Gurkha veterans postpone fast-unto-death until July 21

People from Gurkha community stage a protest in London. (File photo)

NL Today

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Kathmandu: British Gurkha Satyagraha United Struggle Committee has postponed its hunger strike scheduled to be staged in London until July 21.

In a statement, the committee said that the decision was taken following an assurance from the Nepal government mentioning that it will take a firm step to start a direct table talk with the British government within two weeks to resolve the outstanding Gurkha issues.

The struggle committee had warned of staging a hunger strike in front of 10 Downing Street from July 1 if their demands were not addressed within June last. The committee had submitted an ultimatum letter to the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on May 4 asking for his response by midnight June 30, 2021.

“On June 27, we received a letter of assurance from the Nepal government that a firm step will be taken to start a direct table talk with the British government to resolve the outstanding Gurkha issues. As a result, our hunger strike has been postponed until July 21, 2021,” Krishna Bahadur Rai, chief coordinator of the committee said in the statement.

Rai warned that they will not postpone the strike again if both sides fail to take an action timely. Gurkha veterans are not fighting for something we did not earn or deserve. We just want what we are denied by the British government, 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.”

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 press the British government to address demands.

The committee had appealed to the British people to encourage their government to take the Gurkha issues extremely seriously and hold a government-to-government meeting immediately.

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 UK 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.

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