The British Gurkha Satyagraha United Struggle Committee started a relay hunger strike before the office of the UK Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street from 1pm on Wednesday after their efforts to challenge the inequality between Gurkha’s pensions and those of former British soldiers who were born in the United Kingdom.
All Gurkha British soldiers who retired before 1997 are being denied an HM’s Armed Forces Pension, one former Gurkha veteran, Dhan Gurung: “207 years of historical discrimination, we try to raise our voices over 30 years, no ones listening.”
Gurkha veterans have been protesting putting forth different demands including an equal pension on a par with their British counterparts.
Earlier on June 16, a protest rally was staged in London to pressure the British government to address demands.
Campaigner Gyan Raj Rai shared that they were forced to stage a hunger strike when their demands were not heeded despite several attempts from their end.
Rai further informed that the relay hunger strike would continue for 13 consecutive days since Wednesday. The hunger strike will be undertaken on a rotation basis with one campaigner in the strike each day, he further clarified.
He added. “Gurkha veterans are not fighting for something we did not earn or deserve. We just want what we are denied by the British government.”
Earlier, the British Ministry of Defense had said that the Nepal government can communicate with the British government to address the grievances of Gurkha veterans.
The British Ambassador in Nepal is in contact with the Minister of Foreign Affairs on a regular basis and should the Nepal government wish to communicate on the matter of Gurkha veteran grievances, they may do so, the Ministry had said in a formal response to a joint letter sent by six Gurkha organizations.