Sunday, April 26, 2009

Britain Betrays Its Gurkha soldiers - And Itself

What kind of country invites thousands of its avowed enemies to come and settle at the public expense while tossing its heroes out of the country? Welcome to the UK.

The Gurkhas are some of Britain's most valiant fighters. Hill tribesmen from Nepal and the Himalayas, they've been an elite and feared British force to be reckoned with from the deserts of the Middle East to the Falklands. And now they've been betrayed by the country they were willing to die for:

Thousands of Gurkhas were yesterday shut out of the UK in what was described as 'shameful betrayal' by the Government.

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas claimed changes in the rules would allow 4,300 more former Gurkhas to settle here out of the 36,000 who served in the British Army before July 1997.

But lawyers battling for the Gurkhas said they believed only around 100 would benefit.

Hundreds of former rank-and-file soldiers will face deportation while thousands more will be barred from entering the country.

Under the new rules, former Gurkhas must prove they have either served more than 20 years or have won one of the top four medals for gallantry: the Victoria Cross; the Distinguished Service Order; the Distinguished Conduct Medal; or the Military Cross.

They can also claim residency if they can prove they have lived in Britain legally for a minimum of three years, have close family ties or have a chronic medical condition which was caused or aggravated by their Army service. {..}

The Home Office was ordered to review its immigration policy on Gurkhas last year by a High Court judge who ruled that its old guidelines were unfair and unlawful after a long and bitter battle.

Under the previous rules, Gurkhas who retired before 1997 had to prove they had 'strong ties' to Britain and thousands were rejected, including Victoria Cross holders.

For starters, moat of the rank and file soldiers were only ever allowed to serve a maximum of fifteen years - only officers were allowed to serve twenty. Many of the others are living in poverty in Nepal or places like Hong Kong and simply won't be allowed in...this at a time when Britain is letting in thousands of Muslims who live on the dole, want to impose sharia and are working to make the UK part of dar Islam.

The picture above shows Victoria Cross winners Honorary Lieutenant Tul Bahadur Pun (bottom left) and Honorary Sergeant Lachiman Gurung (bottom right), along with actress Joanna Lumley( Patsy from AbFab) outside the Houses of Parliament in London. She's there because her father served with the Gurkhas, she has a sense of honor and gratitude and she's not about to let her father's war comrades down.

Oddly enough, Shakespeare, an Englishman had the best take on it, in Henry V - "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother; be ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed, Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhood's cheap whiles any speaks, That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."

We still honor that fine sentiment in America.Here in the US, over 260,000 foreign nationals have earned their citizenship serving in our military since 1996, and they get the same pay, benefits and pensions any other veteran gets.No American government would dare single them out for discrimination, because the rest of us wouldn't stand for it.

But Britain's government has turned its back on its heros , to its disgrace. When a nation loses its honor to that degree, there's not much left to say.

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