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Cazalet33
29th Jun 2016, 10:53
Former residents of the Chagos Islands who were forcibly removed from their homeland more than 40 years ago have lost their legal challenge to return.
Families left the Indian Ocean islands in the 1960s and 70s to make way for a US Air Force base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the group of islands.
An Immigration Order preventing anyone from going back was issued in 1971.
The Supreme Court - UK's highest court - upheld a 2008 House of Lords ruling that the exiles could not return.Source: BBC

How ironic that the Brit govt expelled the Chagossians from Chagos with a statutory instrument which they chose to name "Immigration Order".


Stealing A Nation' (2004) is an extraordinary film about the plight of the Chagos Islands, whose indigenous population was secretly and brutally expelled by British Governments in the late 1960s and early 1970s to make way for an American military base. The tragedy, which falls within the remit of the International Criminal Court as "a crime against humanity", is told by Islanders who were dumped in the slums of Mauritius and by British officials who left behind a damning trail of Foreign Office documents.

Before the Americans came, more than 2,000 people lived on the islands in the Indian Ocean, many with roots back to the late 18th century. There were thriving villages, a school, a hospital, a church, a railway and an undisturbed way of life. The islands were, and still are, a British crown colony. In the 1960s, the government of Harold Wilson struck a secret deal with the United States to hand over the main island of Diego Garcia. The Americans demanded that the surrounding islands be "swept" and "sanitized". Unknown to Parliament and to the US Congress and in breach of the United Nations Charter, the British Government plotted with Washington to expel the entire population.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zhGvId4fcc

SpringHeeledJack
29th Jun 2016, 12:27
The big fella wanted and the small fella had to walk…..Wrong on many levels, but such is our human character and so will happen again somewhere else.

Cazalet33
29th Jun 2016, 12:41
The Empire (there is only one) won an imperial base out of the deal.

I do wonder, though, whether it's mere happenstance that the announcement has been made in the first week following the Brexit decision.

Now it is impossible for the appellants to go over the heads of the Supreme Court to the European Courts for justice. Funny how that works!

barry lloyd
29th Jun 2016, 13:50
It would be interesting to know how much the US pays the UK for the use of the base at Diego Garcia. British passport holders are not allowed on what is fundamentally British territory without prior permission. Anyone who tries to land (from a ship) is quickly told to move on.

Chagos Islands - available only on the Internet (http://chagosislands.com/)

Cazalet33
29th Jun 2016, 21:21
The US 'paid' $14M to have the islands as a US imperial possession in perpetuity.

The 'payment' was 'paid' in the form of a discount on the price demanded by Lockheed for a batch of Polaris missiles sold to the Royal Navy under what amounted to a short term leasing deal.

Of course the islands were not returned by The Empire when the missile bodies were returned to The Empire.

lomapaseo
29th Jun 2016, 21:26
Of course the islands were not returned by The Empire when the missile bodies were returned to The Empire.

confusing use of the word "Empire".

next we will be hearing about the empire of China having laid a claim to these islands

Cazalet33
29th Jun 2016, 21:43
Be in no doubt about The Empire which was behind the destruction of the Chagos islanders.

Not China.

Cpt_Pugwash
29th Jun 2016, 23:47
"The 'payment' was 'paid' in the form of a discount on the price demanded by Lockheed for a batch of Polaris missiles sold to the Royal Navy under what amounted to a short term leasing deal.

Of course the islands were not returned by The Empire when the missile bodies were returned to The Empire."

Nonsense, the missiles were purchased outright, and not returned to the US. The 1st and 2nd stage rocket motors were destroyed at P&EE Foulness.

reynoldsno1
30th Jun 2016, 02:58
Diego Garcia is also home to one of the GPS earth monitoring stations, for which I am sure many people here are grateful.
This does not, in any way, ameliorate the dreadful treatment of the Chagos Islanders.

Tankertrashnav
30th Jun 2016, 11:15
Spin it how you like, this is a shameful episode in British history.

Funny how these deals with the US always seem to happen under a Labour administration (see also participation in Iraq and Afghanistan wars).

Cazalet33
30th Jun 2016, 11:23
Diego Garcia is also home to one of the GPS earth monitoring stations, for which I am sure many people here are grateful.

No reason to destroy a nation just to put in a satellite dish, is there?

A tad excessive, even for the greatest Empire the globe has ever seen, isn't it?

The "feasibility study" which was the basis of the appeal against the original High Court which granted leave for the islanders to return to their beloved homeland, claims that the islands are uninhabitable. The very comfortable existence of several hundred US servicemen, never mind a satnav & satcomm station, would appear to contradict that.

Cazalet33
30th Jun 2016, 11:39
Cpt Pugwash. You appear to have missed the point.

The islanders were sold into abject poverty and fatal misery in exchange for a $14M discount on some Polaris missiles bought from Lockheed.

Not quite slavery, but something pretty close, in the second half of the 20th century.

I agree with TTN. It was/is (the coverup is still ongoing, even this week) a shameful event in British history.

In 1982 there were 2,000 British citizens on a small cluster of islands in a faraway place who were dispossessed of their homeland which had been their home for between two and six generations. A rapacious military invader turfed them out without mercy or human pity. Just arrogance.

Actually, in that year there were four thousand in such a plight, but the other two thousand were white and English-speaking. Those others got rather good treatment from the UK, and still do. The black French-speaking Brits did not and do not. Funny how that works!

Widger
30th Jun 2016, 13:29
Shocking treatment indeed but, putting the human tragedy aside, if you watched Simon Reeves excellent series on the British Overseas Territories, you can see that this action has saved the islands from destruction and they are some of the most pristine and vibrant coral reefs in the world, unlike the Seychelles, which are over fished, full of rubbish and pollution.

So if we are looking at tit from a 'Green' perspective, it was a good decision.

Cazalet33
30th Jun 2016, 13:49
if we are looking a tit from a 'Green' perspective

I haven't seen Mr Reeve's exposition on what happened to the Chagossian people.

What does the said green tit have to say about the above documentary, which focused on the people involved in the expulsion of a people from their land?

putting the human tragedy aside

"Putting the human tragedy aside" is the problem in this thing. Not a palliative or an excuse.

LookingForAJob
30th Jun 2016, 14:00
Now it is impossible for the appellants to go over the heads of the Supreme Court to the European Courts for justice. Funny how that works!Is that correct? My understanding is that nothing (in law etc.) changes until the UK says formally that it's leaving by sending a letter to the European Council saying that it intends to leave the Union in accordance with Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

So I would presume that there remains a right of appeal to the European Courts of Justice (assuming that the issue falls withing the Courts' remit), and that what happens to cases filed before the UK notifies its intention to leave will form part of the negotiations which follow its notification.

Widger
30th Jun 2016, 14:18
Excuse my spillong misttook

I am not a lentil eater but, I would consider that the eviction of 2000 people to be a price that might be worth paying to keep what is now one of the largest nature reserves on earth intact.

Taken from Wiki

The Chagos marine reserve protects the world’s largest coral atoll (the Great Chagos Bank) and has one of the healthiest reef systems in the cleanest waters of the world, supporting nearly half the area of good quality reefs in the Indian Ocean.[3] No-take marine reserves are areas of the sea in which there is no fishing allowed and as little other human disturbance as can be reasonably arranged. The Chagos reserve was established by the British government on 1 April 2010, and its protection is funded through 2015 with financial support from the Bertarelli Foundation.[4]

Cazalet33
1st Jul 2016, 00:11
I would presume that there remains a right of appeal to the European Courts of Justice

These things take a decade or two.

The UK will (probably) be long gone from the EU by then.

One of the many desperately sad aspects of the sorry saga is that they actually won an appeal in the High Court. That ruling was swept aside by a capricious Order in Council. It's the closest thing we in Britain have to a Royal decree or an Imperial "executive order". Totally undemocratic and utterly bereft of justice.

reynoldsno1
1st Jul 2016, 02:01
No reason to destroy a nation just to put in a satellite dish, is there?
And where did I suggest that was the reason? Read the second sentence, *abuse removed*

AtomKraft
1st Jul 2016, 11:12
Is it just me, or does anyone else find themselves asking 'why?'

I mean, sure. The US would probably prefer it's activities on Diego Garcia to be unobserved. But I'd be surprised if much happens over there that's very different to what happens at Fairford or Mildenhall or Lakenheath every day of the week.

Why not let these folk return?

There's not that many of them, and I doubt that they'd get in the way of whatever is going on at the base.

As a Brit, I feel rather ashamed at the way we've treated these folk.

The whole sorry episode is as unnecessary as it is cruel.

barry lloyd
1st Jul 2016, 13:38
Well said, AtomKraft.

The locals would take little or no interest in what happens on the base, in a similar way to the 'Saints' on Ascension. They would just live their own lives, as they did before.

In his otherwise excellent piece on the Chagos Islands, Simon Reeve made no mention of what had happened to the Chagossians and I wondered whether it was a condition of his being allowed to film there.

Widger:

I respectfully suggest you go and talk to the Chagossians and get their point of view on this. There are many living in squalor on the otherwise beautiful island of Mauritius, so you could combine it with a holiday. The Chagossians lived a simple life on the islands and as such would not have polluted it anyway, in the same way the Amazon tribes do not pollute their rivers. It is big business (the huge US companies being a typical example), who are doing all the damage.

Lonewolf_50
1st Jul 2016, 20:07
I respectfully suggest you go and talk to the Chagossians and get their point of view on this. There are many living in squalor on the otherwise beautiful island of Mauritius, so you could combine it with a holiday. The Chagossians lived a simple life on the islands and as such would not have polluted it anyway, in the same way the Amazon tribes do not pollute their rivers. It is big business (the huge US companies being a typical example), who are doing all the damage. Yeah, the only country on the planet with big business is the US.
Got it. :rolleyes:

barry lloyd
1st Jul 2016, 22:53
Lonewolf:

You are an intelligent person, but I don't think you did. 'Being a typical example' means just what it says. The Chinese have big business and are busy stripping Africa of many of it's natural resources. They too are 'a typical example' because they are not the only ones doing it. I hope that balances the situation.

Please try not to be so sensitive.

Lonewolf_50
2nd Jul 2016, 16:29
Lonewolf:

You are an intelligent person, but I don't think you did. 'Being a typical example' means just what it says. The Chinese have big business and are busy stripping Africa of many of it's natural resources. They too are 'a typical example' because they are not the only ones doing it. I hope that balances the situation.

Please try not to be so sensitive.
Barry, the knee jerk Yank bashing that is common fare on JB occasionally gets a response. It is part of Caz33's ax grinding M.O. in all PPRuNe sub-forums. The sarcasm was hopefully dripping from your screen as you read my post, and I'll ask you to consider why it was US companies that were your choice of example.

The ripple effects of both the Cold War and the rivalries among the current age's hegemons/Power were global, are global, and will be global in the future. The world has grown that small. Nobody leaves each other alone anymore.

Warmest regards
LW_50