[Coral-List] CHAGOS MARINE PROTECTED AREA
jonslayer at hotmail.co.uk
Thu May 26 11:16:18 EDT 2011
Dear Coral List,
To further this discussion in this forum it will also be useful to include
President Allen Vincatassin's statement in regard to the Chagos Regagne
meeting and subsequent Guardian coverage. Vincatassin is a Chagossian and
was elected President of the Provisional Government of Diego Garcia and the
Chagos Islands by the Chagossian community. He resides in Crawley, home to
the largest Chagossian community in the UK.
" Statement of President Allen Vincatassin (Provisional Government of Diego
Garcia and the Chagos Islands) on the Chagos Regagne Conference organised at
the Royal Geographical Society of London, on May19, 2011.
26.05.11 for immediate release.
I would like to reiterate the position of our provisional Government in
waiting on sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago and the future of our
people, in relation to the Chagos Regagne conference on the Marine
Protected Area (MPA) and the way forward.
The majority of the people of Diego Garcia and other islands of the Chagos
Archipelago and their descendants do not support or recognise Mauritian
sovereignty over our homeland. The mission of our government is for the
welfare of all people of Chagos and for our homeland to be governed by
ourselves one day. The right of self-determination belongs to the people and
not to the state of Mauritius. I stand by my statement at this conference to
defend the interest of our people.
On the question of the MPA, I believe that some people will have to make up
their mind on whether to support it. It's unproductive to have a situation
where people continue to discredit others because they want to advance their
own agendas, and advance the agendas of Mauritius. Chagossians were
consulted on the MPA and they are being trained to participate in the MPA.
Those who want to join the work that the Chagos Conservation Network and
ourselves are doing are free to do so. It is better to spend money to
support Chagossians where they are living, rather than to invest in
construction of a scientific station, or eco village on the outer islands.
I understand that our removal and our banishment from our homeland was
appalling, but they are not reasons why we cannot work together for the
protection of our homeland while continuing to solve other issues. The
divisive emails to create enmity inside Chagossian communities behind the
back of different leaders of Chagossian groups must stop.
I am urging the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Dr Navin Ramgoolam, to
apologise to the Chagossian people, and to pay us a compensation for what we
had to endure in our exile there. Declassified documents show his father Sir
Sewwoossagur Ramgoolam and his government did not defend what was done, but
condoned it by assisting in our removal. They did not provide for our basic
needs on our arrival in Mauritius, although they agreed with the UK to do
this. Mauritius has been party to the breach of our fundamental human
rights. We were British subjects being removed and sent to an independent
country, but Mauritius helped arrange the fiction that we were migrant
The Prime Minister should refrain from all attempts to regain sovereignty
over the Chagos Islands, because our people want to remain British, and want
to get Diego Garcia back when it ceases to be a military base. We intend to
take legal action if not. It is high time Mauritius ceases to pretend it
supports our return to the Chagos Islands, and that the UK Government is the
worst enemy of Chagossians. The only reason Mauritius wants sovereignty back
is so it can get financial deals with the US.
We welcome the effort of the UK Government in organising visits to the
island and their work to support environmental protection in Diego Garcia
and in the MPA. We will continue to talk to the Foreign Office and try to
find solutions to pertinent issues. We do not want others to do that on our
behalf. I am writing to the Prime Minister of the UK to indicate our
position, and would urge Mr Cameron to give careful consideration to the
rights of Chagossians who are British Overseas Territories Citizens by
virtue of their birth and connection with the British Indian Ocean Territory
The UK is responsible for ensuring our rights as a people are respected in
the future. I appeal to all Chagossian community groups to support the
actions and policies of our Government because they are in the interests of
the people. I appeal to our people to unite. Those who support Mauritian
sovereignty over our homeland have no place in our midst, unless they
change. I remain open to all those group leaders who want to work together
with us for the benefit of Chagossian communities.
The President is due to make his first address to the nation of the Chagos
Archipelago on May 30, 2011 at 1pm (UK time), which will be on the internet
(www.allenvincatassin.com(News section) or "allenvincatassin" on YouTube, on
part of the programme of the provisional Government for 2011-2012.)
More info contact his press officer Alex Morrison at
alex.morrison at hotmail.co.uk "
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