Seychelles

There is no legal or climatic reason why the Chagos Islanders should not return home – so why won't the UK Government act?

Posted in APPG, Exile, Feasability Study, Jeremy Corbyn, Lord Prescott, Mauritius, resettlement, Seychelles, Uncategorized on June 11th, 2015 by Mark Fitzsimons – Be the first to comment

parliamentThis was the title of a letter from the British Indian Ocean Territories All Party Parliamentary Group published in the Times on 9th June 2015. A copy of the letter can be downloaded here or viewed below.

 

 

 

This letter was signed by all current members of the Chagos Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group

This letter was signed by all current members of the Chagos Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group

Coverage & Pictures from Chagossians' recent trip home

Posted in Chagos visit, coverage, Environment, Exile, Seychelles on June 2nd, 2015 by Stefan Francis Donnelly – Be the first to comment

 

Rubbish left behind by yachtspersons, who regularly visit the islands

Rubbish left behind by yachtspersons, who regularly visit the islands

A small selection of Chagossians’ recently took part in the  annual Government-supported brief trip to their homeland. This trip has been covered and photographed in excellent detail by Seychelles News Agency.

The article naturally focuses on the Seychelles-based Chagossians who made the return journey, but Chagossians living in the UK and Mauritius were also involved. Most were native-born Chagossians.

???????????????????????????????Members of the group commented that they were “impressed by the beauty of the islands.” Concerns were raised though at the pollution left by visiting yachtspersons, as was “dismay” at the general principle Chagossians were only permitted to return on strictly controlled visits whilst wealthy pleasure-sailors were frequent visitors.

It is reported Chagossians were “unanimous” that return would be possible with appropriate investment. One recognised the obvious potential for tourism, considering a de facto industry already exists.

For more wonderful pictures, see the original Seychelles News Agency article.

 

An abandoned graveyard on the Chagos Islands

An abandoned graveyard on the Chagos Islands

An abandoned house on the now totally overgrown Peros Banhos

An abandoned house on the now totally overgrown Peros Banhos

"No reasons left not to support return" Our Chair's interview with IOO

Posted in Campaign, coverage, Exile, Feasability Study, Letusreturn, Mauritius, resettlement, Return, Return 2015, Seychelles on May 26th, 2015 by Stefan Francis Donnelly – Be the first to comment

chagos 22In a wide-ranging interview our Committee Chair Stefan Donnelly has discussed the campaign for Chagossian justice with Indian Ocean Observatory (IOO). The online publication focuses on geo-political and environmental issues affecting the Indian Ocean Region. In an interview conducted via email, Stefan explains the history of the Chagossian exile and where the campaign for return stands now.

The full interview can be read here.

Chagossians on "shaky ground": Seychelles News Agency

Posted in coverage, Diego Garcia, Mauritius, MPA, Philippa Gregory, resettlement, Return, Seychelles, UN on March 27th, 2015 by Robert Bain – Be the first to comment

Diego_Garcia_Abandoned_PlantationA new report from Seychelles News Agency highlights the uncertainty felt by Chagossians after a turbulent week. On Wednesday the UK Government refused to live up to their promise to decide on supporting Chagossian return before the election. Earlier in the week the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) judged that the UK had acted illegally in creating a Marine Protected Area around the Chagos Islands in 2010.

Although the PCA decision has been reported as a positive development for Chagossians, the Seychelles News Agency quotes Chairperson of the Chagossian Committee in the Seychelles Gilberte Grendron arguing it remains “quite unclear” what the consequences are for Chagossians.

The PCA case was really about Mauritian sovereignty, not Chagossian rights, she notes. Ms Grendron also adds there are concerns about what would happen to Chagossians’ UK citizenship if their homeland became Mauritian territory. Although she acknowledges the verdict of the PCA was probably correct, Ms Grendron adds that there are worries that with significant alteration to the MPA the environment of their homeland could be damaged.

Ms Grendron is entirely right to raise these concerns. If we did not already know already, one thing we should have learned in recent weeks is that Chagossian politics is extremely complex.

Elsewhere in the article our reaction to the Government’s failure to support Chagossian return is referenced, with a quote from our Patron and Secretary Philippa Gregory.