Britain's Gurkha soldiers, renowned for their bravery and strength, are being paid far lower pensions than their fellow soldiers of British citizenship, even when they manage to obtain residency in the UK, which is no longer automatic since 1997.
About 2,000 Gurkhas watched today as 50 veterans outside Parliament handed back their military medals in protest against the Government's "immoral discrimination" against them.
Dressed in regimental ties and their distinctive khaki hats, the retired soldiers protested against "disgracefully low" pensions and called for the right to live in Britain in return for years of fighting alongside British troops.
Nepalese Gurkhas have served in the Army for nearly 200 years, but receive a monthly pension of about £131 - compared to about £1,000 for their British counterparts.
"Our pension is not even enough for life in Nepal. In Britain, it is incredibly low," said Dewan Gurung, 46, who served in the army for 23 years including tours in Bosnia, Sierra Leone and the Falkland islands.
"Our pension is an insult, a disgrace," added Arkumar Gurung, 42, who saw duty in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 during a 19-year career. "I gave half my active life for Britain. We deserve more."
Hat tip: Dennis Sevakis