BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Wales
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 



BBC Wales's Gail Foley reports
"The tribunal hearing next year could decide the fate of thousands of Gurkhas"
 real 56k

Monday, 20 November, 2000, 13:52 GMT
Army accused of Gurkha 'bias'
Hari Thapa
Hari Thapa wants the same pension pay as other soldiers
The British Army has been accused of "monstrous and scandalous" discrimination against a former Gurkha soldier now living in Wales.

Robin Allen QC told an employment tribunal Hari Thapa was paid a pension of just 58 a month when a white soldier with the same length of service would get 500 a month.

John Thomas, the tribunal chairman, has agreed that a full hearing of Mr Thapa's complaints of race discrimination against the Army should take place in October next year.

In the meantime, counsel for the Ministry of Defence, Mr Rabinda Singh, said that a special Army board would sit and decide his case by the middle of next year.

After the case Mr Thapa's partner, Nicola King, said they were happy that some progress had been made in the case.

The case of Lance Corporal Hari Thapa, 37, is seen as a landmark for hundreds of other soldiers.

Mr Thapa lives in Cwmbran, south Wales with his partner Ms King and their baby daughter.

He claims his pay, conditions and pensions are all inferior to those of soldiers recruited in Britain.

He was discharged after 15 years service - the maxium permitted for Gurkhas - with a pension of just 17 a month.

It has since been increased to between 50 and 90 a month - the amount fluctuates with the value of the Nepalese currency.

Backing

Mr Thapa wants his pension increased to 500, the same rate as a British Army Lance Corporal.

The hearing on Monday was asked to decide whether Race Discrimination legislation applied to the Ministry of Defence in cases before 1997.

The Commission for Racial Equality is backing Mr Thapa's case.

The Ministry of Defence has always argued that Gurhka pensions, which have been increased substantially, are enough to support soldiers when they return to Nepal, as they are expected to do.

British passport-holder Mr Thapa was born in Hampshire, where his Gurkha father, who was later killed in action, was stationed.

He now works as a security guard.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

20 Nov 00 | UK
A force to be reckoned with
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories