KATHMANDU – A preliminary meeting held on Wednesday on the initiative of the British government in an effort to address the demands of ex-Gurkhas, including equal pension pay. The meeting took place among Defense Minister of the United Kingdom, Ben Wallace and Minister of State for Defense Leo Docherty, Nepali Ambassador to the UK, Lokdarshan Regmi and representatives of the Ex-Gurkha Organization at London-based Nepali Embassy.
According to the Nepali Embassy, the meeting discussed the matter related to the formation of a committee for dialogue between Nepal government with representatives of ex-Gurkha and the UK government to be initiated from coming December as per the previous agreement to address the demands of ex-Gurkhas demands. It also dwelt on other necessary preparation, including the conditions of dialogue committee.
Also present in the meeting were chief coordinator of Gorkha Satyagraha Struggle Committee, Krishna Bahadur Rai, GAESO Chair Krishna Kuamr Rai, BGWS Chair Tikendra Dal Dewan, NESA Chairperson Kesh Bahadur Gurung, Gorkha Pension Injustice group Chair Udaya Bahadur Gurung, Ram Rai, hunger strikers trio, Gyanraj Rai, Pushpa Rana Ghale and Dhan Bahadur Gurung, Gorkhas Satyagraha Spokesperson Judda Bahadur Gurung and Roshan Khanal of Nepali Embassy and Military Attache Ratna Bahadur Godar.
It may be noted that the British government had pledged to initiate dialogue with the Government of Nepal and Gurkhas in order to address the demands. With this assurance last month, the agitating ex-Gurkhas had ended their fast-unto-death. It was agreed to convene a first meeting on September 8 as part of the preparation for dialogue within December.