KATHMANDU POST REPORT
KATHMANDU, April 30 - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's surprise defeat in the parliament on Wednesday comes as a pleasant breeze for Gurkha soldiers, who have been seeking the right to settle in Britain.
The Brown government for the first time suffered a huge defeat as a majority of lawmakers voted in favour of an opposition-introduced motion to give all the Gurkha veterans equal right to settle in Britain.
Krishna Kumar Rai, acting president of Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen's Association (GAESO), said, “It's GAESO's victory. We would like to extend our thanks to the British people, the lawmakers who voted on our behalf and the media for their support.”
According to the British Home Office's new policy, no more than 4,300 ex-Gurkhas were to have the right to settle in Britain and had claimed it would benefit 10,000 Gurkhas with their spouse and children though the High Court had, on September 2008, ruled that all Gurkha soldiers should be given equal right to settle in Britain.
“The House of Commons voted in favour of a motion to allow equal rights of residency in Britain for all Gurkhas. It is a humiliating defeat for the British government with regards to his policy on Gurkha veterans. It puts more pressure on the government to give further concessions to veterans,” Alex McPherson, a British solicitor for GAESO, told the Post.
Urging the British government to extend its debt of honour to all Gurkhas, McPherson said, “If someone is prepared to die for Britain, they deserve the right to live in Britain. The vote in the British parliament is a major victory for the Gurkhas.”
Rai added that the new policy unveiled on Friday had not only humiliated the court but also all the Gurkhas who had put their lives in stake to serve the British. “The Brown government was bound to face such a humiliating fate in the parliament for not upholding the court decision and aspirations of thousands of Gurkha soldiers.”
In the motion, which was introduced by the opposition Liberal Democrats to give rights to all Gurkhas to settle in Britain, 267 lawmakers had voted for the motion while 246 voted against. Surprisingly, 27 MPs from Brown's Labor party voted in favor of the motion.
Posted on: 2009-04-30 19:52:12 (Server Time)
Friday, 1 May 2009
KATHMANDU POST REPORT
Posted by Krajend at 08:25