Archive for June, 2007

Yet another appeal?

Posted in Uncategorized on June 26th, 2007 by Robert Bain – Be the first to comment

On Monday the Government submitted its application to the House of Lords to appeal last month’s court decision saying the Chagos Islanders should be allowed to go home. It was the last possible day on which they could have applied.

The Government should be working to give these people back their homeland and offer proper compensation, but instead it continues to drag out the lengthy and costly legal action.

Last month’s ruling was the third time a British court has ruled unanimously against the Government on this matter, and told it to let the islanders go back. And yet the Government continues to stand in the way of justice.

Gordon Brown, who will be our Prime Minister in a matter of days, has pledged to review the use of the Royal Prerogative. And yet the Government is appealing to protect the apparently uncontrolled use of prerogative powers to arbitrarily throw people out of their homes on British soil.

We deplore the decision to appeal. We urge Gordon Brown to reconsider, and distance himself from the shameful actions of this Government in prolonging the injustice that began four decades ago.

Some islands are more equal than others

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17th, 2007 by UKCSA – Be the first to comment

It’s 25 years since Britain intervened to save the Falkland Islands.

While Britain was spending billions protecting the Falklanders, it was at the same time pressuring the people of another British territory to sign away their rights to their islands, in return for a mismanaged and derisory compensation package.

When the Chagossians were rounded up and thrown off their islands in the 1960s and 70s, they couldn’t turn to the Government for protection… because it was the Government that was evicting them.

We can only speculate as to why the Chagos Islanders were, and still are, considered so much less important than the Falklanders.

No time like the present

Posted in Uncategorized on June 1st, 2007 by UKCSA – Be the first to comment

We await to see whether the Government will appeal against its third court defeat in the Chagos islanders case, or if it will accept the judgment and return to the position it took before 2004’s dramatic U-turn.

Although the Court of Appeal refused permission to appeal to the House of Lords, the Government has one month from the ruling to appeal directly to the Lords.

The judges said that for the Government to renege on Robin Cook’s promise of a return home after the 2000 judgment was an abuse of power. Cook had even secured the agreement of the then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to allow the Chagossians back to the outer islands, but this all went out of the window with the infamous orders in council of 2004 – a strategy that appears to have been decided at a low level and simply rubber stamped by those higher up (including Her Majesty).

The decision taken by Cook and Albright shows that things don’t have to be like this. We implore the Government to stop the never-ending appeals and delay tactics and do the right thing now. Let’s see some resources pumped into making resettlement happen, rather than more millions wasted on brushing the problem under the carpet.