British Army layoffs 400 Gurkhas


The British Army on Tuesday announced to lay off around 400 Gurkha soldiers from the Brigade of Gurkhas. The British Army will offer a comprehensive program for resettlement into civilian life to all the laid-off Gurkha soldiers, according to a press statement issued by the British Embassy in Kathmandu.

The statement further said the British Army will help all the laid-off Gurkha soldiers to find jobs in future. All the Gurkha soldiers chosen for lay-off will be given one year´s notice, reads the statement.

The downsizing of the Brigade of Gurkhas is part of restructuring of the British Army, said the statement. In 2010, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the UK had announced the Strategic Defence and Security Review to downsize the whole British Army.

Last year, around 140 Gurkhas were laid off from the 3,500-strong Brigade of Gurkhas. The MoD of the UK is reportedly planning to downsize the strength of the Brigade of Gurkhas to less than 3,000 personnel.

This year, the MoD has reportedly decided to discharge a total of 2,900 members of the British Army including 400 Gurkha soldiers.

Around 1,000 members of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and 300 members of the Royal Navy are among the 2,900 British soldiers to be discharged by the MoD this year, according to British news agencies.

Ex-British Gurkha soldiers have questioned the rationale of such a big cut in the Brigade of Gurkhas. They said they are ´saddened´ with the new announcement of the British Army.

What we do not understand is why we have lost around 140 men in the first tranche and now we are losing another 400 men when we have just 3,500. But the infantry, which has tens of thousands of personnel, are losing only 500 personnel, Major Tikendra Dal Dewan, chairman of the British Welfare Society, told the Daily Mail, a British newspaper.

The Gurkha soldiers have loyally and bravely fought for the British all over the world. They have served in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Borneo, Cyprus, the Falklands, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan in the last 50 years.

The British Army started recruiting Gurkha soldiers following a peace deal with Nepal in 1815. Altogether, 13 Gurkha soldiers have won Victoria Crosses (VCs) for their bravery so far.

Source: My Republica