CNSUK team meets Kevan Jones, Shadow Minister

News Date : Sep 9, 2013
House Of Commons, London 09/09/2013.

In the run up to the much awaited launching of the CNSUK's policy advocacy report- "BRITISH GURKHA PENSION POLICIES AND EX-GURKHA CAMPAIGNS: A REVIEW" two of the four authors, Dr Chandra Laksamba and Dr Krishna Adhikari, met with Kevan Jones, MP, at his Parliamentary Office at the House of Commons. Kevan Jones is the 'Shadow Minister for the Armed Forces and Commonwealth War Graves Commissioner'.

CNSUK's representatives presented some of the findings and way forward as suggested in the report. They asked Mr Jones, who was in October 2008 appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Veterans at the Ministry of Defence (during Labour's term in office), to look into the matter of Gurkha pension through a fresh perspective as the ground has shifted with policy changes in the recent years. Asking to help make it a high policy agenda, Mr Jones was urged to see the Gurkha issues from the lenses of Human Rights and Equality than the old 'legal' and 'fair' ideas linked to Nepal's living standard. The team also highlighted that there were more myths than realities with regard to cost implications of the proposed changes, and that recognizing and addressing grievances out there should become urgent priority.

Left to right: Dr Krishna Adhikari, Mr Kevan Jones (MP), and Dr Chandra Adhikari

Present in the meeting was also Cllr. Alex Crawford, ex-Mayor of Rushmoor who also emphasized the need to respect Gurkha's rights and dignity by providing them what they entitled than keeping them in hand-out.

Mr Jones, in principle, expressed agreement to some of the points raised, and promised to read the full report and respond accordingly. He also raised some practical issues. The meeting took place informally at a friendly environment.

The advocacy report has now been finalised and is being printed in a book form. CNSUK is considering to launch the report in early October both in London and Kathmandu.

Considering the growing complacency of policy makers both in the UK and in Nepal, on some of the genuine issues of Gurkhas, particularly, inequality of pensions and welfare, CNSUK has produced an 'independent report' on Gurkha pension as this is becoming an ignored policy dimension. The contributors of the report are: Dr Chandara Laksamba, Dr Krishna Adhikari, Mr Lokendra Dhakal and Prof. David Gellner.

CNSUK will shortly announce the details of the launching of the report. Please visit www.cnsuk.org.uk for the announcements. The findings of the report will be made public in its launching programme. The report which is 124 pages of a A5 size book will be available with a minimum contribution of £2.00 once the launching has been completed.

Report: KA