A campaign to support the Chagos Islanders exiled from their homes by UK Government.
The Islanders need our help. They were removed by force, trickery and deceit by UK to clear their islands of all human inhabitants so USA could build Diego Garcia military base. These islanders are denied any right of return. The UK Government has used the royal perogative in council to ignore a High Court decsion in favour of the islanders. They have taken every peaceful path to win their case. If we believe in human rights then this is the case on our own doorstep where such rights have been denied a peaceful people. A people descended from French slaves who looked upon the UK as a protector. The Falkland Islanders enjoy the rights that these Chagossians should enjoy. Why are black people denied the same rights as white islanders? How can so few people be a threat to the USA and UK by their return to their islands. They need to go home and received full compensation and resettlement costs. Those who were removed are now dying and being buried abroad. Let the members of 38Degrees show the UK Government that we will not forget or ignore these people's rights.
Nalliah Thayabharan commented
USA was deeply concerned with the stability of the host nation of any potential base, and sought an unpopulated territory, to avoid United Nations’s decolonisation requirements and the resulting political issues of sovereignty or anti-US sentiment. The Chagossian right of occupation was violated by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office as a result of the 1966 agreement between UK & US governments The forced removal of the Chagossian people was an act of ethnic cleansing. The frustration of more than four decades of of exile for the Chagos islanders exacerbated by the refusal of successive UK governments to find a just solution kept breaking though. How can it be that a military settlement is lawful when the rightful inhabitants are not allowed to settle there? US & UK military squatters have taken over the rightful habitation of the islands. Each revelation about the UK’s dealings with Diego Garcia is more disgraceful than the previous, and still the cover-up continues.
Presently about 50 British and 1,500 U.S. military personnel, and 3,000 support workers of various nationalities reside at Diego Garcia.
Most of the roughly 1,500 displaced Chagossians were agricultural workers and fisherman. Uprooted and robbed of their livelihood, the Chagossians now live in poverty in Mauritius’s urban slums, more than 1,500km from their homeland. A smaller number were deported to the Seychelles. About 800 islanders forced off Diego Garcia are alive today, and another 5,000 Chagossians have been born in exile. A 2003 60 Minutes segment and a 2004 documentary by Australian journalist and filmmaker John Pilger, “Stealing a Nation”, have done much to publicize the little-known plight of the islanders.
In May 2006, the British High Court in London ruled that the Chagossians may in fact return to other Chagossian islands, and offered a withering assessment of the British conduct in the case, calling it “outrageous, unlawful and a breach of accepted moral standards.”
“The suggestion that a minister can, through an Order in Council, exile a whole population from a British Overseas Territory and claim he is doing so for the ‘peace, order and good government’ of the Territory is repugnant.”
The Chagossians have accepted that they cannot return to Diego Garcia because of the U.S. airbase, but the islanders want to move elsewhere in the Chagos archipelago, to the Salomon islands and Peros Banhos, which are more than 150km from Diego Garcia. USA is opposed to anyone other than military personnel and their employees living anywhere in the Chagos archipelago, asserting that security will be compromised. According to a US State Department official, Lincoln Bloomfield Jr., allowing civilians in the archipelago could potentially lead to “terrorists infiltrating the islands.”
Visit http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3667764379758632511# to watch the documentary by John Pilger titled ‘Stealing of a Nation’ which discusses the current plight of these indigenous people who have been forcibly exiled by the so-called guardians of democracy and human rights, the British, for the benefit of their loyal friends, the Americans, so that the US has an unrestricted platform to launch attacks on other nations which do not comply with the so called ‘new world order’ as dictated by the US.
It's Time to let the Chagossians go back to their homeland
Louis Thierry Comarmond commented
Allow the Chagossians to go back to their homeland.
Alan Rayner commented
One comment is to the effect that the British Government
did nothing. My recall is that "something" was done - the
making of an "Order in Council" involving what is known
as the royal prerogative. Sadly her Majesty does not
have control of things done in her name!
Perhaps someone can post a precis of the relevant
content from that Order in Council!
This has seriously been a miscarriage of justice for these people. Not only should they have been well looked after by the amount that was paid in compensation, which they never received to their full benefit, they are a people that have been misplaced and thank goodness there are many who are still willing to support and fight for these people.
Venen Paratian commented
We support this petition because it is high time for two Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council (UK and USA) set the example of respecting basic human rights. Chagossians have been deported. Wikileaks have revealed exchanges on this deal in unspeakable terms. We cannot accept this in a modern society. The world should know how the Archipelago was plundered and how basic human rights are flouted. Chagos International Support (www.chagosinternational.org) join hands with 38 Degrees to fully support this kind of petition
An Illois commented
Super powers like America and UK - they preach what they themselves do not practice. Labour promised to change things for the Chagossians then did nothing. Conservative and Lim Dem criticised Labour and promised that they would put an end to this shameful episode in the British history and then what did they do when they moved into Government? They also did nothing! All these politicians are the same and they only look after their own gains, it does not matter who gets hurt in the way. The weak and powerless will always suffer in this world.
Myra Sands commented
It is totally outrageous that the Chagossians have been treated as they surely have , with callous, inhumanity, for the sake of the evil acquisition of WMD (Polaris), and a US Naval Base used for the evil bombing of further countless innocent workers and their families. And the tragedy is that this act was put in train by a Democratically elected Labour government. So much for Democracy!
The whole sorry story is disgusting, and has received far too little publicity. Eleven years ago, the islanders won an English high court ruling in their favour, only to have this reversed by a majority ruling by the Law Lords. Their case is now before the European Court of Human Rights.
Two empires, both with shameful foreign policies, with more than collateral damage, to the point of criminal...I came across this via John Pilger and read Davie Vine's book ISLAND OF SHAME. What these two nations, and are still doing is criminal, disgraceful and unconcianable beyond belief. That there paranoic beliefs and idiotic police are still keeping thesed people off their homeland is beyond discription. They cannot deny the ugliness of their actions against these people, and even after all the original inhabiitants die, this will not. Fred Jakobcic, USA
It is about time that the people of the Chagos Islands were given the justice they deserve. They were treated very badly by our Government in the 1960's so that Diego Garcia could be given to the USA for defence purposes. They are still being treated badly by the present Government and the USA. It is time for them to have the right to go back to their homeland.
Magnus Johnson commented
Conservation yes but not at the expense of human rights.
Anthony Cheke commented
This travesty of justice has gone on far too long; makes me embarrassed to be British
celia and vic whittaker commented
We really need this to go viral!
David Gostelow commented
I'll do my best to spread this around....... Thanks Leslie.
LET US RETURN TO OUR COUNTRY WHY WE CHAGOSSIANS WE CAN'T BUT OTHERS CAN
celia and vic whittaker commented
A very worthwhile cause. Thank you Leslie. For more information, visit www.chagossupport.org.uk