British movie star threatens to take Indian citizenship

November 20th, 2008 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 20 (IANS) Top British screen actress Joanna Lumley Thursday said she will renounce her British citizenship and apply for Indian nationality if her country refuses to treat Gurkha veterans at par with other soldiers.Lumley, whose father served in the Gurkha Regiment in India, made the emotional appeal after handing over to the British prime minister’s office a petition with 130,000 signatures in support of the Gurkha campaign for equal treatment.

Government rules deny Gurkhas who served in the British army before 1997 the automatic right to settle down in Britain saying they do not necessarily have strong connections with this country.

But a High Court judge last month overturned the rule, upholding a legal challenge by six ex-Gurkhas in a move that could benefit 2,000 Gurkhas immediately and up to 40,000 others in the long term.

Lumley and other campaigners now want swift government action to implement changes to the policy.

Some 50,000 have been killed and 150,000 wounded fighting for the British, and 13 have won the Victoria Cross - Britain’s highest military honour.

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