Gurkhas win right to retire in UK

Former soldiers from Nepal can retire in UK, Britain's high court rules.

    About 2,000 Gurkhas are affected by the ruling [AFP]

    The Gurkhas gave three cheers for British actress Joanna Lumley, who supported their campaign because her father was a member of the regiment.

    'A great wrong'

    Lumley said: "This day is more important than I can tell you.

    "It gives our country the chance to right a great wrong and to wipe out a national shame."

    People and Power

     

    Nepal's thwarted heroes

    During the hearing, Edward Fitzgerald, the Gurkhas' barrister, said a decision to bar them because they were based in Hong Kong until the territory was returned to China in 1997, was unfair.

    He also rejected government claims that they did not have close links with Britain.

    High court judge Mr Justice Blake ruled that instructions given by Britain's interior office to immigration officials were unlawful and must be changed.

    Renowned for bravery

    After the ruling, Jacqui Smith, Britain's interior minister, said the rules would be rewritten.

    Smith said: "In light of the court's ruling we will revise and publish new guidance. We will honour our commitment to the Gurkhas by reviewing all cases by the end of the year."

    Britain's ministry of defence made no comment on the ruling.

    About 2,000 Gurkhas are affected by the current rules.

    All other foreign soldiers in the British Army are allowed to settle in Britain after four years' service anywhere in the world.

    Gurkhas were first recruited by colonial rulers in India in the 19th century as a "martial race" known for their bravery.

    They have fought for Britain since 1815, most recently in Iraq, Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.