The Gurkha Satyagraha Joint Struggle Committee held a relay strike in London from 1pm on Wednesday, saying the UK has ignored their demands. The agitating committee held a relay fast in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in London demanding equal pension and other rights.
Krishna Bahadur Rai, chief coordinator of the committee, informed that a 13-day relay fast will be held in the name of 13 VCs and then a hunger strike. Gurkha engineers Gyan Raj Rai, Dhan Gurung and Pushpa Rana Ghale have agreed to go on a hunger strike. Former Gurkhas have been claiming that the current movement will be decisive.
Earlier, the government had sent a letter to the committee informing it that it was taking initiative to hold direct talks with the British government to resolve the Gurkha issue. The committee had postponed the hunger strike from July 1 for three weeks.
As the committee prepares to go on a hunger strike, saying the UK has ignored its demands, the Gurkha Ex-Servicemen’s Association (GESO) and the British Gurkha Welfare Society (BGWS) have issued a statement urging the issue to be resolved through talks instead of a hunger strike.
During a discussion on the Gurkha issue at the Nepalese Embassy in London on Sunday, Ambassador Lokdarshan Regmi said that the Government of Nepal was taking initiative to resolve the issue and suggested not to go on a hunger strike. Gesso has previously protested against the fast, saying it would erode trust and prestige for the Gorkhas.
Coordinator Rai, on the other hand, said that all the five Gurkha organizations were in one place except one group of Gesso. “We have spent 32 years talking about diplomatic initiatives and negotiations. How long will have to wait? ‘He asked.