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Diego Garcia

Old 23rd May 2019, 18:20
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Diego Garcia

The UN appears to be backing the end of UK rule to the island and thus hand it back to the Mauritius government. In saying that, the Mauritius government also says the air base would still be allowed to operate providing it conforms with international law..

Any thoughts?

Cheers

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48371388
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Old 23rd May 2019, 19:53
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How can it be 'handed back to the Mauritius government' when it never came under its jurisdiction in the first place? It was intentionally excluded from Mauritius as part of the independence agreement. The islanders don't want to be a part of Mauritius, having been poorly treated when evacuated there. They have since resided close by Gatwick, patiently awaiting a return to their homeland.

They would prefer to be a British dependency thereafter, despite being expelled by us. They are about to be disappointed yet again, I fear.
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Old 24th May 2019, 09:24
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Never going to happen. Gibraltar will be given away to Spain before Diego Garcia is given up.

Anyway, the UN can make all the declarations it wants. Ignore them as they are meaningless.
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Old 24th May 2019, 09:49
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Originally Posted by Training Risky View Post
Never going to happen. Gibraltar will be given away to Spain before Diego Garcia is given up.

Anyway, the UN can make all the declarations it wants. Ignore them as they are meaningless.
...may be "meaningless" - but that does not mean wrong.

The treatment, by the British Government, of the people of Diego Garcia is frankly a national disgrace, an utterly shameful piece of UK foreign policy.
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Old 24th May 2019, 10:15
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Originally Posted by Chris Kebab View Post
...may be "meaningless" - but that does not mean wrong.

The treatment, by the British Government, of the people of Diego Garcia is frankly a national disgrace, an utterly shameful piece of UK foreign policy.
I agree - the Chagossians were treated poorly. In direct contrast to the way Thatcher jumped to defend the sovereignty of a different Crown Colony a decade later!
But this is a wicked problem: There must be an airfield there to provide strategic power projection in the region and keep the US sweet, but it's near impossible to reconcile with the Chagossians' right to return.
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Old 24th May 2019, 11:22
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Originally Posted by chopper2004 View Post
The UN appears to be backing the end of UK rule to the island and thus hand it back to the Mauritius government. In saying that, the Mauritius government also says the air base would still be allowed to operate providing it conforms with international law..

Any thoughts?

Cheers

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48371388
Only the airbase? What about the massive naval base and the other 'operation' which isn't supposed to be there?
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Old 24th May 2019, 21:21
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Yes, I thought that Diego Garcia had been given to the Americans as their permanent presence in the Indian Ocean.
They are very unlikely to give it up any time soon. It might even become another state if we are not too careful!
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Old 25th May 2019, 00:09
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This is a UN backed disrupt to the US sponsored by China. Wake up people
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Old 25th May 2019, 00:31
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It is entirely possible the Americans will refuse to vacate Diego Garcia just as they have refused to vacate Guantanamo Bay.
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Old 25th May 2019, 00:54
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I believe that Putin also is thinking about handing the Crimea back to the Ukraine.
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Old 25th May 2019, 07:20
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And possibly China giving Tibet back to its people? And Turkey pulling out of northern Cyprus?
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Old 25th May 2019, 07:35
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Originally Posted by WingNut60 View Post
I believe that Putin also is thinking about handing the Crimea back to the Ukraine.
Well if you look at a map you will find some differences in the respective disposition of said territories vs their "motherland".

I fully understand the strategic importance of both and the respective power balances. That being said the treatment of local residents can not be even compared. What the UK has done, most likely under the instructions of the US, is nothing short of abject, plain and simple.
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Old 25th May 2019, 07:39
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Absolute disgrace - and there is no reason why the the islanders and the base can't co-exist as they seem to do on Okinawa, Cyprus, Norfolk and just about everywhere else...........
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Old 25th May 2019, 07:44
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"It is entirely possible the Americans will refuse to vacate Diego Garcia just as they have refused to vacate Guantanamo Bay."

The USA has a legal right to Guantanamo - the 1903 Lease for Guantanamo has no fixed expiration date.

Chagos Islands is a deal between the USA and the UK who "own" the islands - it's a lease extended to 2036
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Old 25th May 2019, 16:44
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It's not big, and it's not getting any bigger

Originally Posted by magruder1980 View Post
Absolute disgrace - and there is no reason why the the islanders and the base can't co-exist as they seem to do on Okinawa, Cyprus, Norfolk and just about everywhere else...........
There is not actually that much landmass, and when you view it from the ground it's not very impressive. Highest point IIRC is only about 10M, much of the Eastern leg is eroding at a rate of knots, and you have to ask what anyone would live on. Most of the Western arm is covered in active facilities, so from the accomodation at the top to the observatory at the southern tip, there is not much spare space. Civilians living in the middle of an active military base is not going to happen. Logistics are a nightmare, e.g. rubbish is sorted, baled, and shipped to the far East to be recycled/disposed of. Medical facilities are not bad, but it's a five hour flight to Singapore if something nasty were to happen. It's not somewhere I'd like to grow up, it's just a sunny version of one of the smaller outer Hebrides.

On the plus side, there is very active protection of the marine life around the atoll, the booties (well they used to) make sure any visits to the Northern islands by yachties are not extended. Consequently it is a very special place for wildlife.
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Old 26th May 2019, 07:29
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Wrecked Catalina inside the atoll at Diego Garcia. First time I went there it was just as it had been in WW2. Second time there had been a huge transformation. And the 'booties' were actively patrolling in RIBS,
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Old 26th May 2019, 10:56
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Must be a 30 Sqn crew looking for spares...!
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Old 26th May 2019, 11:22
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Sycamore,
second visit was during my 30 Sqn time. A colleague and I sailed a dingy around looking at all the interesting 'things' parked up.
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Old 26th May 2019, 16:57
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So why can’t they live on any of the other atolls?
The atoll with the port and airbase on is just one of many.
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Old 28th May 2019, 14:54
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The other islands are tiny, and apart from getting submerged by tropical storms from time to time, there is no fresh water. Infrastructure wise there are no buildings, no harbours, no airstrips, and no electricity.

I suspect that people who have never been there believe that they are just like an undeveloped Maldives, that might work for a very few visitors on Diego Garcia itself - if the military left, leaving behind their oil fired powerstation and the fragile network of saltwater lenses. We'd be rescuing any inhabitants from the ravages of tropical storms at great expense to the taxpayer within a few years. I dread to think what the cost of shipping everything in and all the rubbish out will come to.
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