MoD Screws the Ghurkas again!

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Gas Gas Gas, Aug 21, 2002.

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  1. A few years ago the MoD made a one off payment of £10,000 to the surviving Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOWs).  This was in lieu of any compensation from the Japanese themselves.  However, those Ghurkas who were also held by the Japs were excluded.  The 300 or so left have been told that they were serving the Indian Army and not the British.  As their solicitor pointed out they were recruited by the British, commanded by British Officers, fought along side British Army units under the command of British Generals.  

    Whilst these Ghurkas may have been part of the Indian Army it was really the British Indian Army.  It would appear that the caring Blair government is quite happy for the MoD to go to court to deny a payment of about £3million.  Knowing MoD logic they are probably willing to pay the same amount in legal costs rather than have good PR and do the right thing.
     
  2. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Very dodgy ground here.  Apart from the case being run by the Wicked Witch (enough to get me anti to start with) there is one major problem.
    The Indian Army in WW2 was the biggest all-volunteer Army ever, in the history of the World; no conscription, just volunteers.  Gurkhas were then, and until 1947 I believe, part of it.  After independance, some Regiments joined the British Army, and most joined the Indian Army.  
    Basically, if we pay compo to Gurkhas treated aboominably by the Nips, then we will be open to claims from many, many more Indian Army soldiers who were treated equally poorly.  We just can't afford it.  

    Japan, however, is a very rich country indeed....
     
  3. Careful what you read in the papers GGG, if the wicked witch is involved she has got a large spin machine on her side!! :-/ :-/
     
  4. The involvement of the Wicked Witch does bother me.  But who knows, she could actually be on the side of the angels for once.
     
  5. I'm probably very wrong here, but from the article I read on this I understood there were two armies in India pre independance. The British Army in India, and the Indian Army (Which was still trained and led by the British in the main but was made up of Indian troops) according to the article there were Ghurkas serving with both, the British Ghurka regiments and the Indian Ghurka regiments (I know they are all nepalese but you get my drift!).

    A further complication is surely the fact that India didn't gain independence until 1947 (I think) so surely regardless which army they actually served with they were ALL acting under the orders of the (British) crown

    The reason the MOD alledgedly gave for not paying the Ghurkas was that the Japs had made a payment of about £75 to all ex british prisoners in the fifties as part of some deal hammered out, the Ghurkas were not included in this payment/deal adn the MOD claims that one of the qualifications for getting the £10000 was that you received a £75 payment from the deal in the fifties.

    However this is all academic because as OldSnowy quite rightly pointed out, Japan is a very rich nation and it wasn't us who, starved, beat and tortured prisoners of war.