Nepal pays tribute to British Gurkha soldiers

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 18:41

Kathmandu: Veterans of British Gurkha brigade Wednesday lit candles and burned incense while paying tributes to 60,000 Nepalese soldiers who were killed while serving the British Army during World Wars I and II.

Gurkhas, who served in the British Army and died in the battles and conflicts across the globe, are being honoured in three days of ceremonies at Syangja district in western Nepal.

Padam Bhadur Gurung, president of the Gurkha Army Ex-servicemen`s Organisation, said that Britain was reluctant to publicise the huge sacrifice made by the Gurkhas in the past.

Gurkha soldiers had played a crucial role in "saving British Empire and the whole world from most dangerous dictators of history like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini", he pointed out.

Thousands of veterans in Nepal are attending the three-day long ceremonies which started yesterday with popular humorists Madan Krishna Shrestha and Hari Bansha Acharya laying a wreath at a Gurkha statue.

The veterans will later lay the foundation stone for a permanent Gurkha monument in Syangja in memory of 60,000 soldiers who were killed during the two world wars.

About 200,000 Gurkhas fought for Britain in World War I and World War II, and they were known for their bravery and hand made weapon kukris.

They were forgotten by UK government, the country they fought for, said the organisation of the ex-soldiers.

"They were not properly cremated as per the cultures, rituals and customary practices.

Their souls are still vanishing in far-off lands," said Gurung adding, at least 17 ethnic cultures will be replicated during the death rituals that are taking place in Syangja in western Nepal.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 18:41

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