A Sickening Tale Of Government Deception

Today, the British government announced its intention to turn 210,000 square miles of the Indian Ocean archipelago into the world’s largest marine reserve.

According to the BBC, the British Foreign Secretary David Milliband, said of the project:

Its creation is a major step forward for protecting the oceans, not just around BIOT [British Indian Ocean Territory] itself, but also throughout the world.

“This measure is a further demonstration of how the UK takes its international environmental responsibilities seriously.”[1]

The British government, it seems, is to be applauded.

Or, is it?

In a recent post on Sparrow Chat, I wrote of the US military base on Diego Garcia, the largest island in the Indian Ocean chain, and how it’s presently being stocked to the gills with armaments, including “Blu” bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures.[2]

The area fell to Britain in 1814 with the defeat of Napoleon (originally, the islands had been conquered by the French), which probably would have made little difference to its 2,000 inhabitants, except that in the 1960’s the United States decided it needed a military base in the area. Diego Garcia was perfect for the job, or would have been were it not for the locals.

The last thing America wanted was a load of curious islanders delving into their affairs, so the British (who were being well paid for their skulduggery) forcibly ejected the lot. Some were shipped to Britain, the remainder dumped on a Mauritian quayside and left to fend for themselves.

The British government responsible for this disgusting act of barbarity was headed by the Labour prime minister, Harold Wilson. Edward Heath, his Tory successor, happily continued the policy.

For forty years the Chagossians have fought a bitter battle in the UK courts, for the right to return to their homeland. Finally, in 2007, seven judges agreed that their right of abode was so fundamental the British government could not take it away.

In response, the UK government appealed to its own legislative body, the Law Lords, who happily overruled the decision.

Well, they would, wouldn’t they?

Undeterred, the Chagossians have taken their case to the European Court of Human Rights. A verdict is expected this autumn.

Meanwhile, the British government announces its decision to turn the area into a marine reserve.

Which means a ban on fishing.

Which means the Chagossians, if they win their battle, will be unable to pursue the only livelihood open to them on the island.

With no means of support, they’ll be unable to return.

Such is the devious nature of the British government.

[1] “UK sets up Chagos Islands marine reserve” BBC, April 1st 2010

[2] “Matters We’re Not Supposed To Know About” Sparrow Chat, March 15th 2010

NOTE: John Pilger produced a documentary on the plight of the Chargossians. It’s called, “Stealing A Nation”, and is available on Google video or YouTube.

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5 Replies to “A Sickening Tale Of Government Deception”

  1. I have followed the fate of the Chagossians for quite some time now and always had the feeling that in spite of their battles for justice they would be blocked on their petitions to return to their birthright.
    It is absolutely appalling what has been done to them and covered up in the guise of environmental responsibility. Reprehensible toads.

  2. Hmmmm – ve..rry inte…resting! And crafty! Something which, on the surface is timely and A Very Good Thing, yet covers a nasty ulterior motive.

  3. Well, when it comes to the skulduggery of liberating peoples from their lands, your lot has always been a leader. And my lot has always been a good learner. I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree….

  4. There were approximately 2,000 Chagossians living on Diego Garcia at the time of this appalling act: men, women, and children. Almost all the families had pets – mainly dogs, but some had cats and other animals. When the British military took possession of the island they rounded up all the pets. While the owners watched, they herded them into containers, and gassed them.
    The Chagossians were then told: “If you refuse to leave the island, this will happen to you.”
    This is the power of western democracies at work. It was no isolated incident. Barbarities of this nature are being constantly devised by western governments today, in their quest for a ‘New World Order’.

  5. A similar incident is happening in Turks and Caicos. Islanders have had their government and now their land forcibly taken from them with little explanation. As seemingly part of a cover up, the locals are told there was corruption and that the land was unlawfully sold to them. The islanders have had their rights to democracy taken from them so that they cannot vote on any matters or speak out. Seems a bit self serving by the UK … and interesting that this is coming up too now in other OTs. Let’s be vigilant.

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