Gurkhas that served in World War II finally honoured but ..


In November 2003 the British government decided to pay £10,000 ($17,000) to each of its soldiers who were interned in Japanese prisoner-of-war camps during World War II.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4554870.stm 

 
Captain Peter O'Neal, centre, with his regiment

Wartime records held by Captain O’Neal (c) helped hundreds of Gurkhas
 
Comment: Full credit where credit is due to Mrs O’Neal’s honesty and forthrightness in taking action once the injustice was realised, albeit, by sheer providence.
 
Although on one hand we may say ‘better late than never’ but the sum awarded, although deemed a fortune in Nepali terms, is quite derisory given that it came 60 years too late for many and equates to only a meagre few hundred pounds then with compounded interest and inflation accounting would have grown to £10,000.00 sixty years later.
 
Given that Gurkhas have fought for Britain (second to none) for almost 200 years, and are an integral part of the British Army and that without the 2 million frontline Indians the World War II, most certinly, would not have been won and that the British Government is playing a lead role in ‘Making Global Poverty – History’ by writting off billions of pounds of owed debt – should such fearless & loyal soldiers and public servants as the World famous and revered Gurkhas be grateful for the small mercies?
 
In my view the Gurkhas – rather than being valued for their sacrifice which even to the day it continues – are actually denigrated by the Government in the UK.
 
This is what I mean by persiting discrimination.
 
I feel that the true measure of any so-called civilisation or of any so-called democratic government is not how it treats its privileged but how it goes about dismentling the economic, social & environmental fetters inherited by its under-privileged subjects and sevants.
 
To further subject such loyal and fearless but polite and discerning soldiers to such unjust, unfair, inequal and degrading and insulting treatment  really beggars belief.
 
But then there was some comeuppance in the form of our Parliamentary Ombudsman. See the link below:
 
Diana Elias and family members, who were later interned

A High Court ruling found that the scheme was discriminatory
 
 

‘Insult’

One of the former PoWs affected, Professor Jack Hayward, said he felt insulted when he was told he was ineligible.

 

The MoD had argued its policy did not discriminate on grounds of race, but was a "proportionate as well as rational" means of identifying those who should receive awards.

 

Comment: Tell me another!

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Filed under PERSISTING DISCRIMINATION AFFECTS SOCIAL TRUST

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