Thursday, 21 May 2009

Victory for the Gurkhas

The following announcement comes from Joanna Lumley at the Gurkha Justice Campaign, on the news that all Gurkha veterans who retired before 1997 with at least four years' service will be allowed to settle in the UK;
At midday today, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith made the announcement to the House of Commons that the Gurkha Justice Campaign have been fighting for for years. All ex-Gurkhas who have served more than 4 years in the British Army will have the right to settle in the UK if they wish.

After such a long fight, with huge ups and downs, this is a superb announcement.

We simply would not have won this fight without the massive, overwhelming support of all those who have supported our campaign. To the hundreds of thousands of people who have signed Gurkha Justice petitions, lobbied their MP, campaigned, attended rallies and marches - thank you so much to you all. This is your victory. It would not have happened without you.

The Government has now responded to that campaign after court cases, votes in Parliament, a huge media campaign and, most importantly, massive public support. I am delighted, and humbled, at what has been achieved by our remarkable team.

The whole campaign has been based on the belief that those who have fought and been prepared to die for our country should have the the right to live in our country. We owe them a debt of honour - a debt that will now be paid.

With warmest good wishes,

This is truly fantastic news and, though their cause has not been championed in the same way as that of the Gurkhas, we can only hope that this decision helps to set a precedent for the other vulnerable peoples who face eviction from the UK and all the injustice that goes with it.