Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

News and updates from around the world

Government response to APPG Recommendations on Gurkha Welfare

In October 2014 the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Gurkha Welfare published a report into a range of historic grievances held by Gurkha veterans following the establishment of an Inquiry in 2013 which brought to an end a hunger strike by a Gurkha veteran in the UK. The APPG report made a broad range of recommendations in relation to areas such as Gurkha pensions, adult dependents, medical healthcare in Nepal, Gurkha benefits and allowances and Gurkha communities in Britain.

The government published its response to that report on 29 January 2015.

As part of its response the government has announced that over £900,000 has been awarded to a Gurkha Veterans housing project in the UK. This is in addition to the award of £5 million (£1 million annually) over the next 5 years to the Gurkha Welfare Trust, a charity which provides support to Gurkha veterans, already announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn statement.

The announcement sets out the government’s response to all the recommendations made in the APPG’s report with the exception of one in relation to the disablement pension paid to Gurkhas under the Gurkha Pension Scheme. This is a complex matter for which the government is still considering the APPG’s recommendation and will respond to in due course.

The full report can be read on the Government website.

 

Tickets for the Gurkha 200 Pageant Brigade night to be held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on 8 June 2015 are now available.

The cost of the tickets will be £ 15 and this allows entry for the pageant, a curry supper and drinks.

Please note that the tickets are for members of the serving Bde and their families (children aged 11 and above).

Tickets will be sold by cap badge, and personnel on ERE are to book and pay for their tickets through their parent cap badge.

If you have any questions on this matter do not hesitate to contact Regimental Secretary Bruce McKay – (DII: Gurkhasbde-RegtSec)

230  new recruits have begun their training as Gurkhas at Catterick after passing central selection in Nepal.

The final parade at BG Pokhara on January 3rd was presided over by Maj Gen T R Urch CBE who was the inspecting officer.

The newly selected cadets then headed to Kathmandu for final visits from the family before boarding flights to the UK.

They were welcomed to Manchester airport by members of the Catterick training team and the local and armed forces media.

 

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Photo 3 Recruit Intake 2015

 

The staff of HQ Bde of Gurkhas were welcomed to the Houses of Parliament on Tue 20 January 15 by MP James Gray, Founder and Chairman of All Party Group for the Armed Forces. The 15 representatives of the Brigade of Gurkhas were given a guided tour of the seat of the British Parliament by the Parliament Guide before having the opportunity to talk with MPs; Mr James Gray, Col Robert Alexander Stewart DSO former UN Commander in Bosnia and Mr Robin Walker MP for Worcester, about the future of the Armed Forces and the policy decisions that will affect the Brigade in the coming years. Led by Col BG, Col James Robinson, the HQBG team also visited the Imperial War Museum afterwards to improve their understanding of the conflicts Britain has been involved in over the past 100 years. 

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1. Mass brawl breaks out in Nepal’s parliament as MPs clash over new constitution
A massive fight broke out in Nepal’s national parliament earlier today after opposing political groups clashed over the government’s attempt to push through a new draft of the country’s constitution.

Chairs were thrown and a human barricade had to be formed by security guard’s in the country’s capital Kathmandu, as opposition members tried to stop speaker and member of the ruling UML party, Subash Nemwang, from proposing a vote for a new constitutional draft in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

A number of guards were injured protecting the speaker, as members of the Party of Nepal Maoists and other opposition parties stormed the parliament and threw projectiles at the Mr Newmang.

 

2. Anti-pneumonia vaccine launched in Pokhara

KASKI, JAN 19 – In a bid to reduce under-five mortality, the government has introduced pneumococcal vaccine (PCV-10) to fight pneumonia -12435.html” style=”border-bottom:1px dotted;”> pneumonia for the first time across the country. The programme to administer the vaccine to children free of cost was launched in Pokhara on Sunday chiefly targeting the western region of the country.

While handing over the vaccine to health personnel, Minister for Health and Population Khagraj Adhikari said that the immunisation programme was not only initiated to reduce child mortality rate “but also intended to ensure child rights”.

“The vaccine will be available for free at different medical facilities and vaccine administration centres,” said Secretary Shanta Bahadur Shrestha of the Ministry of Health and Population. “We hope that the vaccine will help achieve our goal of reducing child mortality rate by 2015.”

 

3. Nepal beat Canada by 7 wickets to register 2nd victory

KATHMANDU, JAN 20 – Nepal registered their second successive victory in the ongoing ICC World Cup League Division 2 beating Canada by seven wickets at Wanderers Cricket Ground, in Windhoek, Namibia on Tuesday.

This is the second victory for Nepal after losing to Uganda in their first game and defeating tournament favourite Netherlands in their second match.

Nepali batsmen achieved the target of 115 runs posted by the Canadian side in just 23.1 overs. After losing the toss and being sent to bowl, Nepali Bowlers bundled out the Canadian batsmen for 114 runs in the 49.2 overs, thanks to debutant Karan KC for claiming five wickets.

 

 

Nepal and the Great Power Courtship
No longer treated as a peripheral concern, Nepal is receiving overtures from both China and India.

By Manish Gyawali
January 20, 2015
Nepal’s first King, Prithvi Narayan Shah, is supposed to have remarked that Nepal was like a yam squeezed between two giant boulders – referring to India and China, of course. The implication was that Nepal needs to carefully balance its relations with its two giant and powerful neighbors to achieve its own ends. But later Nepali Kings and regents tended not to heed those words well, and embarked on adventures that drew in the Chinese and the Indians. His son, the ambitious expansionist Bahadur Shah, got into a scuffle with Tibet that eventually drew in the Chinese. By the time that was over, the Chinese were well within Nepal and only 30 kilometers from Kathmandu. However, Nepalese proved formidable, and the Chinese advanced no further. Still, the adventure was a major drain on Nepal’s resources and as a result Bahadur Shah lost a great deal of face and power. He would spend his last days in prison.

Only a few years later, an even greater catastrophe followed for Nepal as it became embroiled in a war with British India that led to its losing about one third of its territory. The first king’s advice appeared to be correct: Nepal would need to carefully calibrate its relations with its giant neighbors and not rush headlong into confronting or provoking any one of them.

Today, however, Nepal finds itself in a unique position. It is being courted by the very powers, India and China, that for so long had treated it as a peripheral concern. What has changed? For one, internal politics within both India and China are now both quite different. This is especially noticeable in India, with the election of the Hindu conservative Bharatiya Janata Party. The Hindu right in India has long emphasized the cultural and religious links that bind the two countries and had always taken pride in Nepal being the only officially Hindu country in the world. That changed with the declaration that the country had become secular in 2008, a change that many Hindu conservatives in both India and Nepal have never really accepted. Indeed, there is a growing movementwithin Nepal to hold a referendum on the issue.

What is at stake for conservative Hindus is not only the issue of official declaration but what they believe to be a sustained attack on the culture and religion of the majority by outside forces under the garb of secularism. There is evidence that in many parts of the country, proselytizing by zealous Christian missionaries is being carried on unchecked. Recent remarks attributed to the British Ambassador to Nepal to ensure the protection of religious converts drew fire from conservative Hindus, who argued that the West was indeed using secularism as a means to promote Christianity.

Gurkha Wing Mandalay (GWM)is celebrating its first birthday since its creation from Gurkha Company Mandalay.

The soldiers and families of Gurkha Wing Mandalay attended a basketball competition and dinner night at the unit’s home base in Brecon to mark the event.

The  Wing provides general training and duties support to HQ Infantry Battle School (IBS) and the Training Divisions as coordinated by the Courses Resource Cell  to ensure the delivery of quality training in accordance with Operational Performance Statement. As a secondary task, it also continues to represent the Army, the Infantry, IBS and GWM to the highest standards within Wales and the local Brecon/Powys community.

The historical accounts suggest that the Gurkhas first came to serve in Brecon in 1974. However, it was not until 12 December 1980 that a Company with a total strength of 85 formed up, to be known as a Gurkha Demonstration Company (GDC) under the old NCO’s Tactical Wing. Ever since the arrival of Gurkhas in Brecon, they have played an important role in the local community and have become an integral part of the society. In recognition of their service to the community the Town Council of Brecon awarded the GDC Honorary Citizenship of Brecon, the first ever the Gurkha soldiers have been honored on 21 November 1985. To mark the occasion, the first parade known as Brecon Freedom Parade was held on 3 May 1986, and the tradition has continued ever since. Towards the beginning of Nineties, all Infantry related promotion qualifying courses began to concentrate and run from Brecon. As a result, additional numbers of soldiers joined the Company to meet the new commitment. When the home base of the Gurkhas moved from Hong Kong to the UK in 1997, a small numbers of families began to join them.  The Company was re-titled as a Gurkha Company (Mandalay) GCM in September 2004 until 09 Jan 2014.

Formation of Gurkha Wing & Wing Birthday: Due to the new structure of Army 2020, Op STADIA was implemented to cut down the figure from 124 to 40 Gurkhas and renamed as Gurkha Wing (Mandalay) on 09 January 2014 commanded by a RGR LE Officer who is also 2nd in Command Training Support Division (TSD) since then the wing is under command of Training Support Division IBS hence the wing HQ is restructured as TSD HQ.

GWM Formation Parade was held on 09 Jan 14 with an honor guard inspected by CO IBS Lt Col Robinson when he presented a new Wing flag to the first Wing Commander Capt Dhalindra KC.

The parade was also held to mark the birth of the Gurkha Wing (Mandalay) which will be celebrated every year on 09 January. To mark this auspicious day; a Wing running trophy will be presented to the Best Rifleman of the year.

Despite the busy commitment, the wing has been continuing with the various activities such as Inter Section competitions namely; Shooting, Cross Country, Volleyball, Football and Basketball. The overall winner section will be announced as the Champion Section, presented with a trophy during the wing birthday.

GWM’s 2IC, Capt Dhalindrabahadur Khatri Chhetri 2 RGR, said:  “Considering the wing’s new challenging roles and responsibility and the year-around activities, it is needless to say that this has been a successful year for the wing as well as for its men. Though tackling with a busy and demanding schedule, the ever-passionate men continues with the challenges in extremely professional manner. Despite the heavy commitment the wing will be organizing Inter sections military and sporting competition and also will continually represent on these events for IBS, Gurkha Bde and the Army every year.”

Jai Gurkha Wing (Mandalay)

 

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Three officers from the Nepalese Embassy in London visited HQBG on Friday to help members of the Brigade with their applications for Machine Readable Passports. The consular spent the day with staff from HQBG checking dozens of passport applications and ensuring that any errors were corrected prior to submission to the passport agency.
All hand written passports should be renewed to Machine Readable Passports (MRP) by 24 November 2015. If the applicant possesses a hand written passport, he/she can apply for an MRP any time before the expiry date.
Babukaji Dongol, one of the embassy delegates, explained some of the common mistakes people have been making:
“Some forms have basic mistakes in them, silly mistakes including wrong dates and things like that, so applicants need to double check their forms.”
“For any serving members of the Brigade it is best to consult the respective HR staff or HQBG who can provide support and make sure you don’t submit something that has glaring errors.”
This is the first time that the Brigade has invited the Embassy to assist with the MRP process, and demonstrates the close links between the two organisations.

 

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