Saturday, March 15, 2014

Another Lie Exposed

 Britain forcibly removed hundreds of Chagos islanders in the early 1970s, abandoning them to destitution, to make way for a US military base on Diego Garcia.  To ensure no return, Britain four years ago declared the region the world’s largest marine reserve, enlisting the assistance of environmentalists. Britain has repeatedly used the need of nature conservation in the Chagos Islands as a reason for denying longstanding calls by Chagossians to be allowed to return. A leaked diplomatic cable from 2010 revealed how British diplomats believed the creation of the marine reserve “put paid to resettlement claims of the archipelago’s former residents”.

Yet, it revealed that the American military has poured hundreds of tonnes of human sewage and waste water into a protected coral lagoon. According to scientific advisers, elevated levels of nutrients caused by the waste – which have resulted in nitrogen and phosphate readings up to four times higher than normal – may be damaging the coral.

Philippa Gregory, author and patron of the UK Chagos Support Association, said: “While the people who were born and bred on Chagos are not allowed to return to their island, the military base of Diego Garcia houses about 5,000 US servicemen and women and ancillary workers. It makes no sense to suggest that Chagossians cannot return because of pressure on the environment.”

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