End This British Atrocity 60


One of the worst atrocities of the British Empire occurred well within my own lifetime – the removal of an entire people, the Chagossians, from their homeland. Uprooted and deposited across the seas hundreds of miles away, many died from the physical and psychological effects of this crime against humanity. The thing is, it is still happening. The survivors have clung together as a community, and the British government are still actively preventing their return to their homeland – all to make way for an American military base on Diego Garcia. There is no reason other than simple Imperialism for America to maintain a military base in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Probably the most breathtaking piece of hypocrisy in modern history was when New Labour proudly announced that they had demarcated the waters around the Chagos Islands as the world’s first total marine conservation area – purely so they could make it impossible for the fishing based island community ever to return.

It is of course another example of the unparalleled talent for hypocrisy of the British state that the same politicians who declare their willingness to fight and die for the right of self-determination of the Falkland Islanders, will defend the deportation of the Chagos Islanders and their continued exclusion from their own islands. Again I would stress that Labour have been at least as guilty as Tories. The entire British state is complicit in this atrocity.

I would urge everybody who reads this immediately to use this link to send a message to your MP. I should welcome feedback through the comments section on any responses received.


60 thoughts on “End This British Atrocity

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  • [email protected]

    Advice for the petition page:

    If the petition page can’t find your MP choose an unusual street name within your constituency and start typing it into the box:

    Find your local rep – Enter your address

    Address suggestions will start appearing beneath, click on one that looks right and the page should find your MP. Click on your MP’s name. Boxes will then appear so you can fill in your real address properly.

  • Alex Birnie

    email sent and shared on FB. My MP is Eilidh Whiteford, so she will almost certainly pass it on…..Lang may yer lum reek, Craig!

  • Kempe

    On the subject of hypocrisy bear in mind that this appalling act was put in motion by the last PM the UK had who could reasonably be called a socialist in return for a discount on an upgrade to Britain’s nuclear deterrent which he’d previously promised to abolish.

    The marine reserve also has the full support of Greenpeace despite being denounced as an obvious fraud and possibly even illegal.

    http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/oceans/why-greenpeace-supports-marine-reserve-chagos-20100224

  • fedup

    Simply put the West ie US et al are gaming the system to the max, and on goes the kabuki; “freedumb, freedumb, freedumb, hey”!!!

    The extent of hypocrisy is jaw dropping. The degrees of unimaginativeness are so apparent when it comes to comparing the Chinese with the yanks; US would go to the extent of uprooting whole communities causing untold misery and destruction to assert itself and set up yet another base for further future aggressions. On the other side Chinese would go to the extent of constructing and creating new islands to assert their progress and set up basses!

    Fact that the Yanks have only a hammer in their tool box and they have no recourse to any other tool, has spawned an empire that is rooted in coercion, destruction, displacement in a bid to promote its’ hegemony by destroying any and all competing forces, as per its obtuse, parasitic malevolent empire model. On the other hand China is setting the mode of a new empire asserting and projecting real power, in the face of which Yanks have little or no recourse to compete with. Hence the infantile attempts of Yanks with an almost apoplectic response that apparently disregard and dose not acknowledge the newly declared Chinese territories!

    The next stop is the space, making all the land and sea based assets redundant but there are no Chagossians in the space so the Yanks are highly unlikely to move into a space base! Needless to point out UK plutocrats would be hard pressed to charge rent for other people’s homelands as these have no access to space neither.

  • Sixer

    Email sent. Will let you know if my dear representative replies. He does sometimes.

  • Uphill

    Done.

    I’ll never get how walking over other people is somehow more civilized. Wealth and materiality is clearly an abasement of humanity.

    If I was part of an outernational cosmic civilization earth would clearly be unfit to join.

    “It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one’s spiritual balance. Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving.”

    Ohiyesa, Wahpeton Santee Sioux.

  • nevermind, mental health is a burning issue

    It is a vital part of Americas aim at full spectrum dominance and control of the heartlands of Asia.
    The Chagossians will not get their lands back by legal means, imho, because England’s party politicians are too weak to stand up to these bullies, and anyway its not like its Battersea, so they don’t really care much, as long as the status quo remains and their 11% pay rise rolls in.

  • Matt Beeson

    John Prescott’s chutzpah on this is simply breathtaking. He was Deputy Prime Minister when in May 2006 the High Court ruled in the Islanders’ favour, that they could return. Where was Prescott’s voice then? He was also complicit in the war on terror, that led to the base on Diago Garcia being used for illegal extraordinary rendition missions. Again not a peep from him then. Prescott the war criminal is trying to rehabilitate himself

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/chagos-islands-residents-should-allowed-7456166

  • Republicofscotland

    “The Chagos Islands, one of the UK’s most remote overseas territories, could be opened up to tourism under plans allowing exiled islanders to return home, according to a Foreign Office report.

    The consultation process on resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), launched this week, proposes allowing 1,500 Chagossians to live on the archipelago.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/05/chagossians-could-be-allowed-to-return-to-british-indian-ocean-territory

    ___________

    The Guardian newspaper carried the above story last year. I can’t recall the outcome.

    Perfidious Albion has form when it comes to acts such as the Chagossian deportation, I suppose they can think themselves fortunate though compared to this, act of deportation also by imperialist Britain.

    https://abagond.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/the-tasmanian-genocide/

    The Tasmanian genocide (fl. 1826-1829) is where Whites from Britain wiped out nearly all the people of Tasmania, then called Van Diemen’s Land, now part of Australia. They sent the few hundred that remained to prison camps where they died of disease and despair. Truganini (pictured), the last full-blooded Tasmanian, died in 1876.

    There were 6,000 Tasmanians. They had lived in Tasmania for 30,000 years. They were hunter-gatherers, each band with its own lands which it hunted and maintained with controlled burnings.

  • Republicofscotland

    One wonders what kind of reward, the USA’s compliant minion Britain received for forcefully stealing Chagossian lands.

    More to the point what did the UN, think of it, oh that’s right the UN’s headquarters are in New York. No outcry over the Chagossians forced ordeal, from the press, nor clergy.

    Yet the outcry from Western propaganda outlets is deafing over the likes of Syria and the refugee crisis.

    One would be forgiven if they thought the USA, the number one warmongering nation, had swaying influence (like a bully at school) over almost all nations on the planet.

    Imperial Britian no longer rules the waves, but rides as a kowtowing sidekick on the coattails of the USA.

  • nevermind, mental health is a burning issue

    The French/English pirates stole the Chagos islands from their inhabitants, then send them to live or die in some infested hell holes on Mauritius. After very little debate here, the dependent neocons gave away their islands to the war mongers who launched their attacks on Afghanistan and others from that base.

    The contamination which is being created on that once pristine island by these masses of people and equipment must be mind boggling, but, nobody gets on to the island, so its irrelevant to the polluters, no regulations there.

    Worst is, consecutive judges and slimy party politicians in this country, as well as HMQ, were complicit in this crime against humanity, more than once.

    But soon the current bomber force will get their very own Hitler they’d been asking for. I don’t think there is much choice. If Bernie does not trump Hilary, Trump will run away with it, whatever the media says, its a little like here, the more negative Cameron gets the more people will want to oppose his views and vote out.

    Cameron was never in the EU camp, he’s pretending and acting up to all those who told him to stay in the EU, hallo Xi Jinping.

  • Ian

    This was the time The Queen went down in my estimation. After The High Court ruled in favour of the the people of the islands didn’t she allow the Privy Council to overrule The Court? Our democracy and our legal system “don’t impress me much”

  • lysias

    U.S. governments have of course also been guilty here. The UK did what it did precisely because the U.S. asked it to.

    Very good book on the subject is David Vine’s Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia. Only covers events through Jan. 2011, however.

  • Pete

    Well my regard for Greenpeace just went right down the tube! At best their statement is pitifully naive, and their offer to show the Chagossians how to run sustainable fisheries is so patronising its embarrassing, especially as the Chagossians were presumably fishing sustainably already, given that unsustainable fishing surely requires the kind of huge boats and equipment they could never have afforded.

    In any case, do they seriously think this massive base isn’t pouring all kinds of toxins into the sea? Our own local Naval Base at Devonport is now resuming large scale toxic waste dumping in Whitsands Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in Britain. With the full support of our local MP (Cheryl Murray, Con)

  • lysias

    The reason Britain got a reduced price for nukes is that this was a way in which the U.S. government could pay the UK government for Diego Garcia legally. Just giving the money would have required congressional approval.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,

    It never ceases to amaze me how the powerful commit such atrocities. What is truly amazing is that even when Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder see the wrong and the crime(s) against humanity; the powerful end up needing a further eye examination ( read “heart” ) to determine if they have any. See this:-

    http://www.pambazuka.net/en/category.php/features/95671

    as yet another callous equivalent.

    I am aware of the Chagos Islands and also noted the recent Kenyan victory for the Mau Mau survivors. The same London law firm is representing and advising CARICOM ( the Caribbean community’s small idea of EU co-operation through regional partnership).

    I am presently defending a man who suffers from schizophrenia who was imprisoned for 5 years and 3 months in Her Majesty’s Prison. No charge; no crime committed. Yet the state wants to defend this action when there exists a plethora of cases under the European Convention on Human Rights which determine this conduct as cruel and inhumane to imprison the mentally ill.

    Guess we simply have to keep on advocating and supporting human rights as best we can.

  • fwl

    Habbs, what is your opinion on the substantive issue ie do you have a defence for our treatment of the islands and their inhabitants? Some of your opinions are certainly worth listening to, but rather than reach for the low lying fruit fly high and wing it with a defence.

    Fedup referred to gaming the system for all its worth by which perhaps he had in mind geo-politics, but what would that mean here and what the justification?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Hab,

    Said:-

    “I believe that the Caribbean islands still retain capital punishment as well?

    But the majority of Caribbean countries are independent, are they not? They have thrown off their vile colonial masters.

    What, then, stops the governments of those independent nations from abolishing the death penalty and also the laws which resulted in that client of yours being banged up for 5 years?”

    As regards capital punishment, the reality is that the majority of the Caribbean people are pro-capital punishment. In other words, while the pro/anti EU UK lobbies might be a bit closer in opinion ( in the sense of having no clear and overwhelming opinion for or against); as would be the Scottish Independence issue be in public opinion – the clear majority in the Caribbean is pro the death penalty. Now in point of law what happens is this:-

    A. While the independent Caribbean countries are free to choose – most still retain the Privy Council – so what London states is the case law in the majority of independent Caribbean countries.

    B. The European Convention on Human Rights applies in the UK but not in the independent countries.

    C. In a Jamaican case called Pratt and Morgan – the Privy Council said that if a person remained on death row for 5 years or more without execution – upon an interpretation under the ECHR this would be cruel and inhumane punishment and the death penalty cannot then be executed. So lawyers ensure that the final appeal extends beyond that 5 year period.

    D. In the British Dependent Territories ( colonies) the provisions of the ECHR are applied – so no death penalty in Bermuda etc.

    Well, the case I referred to happened in the Turks and Caicos Islands ( a British colony). What happened was that after 4 years the British Governor by Executive Order designated Her Majesty’s Prison a safe place for detention of the mentally ill. But, the mentally ill are not ipso facto criminals – so – how can this be in conformity with the ECHR?

    Will see how the case is finally determined.

  • Petro Chemical

    And NATO has the gall to complain about the Chinese having bases on the Spratley Isles…

  • BrianFujisan

    Great to highlight this Craig.. Fkers just rampage around the Globe..is any one safe from these Sociopaths… Hopefully i’ll hear back Soon from Ronnie Cowan, My SNP M.P

    “According to the agreement, the United States would gain use of the new colony “without charge.” This was another fiction. In confidential minutes, the United States agreed to secretly wipe out a $14 million British military debt, circumventing the need to ask Congress for funding. In exchange, the British agreed to take the “administrative measures” necessary for “resettling the inhabitants.”

    Those measures meant that, after 1967, any Chagossians who left home for medical treatment or a routine vacation in Mauritius were barred from returning. Soon, British officials began restricting the flow of food and medical supplies to Chagos. As conditions deteriorated, more islanders began leaving. By 1970, the U.S. Navy had secured funding for what officials told Congress would be an “austere communications station.” They were, however, already planning to ask for additional funds to expand the facility into a much larger base. As the Navy’s Office of Communications and Cryptology explained, “The communications requirements cited as justification are fiction.” By the 1980s, Diego Garcia would become a billion-dollar garrison.

    In briefing papers delivered to Congress, the Navy described Chagos’s population as “negligible,” with the islands “for all practical purposes… uninhabited.” In fact, there were around 1,000 people on Diego Garcia in the 1960s and 500 to 1,000 more on other islands in the archipelago. With Congressional funds secured, the Navy’s highest-ranking admiral, Elmo Zumwalt, summed up the Chagossians’ fate in a 1971 memo of exactly three words: “Absolutely must go.”

    Associate professor of anthropology, David Vine,

    P.S Its A horror for the Jeju islanders too… Over the same U.S base issues.

  • john ward

    I worked on Diego Garcia for 2 years 1981-83, as a surveyor on the US navy base. The island is the longest continuous atoll in the world, some 40 miles from tip to tip. US personnel were only allowed on the western half of the atoll, but as Brits on a Sunday we could roam freely on the eastern half, which is were the Chagosians had built a little town, which included a church, a jail,shops and houses. The little church, like all the buildings, was built from hand hewn coral, and had a giant clam shell font, a real monster.
    we would poke about in the long-deserted houses, and tried to imagine the day that the islanders were all rounded up and transported to Mauritius some 15 years earlier. It was obvious they left in a hurry because they left their tools behind. Poor people don’t do that. But of course the government said there were no permanent residents on the island, so no one’s human rights were crushed.
    Towards the end of my stay HMS Sheffield paid a visit,and we had beers with the crew in the Brit Club. The visit was shortened when she was ordered to full-steam to the Falklands where she went down from an Exocet missile. The official line is the war dead died defending the islander’s right to self-determination.

  • John Goss

    John Ward, what a powerful message packed into a short comment. It is always good to hear from someone who has first-hand experience, who can add something of substance to what is known. In my mind I can picture the giant clam shell and hewn coral and the lost livelihoods of the islanders. Thank you for your contribution.

  • Rose

    John G – re e-mailing my MP – I tried yesterday using the PC only and now again today with an address after reading your post – doesn’t seem to work.

  • Bena

    Well and succinctly put.

    The contrast of British policy towards Diego Garcia and the Falklands Islands is stark, and can only be explained by racism. That point should be highlighted.

    David Miliband was the infamous New Labour Foreign Secretary who oversaw the world’s first marine conservation area around the Chagos islands, with the direct and obvious purpose, as you say, of preventing the return of islanders by barring their fishing livelihood – and, to boot, letting New Labour garner some misguided support in Britain for their promotion of “nature conservation.” David’s father must be turning in his grave.

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