Dear Editor, For almost two centuries the brigade of Gurkhas has given continuous, loyal and heroic service to the British Crown, Government and people.
In the course of this more than 50,000 Gurkhas have been killed, more than 150,000 have been wounded and numerous Victoria Crosses awarded with many other medals for outstanding bravery in battle.
Despite this record, the present British Government has denied entry and residence to all except those who served after 1997, were officers, are severely disabled, urgently in need of medical treatment or holders of the Victoria Cross or one of a small number of only the most prestigious gallantry medals.
This excludes three and a half thousand Gurkhas who, with families, the Government says would represent an unacceptable total of 10,000 immigrants if allowed into the UK.
This is against a background of one million illegal immigrants now admitted to being within the country and considered for an amnesty by the Government with 600 million citizens of 26 European countries some, such as Germany, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, our former enemy countries, against which the Gurkhas fought, or have no particular allegiance or political association with Britain into which they are allowed right of unrestricted access and residence.
To refuse at least the same rights to what is comparatively a small number of Gurkhas would be both a gross injustice and betrayal of all they have given and sacrificed for Britain for 200 years.
Ray Pountain, Kenilworth, Warwicks