A few years ago, someone mentioned me Diego Garcia island, in the Indian Ocean. I discovered that the island is a US navy base, one of many unknown. But what I discovered recently is even worse: the UK bought the island to Mauritius 50 years ago forcing the natives to leave the island, some were deported, some were on holiday and were not allowed back onto the island, others left as no medicine and food was available on the island.
50 years ago the Chagossian Community were forced into exile by the UK Government to enable the construction of a US airbase on Diego Garcia. The 50 year agreement between the US and UK comes to its end on December 30 of this year.
However, on Wednesday 16 November, the Government made the decision not to go ahead with a resettlement scheme that would have allowed a number Chagossians to return to their islands.The agreement will roll on for another 20 years without the presence of the islanders. Their grounds for refusal are many, one of them that it would cost too much to the UK tax payers to resettle the families and help them to start economic activities! Bullshit, it would costs them £63m to do that and they have created a £40m fund to support the Chagossians living abroad instead!
Rallying against this decision, the Chagossian Community will be presenting a petition to 10 Downing Street on Thursday 15 December against this decision.
UK Chagos Support Association, a voluntary group for non-Chagossians backing the campaign for return, is also supporting the protest, with a spokesperson stating:
"Chagossians are protesting today to raise awareness about the injustice they have suffered, both in the recent decision denying them the right to return to their homeland and in over 50 years in exile. Chagossians are telling the government that they will not give up their rights to their land, and that the government have a responsibility to us as British citizens. Chagossian families today are still being separated due to flawed immigration policy and many Chagossians still live in extreme difficulty as a direct consequence of the deportation and the UK government's actions"
More info here: http://www.chagossupport.org.uk