Diego Garcia

Old May 11th 2009, 9:50 pm
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Default Diego Garcia

JR Numeric reminded me of a place I had read about and was interested in.
I have never visited the place, the nearest was Fishing for Sailfish and diving in the Seychelles/Mauritius/Reunion and Madagascar,

JR Numeric posted this http://www.newstatesman.com/asia/200...ritius-britain as an example of how a civilised nation should not act.

I confess again that I have never visited the place,
I have never followed Chargossian Politice nor do I know any.
My Knowledge comes from reading and hearsay but as much of JR's knowledge of my own Country appears to originate similarly, I thought
we could discuss.
The Above article seemed slightly canted so I read up a bit and I wish that JR sets me straight.

DG is a small set of Islands totalling 174 sq Kms, it had one small School,a small Hospital clinic staffed by RC Nuns,the Coconut plantations were privately owned and broke, the Chagossians only source of food and employment were the Plantations which had stopped operating,and fishing as not much grows in Coral Sand.
The Brits bought the Islands from Mauritius ( But had owned them since the Napoleonic wars), for slightly more than the Yanks bought Manhattan from the Red Indians,

The Chagossians were paid £652,000 in the 1970's as compensation and a further £4 million in the 80's.

Not much I agree but the salary for a first year Article Clerk in SA was the equivalent of £6 a month.
The Chagossians now also have the right to British Citizenship and a British passport.

A question or two for JR the number,

Had this little deal,unfair as it is, not happened, what would have happened to the Chaggossian population?
Mauritius (and France) that they fell under previously,were both broke and not spending any money on remote little Islands with crop by products that were being made cheaper in Labs,
Tourism to those areas in the 70's was virtually non-existant
In their relocation to Mauritius and Seychelles, they dont seem to have achieved very much even tho Mauritian Schools have produced an incredibly high education rate.
They seem to lead a life of unemployment and alcohol addiction which is very similar to the Missionary reports on life on Diego garcia in the 1960's.

What would have been different if they had stayed on Diego Garcia?
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Old May 13th 2009, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

JR, thanks for the PDF on the Chagossian experience, it seems to repeat verbatim the 6 external links on Wiki, which is fine as I'm not sure which links are chickens and which eggs.

The whole report is very heartfelt and the colonial powers were as brutal as they always have been.
The only thing that concerns me is when you get to the last page and the plight of 4000 Chagossian descendants is superceded by the US's Domination and fight against terror and how terrible that is and how terrible they are.

That sort of weakens it for me as if someone with an agenda has found a real injustice and hi-jacked it.
as to the Brit and US Govts infringements, they did because they could..
and I'm picking up here is that the poor dispossessed Islanders who want to go home to the graves of their grannies, would like some moola too.
Lots of it,

and bringing it back to a South African context its actually very relevant with our land claims.

As to your war with Pablo, in comparison to the past it was pretty civilised.
Usually if you wanted some real estate you wiped out the tribe completely,
The US could have left those few Fishermen on Bikini Atoll too,it would have been shortlived but still, they would have been with their Ancestors,. in a way.

However, its JR's bugbear so kindly answer the question, if they had stayed on the Island, what would their lives have been like?

If they go back , the US could rehabilitate the island,
Bulldoze all the Buildings, blow up the runways, drop all the rubble into that nice little Harbour they dredged to return it to the depth it was, drop all
4000 Chagossians on the Island and say fine, the Brit Govt still owns the land they bought from Coco plantations so there's no tourist development there, go back to eating from the company store, build some nice reed huts with verandas, build a vegetable garden, donate a few Dhows for fishing and say Bye!!

what do you think the response will be?

Or do you think they would like some more compensation?

Last edited by Daxk; May 13th 2009 at 5:49 pm.
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Old May 14th 2009, 8:37 am
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

Dakx,
Thanks for taking the time to read it. Is there anyway to attach PDF docs?


Originally Posted by Daxk
JR, thanks for the PDF on the Chagossian experience, it seems to repeat verbatim the 6 external links on Wiki, which is fine as I'm not sure which links are chickens and which eggs.

The whole report is very heartfelt and the colonial powers were as brutal as they always have been.
The only thing that concerns me is when you get to the last page and the plight of 4000 Chagossian descendants is superceded by the US's Domination and fight against terror and how terrible that is and how terrible they are.

That sort of weakens it for me as if someone with an agenda has found a real injustice and hi-jacked it. as opposed to the unjust agenda of the UK and US?
as to the Brit and US Govts infringements, they did because they could.. and we both know that does not make it right.
and I'm picking up here is that the poor dispossessed Islanders who want to go home to the graves of their grannies, would like some moola too.
Lots of it, it is well hidden from the public eye as to the money that changes hand between the US & UK for the lease....Diego Garcia has not been gifted to the US!

and bringing it back to a South African context its actually very relevant with our land claims.

As to your war with Pablo, in comparison to the pastDiego Garcia is still an unresolved matter from our very recent past it was pretty civilised. Civilised?...as in?...it was committed by the two nations who would wish to claim they have the highest order of civility?
Usually if you wanted some real estate you wiped out the tribe completely,
The US could have left those few Fishermen on Bikini Atoll too,it would have been shortlived but still, they would have been with their Ancestors,. in a way. I was reading another paper that cited the US as having made their decision on Diego Garcia (they were considering another island group too) in part on based on the fact that the other island was a breeding ground for a species of sea turtle...easier to move people.

However, its JR's bugbear so kindly answer the question, if they had stayed on the Island, what would their lives have been like? their lives would've been of their own determination. How much does self-determination mean to you? Is it an important part of your life? Do you think other people have a lesser right to it?

If they go back , the US could rehabilitate the island,
Bulldoze all the Buildings, blow up the runways, drop all the rubble into that nice little Harbour they dredged to return it to the depth it was, drop all
4000 Chagossians on the Island and say fine, the Brit Govt still owns the land they bought from Coco plantations so there's no tourist development there, go back to eating from the company store, build some nice reed huts with verandas, build a vegetable garden, donate a few Dhows for fishing and say Bye!!

what do you think the response will be? with the plans for expansion the US have underway for their base we could both say, that is the most unlikely outcome.

Or do you think they would like some more compensation?
Dakx, fundamentally, it all comes back to respect. What would your reaction be if you and your family had been treated in the same way? The UK never dealt with the Chagos people with any sense of dignity or respect. They simply treated them as a problem that needed to be moved.

I was impressed on me as I have been dragged up in life that we should take responsibility...if you break it, or make a mistake,....fix it, if you are unjust to someone...fix it.

Of course, the reality of the situation is that it probably cannot be returned...OK, but deal with the people, and stop avoiding it in the way the UK continues to do. They would gain a lot more credibility if they dealt with the people.
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Old May 14th 2009, 9:54 am
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

JR- it is an interesting read- what an island.

Wikipedia: Until 1971 Diego Garcia had a native population of 2,000 Chagossians ......In 2002, the UK Parliament enacted legislation which gave all Chagossians the right to obtain British citizenship, granted the islanders the right to return to the Archipelago and granted them UK citizenship.[/COLOR]

ok- so they can't undo the original injustice, but above is not a bad stab.

In 2002, the islanders and their descendants, now numbering 4,500, returned to court requesting compensation, after two years of delays by the British Foreign Office. The Chagossians began proceedings to seek additional compensation payments from the British Government (they had been granted £650,000 compensation on removal in the 1970s, and a further £4 million in the early 1980s). The High Court and Court of Appeal upheld the Government's position that the compensation already paid was fair and lawful, and struck down the Chagossians claims for additional payments.


so a 2nd round of compensation is the issue- sets a precedent really.

Respect they seem to have got, more money, no.

If it was me I would have been back in a flash- with a British passport and a few $ in my pocket- perfect to rebuild a life for a future generation. But no, always we want more.

You see it's an problem of attitude.

I can tell you right now if Mugabe had the decency to do this for some of the so-called pink nosed farmers (seeing as you pulled the racist card on this topic) and who have been treated in a worse manner, they would be back in a flash: prepared to start again with nothing but the land.



Originally Posted by JR230898
[B]
Dakx, fundamentally, it all comes back to respect. What would your reaction be if you and your family had been treated in the same way? The UK never dealt with the Chagos people with any sense of dignity or respect. They simply treated them as a problem that needed to be moved.

I was impressed on me as I have been dragged up in life that we should take responsibility...if you break it, or make a mistake,....fix it, if you are unjust to someone...fix it.

Of course, the reality of the situation is that it probably cannot be returned...OK, but deal with the people, and stop avoiding it in the way the UK continues to do. They would gain a lot more credibility if they dealt with the people.
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Old May 14th 2009, 10:29 am
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

Originally Posted by shiftdelete
JR- it is an interesting read- what an island.

Wikipedia: Until 1971 Diego Garcia had a native population of 2,000 Chagossians ......In 2002, the UK Parliament enacted legislation which gave all Chagossians the right to obtain British citizenship, granted the islanders the right to return to the Archipelago and granted them UK citizenship.[/COLOR]

ok- so they can't undo the original injustice, but above is not a bad stab.

In 2002, the islanders and their descendants, now numbering 4,500, returned to court requesting compensation, after two years of delays by the British Foreign Office. The Chagossians began proceedings to seek additional compensation payments from the British Government (they had been granted £650,000 compensation on removal in the 1970s, and a further £4 million in the early 1980s). The High Court and Court of Appeal upheld the Government's position that the compensation already paid was fair and lawful, and struck down the Chagossians claims for additional payments.


so a 2nd round of compensation is the issue- sets a precedent really.

Respect they seem to have got, more money, no.

If it was me I would have been back in a flash- with a British passport and a few $ in my pocket- perfect to rebuild a life for a future generation. But no, always we want more.

You see it's an problem of attitude. and the first attitude that was wrong, was the attitude of the UK. They did not deal with the people. There was certainly no respect.

I can tell you right now if Mugabe had the decency to do this for some of the so-called pink nosed farmers (seeing as you pulled the racist card on this topic...wrong...'our pink noses' belongs to our friend Pablo) and who have been treated in a worse manner, they would be back in a flash: prepared to start again with nothing but the land.
Does anyone imagine the UK could've treated... say..the people of the Isle of Man (just to pluck an island out of nowhere)...in the same way? I have yet to see anywhere the amount of money that has passed between the US and the UK...the island is leased....there has been money exchanged. How much do you think it would compare, with the £650,000 and £4 million that has been paid to the Chagos people? How much do you think it will mean to the UK if, and when, the US re-lease? I think it would make the £4,650,000 look like small change but, to me, the money runs a distant second to the need to treat people with respect.....how much is your dignity worth?....sorry!!!....should not have asked that, some people do have a price.
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Old May 14th 2009, 10:45 am
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

Originally Posted by JR230898
Does anyone imagine the UK could've treated... say..the people of the Isle of Man (just to pluck an island out of nowhere)...in the same way? I have yet to see anywhere the amount of money that has passed between the US and the UK...the island is leased....there has been money exchanged. How much do you think it would compare, with the £650,000 and £4 million that has been paid to the Chagos people? How much do you think it will mean to the UK if, and when, the US re-lease? I think it would make the £4,650,000 look like small change but, to me, the money runs a distant second to the need to treat people with respect.....how much is your dignity worth?....sorry!!!....should not have asked that, some people do have a price.
It doesn't differ vastly from the kind of compulsory relocation below, which goes on all the time. A decent case can be made in both cases that injustices are committed. But to resort to the modern fashion for crying that we have yet another "crime against humanity" on our hands is going too far.

But these hysterical and hyperbolic terms have become common currency among a certain activist segment. Scarcely a year goes by where a minor skirmish in a war is not screamed about as "genocide", or smacking a child is not called a "crime against humanity." It's like grade-inflation. In the end the terms just become meaningless.

China: Three Gorges Dam Project
"During the planning stages in the 1990s it was estimated that 1.13 million residents would be forced to relocate; the final number (as of June 2008) ended up with 1.24 million after the last town called Gaoyang in Hubei Province was relocated"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_G...ocal_residents

Last edited by Pablo; May 14th 2009 at 10:49 am.
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Old May 14th 2009, 11:03 am
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

Originally Posted by Pablo
It doesn't differ vastly from the kind of compulsory relocation below, which goes on all the time. A decent case can be made in both cases that injustices are committed. But to resort to the modern fashion for crying that we have yet another "crime against humanity" on our hands is going too far.

But these hysterical and hyperbolic terms have become common currency among a certain activist segment. Scarcely a year goes by where a minor skirmish in a war is not screamed about as "genocide", or smacking a child is not called a "crime against humanity." It's like grade-inflation. In the end the terms just become meaningless.

China: Three Gorges Dam Project
"During the planning stages in the 1990s it was estimated that 1.13 million residents would be forced to relocate; the final number (as of June 2008) ended up with 1.24 million after the last town called Gaoyang in Hubei Province was relocated"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_G...ocal_residents
OK Pablo, you, yourself...what rights are you prepared to give up?

I contend to suggest that, if you do not fight for them, in the end, they just become meaningless to the people who would want to take them away from you.

Last edited by JR230898; May 14th 2009 at 11:11 am.
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Old May 14th 2009, 11:12 am
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

Originally Posted by JR230898
OK Pablo, you, yourself...what rights are you prepared to give up?
I reject a lot of the modern hot-air about "rights". Unless rights are justiciable, they are just so much pie-in-the-sky. Which, indeed, you seem to acknowledge in your second comment below...

I contend, if you do not fight for them, in the end, they just become meaningless to the people who would want to take them away from you.
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Old May 14th 2009, 11:53 am
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

Shift. The Chagossians cant go back, that was the point of the 2002 Court ruling and now with the EU Courts.

I hear what JR says about respect and have to agree that Govts hae to be fought as half a chance they will take whatever they can.

JR, on the American side, they gave a US$11 billion discount on the purchase of the UK's Polaris subs, the 4 million was forced on the UK by the Aus settlement of AU$107 million to the residents of Nauru for the Phosphate Mining Damage and mauritius was making noises to sue for their share of the US "rent".
The easiest way on this one would have been to have bought one of the myriad Deserted Island of a similar size, done some development, interested the Catholic Church with a new school and clinic and said, there you go.

JR, as to your rhetorical question, it did happen to my family, they were moved off their farms into concentration camps, the Animals plundered and slaughtered, Buldings razed to the ground and there was a lot of bitterness about the scorched earth left behind.
And no, they did'nt get compensation, and they did'nt much hide in a bottle, they did educate their children and they did rebuild their lives.

Had Chagos happened today, it would be different as a result of the web and TV, in 1963-1970 something, they did it because they could get away with it.
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Old May 14th 2009, 12:11 pm
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

Originally Posted by Pablo
I reject a lot of the modern hot-air about "rights". Unless rights are justiciable, they are just so much pie-in-the-sky. Which, indeed, you seem to acknowledge in your second comment below...
Justiciable is the standard.
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Old May 14th 2009, 12:17 pm
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

Yeah I know, but until the issue of additional compensation was raised, the decision was that they could go back plus British citizenship and all the rights associated with this- not "we promise to"- it was legislated.

JR- I aree with the respect issue- my problem is that the definition of respect seems to be money in this case...some people it seems do have a price.

Originally Posted by Daxk
Shift. The Chagossians cant go back, that was the point of the 2002 Court ruling and now with the EU Courts.
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Old May 14th 2009, 12:18 pm
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

Originally Posted by Daxk
JR, as to your rhetorical question, it did happen to my family, they were moved off their farms into concentration camps, the Animals plundered and slaughtered, Buldings razed to the ground and there was a lot of bitterness about the scorched earth left behind.
And no, they did'nt get compensation, and they did'nt much hide in a bottle, they did educate their children and they did rebuild their lives.
Daxk,
Sorry to hear that. Glad to hear that they have been able to rebuild their lives.
JR
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Old May 14th 2009, 12:24 pm
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

Originally Posted by shiftdelete
JR- I agree with the respect issue- my problem is that the definition of respect seems to be money in this case...some people it seems do have a price.
Could you point out anyone who wouldn't?
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Old May 14th 2009, 12:28 pm
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

Originally Posted by JR230898
Justiciable is the standard.
Except, if I have understood you correctly, what is justiciable varies, and so cannot be a standard.

Which is one of the reasons why the modern language of "rights", for all its righteous indignation, descends into confusion.
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Old May 14th 2009, 12:31 pm
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Default Re: Diego Garcia

No mate you didn't just pluck that out the air- you have a 'thing' about "pink nosed" people.

Every possible comparison you come up with is related to the bad pink nosed people.

I'm starting to wonder if in fact you're not the real racist.


Originally Posted by JR230898
Does anyone imagine the UK could've treated... say..the people of the Isle of Man (just to pluck an island out of nowhere)...i
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