Gurkhas Soldiers Win Settlement With British, But Nepalese Govt. Concerned

We have often heard about the Sikh regiment in the British and Indian Armies. Recently, the Gurkhas, a South Asian group, who also has made-up a large portion of the British Army, are seeing a U-turn in an earlier policy that did not allow Gurkhas soldiers to settle in Great Britain.

The Tribune reports:

In a U-turn of its earlier policy, Britain is set to allow an estimated 36,000 Gurkhas who served in the British Army before 1997 and their families to settle here, conceding a long-pending demand by the former soldiers.

The home office was forced to take action after a ruling from high court judges in October that the government needed to review its policy on whether the Gurkhas who had served the army before 1997 the year Hong Kong was handed over to China could live in Britain.

However, the Nepalese government is concerned about the loss of so many soldiers and their families along with their army pensions, that they have warned the Home office that, Nepal might scrap the 1947 agreement under which its young men have been recruited each year to serve in the British Army. Since the signing of the agreement, the Nepalese economy has heavily relied on the army income.

Interestingly, the Gurkhas fight is similar to the struggle of Filipino War Veterans who served in the American Army during World War II. Both British and American armies recruited across national lines to serve for national causes, but resist serving their war veterans with national benefits. However, now that the Gurkhas have won the fight with the British, their own home-government is thinking about setting them back. I begin to ask what does it mean to be a national of any country?


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