The Chagos Controversy

The Diego Garcia and Chagos Council has spoken against suing the UK in the International Court of Justice. Mauritian PM, Sir Anerood Jugnauth (SAJ), had previously given an ultimatum to British authorities to have the Chagos returned to the Republic of Mauritius. Following his statements, the UK spoke against the claim of Mauritius on the Chagos in a letter of the British High Commission. Now, yet another party involved in this affair has spoken out, the Diego Garcia and Chagos Council.


The organisation’s spokesperson, Allen Vencatassin, asserts that Chagossians recognise the claim of the British on Chagos. He also criticised the attitude of Mauritius towards the people in the past. He has, thus, requested SAJ not to approach international authorities, and to abandon his intents so that Chagossians can return to their country “with dignity”; moreover, in a statement to RadioPlus, he says that many Chagossians have not renounced their British nationality.

Meanwhile, Mauritian authorities are waiting for the proposals of the British before concluding a final decision. Furthermore, SAJ will be meeting up with Olivier Bancoult from “Groupe Refugiés Chagos” at the end of this week; the latter has been fighting for the return of Chagossians to the archipelago.


  • All of this is driven by the desires of huge international resort corporations. They have been trying to get a foot in the door for forty years or more. These folks probably have advances or offers of fortunes if they can get title to a square foot in the Chagos. They were already compensated by Britain back in the ’70s.

  • One of the arguments the UK has used against resettling the islanders on the Chagos is the cost; they say it is simply unsustainable because of the islands’ isolation, the lack of infrastructure and poor economic prospects. In effect, the UK ‘experts’ say, the settlement on the Chagos could only survive if it were subsidised by millions of pounds/dollars a year. Chagossians and their supporters disagree and say that the developing ‘ocean economy’ will more than provide for a small population on the islands. Tourism might offer opportunities too, although no concrete proposals seem to have been put forward about how Mauritius will build and maintain tourism infrastructure on the Chagos should it gain control of the islands.

    In all the barrage of words about the Chagos from Navin Ramgoolam and now SAJ, we have heard nothing about how the Mauritian government expects to pay for, and maintain, settlement on the islands. Where are the costed plans? How will the islands be kept supplied? What about schools, health care etc – will people have to travel to ‘mainland’ Mauritius for secondary education or childbirth, for example? How can Chagossians have faith that they will be better treated than people on Agalega?

    The government will need to provide serious answers to these hard, practical questions if Mauritian territorial claims are to be taken seriously by the rest of the world.

    And while its criticism of Britain’s treatment of the Chagossians is entirely justified, the Mauritian government should start taking responsibility for its own neglect of the displaced islanders. It could start by apologising for diverting into other purposes the money that the UK provided for the resettlement and ongoing care of the Chagossians.

    • As the record indicates – so it seems….Mauritius gov’t has never had the best interests of the displaced islanders of Chagos in mind. What DID happen to all those funds provided for resettlement way back when? Who is behind this “sweet interest” as of late – billed to be so “caring” and “supportive”promoted by the Mauritian powers that be? How will Mauritius benefit by their dear “love” and “support” of Chagossians? Does China whisper sweet nothings in their ear? What gov’t truly cares about the Chagossians and the damage done to generations of wonderful people?

      Why the “H” didn’t these “caring” gov’ts do something when they were dying and starving on the street, homeless without a country…when children were being raised on food from the dump, a piece of bread here and there?

      Certainly the UK, Mauritius and the US get an F on this report card – and all have failed miserably.

      More than a Nation has been stolen…by stealing from the Chagossians – these gov’ts have stolen from themselves every speck of decency and credibility. So who wants to hop on these bandwagons? Let all Chagossians speak for themselves. Some want to go home. Some want to stay. Some want to travel back and forth. Whatever it is….do you really think any gov’t is capable of speaking for them and looking out for their best interests?

      If your name isn’t Bush you should be able to get this one right:
      Fool me once shame on you
      Fool me twice shame on me.

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