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pdf27
05-25-2007, 04:35 PM
His courage in the face of almost certain death earned him the Victoria Cross.

Tul Bahadur Pun single-handedly stormed Japanese machine-gun positions during the Second World War.

The Gurkha's extraordinary act of valour won him royal admirers and he was invited to the Queen's Coronation and had tea with the Queen Mother.

Old soldier: 84-year old Tul Bahadur Pun, who earned his VC in Burma on June 23, 1944, after almost all his comrades were wiped out, is being denied entry

Yet, despite his illustrious record, his application to live in Britain has been refused.

The old soldier was told: "You have failed to demonstrate that you have strong ties with the UK."

Lawyers acting for Mr Pun, 84, along with 2,000 former Gurkhas, will appeal before the immigration courts in London in August.

Mr Pun, who has a number of serious health problems, must hope he can survive the intervening months in his home in Nepal.

He has a heart condition, poor eyesight, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and he requires daily medication – which is not always available where he lives.

Mr Pun, who receives a 132-amonth Army pension, wants to move here because of his health.

However, among the reasons officials gave for refusing his plea was that he had "not produced satisfactory evidence" that he had a "chronic or long-term medical condition", and that treatment here would significantly improve his quality of life.

"I have served the UK with the utmost loyalty and to be treated in this way is appalling," he said.

"I take a substantial amount of medication daily. There is not always a constant supply.

"There are no doctors or nurses, no medical outposts.

"I wish to settle in the UK to have better access to medication, care and support."

He has to travel from his mountain home to the Gurkha camp at Pokhara once a month to collect his pension.

It involves a day's walk and he has to be carried in a basket by several men.

Mr Pun earned his VC in Burma on June 23, 1944, after almost all his comrades were wiped out. He seized a Bren Gun and, firing from the hip and running through ankle-deep mud, he ignored Japanese fire to storm machine gun positions.

His official citation read: "His outstanding courage and superb gallantry in the face of odds which meant almost certain death were most inspiring and beyond praise."

His Ealing-based solicitor Martin Howe said former Gurkhas such as Mr Pun have to show "strong reasons" – which can include medical needs and family ties – why they should be allowed into the UK.

He criticised Government officials in Nepal for being "too formulaic" in their approach. "They don't take into account the dignity and valour of these people," he added.

"This man was prepared to lay down his life in defence of Britain."

In Burma the Gurkhas fought with the special forces group known as the Chindits. Major Neville Hogan, chairman of the Chindits Old Comrades Association, said: "I can't think of a braver soldier who served the British Crown. I have met him three or four times.

"The decision to refuse him entry is an absolute bloody disgrace. He should be sent to an army hospital or a home and given VIP treatment."

The Home Office said an independent immigration judge had powers of discretion on appeals from applicants such as Mr Pun.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23397952-details/VC+hero+Gurkha+banned+from+living+in+Britain+'beca use+he+has+no+strong+ties+with+UK'/article.do



Can those of you who live in the UK please write to your MPs and get this decision reversed. It is absolutely disgraceful for a decision like this to be made.

Firefly
05-25-2007, 05:45 PM
Brave bloke. No doubt. But why would he want to come to the UK to live? I presume he has never set foot here before? Maybe I'm wrong. I have nothing but sympathy for guys who have fought for the UK in the past and their shoddy treatment.

I just dont understand why an 84 year old guy would want to come to the UK?

Being a Devils Advocate here, and only that as I have served with Ghurkas, I know that they know what they are getting into when they join.

pdf27
05-25-2007, 05:50 PM
But why would he want to come to the UK to live? I presume he has never set foot here before? Maybe I'm wrong.
AIUI he was posted here twice with the British Army postwar (he appears to have served a total of about 18 years, from roughly 1940ish to 1960ish).

The reason given for rejecting his application was that he had "failed to demonstrate strong ties to the UK". I would suggest that serving in the British Army for so long - and winning the VC in the process - is as strong a tie as you are ever likely to see. IMHO as always.

BDL
05-26-2007, 02:59 AM
Brave bloke. No doubt. But why would he want to come to the UK to live? I presume he has never set foot here before? Maybe I'm wrong. I have nothing but sympathy for guys who have fought for the UK in the past and their shoddy treatment.

I just dont understand why an 84 year old guy would want to come to the UK?

Being a Devils Advocate here, and only that as I have served with Ghurkas, I know that they know what they are getting into when they join.

I believe we could offer far better medical treatment for his various ailments than he could ever hope to get in Nepal.

To be honest though, that's not really the point - if a foreign VC winner wants to come and live in this country the only thing they should get from either the FCO or the Home Office is a phone call asking what flight they want to be booked first class on and will they need any help with their bags when they land?

Letter's already gone to my MP.

BDL
05-26-2007, 03:59 AM
There is a petition on the Downing Street site linked to this, demanding that all ex-Gurkhas and their families should be offered British citizenship - Petition (http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/gurkhas-rights/)

If you are from the UK, you can contact your MP through theyworkforyou.com (http://www.theyworkforyou.com/) Enter your post code in the box provided and it'll bring your MP's page up.

These lads have been shat on for years by successive British governments and their treatment really is a national disgrace.

Firefly
05-26-2007, 10:25 AM
Personally I would like to see all foreign nationals in the British forces given automatic UK citizenship after say a period of 6 years service. Works for the US, should work for us.

pdf27
05-26-2007, 01:29 PM
Concur - more or less - although I would continue to restrict nationality of those joining to Commonwealth countries and Nepal. I've also got some reservations about whether there would be political pressure to bin overseas soldiers immediately before the point at which they qualify for citizenship. Not a nice thought, but as you can perhaps see from the article above the immigration types are frankly not a nice lot.

Walther
05-26-2007, 07:04 PM
Concur - more or less - although I would continue to restrict nationality of those joining to Commonwealth countries and Nepal. I've also got some reservations about whether there would be political pressure to bin overseas soldiers immediately before the point at which they qualify for citizenship. Not a nice thought, but as you can perhaps see from the article above the immigration types are frankly not a nice lot.

IIRC, back during your national service days any male resident in Britain of conscriptable age had to join the British forces, no matter his nationality. I know of a German, who lived in the UK in the 1950s or 1960s and did his military service in the British Army. I don't know if he got into trouble for this in Germany, because acc. to German law it is a criminal offense for a German to serve in another country's military.

Jan

pdf27
05-27-2007, 04:43 AM
IIRC, back during your national service days any male resident in Britain of conscriptable age had to join the British forces, no matter his nationality. I know of a German, who lived in the UK in the 1950s or 1960s and did his military service in the British Army. I don't know if he got into trouble for this in Germany, because acc. to German law it is a criminal offense for a German to serve in another country's military.
Same with the US IIRC - my dad was doing his PhD at Columbia University New York during the early 1970s and had to register for selective service. He was never called up though.

Cuts
05-27-2007, 05:23 AM
Concur - more or less - although I would continue to restrict nationality of those joining to Commonwealth countries and Nepal. I've also got some reservations about whether there would be political pressure to bin overseas soldiers immediately before the point at which they qualify for citizenship. Not a nice thought, but as you can perhaps see from the article above the immigration types are frankly not a nice lot.My bold.

This would actually only limit very few sldrs,
With the exception of the Gurkhas, those eligible for service in the British Army are: British citizens, British Dependent Territories Citizens (BDTCs) - now called British Overseas Territories Citizens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:British_Overseas_Territories) - (BOTCs), British subjects (under the British Nationality Act 1981 and subsequent Acts,) Commonwealth citizens, British Protected Persons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_protected_person) (BPPs) and Irish citizens.

If we accept your restriction that the Gurkhas and Commonwealth-born sldrs will get automatic citizenship and right of abode in the UK, then only BPPs, BOTCs from SBA Cyprus alone and Irishmen would have to apply for nationality, and the latter had right of abode even prior to the european diktat.

There few BPPs and fewer, if any, BOTCs from SBA Cyprus in the forces and it hardly seems worth the effort to hamper the percentage of those who would choose to live in the UK in their efforts. In fact I can see the possibilities for a discrimination claim should it prove to be a problem.

pdf27
05-27-2007, 08:45 AM
Sorry, wasn't clear there - what I meant was that I would continue the present nationality restrictions on joining HM Forces, rather than that I would only permit a subset of non-UK nationalities joining the forces to gain citizenship. I had rather assumed that BPPs and BOTCs had the right to move to the UK anyway - if they don't then that's something else I would like to see fixed (working both ways - British passport holders should be able to move to these places too, with the possible exception of the SBAs on Cyprus which are after all military bases).

Firefly
05-27-2007, 10:56 AM
The only problem I see with going down this road now is that the Govt may simply turn around and say, No more Gurkhas, Commonwealth or any other nationalities other than British.

S Africa has recently done exactly this I believe and also forbade any of its Citizens from serving in any other armed forces.

It wouldnt take much for this country to do the same. Problem solved then. Remember, the Govt doesnt really care about shortages of manpower etc.

pdf27
05-27-2007, 12:08 PM
If they do that, then it's probably a case of no army. Even with pretty massive commonwealth troop numbers, the army is substantially below establishment - a policy decision like that would be the slab of concrete that broke the camel's back IMHO.

Cuts
05-28-2007, 04:45 AM
The only problem I see with going down this road now is that the Govt may simply turn around and say, No more Gurkhas, Commonwealth or any other nationalities other than British.

S Africa has recently done exactly this I believe and also forbade any of its Citizens from serving in any other armed forces.

It wouldnt take much for this country to do the same. Problem solved then. Remember, the Govt doesnt really care about shortages of manpower etc.My bold.

The gov'munt of ZA passed a law forbidding it's citizens from serving in any other armed forces than the SANDF purely to satisfy the OAU, (the depots' club,) because not a few very experienced and extremely able soldiers who tended to work for what are now described as PMCs lived there.

Britain has a similar law in terms of the Foreign Enlistment Act of 1870, but it has always been a very difficult if not impossible law to uphold and remains an expensive and ineffectual piece of legislation.
(In which point it bears a remarkable similarity to many of the laws passed by the current idiots in power.)





Eited for sperlunk mistoik

Mosquito
06-01-2007, 09:16 AM
My bold.

The gov'munt of ZA passed a law forbidding it's citizens from serving in any other armed forces than the SANDF purely to satisfy the OAU, (the depots' club,) because not a few very experienced and extremely able soldiers who tended to work for what are now described as PMCs lived there.



What will happen if one does ( a South African) decide to join the British armed forces? Will he lose his citezenship?

And also, a bit off-topic, i was wondering how easy or how hard is it for a person from a commonwealth country (say south africa) to join the British armed forces?

1000ydstare
06-01-2007, 10:02 AM
Used to be pretty easy, there are a fair few kicking about. However now wit the new laws it is going to be harder.

I think, the penalty for joining the British Army is a prison sentance.

1000ydstare
06-01-2007, 10:17 AM
It seems the government have capitulated.


Government Statement :

Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said today: "The circumstances surrounding Tul Bahadur Pun's case are clearly exceptional, and in the light of this the Home Secretary, John Reid, and I have reviewed the case and made the decision to grant Mr Pun a settlement visa immediately.

"This decision was not taken lightly and reflects the extraordinary nature of this case, in particular Mr Pun's heroic record in service of Britain which saw him awarded the Victoria Cross. It is entirely right that this record should not only be recognised but honoured.

"There has always been scope to grant settlement in the UK to ex-Gurkhas who have retired before July 1997, and who do not meet the requirements in the immigration rules. As on this occasion, discretion may be exercised on a case by case basis. We have also taken into consideration his current medical condition."

BDL
06-01-2007, 04:37 PM
Used to be pretty easy, there are a fair few kicking about. However now wit the new laws it is going to be harder.

I think, the penalty for joining the British Army is a prison sentance.

The law hasn't been passed yet I believe (according to the South African lad who's just been posted into our place anyway).



Fantastic news about the back down, should never have happened in the first place.

Firefly
06-01-2007, 04:48 PM
The question is. Why should non UK citizens be allowed into the UK military?

Following this, why cant the UK recruit enough numbers from its own citizens?

UK population is 60 million, Uk armed forces are about 200,000.

Not a very substantial percentage there. So why recruit foreigners?

1000ydstare
06-02-2007, 12:34 AM
Good quesion, well presented, I'll get back to you. :D

Recruiting is always difficult, the British forces, inparticular the army, have never had a good relationship with the civvies. See the various poems from the last 400 odd years.

As for the foreign recruits, they mainly come from the commonwealth. Which has a historical precedent and lowers their foreign status I suppose.

It isn't like we are the FFL yet!!! And I seem to recall many foreigners, coming from all over the globe, wearing the Queens (Well Kings then) uniform when we needed them in WW2.

BDL
06-02-2007, 04:57 AM
The question is. Why should non UK citizens be allowed into the UK military?

Because not enough Brits want to join. There is a historical precedent for Commonwealth soldiers serving Britain and since they all live under HM the Queen, there's not really a reason why they shouldn't. Gurkhas are obviously a bit of a special case, but they're shown 200 years of absolute loyalty to the British crown when we've needed them so again, I can't see a reason why they shouldn't.


Following this, why cant the UK recruit enough numbers from its own citizens?

It's not fashionable, it's got a lot of bad press in the last few years, the 'Mum' effect of Iraq and Afghanistan, the economy's good so there's plenty of other jobs around. Take your pick. A really good recession would get us back to full manning in a matter of weeks.


UK population is 60 million, Uk armed forces are about 200,000.

Not a very substantial percentage there. So why recruit foreigners?

Because they do the job and do it well, when a lot of British kids aren't interested. They're not completely foreigners either, because they all have the same head of state.

Rising Sun*
06-02-2007, 06:37 AM
They're not completely foreigners either, because they all have the same head of state.

So far as Australians are concerned, maybe not.

Whether the Queen or her representative, the Governor-General, is our head of state is an unresolved constitutional issue.

While monarchists and republicans love to debate it endlessly, it's generally not an important issue in practice, but when our Governor- General dismissed the national government in 1975 in the exercise of his powers as the Queen's representative, Buckers didn't want to know about it and took the position that he was acting independently of Her Majesty and she wouldn't intervene.

It's odd to have a representative of the Queen who isn't subject to her oversight, direction, control, or superior decision.

http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/rn/1995-96/96rn01.pdf

Winters
06-02-2007, 02:32 PM
the gurka regiments has been part of british millitary history for over 100yrs , and i think its unfair that the government can unfairly dissmiss PUN for living in the country he so bravely served with during the war , also in the daily mirror a few days ago had an artical , saying that joanna lumley was campaining to allow PUN into the country after he saved her fathers life againest the Japanese .

Walther
06-03-2007, 02:19 AM
There has a whole campaign going on on the "ARRSE" site (and is still going on, because while now the Foreign Office will allow Pun in, nothing so far has been said about granting visa to his aged wife and his son, who is the primary person taking care of Pun, also nothing about the other ex-Gurkhas). The FO treat it now as an exception, as not to set a precedent for the other Gurkhas who retired before 1997.
According to the site about 20.000 ex Gurkhas and their closer families would then be elegible for a permanent stay in Britain, but most of them would probably want to stay in Nepal anyway.

As the reasoning given by the FO that to allow the ex-Gurkhas to settle in the UK (or through UK passports all over the EU) would mean a brain drain for Nepal, as the British trained ex-Gurkhas would be leaving, I see this as a fake reason.
I don't know in how far the Nepalese mentality goes towards education.
In another Asian country, the Philippines, which I know reasonably well ( my first wife came from there, as is my girlfriend for the last seven years, I also have been there several times), there exists a mentality to give the children the best education possible. The whole family will work so that the children will progress. The result is that the Philippines have (according to an Asia Week article I read some years ago) a better rate of literacy than the US. It also means that you have many highly qualified people with university degrees, who can't find a job at home and therefore emigrate to other countries (both my ex and my present have been doing this). These people working abroad regularly send money home to their families, the total yearly amount is by now in the billion dollar range and makes up about 20% of the country's income.
Ok, in the Philippines every bigger village has an elementary school (Paaralang Elementarya) and every town has at least one highschool. Every province capital has at least one college and a small university. The only analphabetes I met were either old people, who never learned it or street kids without somebody to take care of them.
This might be lacking in Nepal, but what is the use to have some ex-soldier trained in the UK in technology, who then won't find a qualified job in Nepal and has to go back to subsistence mountain farming?.

Jan