Diego Garcia Island / by kevin murray

As reported by the http://www.telegraph.co.uk the Diego Garcia Island is: "… a 17 sq. mile horseshoe-shaped atoll in the Indian Ocean's Chagos Archipelago. It has a tropical climate with thick jungles and white sand beaches."  Initially, upon reading this, one might suppose that this must be some sort of tourist destination catering to the rich and famous and hardly newsworthy.  Unfortunately, it isn't, instead, from the years 1968-1973, the native Chagossians were forcefully deported by Great Britain which had become the principal colonial power of the Diego Garcia, upon the implementation of the Treaty of Paris in 1814.  Like anything, the immediate question to ask was why the approximately 1,500 Chagossians were deported from their island of residence?  The short answer is that the United States strongly desired to have a strategic presence in the Indian Ocean that would allow their military vital access to the Middle East and Southeast Asia.  Therefore the deportation of the peoples there was primarily done with the purpose of establishing an important strategic base without the annoyance of the indigenous people populating the island interfering with the base, and also creating possible compromised communications or inconvenient protests.


Since the time of the deportation, the Chagossians have lived in exile, and although they were given some money as a settlement for being re-located, they have also pursued various lawsuits in the fight to return to their land of their birth.  Not too surprisingly, the Chagossians have not been successful in their lawsuits and based upon the vested interests of both Great Britain and the United States, they will not be succeeding in returning to their homeland anytime soon, if ever.  Perhaps therefore one should simply look upon this incident as just another injustice perpetrated against innocent civilians, all for the purpose of the so-called "greater good" or simply for the convenience of Great Britain or its proxy, its designated lessee the United States being able to take possession of a strategically placed desirable location so that timely military force is capable of being applied against countries in the immediate region.


In a modern world in which colonial powers have voluntarily or through pressure relinquished their power and control of colonial countries and governments, the Diego Garcia deportation incident should follow this same pattern and consequently the Chagossians should be masters of their own fate.  Once and for all, the Chagossian people should be given a choice to return to their homeland with appropriate compensation and materials to rebuild their homes and lifestyle or instead to voluntarily surrender their right to return to their homeland on an individual basis.    Instead, Great Britain pushed through a Marine Protection Act for the Chagos archipelago which in essence, will preclude Chagossians from ever returning to their homeland, because the environmental protections of the marine reserve will stop them from being able to effectively fish the waters of their native land, should they be repatriated to their homeland.


In the United States lust for empire, it has no guilt, nor compunction, asserting itself against other sovereign peoples as if their way is the only way, the right way, and God's way.  It isn't.