Chagos Islanders win legal battle to return home

Is this justice at last?

  • Yes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Dont know

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
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#4
Does anybody expect that the islanders would return to their homeland anytime soon? No of course. American base on Diego Garcia will function further.

Btw, how much USA pays for the base to the UK? It would be fair to use at least part of this money for compensation. However I fancy that the sum is rather symbolic.
 
#5
KGB_resident said:
Does anybody expect that the islanders would return to their homeland anytime soon? No of course. American base on Diego Garcia will function further.

Btw, how much USA pays for the base to the UK? It would be fair to use at least part of this money for compensation. However I fancy that the sum is rather symbolic.
The article answers your first point. They're returning immediately to 64 islands, but not to Diego Garcia itself.
 
#6
I watched a documentary on this a couple of years back, and they were treated very very badly, I even wrote to my local MP, the letter back just quoted the party line on the subject.

So was very glad to hear that the Islanders won, hope they get the compensation they deserve.

Power to the people.


CTC
 
#7
frenchperson said:
KGB_resident said:
Does anybody expect that the islanders would return to their homeland anytime soon? No of course. American base on Diego Garcia will function further.

Btw, how much USA pays for the base to the UK? It would be fair to use at least part of this money for compensation. However I fancy that the sum is rather symbolic.
The article answers your first point. They're returning immediately to 64 islands, but not to Diego Garcia itself.
The USA don't pay anything to the UK PLC for the use of these islands. They were offered as part payment for our debt to America after WW2.

A lot of air support for 'the stan' is flying in from Diego Garcia.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
Funny that - if we've paid off the war debt to the USA (I noticed that ?Germany and Japan managed to clear theirs MUCH quicker!!!!!) then why are they still using the base?

Enough is enough; if the debt is paid, start charging the septics rent, the same as everyone else does!

While we are at it, let's make the rent so pricey that we get our war 'reparations' recovered.

As for the indigenous people - glad to see them getting at least close to home - very shameful period, but no doubt as requested by the US at the time.
 
#9
frenchperson said:
KGB_resident said:
Does anybody expect that the islanders would return to their homeland anytime soon? No of course. American base on Diego Garcia will function further.

Btw, how much USA pays for the base to the UK? It would be fair to use at least part of this money for compensation. However I fancy that the sum is rather symbolic.
The article answers your first point. They're returning immediately to 64 islands, but not to Diego Garcia itself.
The High Court dealt a blow to the Government in 2000 when it overturned measures introduced in 1971, in the form of an Immigration Ordinance, to keep the Chagossians in exile.

The court held the islanders had a right of return to the group of 65 islands in the Chagos Archipelago, although not to Diego Garcia itself.

Then foreign secretary Robin Cook said there would be no appeal and a "feasibility study" would be conducted into the possibility of their return.
So 7 years ago there was the decision that the islanders have right to return. But as we know they are still haven't ability to realise their right. What is the difference? Again, the Chagossians have right but are voided an ability. 37 years ago British government founded ships to transfer the islanders. But now, I doubt that the Chagossians would be delivered by transport.

And mainly the Chagossians lived namely on Diego Garcia. Who will compensate them lost property and land owning rights? Other islands are relatively small.

Likely the situation will remain unchanged and the islanders will not returny in the near future. It's a democracy btw. You have many rights but only the rich have abilities to realise them.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#10
I voted NO as the courts have left the Govt the option of appealing this good decision!
 
#11
Biped said:
Funny that - if we've paid off the war debt to the USA (I noticed that ?Germany and Japan managed to clear theirs MUCH quicker!!!!!) then why are they still using the base?

Enough is enough; if the debt is paid, start charging the septics rent, the same as everyone else does!

While we are at it, let's make the rent so pricey that we get our war 'reparations' recovered.

As for the indigenous people - glad to see them getting at least close to home - very shameful period, but no doubt as requested by the US at the time.
Btw, previosly USA paid only $2 mlns. for its base in Kyrgyzstan. But now USA has to pay something like $150 mlns.

I believe that USA would pay for the base on Diego Garcia even bigger money. Now let's count. There are 2000 islanders. They would be happy to receive $20000 each per year. So I believe $40 mlns. would be enough for compensation. Taking into account that USA spends billions on the war in Iraq it is rather a change.
 
#12
Perhaps attention can now be turned to Ascension Island where those in residence were promised a degree of automony [ie., deciding by council what's best for the islanders, being able to buy land and own housing etc.,] coupled with the islanders paying tax and a say in the islands future. It seems that the FO has changed it's mind [a suspicion of mine that there is pressure from the Americans behind this]. This is my opinion based on
1. Reading "the Islander" newspaper on line, 2. conversation with some of the residents, 3. Having spent some time there before and after the transition and 4. Not trusting politicians and the FO to do the right thing.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#13
exile1 said:
Perhaps attention can now be turned to Ascension Island where those in residence were promised a degree of automony [ie., deciding by council what's best for the islanders, being able to buy land and own housing etc.,] coupled with the islanders paying tax and a say in the islands future. It seems that the FO has changed it's mind [a suspicion of mine that there is pressure from the Americans behind this]. This is my opinion based on
1. Reading "the Islander" newspaper on line, 2. conversation with some of the residents, 3. Having spent some time there before and after the transition and 4. Not trusting politicians and the FO to do the right thing.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
I understood that there was no indigenous population on Ascension. The British shipped in people from St Helena?
 
#16
qman said:
frenchperson said:
KGB_resident said:
Does anybody expect that the islanders would return to their homeland anytime soon? No of course. American base on Diego Garcia will function further.

Btw, how much USA pays for the base to the UK? It would be fair to use at least part of this money for compensation. However I fancy that the sum is rather symbolic.
The article answers your first point. They're returning immediately to 64 islands, but not to Diego Garcia itself.
The USA don't pay anything to the UK PLC for the use of these islands. They were offered as part payment for our debt to America after WW2.

A lot of air support for 'the stan' is flying in from Diego Garcia.
I thought we offered them in exchange for a cheap deal on Polaris and (later) Trident? I heard the islanders' legal representative on the radio the other day and he said the islanders wanted the base to stay and, crucially, the right to work at it. Apparently some 2,500 third-country nationals work on DG and the Chagossians want to be part of that. Local jobs for local people, and all that.
 
#17
John Pilger has been on about this for a long time:

http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=351

It is particularly galling that the whole thing came about because the first choice was ruled out because it was the home to Giant Land Turtles and conservationist made a fuss. US offered the Wilson Government a £11m discount off Polaris and:

"On November 8 1965, in the twilight of its colonial era, Britain created a new colony, the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), whose principal territory was the Chagos Islands. It was a ruse of which perhaps only Britain's ancien régime was capable; for the new colony was a fake, an entity created for the sole purpose of handing it over for the use of the American military. This was made possible by using the archaic powers of the royal prerogative, a throwback to the divine right of kings."

So blatent misuse of Royal Perogative created this problem and the Government tried to use it again to cover itself in June 2004 on the very day the news was dominated by local elections: another good day to bury bad news. This is now revealed as yet another unlawful act of attempted exile of a native people. And from a Government who shouts so long and loud about Human Rights.

What many people find really annoying is that the Chagos Islands (apart from those designated as nature reserves and the prohibited military zone) have became about the worlds best tropical playground for rich yachties.

£100 per month gets you a mooring permit and access to the islands although cannot stay onshore overnight. Unless of course you were a native Chagos Islander of course, who could not set foot on the Islands at all!

http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front...id=1007029394365&a=KArticle&aid=1174558806718
 
#18
Sorry, Frenchie, I can't vote as you haven't put a "Don't care" option.

Oh and Blogg, Pilger's a self serving cnut of the highest order.
 
#19
Themanwho said:
Oh and Blogg, Pilger's a self serving cnut of the highest order.
I do not care much for him either. But are the factual matters set out and archival documents quoted correct?

Yes they are because he has taken the info and docs. from the Chagos Islanders brief and these are the facts on which the Court of Appeal ruled

He is not the only one to have written about this and one thing is clear: this really is one of the most unpleasant and mean minded things the UK Government has ever done.

Anybody who doubts that should read the judgement:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2007/498.html

Despite the unhappy subject matter the case is really all about Constitutional Law and abuse of power:

"The unannounced withdrawal of the Chagossians' right of return by the two Orders in Council in 2004 has been defended in court not on the ground of an ineluctable change of circumstance and policy but on the ground that, by using Orders in Council, ministers could do with impunity something which was known to be unlawful when done by Ordinance. If, as I would hold, there is no prior inhibition either under the 1865 Act or at common law upon the jurisdiction of the courts to adjudicate upon the validity of Orders in Council, the critical question is whether the instant case is a proper case for the court's intervention. Notwithstanding the great latitude which the prerogative power of colonial governance enjoys, I consider the material Orders to have been unlawfully made, because both their content and the circumstances of their enactment constitute an abuse of power on the part of executive government."

Lord Justice Sedley
 

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