhas. For example, the provision granting permanent residency only to those servicemen who retired after 1997 was highly discriminatory and arbitrary. The British government never gave a satisfactory reason for this cutoff date.
In all this, it will be prudent to keep in mind that Brown has only ordered a “review” and much remains to be done to ensure equal rights for the ex-British Gurkhas. The Gurkhas’ fight should not end until they get equal compensation at par with their British counterparts and unless all discriminatory provisions against them are annulled. This fight is not just a matter of monetary compensation, it is also a question of honour for the ex-Gurkhas as well as all Nepalis.
Sandesh Samden, via e-mail
I liked Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay’s article “Federal structure: Administrative units on ethnic basis” (THT, July 5). He has presented a balanced and sober view of things. When status quoists are spreading disinformation and painting doomsday scenarios with regard to restructuring the country, the public needs good judgment of cool-headed persons like Upadhyay.
Mayju Tuladhar, Kathmandu
It was funny to read that the country is going to witness a shortage of currency notes from November. The fact that NRB governor is facing a corruption case at the Special Court should not be allowed to delay the printing of bank notes. A legal provision should be made for situations like this.
Sambhu Nepal, Tinkune
The front page photograph (THT, July 10) of air hostess trainees swimming at the Mahendra Police Health Club reminded me of the unusually hot summer Kathmandu is now witnessing. I don’t keep track of the daily temperatures but the unusual heat this summer might make this July one of the hottest summers recorded so far in the capital. Though I am not a swimming enthusiast, I am considering taking up the sport now. And what a contrast the photo of a woman trying to quench her thirst from a big plastic water jar has made!
Abhaya Sigdel, Sorahkhutte
Jana Andolan II had given Nepalis hope that Nepal would once again be recognised as a Peace Zone. But there has been no let-up in violent activities of various groups. Various Tarai groups are using guns and bombs. The Young Communist League (YCL) continues to resort to physical violence. Unless all such groups agree on peace and political solution, the future of the country looks gloomy. All Nepalis should contribute to curbing violence and promoting peace.
Bidhi Dhital, St. Xavier’s College, Maitighar