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Chagos: coalition ditches promise to reverse policy

expandmymind

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UK government ministers come out against resettlement of Indian Ocean islanders.

If a week is a long time in politics, surely it is an age since the UK's coalition government was formed. And it's also the summer holidays, which is usually the time when civil servants conspire with ministers to smuggle unpopular items into the public domain in order to escape parliamentary scrutiny and public debate.

Both these factors might well explain why the government appears to have ditched the pre-election commitment made by William Hague and Nick Clegg to change the former Labour government's shameful policy towards the former inhabitants of the Chagos Islands, forcibly removed from their homeland to make way for the US military base on Diego Garcia.

New Statesman - Chagos: coalition ditches promise to reverse policy

When I first read about what happened with the Chagos Islands I felt ashamed to call myself British. Around the same time we were defending the Falkland Islanders' rights to self determination, we were ethnically cleansing another group of people who were subjects of the British Empire, just as the Falkland Islanders were. Our Queen's own subjects. Yet a few greedy government ministers sold out these people to make way for a US military base for which they/we were 'reimbursed'. The Islanders were tricked into leaving the Island (how low) and never been cared for or reimbursed; just left to fend for themselves in squalor.

And the problem still has not been resolved to this very day. Or even given the proper amount of media coverage or time in Parliament.

Crazy to think this only happened almost 40 years ago.
 
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William Rea

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UK government ministers come out against resettlement of Indian Ocean islanders.



New Statesman - Chagos: coalition ditches promise to reverse policy

When I first read about what happened with the Chagos Islands I felt ashamed to call myself British. Around the same time we were defending the Falkland Islanders' rights to self determination, we were ethnically cleansing another group of people who were subjects of the British Empire, just as the Falkland Islanders were. Our Queen's own subjects. Yet a few greedy government ministers sold out these people to make way for a US military base for which they/we were 'reimbursed'. The Islanders were tricked into leaving the Island (how low) and never been cared for or reimbursed; just left to fend for themselves in squalor.

And the problem still has not been resolved to this very day. Or even given the proper amount of media coverage or time in Parliament.

Crazy to think this only happened almost 40 years ago.

I first read about this in John Pilger's book Freedom Next Time and it is such a shameful episode.
 

expandmymind

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I first read about this in John Pilger's book Freedom Next Time and it is such a shameful episode.

Yeha that's where I found out about the situation. Opened my eyes. Good book that one.

I guess no one here cares much for them though. I thought the forums would be quite busy but I guess it must be mainly Europeans and people from the US? Up there is where mst of the action seems to be :)
 

William Rea

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Yeha that's where I found out about the situation. Opened my eyes. Good book that one.

I guess no one here cares much for them though. I thought the forums would be quite busy but I guess it must be mainly Europeans and people from the US? Up there is where mst of the action seems to be :)

It's not a hot topic for polemicists in the same way that the ME situation or the Islamification of Europe is so issues like this disappear very easily.

It is no less tragic though.
 
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