Gurung, Sumal Kumar,
NRN Hong Kong was formed on 14 Aug, 2004 under the Chairmanship of Mr K. P. Pandey with an executive body of 10 other members (including 2 ICC members). Thanks to Mr Hum Gurung and Prakash Pun, ICC members who started to co-ordinate all NRN members in Hong Kong to bring into the present shape of NRN Hong Kong, immediately after the 1st NRNA Conference held during the month of Oct 03 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Even though the organization is in its nursery stage, it has a vision to cradle towards the vast arena of global unification of the NRN and work together.
NRN Hong Kong is committed to unify all Hong Kong residents into one umbrella to bring prosperity and peace in Nepal and also to solve out all the problems being faced either in Nepal or as a Hong Kong resident in Hong Kong. In order to attain this objective, NRN Hong Kong has a noble mission to justify the cause of NRN coordinating with all Nepalese living in the whole world for our identity and prosperity.
3. Hong Kong’s Scenario.
a. Background. Once a time known as fisher man’s village ( Hong Kong island), when British war ships thumped out their gun salutes as the Union Jack was raised above what was later called Possession Point, after the three Opium Wars (1839 – 1841). During the time when it came under British rule there were only 300 Europeans and 15,000 Chinese people. The small village has now been flourished into Asia’s World city with a population of nearly 7 (seven) million including a small number of NRNs. However, the number of Nepalese community as an ethnic minority in Hong Kong is impressive. Initially, before 1990 there were a small number of NRNs, but, this small number was increased unexpectedly which shows in the census report of 2001 Hong Kong, SAR. It has reflected in its census data as around 13000 NRNs living in Hong Kong which seem to be not accurate. According to the data of issuing/renewal of Nepalese Pass Port holders to the resident of Hong Kong from the office of the Royal Nepalese Consulate General (Hong Kong), it is quite high and has exceeded more than 30,000 NRNs living in Hong Kong. It has anticipated that the total number of NRNs living in Hong Kong should have reached at around 35,000 by now. As known to all, Hong Kong is the biggest container port and one of the present time’s economies with a bright future in years to come. The ex-Gurkhas (NRNs) can not be ignored in getting this achievement by the Hong Kong. The Gurkhas were part and partial to safe guard the security of Hong Kong since early sixties. Since early ninety’s the flow of NRNs started to be concentrated in Hong Kong, and at present the highest numbers of NRNs living in Hong Kong with their fundamental rights is the largest number than other parts of the globe with a valid residential status.
b. Attachment with Nepal and remittance. Since the deployment of British Army, Gurkha contingency in Hong Kong, Nepal has benefited financially to bring prosperity and improve the socio economic condition of Nepal. Hong Kong is the most important place for all Nepalese to be called NRNs than other parts of the world due to its location, cultural relation and historical attachment with the mother land since decades long. Most of the Hong Kong residents are the descendants of the Ex-Gurkha personnel either directly or indirectly. Apart from its past history associated with Gurkha Soldier for safe guarding and security of modern Hong Kong’s prosperity, present generation of Ex-Gurkha descendants have also been playing a vital role for the development of the Hong Kong since their settlement as a resident of Hong Kong. Ever since last six decades billions of dollar has so far been remitted to Nepal by the Gurkha military personnel/their descendants who obviously can be considered a valuable contribution towards motherland for the betterment of socio economics condition in Nepal. They have rendered a valuable service for the prosperity of the country. At present, the trend is remained same as in the past, we have seen that all the Hong Kong NRNs are mostly in connection with the motherland as their earning hand goes back to Nepal whether in a direct or indirect form. At present, the descendants of Ex-Gurkha military personnel and some of the Ex-Gurkha personnel themselves have achieved a good image by becoming professionals, employers and industrialists in Hong Kong. The data of remittance either directly or indirectly to the motherland according to the present statistics shows that more than 70 million Hong Kong dollars are being remitted to Nepal from Hong Kong itself in one month only.
c. Social transformation, its role and future of NRNs in Hong Kong. In their early settlement, the NRNs in Hong Kong had to live a competitive life and forces to work hard to become more competitive and creative to compete for the survival and existence with the local people i.e. Chinese and other counterparts (ethnic minorities). These are the conditions which enable individuals to transform themselves and do well in Hong Kong and because of these reasons, now we have many NRN professionals, employers, intellectuals and industrialists in Hong Kong with thousand of efficient front line workers. The environment always plays vital role to change the habit and living standard. The Nepalese society within a short spell of time has significantly adapted the language, local culture and balanced with the socio economic environment with a unique Nepali identity preserving the Nepali culture, establishing many communities and associations which come under one umbrella, under Hong Kong Nepalese Federation, Hong Kong (Chairman, Mr Ganesh Izam).
4. NRNA and the Ordinance.
We are very grateful for the historic moment when a handful of NRNs under the leadership of Dr Upendra Mahat had determined to establish Non Residential Nepalese Association for the noble cause to unify all NRNs and for the peace and prosperity of the motherland. We must also extend our gratitude to HM King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Sahadev for his gracious attitude, support and calling a first NRNs Conference in Kathmandu. Subsequently, HMGN has recently promulgated the NRN ordinance which is a gracious moment for all of the NRNs. The recent NRN Ordinance, though a goodwill gesture, which still needs to cover all the criterion aspects and fulfillment of the NRN requirement, is a fruitful achievement for all NRNs. It has to be amended and define clearly in some important issues which should discuss between NRNs and HMG Nepal.
The reputation gained by the Ex-Gurkhas with their utmost sincerity and devotion wherever they go, has found to be paid the price and the present generation is harvesting it as a token of reward from their fore fathers. An impressive number of children of Ex-Gurkhas, nearly 6000 of them are now associated with hospitality field in Hong Kong and great number of them are involved in security and constructions fields with good reputation. Also there are many ex-Gurkhas in their sixties and late sixties still living in Hong Kong, they are not getting easy access to get their pension benefits as per their British counterparts, and also their right to get citizenship of United Kingdom/other countries, which seems to be their fundamental right because of their prolong commitment, is still in a question mark. If we don’t forget the motto “Nepal for Nepalese and Nepalese for Nepal” and NRN for NRN we have to consider all walk of life in NRN ordinance and constitution. The recent ordinance for NRN which has come into enforce seems to be overlapping these heroes’ parts that had played in the past, a vital role in boosting up the economy of the motherland. It would have a milestone if a reference could be reflected in the ordinance for their effort giving them a sort of facility/identity. In 2003 Indian government has granted dual citizenship to all People of Indian Origin (PIOs) living abroad in America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and few other countries. The grant of dual citizenship was intended to remove for those who have taken foreign passports, the obstacle in travel to and from India, permit investments in business ventures and foster a greater sense of belongings. Had it been promulgated to grant dual citizenship, it would have a tribute to the broad vision of the concept and there could be easy access to all NRNs for the enhancement of peace and prosperity in Nepal.
Global NRN activity has showed that all NRNs are committed to step forward to bring peace and prosperity to the country as the mother land is facing a severe turmoil both economically and socially since last decades. We should not forget to thank all dignitaries who have paid their foremost valuable time and effort to achieve a fruitful cause for the NRNs and motherland and their importance should not be ignored at times ahead. We must thank to all those partners who have committed their excellent work in forming up a global NRNA with ICC coordinators. Let us extend our big hand to get success for the cause of NRN objectives.