Once upon a time, an entire people were exiled from their own country by a mighty foreign power. They were taken a thousand miles across the sea and left on strange shores. They lost their homes and their traditional livelihood and were not wanted by the people of the land they had been brought to.
They longed to return to the land of their birth; the land of their forebears. Many fell victim to disease and died.
Sounds biblical, doesn’t it? In fact, the chagossian people were commonwealth citizens (and are now British passport holders) who were thrown off the chagos islands in the early seventies by the British government because the United States wanted to establish a military base on one of the islands – Diego Garcia.
They were coerced, tricked and forced into leaving. They could take one bag each. Their pets were killed before their eyes. And once they were dumped in Mauritius and the seychelles, no help was offered to them.
Today, more than 30 years on, the islanders are still suffering in exile, and the current government has not only failed them, but has actively continued the injustice.
To see John Pilger’s film, “Stealing a Nation”, which documents the story of Diego Garcia and the Chagossian people click here.If you would like to help in any way, please contact the UK Chagos Support Association at one of the addresses below.
This is a humanitarian, cross-party issue and all are welcome.
The UK Chagos Support Association
Find out more from the website: www.chagossupport.org.uk
>> Updated information 21/08/2007 :
See also UK Chagos Support Blog at http://chagosuk.blogspot.com.
A new, short film about the Chagos Islanders is available online at http://uk.current.com/watch/32804727.
For a full-screen, high quality online version of Stealing a Nation, go to http://stage6.divx.com/members/475737/videos/1107371#