Gurkha Welfare Inquiry session 20th March 1130-1330, 1430-1700
In this session the APPG heard from Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Hamish M. Adams MBE who gave a thorough account of grievances faced by Gurkha soldiers and veterans. He cited numerous reports and evidence supporting his claims which can be heard through listening to the recording or reading the published statement. This summary will only cover some headline points.
Lieutenant Colonel Adams opened by stating his belief that there should be equal treatment for all Gurkha veterans and soldiers with immediate effect to ensure the perception that they are a mercenary army is wiped out. He explained that the Brigade of Gurkhas (BG) has served as part of the British Army performing the same tasks and duties as the other sections yet receiving different remuneration and overall treatment. This meant that whilst serving with their British counterparts Gurkhas were paid significantly less hindering them from enjoying the same standard of life financially and socially.
Colonel Adams explained that the Tripartite agreement is not justicable in British law and consequently the Gurkhas have not been able to use the agreement under which they were recruited into the British army as a means of defending their rights. His statement included reference to the differing rank structure; to the MOD unlawfully taking National Insurance contributions from the Gurkhas; deficiencies in medical care; and various issues in connection with Gurkha pensions. In particular the method by which Gurkha officers were encouraged to transfer to the AFPS was challenged, and again it was highlighted that some 6500 retired Gurkhas receive no pension at all. Colonel Adams later explained that he decided to leave the British army in 1990 after being forced to dismiss a Gurkha officer after he married a non-Nepalese lady and that such behaviour is not consistent with the Race Relations Act.
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