Monday, July 11, 2016

Moving back home

That's all the Chagossians want to do. They are the people who were thrown off the island of Diego Garcia almost fifty years ago. They were thrown off because we wanted to build a military base there as it occupies a strategic position in the Indian Ocean. For some reason the powers that be felt it necessary that there be no other residents on the island other than the military, despite the fact that just about all our military installations around the world are bordered by civilians. 

You may not have heard about Diego Garcia when you were in school as it is a British colony. But we were able to convince the British to remove the Chagossians. The British rounded up the population of 1,500 or so, put them on overcrowded cargo ships and deported them 1,200 miles to Mauritius and the Seychelles without any sort of financial assistance. While the people awaited deportation, British agents and U.S. Navy personnel rounded up and killed the Chagossians’ pet dogs by gassing and burning them in sealed cargo sheds. The Chagossians have been fighting to return home ever since. 

Thus far, their legal battle has been in vain.

1 comment:

R J Adams said...

Yes, we're truly lovely people, aren't we? It was the lovable Harold Wilson and his Labour government who sold out the Chargossians to the U.S. in exchange for Polaris submarines and other treasure. We were particularly kind to their dogs.