THT 10 YEARS AGO: Report urges UK to address Gurkhas’ plight

Kathmandu, March 23, 2006

A report, “The Gurkhas: The Forgotten Veterans”, released here today by barrister Ian Macdonald QC of the United Kingdom has recommended that the British government take measures to address grievances of the Gurkhas ‘before it is too late.’ “It is recommended that the British Government take immediate steps to ensure that no Gurkha veteran is left a destitute,” the report, prepared by members of a British delegation here and released amid a programme organised by the Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen’s Organisation (GAESO), says. It adds that the Gurkha Welfare Trust is not transparent. According to the report, a Tripartite Agreement between the UK government, India and Nepal, on the recruitment of Gurkhas in the British Army, is outdated and as such it should be replaced. “Our recommendation is that all ex-Gurkha soldiers should be given the option of having an annual pension of an equivalent amount to that payable to British soldiers as set out in the tables prepared by Bryn Davies in his report or a capital sum equal to the cost of providing such annual pension,” it states. An International Commission of Inquiry was set up following a request by GAESO-Nepal to independently investigate the reality of the economic and social condition of Nepali citizens who have served and are still serving in the Brigade of Gurkhas under the Ministry of Defence, UK, and their families.

Government goes slow on IT front

Kathmandu, March 23, 2006

Industry insiders from the field of information technology have criticised the government for turning a deaf ear to the effective advancement of IT sector, despite the formation of the IT policy in 2000. The government has been very slow when it comes to the implementation of IT related policies, particularly in comparison to other countries. Biplav Man Singh, president of Computer Association of Nepal (CAN), said that the government only makes policies but cannot implement them effectively. “We have a Cyber Law. However, we are yet to establish cyber courts for conflict management,” said Singh while speaking at the 12th CAN InfoTech conference which kicked off today at the Birendra International Convention Centre (BICC). Dr Tulsi Giri, vice-chairman of the council of ministers, commented that IT’s development has opened the doors for sound economic prosperity. He said that the government is mostly focusing its work on building infrastructure for ICT. Requesting the private sector to help bolster government initiatives in boosting IT development, Dr Giri said, “There is a reduction in digital divide, thanks to the expansion in telecentres across the country.” Singh said that due to the lack of inter-ministerial coordination, ICT’s development is going backwards.