Chagos: the struggle continues

Submitted by AWL on 2 February, 2021 - 5:50 Author: Lindsey Collen
Chagossian protest

Abridged from the website of the Mauritius socialist organisation Lalit

In the apparently low-stakes dispute between Mauritius and Maldives over the delimitation of their maritime boundary, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on 28 January found, on a preliminary issue raised by Maldives, that Britain has no claim on Chagos [islands previously ruled with Mauritius by Britain from which Britain evicted the whole population in 1967-73, to hand them over to the US for a military base]. Not even “a claim”.

The judgment thus lands a legal knock-out.

Now, unfortunately, the Mauritian government’s obsequious stance over the military base will again be exposed, as we move forward. Instead of calling for a time-table for base closure, the Mauritian State wants rent money from the USA for the military base.

Lalit has, together with Chagossians, maintained a struggle to get the wrongs of Chagos and Diego Garcia righted — by means of petitions, communiqués, street demonstrations, forums, international conferences, hunger strikes, court cases, leaflets, posters, books, newspaper articles, candle-light vigils — for over 40 years… [and] la luta continua! For:

• Complete decolonization of the entire Chagos.

• A democratically organised right to return for all Chagossians.

• The right to free movement in the whole of Mauritius, including Chagos for everyone, especially Chagossians.

• The closing down of the military base on Diego Garcia.

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