Jon Slayer 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 
(Chagos Archipelago).

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 "


Jon Slayer


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