'WikiLeaks cables suggest the Foreign Office knows its plan
to declare Diego Garcia a marine park will end any chance of islanders winning the right to return Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian'
* Text sent from Martha Duenas with the below quoted on Dec. 4, 2010
'The displacement of the Chagossian people of the island of Diego Garcia is justified using references to "strategic" purposes and "security." These are the exact terms used in the rationale & promotion of the military buildup in Guam. The British Indian Ocean Territory - BIOT which encompasses the 55 islands surrounding and including Diego Garcia, and the Mariana Island National Marine Monument prohibit activities in the area. Military activities are EXEMPT from any of the prohibitions and regulations.
Diego Garcia and the Mariana Islands are poised to fulfill the United States Department of Defense "Full Spectrum Dominance Vision 2020." '
The Guardian UK
Wikileaks Cables Reveal Foreign Office Mislead Parliament Over Diego Garcia
: UK official told Americans that marine park plan would end the 'Man Fridays' hopes of ever returning home
Rob Evans and Richard Norton-Taylor
Thursday, 2 December 2010
The Foreign Office misled parliament over the plight of thousands of islanders who were expelled from their Indian Ocean homeland to make way for a large US military base, according to secret US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
More than 2,000 islanders – described privately by the Foreign Office as "Man Fridays" – were evicted from the British colony of Diego Garcia in the 1960s and 1970s. The Foreign Office, backed by the US, has fought a long legal battle to prevent them returning home.
The islanders' quest to go back will be decided by a ruling, expected shortly, from the European court of human rights.
New leaked documents show the Foreign Office has privately admitted its latest plan to declare the islands the world's largest marine protection zone will end any chance of them being repatriated.
The admission is at odds with public claims by Foreign Office ministers that the proposed park would have no effect on the islanders' right of return. They have claimed the marine park was a ploy to block their return, claiming it would make it impossible for them to live there as it would ban fishing, their main livelihood.
In May 2009, Colin Roberts, the Foreign Office director of overseas territories, told the Americans Diego Garcia's value in "assuring the security of the US and UK" had been "much more than anyone foresaw" in the 1960s, when the plan to set up the base was hatched.
"We do not regret the removal of the population since removal was necessary for [Diego Garcia] to fulfil its strategic purpose," he added under a passage that the Americans headed "Je ne regrette rien".
* Wilbert van der Zeijden who also forwarded the same article through the 'no US bases' group had a some comment as the below quoted on Dec. 2, 2010
A very intresting wikileaks document was released today. Several things are of importance:
- The UK government "do[es] not regret the removal of the populatio, since removal was necessary for the BIOT to fulfill its strategic importance"
- The UK government has developed the plan for a Chagos marine protected area with the sole purpose of keeping the Chagossians out! the wording they use is painful and all telling: there will be no "Man Fridays." It is a term that was also used for the Chagossians in the 1960's when they were forcefully removed from their Islands. The document goes on to say that the UK asserts that "establishing a marine park would, in effect, put paid to the resettlement claims of the archipelago's former residents". To achieve all this, the UK has managed to convince eco-groups like Pew charitable Fund and Greenpeace that the Marine Park was is a good ecological idea. The fact that they now try to establish it by violating the human rights of the Chagossians, is not much of a problem according to the British government official in the document, because "the UK's environmental lobby is far more powerful than the Chagossians' advocates."
Like the Mauritian government said a couple weeks ago: There's little point in talking by now - it is time for action!
& David Vine, nousbases group has some response on the article. Check the below:
Foreign Policy in Focus on Dec. 3, 2010
WikiLeaks Cables Reveal Use of Environmentalism by US and UK as Pretext to Keep Natives From Returning to Diego Garcia
By David Vine, December 3, 2010