For ALL the Court Cases, Go back to the Links Page
The PPDRDG Ministry of Propaganda
NEWS ON THE MARCH!
Enter the Lawyers:
On December 13, 2000, The Times [of London] reported that a lawyer by the name of Michael Tigar, sued the United States on behalf of the Chagossians for their expulsion from the Chagos in the early 1970s. Various reports that I've received by email state that the suit is for between $1 million and $2 million for each person "expelled" from the islands, and their descendants - a total of perhaps 6,000 people. Meaning that Mr. Tigar is asking for between $6 billion and $12 billion from you and me as taxpayers.
Anyway, the following is an exchange of emails, all beginning with a communication from a member of Mr. Tigar's team of graduate students who will do all the work in the case. Later on you'll read that Mr. Tigar states that "None of the work done by law students in the clinical program at Washington College of Law will provide any financial benefit to them or to me." Although Mr. Tigar does not outright state he is working pro bono, and we've had recent experience with a President of the United States who chose his words wisely, I think Mr. Tigar wanted me to remove statements that he was earning BILLIONS of dollars from this case, which he would if he charged the typical contingency fee charged by American Trial Lawyers to handle litigation.
When I first posted this page I made a rather brash statement that Mr. Tigar "would rather pay his workers with grades in law school, than with a portion of his winnings.... er.... I mean his justifiable billings." After all, the going rate for lawyers who work on contingency here in the States is 35%+, meaning that Mr. Tigar, who's only real concern, I'm sure, is the welfare of the Chagossians, would walk away with between $1,050,000,000 and $2,100,000,000, unless he's working pro bono, or under a grant from other trial lawyers, at his own expense, or something like that, which I think is what he was trying to say in his email (which you'll read in its entirety just a little way down the page). Yet, if he were to charge what normal US trial lawyers do, Tigar's share would be in the billions of dollars. Don't you just love the American judicial system? I'll bet any Trial Lawyer would, if he were working on contingency in this case.
Even with all the protests and exchanges and carefully crafted wording of the following set of emails, doesn't this all smack of something similar we read about .... the great tobacco lawsuits of a couple years ago, where the attorneys' fees were larger in some cases that the settlements??? And where the States that won millions and billions aren't actually using the money for tobacco related problems or anti-smoking campaigns??? Hmmmmm... you don't think there's any chance that would happen to the average Chagossian on the street, do you???
Like we used to say in the 60s: "First, the lawyers. Then, everybody who wears a tie..." Considering that Tigar was the leader of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at Berkeley in those days, he would know what I'm talking about...
And so we begin:
"Subject: Diego Garcia
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 17:23:46 -0400
From: "Ginny Sadler" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Mr. Morris,
I am part of a group of law students that is currently involved in a project to help the Chagossian people. Your web page has been a wonderful source of information for us and I was wondering if you have any additional information from the late 1960s and early 1970s.
If possible, I would like to speak with you to ask you some questions about Diego Garcia. If you are interested or have questions, you can contact me via email or at 202-362-9948.
Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
NOTE: This message may contain attorney-client/attorney work product privileged information. If you received this in error, please inform me immediately. Any messages received in error should be deleted and the sender expressly prohibits any unauthorized duplication or communication of this message, its contents or attachments."
[editor's note: isn't that just like a lawyer? Send something unsolicited over unsecured lines to someone you don't know, ask for information to benefit their clients and possibly enrich themselves, and then deny anyone else the right to know you did so! Bullshit.]
"From: <email@example.com>"Subject: Re: Diego Garcia
To: Ginny Sadler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2001 3:19 PM
Subject: Re: Diego Garcia
Thanks for checking out my web site about Diego Garcia.
I do have a copy of a paper written in 1976 called "Under Two Flags" which is a history of the island and has some additional details regarding the Ilois and their exclusion from the islands. I'll see if I can round it up.
It would probably be most useful in that it says where in the UK a great deal of information is stored about the administration of the "lesser dependencies" as the Chagos was previously known.
However, before I help you too much, I am interested in what your project entails. The Ilois were treated poorly, and I sympathize to an extent. But if your project is in support of the lawsuit (for $2 million each) against the US, I don't think I can in good conscience help you.
There are many ways to help the Ilois, but going to court after the deep pockets of the US taxpayers will only enrich some third parties, and the Ilois will in the end be left in their slums, alone, again.
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 19:05:17 -0400
From: "Ginny Sadler" <email@example.com>
References: 1 , 2
Dear Mr. Morris,
I apologize for the delay in my reply. I have been on vacation for the past few weeks and have only just begun to reply to my emails.
Let me first express my thanks to you for responding to my email regarding the Chagossians. As I mentioned before, your web page has been a great source of information for us and any information you have would be greatly
I would like to address your concerns regarding the Chagossians and their representation. The best way to do this is to provide you with a brief description of our group. I am a member of a team of law students involved in a human rights law clinic at the Washington College of Law at American University. Under the direction of Professor Michael Tigar we are working to improve the situation of the Chagossians. We are currently involved in negotiations but do not expect any results to be forthcoming. The next phase would be the filing of a lawsuit on the behalf of the Chagossian people.
As a member of the human rights team, I would like to assure you that our goal is to help the Chagossians and not third parties. The Chagossian people are my only concern in this case. I believe they were truly wronged and have suffered the consequences for many years.
Please know that I understand and respect your concerns but felt that I should address them so that you would not be left with the wrong impression.
If you are willing, I would still like to speak to you. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.
"Subject: Re: Diego GarciaSubject: Chagos
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 22:50:10 -0700
From: President for Life <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Ginny Sadler <email@example.com>
References: 1 , 2 , 3
Sorry in turn for the late reply. Have had each of my three sons home for visits over the last month and the world is chaos again.
I'll be more than happy to answer your questions, as I don't think the truth hurts in these kinds of cases. So, please go ahead and ask your questions. But as you ask, I hope you'll remember that although the Ilois were expelled from the islands, they were very adequately compensated for their expulsion at the time (4,650,000 pounds sterling - a lot of money at the time and in that part of the world). Unfortunately, the money was handed over to the Mauritian government, which is the agency that should be held accountable for the plight of the Chagossians today. They are, after all, Mauritian citizens.
Also, although there were certainly a number of Ilois who were permanent residents, for generations even, most were the equivalent of migrant agricultural workers, and not "Chagossian" at all. The story sounds good that "thousands" of people resident for hundreds of years were displaced by force in a voyage equivalent to the Trail of Tears, but it is just not true. Even Bancoult's story is one of voluntarily leaving the islands for YEARS before learning they "couldn't go home". When the real fact was they couldn't go back to work.
Also, you'll not find me too sympathetic to America paying oodles of $$$ for the supposed wicked treatment of the islanders. I'll be a lot more sympathetic when Japan reimburses my aunt, uncle and cousins for their internment during WWII, when the Germans pay my wife for her father's imprisonment during the same war, when the yankees pay me for my mother's family's ancestral plantations they burned to the ground on the March to the Sea, when the feds pay the other half of my mom's family for relegating the Seneca nation to a couple of teeny weeny reservations (when we used to own half of New York), when the Brits pay my dad's family for driving out the Maurices (before we changed the name to Morris) from Canada, and for the atrocities that followed Culloden Marsh for another branch of the family, etc. MY list of grievances could go on and on. And, quite frankly, the Chagossians got a good deal, compared to most.
Life deals a bad hand on occasion, but you can't expect us to keep paying for everybody who's had an unfortunate experience in their employment history.
We SHOULD help impoverished people when and how we can. But throwing money at them doesn't work. So I hope your group is looking at alternatives like educational assistance, family planning assistance, and employment opportunities in their own nation or abroad where real opportunities for improving their lot exist.
My conversations with some Swiss and British people who are 'helping' the Chagossians already, leads me to believe the Chagossians who pine away for the islands remember a velvet glove slavery system where everything was provided by the overseers and plantation managers, from employment to medical care (such as existed) to housing to basic rations. If they go back to the islands, who will provide those things for them?
Which leads me to the concept of permanently returning to the islands. I do have some understanding of ecology, having a BA in it (granted, its almost 30 years old). But the bottom line is that permanently resettling the 5,000 or so Ilois and their descendants on the islands would not only destroy the environment, but ultimately impoverish the
Ilois themselves. On the "Nature" pages of my web site I say something like 'when the Mauritians take over, it won't be long until they burn the last palm tree to cook the last coconut crab in the last pot of fresh water', and that will certainly come to pass if the modern equivalents of hunter-gatherers gather in great numbers in the fragile Chagos ecosystem, which has an extremely limited carrying capacity for humans. For example, on DG when I was there (in charge of the cargo and passenger flights to and from the island) we imported all the food for the 3,000 or so residents of the Naval Base - about 40,000 pounds per WEEK. Who's going to feed 5,000 Ilois? Even if its only a subsistence diet of 1,500 kcals/day? The islands themselves and the seas around them can not. Even during the plantation period, which lasted hundreds of years, basic rations (like rice & other grains) had to be brought to the islands, and were supplemented with seabirds, turtles, fish, and coconut crabs - the populations of which were virtually wiped out by the very few Ilois at the time, and are only now beginning to recover under the care of the Brits and the US Navy.
At any rate, I do hope something useful can be done to help the Chagossians, and every impoverished population everywhere. But as a Flemish reporter who recently interviewed me for an article he wrote (in Flemish) for a magazine in Belgium about the Chagossians put it, "The Chagossian problem pales to insignificance in comparison to the state of the millions upon millions in need on the continent [Africa]."
But you might start helping the Chagossians by asking some tough questions of the government in Port Louis.
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 09:24:42 -0400
From: "Michael E. Tigar" <firstname.lastname@example.org> [editor's note 2003 - his address at American University: <email@example.com> His phone number at AU is 202-274-4088]
I have just learned of your comments about me and the Chagossian issues on your website. None of the work done by law students in the clinical program at Washington College of Law will provide any financial benefit to them or
to me. That is part of the instrument of trust under which our funding operates, and is overseen by a board of advisors. Any suggestion to the contrary is false and defamatory. Our funding has come from a generous donation from trial lawyers who are concerned about issues of international human rights.
My wife (who is also a lawyer) and I have journeyed to Mauritius at our own expense, and there met with Chagossian people and leaders and with leading members of the Mauritius government.
We do not intend to try our case in the media, so please excuse me in advance for not getting into an e-mail exchange with you. Our court actions will be public, and you can report on them.
If you wish to tell your readers about me, you might include a more complete report. Here is an abbreviated version. You can have a full CV by writing to me; [editor's note - In September 2008, his CV was available as a PDF at: http://www.wcl.american.edu/faculty/cv/tigar.pdf?rd=1][So, For anyone seriously interested in what's happening, there is an old saying, "Know Your Enemy"... The Chagossians have clearly chosen an attorney who is skilled, and who's past defenses indicate a preference for representing the scum of the United States. Of course he has also represented powerful politicians and corporations as well! As you can see in his email above, he requested that I more accurately represent him to my "readers", and here's the referenced short autobiography that he provided:]
"Michael E. Tigar is Edwin A. Mooers Scholar and Professor of Law at Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, D.C., where he teaches international law, federal jurisdiction, criminal law and criminal procedure. Until 1998, he held the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law. Mr. Tigar has argued appeals in almost every U.S. court of appeals and in the U.S. Supreme Court. He has tried cases in all parts of the country, representing a broad array of clients. His individual clients have included Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, John Connally, Angela Davis, H. Rap Brown, the Seattle 7, the Chicago 8, Fernando Chavez, Rosalio Muñoz, Major Debra Meeks, Allen Ginsberg, Terry Lynn Nichols and Francisco Martinez. Among his corporate clients have been Mobil, BFI, Fantasy Films, MCA, and Tenneco. He has represented persons charged with capital offenses in trial and appellate courts.
"Mr. Tigar is Past Chair (1989-90) of the 60,000 member Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association. As Chair, he was active in furthering ABA and Section involvement in pro bono representation, including helping to found the Litigation Assistance Partnership Project (LAPP).
"He was born and raised in California, and received his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the California Law Review. He has taught and lectured at dozens of law schools in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Africa, and on judicial conference and continuing legal education programs. He has since 1994 been an associate member of the faculty at the Faculté de Droit et de Science Politique, Aix-en-Provence, where he lectures on comparative law, legal history and international human rights. He has made several trips to South Africa, working with organizations of African lawyers engaged in the struggle to end apartheid, and after the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, to lecture on human rights issues and the drafting of a new constitution. He has been actively involved in efforts to bring to justice members of the Chilean junta, including former President Pinochet. Of Mr. Tigar’s career, Justice Brennan has written that his “tireless striving for justice stretches his arms towards perfection.”
"In 1999, the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice held a ballot for “Lawyer of the Century.” Mr. Tigar was third in the balloting, behind Clarence Darrow and Thurgood Marshall. [italics are the editor's]
"Mr. Tigar has written several books, including Examining Witnesses (1993), and Federal Appeals: Jurisdiction and Practice (3d ed. 1999) [with Jane B. Tigar] and scores of articles, essays and other works. His book on advocacy, Persuasion: The Litigator’s Art, was published in 1999 by ABA Press.
"Professor Tigar has conducted courses in which students received credit for participation in significant pro bono cases, including those of John Demjanjuk and Terry Lynn Nichols, and the efforts to bring Augusto Pinochet to justice.
"Mr. Tigar’s litigation experience and citation of his works by courts is available by making a WESTLAW search.
Michael E. Tigar
From the above, it is noteworthy that he has defended death camp butchers, communists, rioters, terrorists, and killers, often for free (pro bono). Its clear that Mr. Tigar will represent just about anyone who wants to divide our society or kill innocent children. I guess somebody's got to do it, but even so....
However, as reported in the press, Mr. Tigar normally charges his clients $500 per hour. But, to defend Terry Nichols, he only charged the taxpayers (he was an appointed attorney in this case) $125 per hour - a meager $260,000 per year. Of course that's only if he worked a normal 2,080 hours per year (40 hour work weeks). Of course as Randall Coyne is quoted in an AP story on the case, "40-hour weeks are rare in capital cases. These cases can't be handled nine-to-five; they possess your life."
I'm sure Mr. Tigar is pursuing the Chagossians' case with similar zeal. Perhaps he'll only charge them or maybe the foundation $125 per hour, since as he claims in the email above (and following past precedent as stated in his biography above), his students will certainly not benefit financially from their work on the case, but instead will receive credit in his law school classes.
As his writings make clear, justice is not what he seeks in court, but a "win" through persuasive argument for his clients, no matter how guilty or repugnant they may be. Has he been this way since his leadership in the student radical movements at UC Berkeley while in law school? Or back when he was defending Abbie Hoffman? I would guess yes, because for those of us old enough to remember those days, the radical movement at Berkeley represented not the hippies over in the Haight, but the international communist movement, anti-war bombers, and the pseudo-hippies who infested the west side of the Bay.
I suggest anyone who thinks the Chagossians and Mr. Tigar are merely seeking justice for ill-treatment, read something about him, and some of his published works. Check him out on wikipedia, and use your favorite search engine to look him up, or go to some of the following links:
- A bio from American University faculty directory.
- From the Monthly Review - an article called "Lawyers, Jails, and the Law’s Fake Bargains."
- A Review of his 1977 Book "Law and the Rise of Capitalism."
- From the Lectric Law Library, an exerpt from his 1993 Book "Examining Witnesses."
- He's on the Consultative Council for the disarmament group Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy, Inc.
- He's a Sponsor of the Center for Cuban Studies.
- Although this link is DEAD it is worth quoting. The late Sam Orr described Tigar's effect on the jury system in the US: "I want people to understand the result of decades of courtroom melodrama and unstructured legal maneuvering is the bastardization of our jury system. Trials are presented now as titillating tabloid games whose result is the deification or denigration of lawyers such as Johnny Cochran, Michael Tigar, and Gary Spence, depending on whether they "win" or "lose." The spectacle has become more important than justice, and the body public reduced to millions of voyeurs in a media colliseum staring fascinated as legal gladiators fight and lions savage the Christians."
- Tigar defends his representation of terrorist Terry Nichols in FindLaw.com.
- In 1961, Tigar protested having to confirm he did not want to overthrow the governement. At the time, first year law students at Berkeley were asked to sign a state bar form which, among other things, questioned whether the applicant had been affiliated with any organization that advocated the overthrow of the government. "Tigar was offended by this thinly veiled attempt to extract a loyalty oath." I'll bet he was.
- NPR reports on Tigar's defence of terrorist Terry Nichols.
- Tigar justifying his defence of Lynne Stewart - "This was a great honor".
- Tigar on how to twist the facts to win at trial - "The way you tell it makes all the difference".
Subject: Re: Chagos
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2001 16:50:45 -0700
From: President for Life <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Michael E. Tigar" <email@example.com>
CC: George Wuethrich <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
John Bridiane <email@example.com>
Thank you for taking the time to personally write to me. I'm basically stunned that I can sit here in my little town and draw the attention of someone with such an impressive resume. Wow! Isn't it amazing how the 1st Amendment and a keyboard can combine to change our perspective of the relative power of people and ideas?
But first, allow me to apologize about my lack of knowledge about the funding for your activities in the lawsuit on behalf of the Chagossians; I'm sorry if I misunderstood the funding plan. Am I correct in assuming from your email that your work for the Chagossians is pro bono? Since you've decided not to participate in a public debate on the issues of your lawsuit, nor open your case to media scrutiny, but do in fact place privacy statements on your students' emails, and didn't clearly say your work on this case was pro bono, you may wish to anticipate some misinterpretations, even skepticism, regarding the funding scheme, based on the common practice of American trial lawyers in civil litigation. I do hope I'm using the correct terminology here, as I am not an attorney (nor is my wife).
Even so, I'm sending this on to Georges Wuethrich and "John" Bridiane to ensure they get the word straight from my keyboard that you have described a funding process that will cost the Chagossians nothing, and differs completely from that normally practiced by US attorneys, and that I apologize if my description of the normal and traditional contingency fees charged by those attorneys in every case with which I am familiar in civil litigation, may have misinformed them about the way you will be paid for your efforts on their behalf.
That being said, I'm amazed that you might think of my little web site as part of 'the media' and influential in the least. I never figured my site about Diego Garcia would generate any sort of controversy at all. Except maybe from retired Admirals (who have no sense of humor whatsoever) protesting my parody of their off-duty dress code regulations, or something like that.
But then along comes a mistreated people and their new attorney, the third most important in the last century, implying that I may have defamed him and the cause!
For a long time of course, mine was perhaps the only site on the web, or to the best of my knowledge any "media" source, that even mentioned the Ilois (other than Georges Wuethrich's). My site stated sympathy for them and their plight, as have I personally since first learning of it in 1982.
I know there is a great deal of difference between expressing sympathy and actually accomplishing something on their behalf, as Georges has. And there's the fact that my site does not advocate returning the Ilois to the archipelago, as I concur with the opinion of many in the scientific community that turning over the islands to Mauritius would doom them to ecological disaster, indeed has the potential to destroy the reef environments of the western Indian Ocean, as well as impoverishing any people who are 'returned'. It seems to me that the real solution for the Ilois is to see them educated and integrated into a larger economy. I don't advocate banning them from the Chagos, but I do think there should be only a limited, even temporary, return, in an environmentally sensitive way. I personally think the world can accommodate the Ilois and the environment, but who knows what will happen in court? From the limited selection of your writings available to me, it appears you may have a better idea than most, but its never clear at the start, is it? Things change.
Speaking of change, I'm sorry that the world was a different place in the late 60s & early 70s (as you certainly remember from your days at UCB) and that the US felt it needed secure bases from which to conduct security activities. I'm sorry the Brits closed the unprofitable government-run plantations, and moved the Ilois off the entire archipelago. I'm sorry that it then took the UK 10 years to decide that their de-colonization plan for the Chagos was deserving of review and correction with compensation. I'm sorry that the money and land turned over to Mauritius in 1982 never got to the Ilois. I'm sorry you weren't able to work on their behalf for the last 30 years.
But, its certainly something to think about that as soon as one of America's premier legal educators and trial lawyers 'discovered' the Ilois, his first action on their behalf was to seek $6 BILLION from the US taxpayers. This "lawsuit" is, to me, simply going after the 'deep pocket', when the culprit from which you can and should collect direct damages, and relief, is the government of Mauritius. hmmmmmmmm... funny how lawsuits work, it seems to me. Doesn't really seem to matter who's to blame, or even who has how much blame, just go for the gold.
There is always room to admit mistakes and redress wrongs, and the US seems to be more willing than most to do so. So why not ask for something of real value for the Chagossians from the US? After all, since you aren't working on a contingency, why is the demand for cash? How about some things like education, employment on Diego Garcia, resettlement assistance, even some sort of continuing relief directed toward a permanent bettering of the Chagossians' existence? Or shall we instead hand them some money and hope for the best? Given the history of recent settlements in US courts, forgive me for doubting that money asked for and then handled by attorneys in civil lawsuits will be better disbursed than the 1982 settlement.
I'm sorry you seem to now view me as the Chagossian's enemy, simply because I object to paying the Chagossians BILLIONS OF DOLLARS of US taxpayer money for something that was relatively mundane in the context of the times, do not believe the lawsuit itself is in the Chagossians' best interest, dislike their choice of attorney because of his apparent association with various political causes over the decades with which I disagree, and object to being referred to as a racist by people like Mr. Bridiane.
How quickly things have changed in the 'relationship' I've had for years with people I've never even met (and until recently never even saw a picture of), and whom the rest of the world had no idea existed! How sad that my well-intentioned efforts to publicize their plight to an American audience have deteriorated into this exchange with their attorney.
P.S. Yes, I would like to provide my "readers" the full CV, so would you send it? I think I want it, that is, as I have no idea what a CV is. If its the rest of your resume, yes, I'd like to post it on my web site. With your permission, of course.
editor's note: No further word has been received from Mr. Tigar. Of course that could be because he can't answer the questions honestly without showing himself to be just another trial lawyer who will enrich himself in the end, at the expense of the Chagossians. Or it could be that he's too busy suing the USA for genocide and torture. Or it could be that he doesn't consider this web site with bothering with anymore. Who knows? Who's to say?
Enter the Demagogues:
July 25th 2001, Speeches to the Working Group on Indigenous People in the UN in Geneva (English translation):
SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE SWISS SUPPORT COMMITTEE TO THE CHAGOSSIANS
"Madam the President, Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters, I make a point of greeting you all in the name of all Chagossians. The right to development is a basic right which makes it possible for each people to progress as they see fit. But the right to an identity is necessary to be able to develop. However, our Chagossian identity was denied by the United States and the United Kingdom for which we were only Tarzans and Man-Fridays that one could uproot at will. This identity was also denied by Mauritius for which all Chagossians are Mauritians like any other Mauritians. Curiously, only Chagossians had to give up their right to go back to the Chagos islands in 1982 , and not all Mauritians. And only Chagossians must still give up working on the basis established on our ancestral ground, Diego Garcia, and not all Mauritians. Filipinos, Sri Lankans and many other nationalities can go to work in Diego Garcia. Only Chagossians are excluded because we are the indigenous people from the Chagos Islands, we are on our premises in Diego Garcia and to kick us out once again would be now difficult at the era of Internet. These opportunities of lost work and education are as wasted opportunities to develop and to improve living standards. Indeed 80% of Chagossians are jobless and it is extraordinary that employment which is in our competence and on our ground cannot be occupied by of Chagossians. We know that the agency in charge of the hiring employees on Diego Garcia, Anderson World Wide SC received instructions of discriminations towards Chagossians. After the uprooting and our forced exile, nothing was done to facilitate the education and employment in the Mauritian society. On the contrary, by living in the most disadvantaged places, a curriculum vitae with an address in these districts is an insurance of nonrecruiting. Thanks to Mr. Louis Olivier BANCOULT, the Tarzans and Man-Fridays obtained one Friday November 3, 2000 in London the right to go back to the Chagos. This right must be applied so that we can ensure the development of our islands and our people. Indeed we intend to take our destiny in our hands and develop our archipelago as we want, so that our children have the same right to live in the Chagos as our ancestors did. Madam the President, Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters, thank you for your attention in the name of the Swiss Support Committee to the Chagossians, the Chagos Refugees Group as well as all Chagossians."
SPEECH OF THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CHAGOS REFUGEES GROUP, Louis Olivier BANCOULT O.S.K.
ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, I would first like to greet
you all and to express my gratitude to the World Council of Churches and
M. Eugenio POMA whose help was determinant for me to be here today among
you. It is a great pleasure for me to address a speech in the name of the
Ilois community who have been uprooted from our Motherland since 1965 in
order to make place for a US strategic military base controlling all the
Indian Ocean. The base is on Diego Garcia, the main island, located 700
km away from the Maldives and 1800 km away from the Seychelles or Mauritius.
"Our people was removed in a very shameful way to Mauritius mainly, where most of us still live in utter poverty. We participated in many street demonstrations, hunger strikes in order to alert the public opinion to our fundamental rights which have been denied.
"We decided to go forward with a legal action in the Royal Court of Justice in London to protest against the British Ordinance 1971 which prohibited us to go back and live in the Chagos. On March 3rd 1999 we received the right to make appeal to this Ordinance in a judgement given by Judge Scott BAKER. An hearing of 5 days was held from July 17th to July 21st 2000 where our legal team lead by Sir Sydney KENTRIDGE Q.C., who is famous for having defended Nelson MANDELA, explained clearly the inhuman conditions of our removal, and our struggle which lasts since more than 35 years. Our case was broadly covered by media of many countries which exposed the matter to the world. Madam, I would like to draw your attention that since 1836, in a book titled "The Voyage of the Beagle" by Charles DARWIN, captain Moresby has described us as the natives of the Chagos. We have our specialities which are quite specific to our archipelago.
"On November 3rd 2000, in a judgement given by Lord Justice LAWS and Mr. Justice GIBBS, our right to return to our Motherland, the Chagos Archipelago, was acknowledged. I was decorated by the President of Mauritius for my achievements concerning the right of the Chagossians to go back to the Chagos. We are now proceeding by claiming compensation for all the damages we have suffered during exile. The right to gain full British Citizenship has been introduced in the House of Lords. We are preparing ourselves to go back and pay tribute to all our beloved ancestors who are buried there. We know that the British Government is conducting a feasibility study, but we have no idea how long it will take. In the mean time with the help of consultants we are planing for future economic activities for the welfare of the Chagossians. The activities considered are: Tourism, Fishing industries, Handicraft & other useful activities.
"Brother and sisters, any advice based on your experience will be most welcome. All these activities will be managed by our community. We will put an emphasis on education and training.
"Madam, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, I take this opportunity to make an appeal to all indigenous people to continue their struggle to remain united for the sake of their community. It was a resounding success for us to be able to fight for our rights against a big power, who considered us despictfully as Tarzans and Man-Fridays. But once again, tiny David won against the huge Goliath. I will end with the words of Nelson MANDELA: "Our struggle continues and victory will be certain."
"Thank you on behalf of the Chagos Refugees Group, the Chagossian Support Committee of Switzerland and all the Chagossians."
Enter Another Faction:
diego garcia native
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 09:51:13
From: "john bridiane" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
dear sir asi had read a little beat from your intervention onthe web. let me give some more information about the chagossian community. which live in a damn life hear in mauritius. if only the american and british were not think to build a beauty defence base the my island my life will be different. i beck you to did all that you can from your human heart to stop the damn life, cause they had not asking to be the sacrifice of the world. what is money ? did if make by mars people or powerful country like yours AMERICA REMEMBER THAT POWERFUL PEOPLE ARE THE ONE WHICH HAD TAKE ALL THE MINERAL SOURCE OF AFRICA, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DESTABLIGESTION OF THIS WORLD. YOU ARE THE POVERTRY MAKER AND THE RICHEST MAKER TOO. THAT IS A REFLECTION FROM THE FRIDAY MAN WHICH YOU CALL OF DIEGO-GARCIA
Subject: RE:diego garcia native
Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2001 20:29:51 -0700
From: President for Life <email@example.com>
To: john bridiane <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Mr. Bridiane,
Please forgive me for not speaking French. My ancestors spoke French, but since the 1880's we have spoken English. I wrote what I wanted to say to you in English and used a translation program to translate it into French. Here is that translation:
Veuillez me pardonner pour le francais ne parlant pas. Mes ancetres ont parle francais, mais puisque les 1880's nous ont parle anglais. J'ai ecrit ce que j'ai voulu dire et vous en anglais et utilise un programme de traduction pour le traduire en francais. Voici cette traduction:
Cher M. Bridiane,
Merci de l'inscription m'au sujet de Diego Garcia. Je suis sur que votre vie est tres terrible la sur les isles Maurice. Mais, c'est parce que le gouvernement des isles Maurice a vole l'argent que l'Angleterre a verse
sur vous, pas en raison de n'importe quoi que les Etats-Unis ont fait a vous.
Les Etats-Unis n'ont eu aucune colonie en Afrique. Les Etats-Unis ne sont pas responsables de la destabilisation du monde. En fait, c'est les gens comme vous qui sont responsable, parce que vous n'avez pas insiste pour vos droites. Tout que vous avez VOUS A ETE INDIQUE. Meme votre liberte. Qu'avez-vous fait pour vous liberer? Qu'avez-vous fait pour vous instruire? Qu'avez-vous fait pour assurer a votre gouvernement vous traite-t-vous assez?
Il me semble que tout que vous voulez est pour que quelqu'un d'autre prenne soin de vous. Maintenant vous voulez que le peuple des Etats-Unis vous donne l'argent.
Donnez-moi. Donnez-moi. Donnez-moi. C'est tout que j'ai recu des nouvelles recemment le Chagossians et leurs avocats.
Vous devez faire une revolution de vos propres pour obtenir vos droites. Vous devez recevoir la responsabilite de votre propre destin.
Mais tout que vous avez fait est se repose tranquillement, comme des esclaves, alors que les isles Maurice maltraitent vous et vos familles.
Et maintenant, vous pensez que vous voyez une voie facile de faire l'argent. Vous voulez que le peuple des Etats-Unis vous donne l'argent.
Beaucoup, beaucoup, plusieurs de mes ancestres ont fait notre revolution, et ont gagne notre liberte. Et ils ont fait un pays de la democratie oun'importe qui, et chacun peuvent prosperer. Et plusieurs de mes ancetres et parents ont ete dans les militaires, et NOUS sommes ceux qui ont maintenu le monde exempt des tyrants Hitler et Tojo et Stalin qui aurait asservi le monde encore.
Vous devez vous liberer. Vous devez vous instruire. Vous devez faire votre propre vie en ce monde. Cessez de blemer d'autres de votre destin. Cessez d'attendre quelqu'un pour vous sauvegarder. Enconomiser vous-meme
avec le travail, l'education, et l'honneur durs.
Original in English:
Thank you for writing to me about Diego Garcia. I am sure that your life is very terrible there on Mauritius. But, that is because the government of Mauritius stole the money that England paid to you, not because of anything the United States did to you.
The United States had no colonies in Africa. The United States is not responsible for the destabilization of the world.
In fact, it is people like you who are responsible, because you have not insisted on your rights. Everything you have has been GIVEN to you. Even your freedom. What have you done to free yourself? What have you done to educate yourself? What have you done to ensure your government treats you fairly?
It seems to me that all you want is for someone else to take care of you. Now you want the people of the United States to give you money.
Give me. Give me. Give me. This is all I have heard recently from the Chagossians and their lawyers.
You must make a revolution of your own to obtain your rights. You must accept responsibility for your own fate.
But all you have done is sit quietly, like slaves, while Mauritius abuses you and your families.
And now, you think you see an easy way to make money. You want the people of the United States to give you money.
Many, many, many of my ancestors made our revolution, and won our freedom. And they made a country of democracy where anyone, and everyone can prosper. And many of my ancestors and relatives have been in the military, and WE are the ones who have kept the world free from the tyrants Hitler and Tojo and Stalin who would have enslaved the world again.
You must free yourself. You must educate yourself. You must make your own life in this world. Stop blaming others for your fate. Stop waiting for someone to save you. Save yourself with hard work, education, and honor.
Subject: Re: diego garcia native
Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2001 11:00:15
From: "john bridiane" <email@example.com>
let me tall you if you don't know my people had always fight for their right we had never begging any one which had choice our land to control the world we live very well on our island even their were no tecnology. We are all hard work. And as slavery or education as you had did with the Navajos people. Why you had not said that there language or African language which you must learn. No-way. May be in your blood their some racisme from your Ancetor which came from Europe. I can said that there is no differrent from you or the white ideaology from the ancien civilisation. You think only of take the richest of Africa and impose your law on them. Now you tall about freedom bullshit yourself ,before you bullshiting tigar. Food ,love and tender we can have it only if you fuck off of our island which were habited about 400 years.
Mr Maker don't try to put Africa assumed think that he had not want to be. We African people we fuck off your catholic religion we know how to pray our spirit same like the navajos which had fuck off your catholic religion. But you had use gun power to force african and Navajos became your slavery. Before you blaim any other one from it own pauvery. Blaim the racisme blood which flood in your blood. It not a war but and democratize expresion from a native child of D-Garcia. You had been on it an you know the truth they had no choice to resisted again a great force like you america or British. But the day will came where the black will got it power of spirit to make think happen on it right way. sorry if their is some mistake in writing ,cause that is not an African educational writing. from my Ancestor
Subject: Re: diego garcia native
Date: Sat, 04 Aug 2001 21:13:02 -0700
From: President for Life <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: john bridiane <email@example.com>
Dear Mr. Bridiane.
I am hopeful that I have not misinterpreted your statements. I know there may be a problem with language and articulation here, and certainly would not want to come to the wrong conclusions based on your messages.
However, it is difficult to misinterpret your references to what you perceive to be my religion, your attacks on my country, your statement that I am a racist, and your use of the crudest obscenities. From that, I am forced to conclude that you are a rude and obnoxious person. And as you claim to represent others, I am forced to conclude that they are equally crude and unworthy of my support.
You appear to have chosen a course of action attacking me and the United States. And your mention of Mr. Tigar shows you are aware of, and support, his selection as your attorney in these attacks. You have delivered yourselves into the hands of an attorney who is the antithesis of everything honest, caring, and generous Americans hold dear. By selecting Mr. Tigar as your representative, you have allied yourselves with cold blooded killers and terrorists, baby killers and communists.
Your choice has convinced me to stop supporting the relief of the Chagossians. Prior to this time, I had hopes that your suffering could be relieved and your people recognized for the poor treatment they have received at the hands of others. My web site was the ONLY place on the web, besides Mr. Wuethrich's, that even mentioned the Chagossians, and what I had to say was positive and supportive.
But you, Mr. Bridiane, have single-handedly changed my mind. If the rest of the Chagossian people are as bitter, hateful, rude, and prejudiced as you, you all can go to hell.
Subject: Re: diego garcia native
Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2001 07:54:00
From: "john bridiane" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
as i thing we dont have nothing else to say just be yourself an we will be the same until the end of our legal fight for our right.
thank to be participate in my brief disscusion. it was not a fight but only and exchange of democrate opinnion.
Re: diego garcia native
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2001 19:01:05 +0200
From: "WUETHRICH Georges Henri" <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
knowing M. BRIDIANE I looked under Internet with www.google.com for “BRIDIANE”
and obtained 2 sites:
http://profiles.yahoo.com/johnbridiane under which I learned that John Bridiane’s real name was Jean Noel
BRIDIANE and http://pages.intnet.mu/lavie/NO24/P7.htm under which I learned that Jean Noel was the treasurer of A.D.A.M., an artist association. A catholic mass by father Souchon was the first activity organized by A.D.A.M. who was officially established on May 23rd. It came to me as a surprise since Jean Noel wrote:
>“We African people we fuck off your catholic religion we know how to pray our spirit same like the Navajos which had fuck off your catholic religion”.
am a Catholic, Nicole BESAGE (to whom I am engaged and daughter of late
Raphael “Ton Phael” BESAGE, a respected Chagossian leader) is a Catholic
too (and we are regular churchgoers) and most Chagossians I met are also
Catholic. I have problems in understanding your point Jean Noel, and this
point is your very personal opinion and is not a general one shared by
all Chagossians. I know quite a few Chagossians, who would disagree with
I made a phone call to Olivier BANCOULT to ask him whether he knew a Chagossian by the name of Jean Noel BRIDIANE. The answer was yes. It seems that you, Jean Noel, are also responsible for a Chagossian Youth Organization. I can understand Jean Noel that some points Ted made are incorrect and that you don't agree with them. But insults and being rude are counter productive. What are required are down to earth arguments, which shed light on errors. I agree with Ted, education is precious, and should not only be pursued at school, but also later on, by seizing every opportunity available. E-mails are precisely such an opportunity to enrich each other’s knowledge. But insults convey no such educational value, otherwise teachers would insult pupils day in, day out.
>But, that is because the government of Mauritius stole the money that England paid to you,…
>…because of anything the United States did to you
this point I disagree. The US was the country who, since 1962, wanted a
military base to control the Indian Ocean. After preliminary studies and
a survey in 1964, Diego Garcia was chosen rather than Aldabra. And it was
the US, who insisted to throw the natives out of their homes, insisting
to clear ALL the islands, even Peros Banhos
far away from the base was to be population-free. The British told the US that it was not a problem since there was only a few natives who were just TARZANS and MAN-FRIDAYS and who could easily be displaced. This note at the bottom of a letter was presented to the judges last year. And just before the judgement M. NEWSOM of the US State Department wrote a letter insisting that the islands had to remain without permanent population. Thus Jean Noel is right to say that the destabilization factor in this area of the world is the Government of the United States. But he should bring FACTS instead of INSULTS. Mauritius knowing this fact has blackmailed the US and the UK to receive good sugar quotas, textile quotas, working contracts in Diego, fishing rights in the Chagos, none of that were beneficial to the Chagossians. But you can only blackmail people who wish to hide their wrongdoings. The UK has started to acknowledge its mistakes in order to escape from this blackmail. This is not the case of the US, who still resists. Some US Navy officials called the court who acknowledged that the 1971 Immigration Ordinance was void and should be quashed a “Mickey Mouse Court” which can be considered an insult to British justice and to the Chagossians as well. Thus the US Government has pulled the strings of this tragedy even if it does not wish to say so.
> In fact, it is people like you who are responsible, because you have not insisted on your rights. Everything you have has been GIVEN to you. Even your freedom. What have you done to free yourself? What have you done to educate yourself? What have you done to ensure your government treats you fairly?
Yes, Chagossians should try harder. Yet, to say that Chagossians have not insisted on their rights is an exaggeration. You had hunger strikes and street demonstrations where Chagossians faced a brutal Mauritian police who clubbed them and jailed them. I have some pictures of this if you wish to see them. This was in the 70’s and 80’s. The November 3 2000 judgement is in no way a give me give me give me judgement. Chagossians have been awarded a right and nothing more than a right. To say that Chagossians have a give me give me give me attitude is like to say that the only thing Americans understand is money. It is both right and wrong. But since it is also right, the best way to obtain RIGHTS from the US Government is to attack it where it will hurt most, the wallet. And it will also bring problems on the Chagossian side because compensation money will not solve problems, it will just postpone them and you can not always expect compensation money after compensation money for a living. Besides I agree with you on what you, Ted, wrote about US lawyers who view cases as business opportunities. We had a brilliant example of this where Swiss banks were involved 2 years ago.
> WE are the ones who have kept the world free from the tyrants Hitler and Tojo and Stalin who would have enslaved the world again.
Absolutely so. But a point has been lost in the US and elsewhere, most probably because the film industry portrays the Germans as ridiculous Nazis. Yet, Germany and Japan were old civilizations who gave the world geniuses such as Beethoven, Goethe, Gauss, or Hokusai, Honda, Matsushita, just to mention a few of them. Beethoven for example loved freedom and hated dictators: he dedicated a symphony to Napoleon when he perceived him as a freedom fighter, but canceled this dedication when he understood that Napoleon was a dictator. And yet this did not prevent Germany from falling in the hands of a dictator. Thus you can be remarkable and yet do horrors. Big countries can make big steps in the right direction, but can also make big steps in the wrong direction. And the US is a big country. And since no one is perfect, no country is perfect, and no country has walked only in the right direction.
Jean Noel wrote:
> Ancetor which came from Europe. I can said that there is no differrent from you or the white ideaology from the ancien civilisation. You think only of take the richest of Africa and impose your law on them.
I would just like to remind you, Jean Noel, that Richard GIFFORD is white, Sir Sydney KENTRIDGE is also white and that they were the ones who obtained the court victory for Olivier. And I am white too. And I have done the first Internet site (www.chagos.org) solely devoted to the Chagossians, I have created a support committee with a few Chagossians living in Switzerland. I personally paid for a ticket for Marie-Lisette “Aurelie” TALATE and Claudette LEFADE in July 2000 and for Joseph Silvy “Toto” BERTRAND and Allen VINCATASSIN in November 2000. I also made many other contributions you are not aware of. So whites have also made positive contributions to the Chagossians. Besides, names such as PERMAL, VINCATASSIN, SAMINADEN, … are NOT African in their origin but are still very much Chagossian. And even if the slaves where from Africa, people from the South of India have also enriched the Chagos. Unlike in Mauritius, both populations merged. The drink “kalou” is a word with a Tamil origin, just to illustrate what I am saying.
>And as you claim to represent others, I am forced to conclude that they are equally crude and unworthy of my support.
Olivier BANCOULT won the March 18th 2001 elections with 6 other members of the CRG to represent the Chagossians to the fund. This election was democratic with 3 contenders, The CRG of Olivier BANCOULT, the CSC of Fernand MANDARIN and an independent group. Only the Chagossians born in the Chagos could vote (a little bit more than 700). The CRG got more than 500 votes, the CSC got a little more than 100. These elections, even if they were not for a political seat, were always indicating who can be considered the community leader. In the past it was Fernand MANDARIN. Now it is Olivier BANCOULT and his 6 CRG nominees. And these 7 can speak on behalf of all the Chagossians. Jean Noel can only speak for himself and for any Chagossian who wishes to support his sayings. To what I think, this is a tiny minority. I have sent your e-mail exchange to Eddy BEGUE so that Olivier can also react to it. And I am also sending this e-mail to Eddy for the same purpose.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: I THINK GEORGES IS REFERING TO THE "ILOIS WELFARE FUND" HERE. SEE THE MAURITIAN GOVERNMENT'S OFFICIAL PAGE ON THE FUND.]
To conclude, opinion differences should occur since they allow interesting debates. Insults should never occur.
Hope to hear from both of you again in more friendly terms.
George H. WUETHRICH
Subject: Re: diego garcia native
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2001 21:00:13 -0700
From: President for Life <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: WUETHRICH Georges Henri <email@example.com>
WUETHRICH Georges Henri wrote:
> Ted wrote:
> >But, that is because the government of Mauritius stole the money that England paid to you,…
And so, what is being done about that?
> >…because of anything the United States did to you
> On this point I disagree. The US was the country who, since 1962, wanted a military base to control the Indian Ocean...
Georges, I think we must acknowledge that the events of those days were driven by the very valid security interests of the free world as a whole. Although Switzerland is "neutral", surely you must understand that just wishing to remain free is insufficient to remain so? For example, Switzerland's role in WWII between the adversaries was what kept it free, not its militia. So it is with geopolitics as well. With the reversals of the colonial powers, the UK in particular, someone had to step in around the globe to counter the Soviet presence that grew as the various European empires shrank.
It may seem an odd bit of history today, but we are both old enough to remember how real the conflict between totalitarianism and the free world was, and how a complacent USA would have lost the world to the forces of communism and dictatorship. To attribute sinister schemes to the US such as anecdotal stories where it planned to willfully disrupt the lives of the Chagossians is just plain wrong. The relocation of the Chagossians MUST be seen against the context of the times.
The entire world suffered because of the confusion resulting from the demise of one set of empires, and the attempted rise of the Soviet Empire, and of Chinese hegemony. The Chagossians suffered very little, compared to many other peoples. Whole nations and races were forever altered, or destroyed.
But again, all this must be set against the context of the times. Just 25 miles from where I sit, an equal number of people, Americans all, were displaced to make way for White Sands Missile Range. They too were given a reasonable settlement at the time, and their descendants too would like more money now. The world could fill every court room forever with these claimants. As I wrote to Ms. Sadler, my own family have legitimate grievances. Does that mean we should all seek reparations? How far back to we go? 30 years? Back to our parents' generation? Our grandparents? To the Crusades? Back to Celts vs. Germans? When does it stop, and how grievous must a claim be to be legitimate?
So, here we are in 2001, and the Chagossians want $1 MILLION from the US for every man, woman and child who ever lived in the islands, or were born to Chagossians.
Georges, there is no other way to say it, but to me, this is an absolutely outrageous, illegitimate claim. As I stated in my email to Mr. Tigar, there are things that will help the Chagossians, that are appropriate recompense, but the outrageous claims now made against the US are disgusting to me, and leave me with a bitter taste toward the Chagossians. And these claims started as soon as M. Bancoult stepped out onto the front steps of that British Court. What else am I to think, other than that M. Bancoult et al have been working in this direction for quite some time?
And finally, I wonder if this has nothing to do with the relief of a people, and rather has to do with the enrichment of the few? Nothing that I have heard leads me to believe otherwise. Once again, it seems it is not about a national savior or relief for the masses, but is once again about power. How sad, if true.
Wannabees List Their
(did they learn this technique from ex-SDS leaders at Berkeley?)
Chagossian Refuge Committee (one faction amongst
the Ilios) Demands of October, 2001
Copied from www.chagos.org
These are the demands sent to Prime Minister
Tony Blair by
Olivier Bancoult and his faction (the CRC).
Translated from French using AltaVista's Babel Fish Translator (http://world.altavista.com/tr)
Les dix demandes intérimaires de la
communauté chagossienne, en attendant sa réhabilitation complète
les îles de l'archipel, sont les suivantes, avec effets immédiats, exige-t-elle : ["The ten temporary requests of the community chagossienne, while waiting for its complete rehabilitation in the islands of the archipelago, are the following ones, with immediate effects, requires it:"]
1. Arrangements pour qu'une délégation
de 250 Chagossiens puisse visiter l'archipel, y compris Diego Garcia, en
novembre prochain, pour une durée de 16 jours. La communauté
affirme comprendre qu'en raison de la guerre contre l'Afghanistan, se pose
en ce moment des questions de sécurité. Elle attendra donc
le moment propice, mais ne renoncera jamais à cette visite et réclame
que les arrangements soient complétés en attendant ce moment.
["Arrangements so that a delegation of 250 Chagossiens can visit the archipelago,
including Diego Garcia, next
November, for one 16 days duration. The community affirms to understand that because of the war against Afghanistan, is posed in this moment of the questions of security. It will thus wait the favourable moment, but will never give up this visit and claims that arrangements are supplemented while waiting for this moment."]
2. Construction d'infrastructures dans l'archipel afin de permettre des activités de pêche et agricoles de base pouvant fournir du travail à 500 Chagossiens dans un premier temps. ["Construction of infrastructures in the archipelago in order to allow activities of fishing and agricultural basic being able to initially provide work with 500 Chagossiens. "]
3. Emploi sur la base de Diego d'au moins 1 000 Chagossiens (natifs ou adultes enfants de Chagossiens). De menus travaux ne nécessitant aucune qualification spéciale sont exécutés sur la base par des ressortissants philippins, sri-lankais ou d'autres nationalités, alors que les Chagossiens sont eux ostracisés et laissés au chômage. ["Employment on the basis of Diego from at least 1 000 Chagossiens (natives or adult children of Chagossiens). Menus work not requiring any special qualification are carried out on the basis by nationals Filipinos, sri-lankais or other nationalities, whereas Chagossiens are them ostracized and left with unemployment."]
4. Paiement d'une pension mensuelle de 1 000 livres sterling par mois aux natifs adultes déplacés et de 500 livres aux enfants. Selon Olivier Bancoult et ses hommes de loi, le montant de pension exigé n'est nullement exagéré et représente l'équivalent de ce que perçoivent les citoyens britanniques en difficultés d'insertion sociale. ["Payment of a monthly pension of 1 000 pounds sterling per month with the moved adult natives and of 500 pounds to the children. According to Olivier Bancoult and its men of law, the amount of pension required is by no means exaggerated and represents the equivalent of what perceive the British citizens in difficulties of social integration."]
5. Mise en place d'un plan de soin médical par le gouvernement anglais pour les Chagossiens. ["Installation of a plan of medical care by the English government for Chagossiens."]
6. Des bourses et de la formation pour les Chagossiens méritants et les enfants. ["Of the purses and the formation for Chagossiens deserving and the children."]
7. Constitution du Social Aid Trust Fund, géré en majorité par et pour les Chagossiens. ["Constitution of Social Aid Fund Trust, managed in majority by and for Chagossiens."]
8. Octroi de certificat de naissance et de la citoyenneté intégrale britannique à tous les Chagossiens nés dans l'archipel entre 1965 et 1973 et connus comme des "BIOT Chagossians". ["Granting of certificate of birth and the British integral citizenship in all Chagossiens born in the archipelago between 1965 and 1973 and known like "BIOT Chagossians".]
9. Des négociations pour
une compensation due en conséquence des faits et actes illégaux
du gouvernement britannique qui ont causé souffrances et préjudices
aux Chagossiens et à leurs enfants. ["Of the negotiations
for a consequently compensation due of the facts and illegal acts of the British government which caused sufferings and injuries in Chagossiens and their children."]
10. Constitution d'urgence d'un organisme
doté de pleins pouvoirs qui serait responsable pour la promotion
et le développement de l'archipel et qui décidera du rétablissement
de la population dans les îles. Cet organisme devra être contrôlé
par le Chagossiens eux-mêmes. ["Emergency Constitution of an organization
equipped with full powerss which would be responsible for promotion and
the development for the archipelago and which will decide re-establishment
of the population in the islands. This organization will have to be controlled
A Calmer Voice Is Heard:
Earlier you read (above) email exchanges between
John Bridiane and me.
We have since exchanged much more polite and pleasant communications!
John apparently is head of a group called 7 Degrees Southeast, which may or may not be aligned with Bancoult and his faction. In December, John met with Baroness Amos in London, and this is the information he has passed to me on January 11, 2002. Please note this is verbatim with only some formating corrections;
I have not attempted to interpret or edit John's message:
We welcome your invitation, to discuss on the Chagos issue. The white paper, "Partnership for Progress and Prosperity" has created a good impression on us. We are aware that Her Majesty's Government has made a lot of progress in the Overseas Territories since the publication of the White Paper- the B.O.T Bill is one of them.
After much reflection and request from the Chagosssian community, we have come to the conclusion that the Chagos people and their descendant’s need the attention of the Government. We propose that Her Majesty's Government use its best Offices to materialise the plea for compensation, the setting up of a Consultative Committee, education facilities, environmental studies and business activities (details annexed
1: The Chagos people welcome the offer of British Citizenship, this offer will make a great positive change in our lift, since it will give way to many opportunities.
2: The Chagos people wish, that British Citizenship be offered to all their descendants born of Chagossian mothers: -
1: To facilitate the registration of Chagossion and their Descendants business Companies in the B.I.O.T administration and in the U.K. or in the EEC and EEA member states.
2: To wave Licence fees or other fees in the U.K. and B.I.O.T for Chagossian and their Descendants businesses, only on their starting period.
3: To facilitate starting Chagossian and their Descendants Businesses to find financial help (e.g. loans grants, guarantees etc.) that are provided by the government or financial institutions, to enabling them to carry out their business objectives.
4: To facilitate trade activities of Chagossian and their Descendants companies on the EEC and EEA member states and in any part of the world, in protecting and promoting trade activities.
5: To give free licences to starting Chagossian Business companies to carryout fishing activities (including seafood) Tourist visit activities and coconut exploitation. Giving the rights to those companies to contract out these activities (with their supervision) while respecting all regulation in force in the B.I.O.T
6: To facilitate Business activities with the U.S. Administration on Diego-Garcia e.g. provision of fish, seafood's and other kind of foodstuff and goods.
7: To facilitate links with U.S business companies and other British Overseas territories
1: To urgently send government officials to investigate the situation of the Chagos people.
2: To make recommendations on the best formula for urgent financial and other assistance for all Chagossian and it descendant's, in consultation with the consultative committee (as propose) till a solution is sought concerning compensation (for all prejudice caused to the pass 36 years)
Chagossian community are facing serious various problems such as housing,
outstanding loan and debts.
This urgent investigation will help Chagossian to have confidence that Her Majesty's government care for them.
1: To urgently form a consultative committee composed of representatives of all Chagossian Group (by nomination)
2: To enables the Consultative Committee to participate in the Overseas Territories consultative Council.
(a) To discuss and found solution concerning for the Chagossian community.
(b) To make the Chagos Community to have trust in the Majesty's
(c) To refrain all public confrontation against Her Majesty's Government.
(d) To give the opportunity to all groups to freely participate in decision making, for the welfare of the Chagossian community
Education & further studies
to establish Education body that will help Chagossian and their descendant's
in the followings:
(a) Paying for their tuition fees examination and university courses.
(b) Buying of books and other educational Materials
(c) To establish a cyber training space for Chagossian and their descendant's and adults.
(d) To Facilitate admission of Chagossian and their descendant's students to pursue further studies in the U.K. and in other EEC and EEA members states.
(e) To facilitate guidance in career opportunities for Chagossian and their descendant's.
(f) To seek and to provide any other Facilities related to education and professional progress.
1: To enable the various Chagossian Groups and their descendant's to work together with the B.I.O.T to protect the environment of the Chagos archipelago.
2: To enable Chagossian and their descendant's to follow free studies in environmental science course, with the possibility of embracing the British chevening scholarship programme.
3: To enable Chagossian and their descendant's to be employed in the Monitoring and Conservation of the environment in the Chagos and in other Overseas Territories.
4: To support Chagossian and their Descendant's project which objectives will help to protect the Chagos environment.
I can said that from the period of 1960's to now the Chagossian community had been reach the number of 25000 people; start from the Native which remain aprox (1000), 500 over 60 years old and 500 above 60, 1500 already died with a great sadness of living their descendant's in a damn life. 1st line children descendant (7200) from 4000 under 60 years old aprox, 1500 over 60 years old aprox, 1700 under 40 years old aprox, 2nd line children descendant (13000) under 40 years and 3rd line children descendant (3800) under 17 years old.
all of this we can said that 40 % of chagossian child are not legitimate
cause of trigamous father life. That why we fight for the right of being
same at equal level as other Chagossian which hold a BDTC passport from
I hope that you will not judge me from what had been happening to me during my passing day in London, Any way at any time the chagossian and it's descendant's are ready to work the US and UK government for partnership prosperity according to the White Paper report 1999.
Mr Ted let me clarity and apologize from some of the all miss view of my
reaction in the recent pass against you, and others. This were due to a
long deeply give myself with a teem of young Chagossian descendant’s on
the Compensation chagossian claim which are totally a natural fact, that
the concerning Authority must face up, in the nearly time. But I and others
chagossian descendant’s with the compliment of some Native were not asking
for the right to returning back on Chagos now as officially declare by
some Pawn Man but the right to visit our motherland under the BIOT administration
cause as a British citizen we got the right to return back home but not
the right to settle in any appropriate place which are declare by the crown,
for the use of world basic peacekeeper defender base region (The rock).
I totally present my respects from all your determination, which if an
obnoxious language were not use by self determination, Idea will never
come up from you for self-determination. Sit strike from the community
in front will never be up. Let me salute your contribution to the chagossian.
[editor's note - this paragraph is from an earlier email from Georges Wuethrich] “I have created a support committee with a few Chagossians living in Switzerland. I personally paid for a ticket for Marie-Lisette “Aurelie” TALATE and Claudette LEFADE in July 2000 and for Joseph Silvy “Toto” BERTRAND and Allen VINCATASSIN in November 2000. I also made many other contributions you are not aware of. So whites have also made positive contributions to the Chagossians.”
This had been a pay action a gate had been open for the chagossian and it descendant’s to claim their right. Salute to Mr bancoult and it group (GRC) not for the insisted of returning back home. Where? On peros banhos which are divide into 42 island and Salomon which are divide into 11 island that could support resettlement?
[editor's note - this paragraph if from an earlier email from me] I know there is a great deal of difference between expressing sympathy and actually accomplishing something on their behalf, as Georges has. And there's the fact that my site does not advocate returning the Ilois to the archipelago, as I concur with the opinion of many in the scientific community that turning over the islands to Mauritius would doom them to ecological disaster, indeed has the potential to destroy the reef environments of the western Indian Ocean, as well as impoverishing any people who are 'returned'. It seems to me that the real solution for the Ilois is to see them educated and integrated into a larger economy. I don't advocate banning them from the Chagos, but I do think there should be only a limited, even temporary, return, in an environmentally sensitive way. I personally think the world can accommodate the Ilois and the environment, but who knows what will happen in court? From the limited selection of your writings available to me, it appears you may have a better idea than most, but it’s never clear at the start, is it? Things change.
My conclusion of how the Chagossian could be live happy came from your advice and the scientific community study and expertise from my nature science experience study during 17 years starting as a seaman and camping outdoor leisure animator tour guide of forest, mountain, island tour and camping outdoor with the leisure ministry; that chagos could not be resettle same as other territories but the Chagossian need a serious social assistance, economics situation, reparation from their mental Chico logy cause from their 36 year banishment from it human right.
Sincerely[editor's note - again, John has quoted from one of my earlier emails here] Many, many, many of my ancestors made our revolution, and won our freedom. And they made a country of democracy where anyone, and everyone can prosper. And many of my ancestors and relatives have been in the military, and WE are the ones who have kept the world free from the tyrants Hitler and Tojo and Stalin who would have enslaved the world again.
You must free yourself. You must educate yourself. You must make your own life in this world. Stop blaming others for your fate. Stop waiting for someone to save you. Save yourself with hard work, education, and honour.
this part you had wake up my sense of walking on a line, but Chico logy
moral support affection are need from other. Thank for your encouragement
to go on the meeting. Think are positive from the upper demands.
[editor's note - another quote from me, this one can be found at the top of this page] Now, you ask, just where do I stand on this whole issue? Quite frankly, although I am VERY sympathetic to the Ilois' plight and believe they deserve a just compensation, from reading the history, the news reports since 1999, and from my correspondence with some Chagossians and their "supporters," it appears to me that there is a power play going on in which certain individuals, British, American, and especially Chagossian, are hell-bent on getting money, glory, and especially power over their fellows. All the while using the individual Ilois as pawns.... you may come to the same conclusion if you read it all...
Basically, I feel very sad, because nothing I can do or say will save the Chagossians from their self appointed "saviours."
Ted I don’t know if you qualify me to as a pawn?
[my answer - No, John, I do not think that way about you any more. It appears to me that you have taken on the welfare issues in a very mature and positive way. I think you are seeking those things that will ultimately improve you and your fellows in the larger world]
One think that I had learn from life is to defend and protect the right of my future generation which are not view the sun rise up and listen from other counsellor for a better tomorrow’s in my position I could said that you had been my counsellor natural from an instant basic action.
7,800 Chagossians live in Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island off Madagascar,
according to the CRG. They have both Mauritian and British
citizenship, and claim they should be entitled to compensation and a pension.
The islanders seemed to have won their battle to return home in November
2000, when the High Court in London ruled that the British government had
acted unlawfully in removing them. But Bancoult said they were
still unable to return to the islands, as Britain was conducting a feasibility
study on whether they could live on the Chagos”
[editor's note - this I believe is from a news article]
That he said to return back not we said we would return back.
“The United States uses the island -- more than 1,000 miles from India, Mauritius, Australia and the Gulf States -- as a communications post and refuelling station. The Chagossians charge that the agreement with the British says "acquisition of Diego Garcia for defence purposes will imply displacement of the whole of the existing population of the island." The Chagossians say U.S. military and contract workers forced them from the island in the late '60s and early '70s. The last movement of people was accomplished by herding them onto boats loaded with horses and other animals for a six-day voyage to Mauritius” [again, from another news article]
were what had been happen and more than this too. I can justify as an enquire
made on January 2001 by a young chagossian teen with the all community
which I were involve in this exercise. It were very sadness when we here
the chagossian native talk of their pass life removal and not getting right
to return back home. Some had commit suicide, alcolic, thief and prostitutes.
[this appears to be from a news article I am unfamiliar with - editor] A U.S.-funded $15 million nuclear cleanup effort at Rongelap Atoll in the Marshall Islands is showing early signs that displaced islanders will be able to safely return home. Because of the success of the first phase of the cleanup, Rongelap leaders say they will go to the U.S. Congress early this year seeking additional funds to rebuild community and housing facilities that will make possible a future return for islanders after more than 15 years in exile. Will the U.S. Congress provide the $212 million that scientists agree is necessary to fund the entire cleanup of Rongelap Atoll? The money would go far to resolving a glaring legacy of the American nuclear testing program in the Marshall Islands. Matayoshi is optimistic that the Congress will deliver on the U.S. promise to return Rongelap to a habitable condition, including cleaning up other islands in the atoll, so that people “can safely resettle the islands they historically used as residential islands and safely use resources on other islands.”
Ted as you know and qualify that compensation is a fact but not returning back as the rongelap atoll.
now that I own a computer which I use to take on a monthly instalment payment
in a showroom call Mammouth this allow me to go more deeper in the chagos
issue, that I take the freedom to stand with the chagossian descendants
until the end of their total satisfaction in their due of as a British
citizen, with the a compliment of other organisation as partners, where
you are welcome to the chagossian modern partnership prosperity future
step. By the name of god Jesus Christ in which I had always place my trust
but not in a religion of man, but in the believe ness of all the world
man, so that I trust in those who believe too.
Return of The Lawyers:
A January 21, 2002 article by The Inter Press Service reported that my above mentioned buddy, Mike Tigar, has filed a class action lawsuit in federal court, respresenting Oliver Bancoult, Marie Theresa Mein, and one other named plaintiff, plus "some 4,000 original residents and their descendants." According to the article, they are claiming "forced relocation, racial discrimination, torture, and genocide." The defendants include the US Government, Robert McNamara, Donald Rumsfeld, and most other Secretaries of Defence who served since McNamara, Halliburton Company (because it's subsidiary Brown & Root built the base on Diego Garcia), and various State Department officials.
You have to subscribe to IPS in order to read the article, but if you click here, it will take you to the correct page, and you can subscribe at that time, than read the article. A much shorter, but free, article can be found on the Washington Post's Web Site, which broke the story on Dec. 21, 2001 - a month before the lawyers were able to interest the green press in the issue.
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