Brit actress Lumley hailed as 'Nepali cheli'

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Kathmandu, July 28 (ANI): British actress Joanna Lumley was hailed as 'Nepali cheli (daughter)' and felicitated for her remarkable contribution to the Gurkha cause and successful campaign to allow Gurkha soldiers and their families to settle in Britain.

Hundreds of Gurkha veterans and their family members organized a civic reception at the Kathmandu City Hall in her honor and gave her a standing ovation as she started to address the cheering crowd.

Constituent Assembly chairman Subhash Nemwang presided over the ceremony to celebrate the successful campaign.

After being felicitated with traditional silk scarf and flower garlands by the Gurkha veterans, Lumley called Nepal her home and thanked the veterans and their family members for accepting her as one of their daughters.

"I am very happy to have come to my home Nepal," she said.

She said she was speaking as a daughter of the Gurkha regiment to the people "who have been friends of my father and forefathers for over 200 years".

"My father admired the legendary courage, grace and friendliness of the Gurkhas while serving with them as a Gurkha officer, and today on my first visit to Nepal I am proud to know that I have been accepted as your daughter," Nepalnews quoted Lumley as, saying.

She also said that the Gurkha justice campaign is not yet over, as the issue of same pension to Gurkhas as their British counterpart is yet to be settled.

On Monday, she met President Rambaram Yadav, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala separately.

Accompanying her to the meetings held at the Singh Durbar, the seat of the government, was a 30-member delegation, including Liberal Democratic Party leader Peter Carol, Folkestone town counselor Dhana Gurung, Maiti-Nepal president Anuradha Koirala and several foreign journalists.

Lumley is scheduled to visit Jhapa and Dharan to meet Gurkhas later today.

The group will visit Pokhara on Wednesday to meet members of the charity-the Gurkha Welfare Trust and will stay in the city on Thursday to meet Gurkha widows and address a meeting at the city hall.

On Friday, Lumley will visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, before flying back to Kathmandu to visit homeless children and orphans at the Maiti Nepal project.

The group is due to fly back to the UK on August 1. (ANI)

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