Gurkha veterans start fast-unto-death in London

Gurkha veterans stage a fast-unto-death outside British Prime Minister office in London. (File photo/Roy Anthony Brinkley)

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Gurkhas veterans who staged a relay hunger strike in front of the British Prime Minister’s Office in London for the past 17 days demanding an equal pension on par with their British counterparts now have started fast-unto-death.

Gyan Raj Rai, a former Gurkha veteran, shared they were forced to launch fast-unto-death when their demands were not addressed despite repeatedly approaching Nepal and British governments through several mediums. “We resorted for a fast-unto-death when all other alternatives were used”.

In a letter to Coordinator of Gurkha Satyagraha Joint Struggle Committee, Krishna Bahadur Rai, last Saturday, the Nepal government urged them to put off hunger strike noting their demand would be addressed by initiating diplomatic dealing with the British government. However, the agitating side denied the proposal.

Struggle Committee Coordinator Rai said the hunger strike would continue until and unless the British government sends an authorized letter stipulating a date for dialogue.

Various Nepali organizations based in the United Kingdom and British citizens have also demonstrated in solidarity for the hunger strike campaign launched by Gurkhas for justice, coordinator Rai shared.

Representatives of Nepali organizations that were established for the welfare of ex-Gurkha soldiers had called on Nepal’s Ambassador to the UK, Lokdarshan Regmi, to apprise him of the ongoing relay hunger strike last week.

An online petition has also been filed to the British government and Parliament demanding equal pension to Gurkha veterans on par with their British counterparts.