Tul Bahadur Pun's extraordinary act of valour while fighting the Japanese during
World War Two even won him royal admirers. He was invited to the Queen's
Coronation and had tea with the Queen Mother. Yet despite his illustrious
service record, when the ailing 84-year-old former Gurkha soldier applied for
permission to live in Britain he was refused by government officials. Amazingly,
British officials in Nepal told the wizened old warrior who put his life on the
line for King and country: "You have failed to demonstrate that you have strong
ties with the UK." Explaining his reasons for the application, he said: "I take
a substantial amount of medication daily, without which I would die. There is
not always a constant supply. When it runs out I feel vulnerable. "There are no
doctors or nurses, no medical outposts. I wish to settle in the UK to have
better access to medication, care and support from doctors and nurses." The old
soldier has to travel from his remote home to the Gurkha camp at Pokhara once a
month to collect his pension - which pays for his medication. It involves a
day's walk - and as he is unable to walk that far, he has to be carried in a
basket by several men. Mr Pun's act of heroism in Burma which earned him the VC
has gone down in military history. On 23 June 1944 almost all his comrades were
wiped out by heavy enemy fire. He seized a Bren Gun and, firing from the hip
while running through ankle deep mud, he ignored Japanese fire to singlehandedly
storm enemy machine gun positions. His official citation read: "His outstanding
courage and superb gallantry in the face of odds which meant almost certain
death were most inspiring to all ranks and beyond praise."
But if you have a failed asylum application you stand little chance of being expelled. What kind of country have we become?
If you are an MP and you are reading this, solving cases like this is what you are all about. Go to it!