The ex-Gurkha veterans, who had launched a relay hunger strike in front of the office of the British Prime Minister for more than two weeks demanding equal pension pay, have now staged a fast-unto-death.
Gyan Raj Rai, a former Gurkha, who has been participating in the hunger strike, said that they were compelled to launch fast-unto-death as their demands were not addressed despite repeatedly approaching Nepali and British authorities through various mediums. “We resorted to going on a hunger strike as all other alternatives have failed”.
In a letter to Coordinator of Gurkha Satyagraha Joint Struggle Committee, Krishna Bahadur Rai, on last week, the Nepal government had urged them to put off hunger strike assuring that their demand would be addressed through diplomatic channels to the British government. However, the agitating side rejected the proposal. The Struggle Committee Coordinator Rai said the hunger strike would continue until and unless British government sends an authorized letter announcing a date for fresh talk. Former Gurkha veterans, Gyan Raj Rai, Pushpa Ghale and Dhan Bahadur Gurung are sitting for the fast onto death. Various Nepali organizations based in the UK and British citizens have also extended solidarity with the campaign launched by ex-Gurkhas, according to coordinator Rai. Representatives of Nepali organizations that were established for the welfare of ex-Gurkhas had called on Nepal’s Ambassador to the UK, Lokdarshan Regmi to inform regarding the ongoing relay hunger strike last week.