November 2008 update

  • It is less than a month since the devastating House of Lords judgement in which the Chagossians lost their right to return home by the narrowest of margins – having won resounding victories in the previous appeals against the Orders in Council. The Committee of the UK Chagos Support Association has been deeply impressed by the strength of spirit of the exiled islanders who have been struggling for decades against the might of the UK and US governments. They want the basic human right to live peacefully in their homeland: a right which non-Chagossians reading this enjoy without let or hindrance.

  • Olivier Bancoult, chairman of the Chagos Refugees Group, has written to the US president-elect Barack Obama congratulating him on his election. Bancoult said his victory “brought hope” to the Chagossian people, and that he looked forward to dialogue with the new administration.

  • There was wide media coverage of the verdict, including in countries as far afield as Japan. The Telegraph carried an editorial piece. The Guardian ran a poll on whether readers thought the decision was right. 94.3% said no.

  • Allen Vincatassin is leading a group to Diego Garcia and other outer islands of Chagos on the 15th of November. The Diego Garcian Society will submit a report with recommendations to the Government on the future of Diego Garcians and other Chagos islanders. The visit is being organised by the Government after a campaign that started in December 2007 with the help of the local MP Laura Moffatt. An official ceremony will be held on the 14th of November in Crawley in the presence of the Mayor of Crawley, MPs, Councillors, local and national organisations, and the community.
    We hope to bring you more news of this trip in the future.

  • The Crawley Observer reported on 11th November that Chagos Island continued their good form with a 3 – 2 win in the Crawley Senior Cup first round against Furnace Green Rovers. Well done.

  • A supporter has kindly sent us information about the Takamba record label. Their list includes Charlesia, la Voix des Chagos. (She is the lady who sang in John Pilger’s “Stealing A Nation.”) This supporter also noted “It is more than ironic that it is a French semi-public authority that is funding music from a British people in a Commonwealth country.” To learn more, try typing Takamba and Charlesia into Google.