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Bit of a contraversial one this, but here goes.....
The fact that Gurkhas are taken on under a contract special to them does make it a bit difficult to complain about the pension 'after the fact'. I mean there is no lack of recruits, and they know the conditions before they join..... much better than the ones that join the Indian Army.
That said, they do do the same work and very well too and if they are taken on under the same conditions and contract as everyone else then they should get the same pensions as everyone else.
This could in itself cause problems. At the end of their service Gurkhas return to Nepal with a pension which makes them reasonably well off in that country. There are stories of ex-Gurkhas in hardship, but no more than ex-squaddies sleeping on the streets in the UK.
I'm no economical expert, but I have heard that Gurkhas turning up in Nepal at the end of their service with a full pension would be relatively rich and it would be unstabilizing for the Nepal economy.
I feel this would however be a short term thing however, as the Gurkha units would no longer offer the government the cost effective unit that was the reason that the Gurkah units were retained after Hong Kong was handed back. It was a near thing.
In short, it will be the usual short term 'wants' now leading to loosing out completely later.
Maybe, the Gurkhas who want to settle down in the UK should get the normal pension, and those who go back to Nepal should get less... Just a thought.
Sadly they have no right to citizenship when they leave HM Forces, unlike the Fijians. Given the choice between the two, the little men from Nepal would get my unreserved vote every time, unlike the most of the Fijians who are nothing more than a bunch of ignorant, violent drunks. No, I'm not a racist! I've just had plenty of experience with both Gurkhas and the Fijians. I have nothing but admiration for the former and nothing but contempt for the latter.
You're right about sizeable pensions causing difficulty in Nepal, but what the Gurkhas have at the minute is not considered sizeable, well not by us anyway. What's never mentioned is that many Gurkhas on their return to Nepal, find it difficult to secure employment. There's not much in the way of work in Nepal and employers over there are aware that former Gurkhas are in receipt of a pension. The pension aspect is resented by many, who refuse to employ former Gurkhas because of it.
The Gurkhas also in the main, can only serve 15 yrs with the British Army. This may have changed recently, it's a while since I've had any contact with them.
The current pension I understand, is only marginally more than that secured by Gurkhas in Indian Army service, so as to keep a balance. We pay better and are obviously 1st choice, the Indian Army is next and for those who fail to make either there's the Nepali Army, which is busy getting slotted along with it's corrupt police force, all over the mountain side, by a bunch of better equipped and better armed communists.
Good luck to the Gurkhas, I for one hope that they do win the fight for better pensions. Sadly if they do win, some bean counter will suggest that we should discontinue recruiting them due to the expense and another honourable fighting force will disappear into the anals of history.
I'd dearly love to see them being granted British citizenship, in return for the loyalty they have shown us, but maybe that's just me.
I was under the impression that after 22yrs they had a right to british citizenship, except many returned to nepal and lived in the upper classes because of the strength of the pound, which they earn't here.
But you are right, if there getting****ed on pensions they shoujld complain, good luck to em.
Ma-Sonic you say that Fijians "Are nothing more than a bunch of ignorant, violent drunks"
Having worked with Fijians, Fijian Indians, Samoans, Tongans, Australians, New Zealanders and even Iraqis (amonst a few nationalities I could mention) for the past 3 years I must say that your generalisation about our Island brothers shocked me.
What I found so shocking is the fact that you have omitted the word LAZY from your diatribe. Fijians have been living off the backs of the sub-continent import labour force for the past century, and are bone idle as a result. I don't think that is a racist generalisation either - it is what I have found to be true.
I do believe the British Army had another recruiting drive on the Islands not so long ago. I can only ask why?? when they can get a finer, more honourable class of soldier in Nepal. Give the Ghurkas the same rights as I have earned being a British Soldier - It is not a lot to ask is it ??