Never post in haste people!! This is what happens when people don't do their homework.
I've had quite a few responses to my post yesterday regarding the campaign to turn Chagos into a no-take marine reserve, I'd like to copy one out in full below:
"In answer to your question about whether or not to be ashamed about British colonialism, I'm afraid that it really is no laughing matter. The Chagos archipelago used to be home to over 1,000 indigenous people - the Chagossians - until they were illegally (and inhumanely) expelled from the islands in the 1960s and 1970s. They have been campaigning for the right to return ever since.
The Chagossians are committed to the conservation of the Chagos environment but, if a limited resettlement has any hope of succeeding, then the complete no-take fishing ban (which protectchagos.org calls for) would be disastrous to their cause.
Leading conservationists like Dr David Bellamy have made it clear that environmental protection *can* go hand-in-hand with the Chagossians' right of resettlement. All that's required is the political will. So it's really, REALLY important that their cause is not forgotten - by politicians or the general public.
I'm not saying that the plan to protect Chagos is a bad thing; just that it should not come at the cost of harming the Chagossians.
If you wish to respond to the FCO's consultation, you can do so via the details posted on the UK Chagos Support Association blog. I'd really encourage you to remember the Chagossians when you do so.
And from 'ThatIsTheWhy':
"Wow. This is awful - how to make the correct choice and what cause to support? Since sparing a mere thought for the Chagossians may not be enough for appropriate action to be taken for them. But on the other hand it is so important that we protect our rare, unspoilt lands as there are not many left!"
Which says it all for me really
The history of British colonialism...or any colonialism in fact, has always triggered an unease within me. This just goes to show how little awareness there is of this situation, yet more indigenous people thrown out of their countries...within our lifetimes, and this is the first I've heard of it, I don't know about anyone else.
In light of the responses I've recieved I'd like to post up the following:
The FCO Consultation Document on whether to establish a marine protected area in the British Indian Ocean Territory.
This is the full document if you'd like to browse through it, but the crux is this. If you would like to make your opinions on this issue heard, send an email to the FCO at this address:
And as Peter says, if and when you do, please bear in mind the Chagossians
Thanks everyone for your interest and for stopping by :)