More than 50 years after they were taken prisoner by the Japanese, the British government has announced an ex gratia payment of ?10,000 for Gurkha soldiers in the British army. The decision came a year after the UK High Court ruled that the ex-POWs should be compensated. British Ambassador to Nepal Keith Bloomfield said, I am delighted with this decision, which I know will be welcomed by many of our ex-servicemen here in Nepal. It is another illustration of the high regard in which both the government and people of the UK hold the Gurkha soldier.
To qualify for this payment the veterans must have been Nepali citizens when the peace treaty between the UK and Japan was signed in 1951. Applications can be made through the site: www.fepow.mod.uk. Padam Gurung, chairman of Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen Organisation (GAESO) said the decision was important for the cause of justice to the British Gurkhas. Now the Gurkhas who were sent home barefeet and are now very old will get some relief.