Written evidence from Peter Carroll |
I understand that your committee is in the process
of considering the changes being planned to various BBC overseas
services including the possible termination of the BBC Nepali
Service that reaches far into the remote areas of the Nepal hills
and mountains. I was extensively involved in what became known
as The Gurkha Justice Campaign including persuading Joanna Lumley
to help lead it. As a result, I gave had strong links with the
retired British Army Gurkha community both here in the UK and
in Nepal. I have also had the honour of visiting the country in
I understand that all areas of public life are currently
the subject of intensive scrutiny with a view to ensuring value
for money and cost reduction.
I am sure that you will be aware of the enormously
strong links between Nepal and Britain resulting from the heroic
service of Gurkhas in the British Army over a period that stretches
back nearly 200 years. Very many of the retired British Army Gurkhas
live in the remotest areas of Nepal and rely totally on the BBC
Nepali service for news and current affairs information. The loss
of the service would be a serious blow to their quality of life.
Additionally, so many people in and from Nepal have told me that
as their country grapples with some enormous political and economic
problems, the inclusion in their civic life of the BBC service
is of vital importance from a cultural point of view.
I know little of the financial background to the
considerations. However, I have seen figures quoted that suggest
the actual cost of the service is small in the context of general
On behalf of the many British Army Gurkha veterans
that have contacted me on this matter, may I request that these
points be brought to the attention of your Committee.
I very much hope that it might be possible to save
9 March 2011