For those unfamiliar with TED talks, they are a series of inspirational talks by influential leaders in the fields of Technology, Education and Development, recorded in different venues around the world to local audiences, and made available to millions globally via the internet. Their strapline is ‘ideas worth spreading’. This 14 -minute long TED talk by Olivier Bancoult, the leader of Chagossian group CRG (Chagos Refugees Group), recounts his struggle and the decades of inj
Chagossians in the Seychelles have joined Chagos Refugees Group in boycotting 'heritage visits' to the Chagos Islands planned for later this year. Chagossians wishing to go on the trips have been encouraged to apply before the 8th June 2018. Pierre Prosper, Chair of the Association of Chagossians in the Seychelles, argues that the £40m 'support package' announced in 2016, at the same time as a UK government decision not to support a Chagossian return programme, should not b
The Supreme Court will this Thursday make a judgement on whether the UK government acted improperly in establishing a Marine Protected Area around the Chagos Islands in 2010. The challenge is being brought by Oliver Bancoult, Chairperson of the Chagos Refugees Group. Evidence was heard on 29 June 2017, and now a verdict will be delivered on Thursday 8 February. The creation of the Marine Protected Area in 2010 has become controversial, owing to documents released by Wikileaks
On 17 May a group of Chagossians, led by Chagos Refugees Group leader Oliver Bancoult, met with the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis. A strong Roman Catholic culture has been a distinct feature of unique Chagossian society, so marks an important step in their fight for justice. Speaking prior to the visit, Mr Bancoult was clear he hopes to convince The Pope to back the Chagossian people's fight for justice. He notes the interest the Pope has taken in refugees
On Thursday 23rd February the British High Commission released a press statement to quash rumours and clarify intentions in light of recent press articles covering the announcement of the £40million support package made by the British government to the Chagossian community. In the statement the High Commission wished to make clear first and foremost that the £40million support package was not made in exchange for the right of Chagossians to resettle in the British Indian Ocea
The government's shameful decision to oppose Chagossian return to their homeland last November came with an unexpected caveat. An offer of £40m for Chagossian community projects over 10 years, in the UK, Mauritius, Seychelles and elsewhere.
This was not, as was widely reported, an offer of compensation. Rather it was money committed to the still somewhat vague aims of improving Chagossian access health care services, employment and social services.
The offer was unexpecte
Recently Mauritian French-language news agency Defimedia reported on a letter sent by Chagos Refugee Group leader Oliver Bancoult to the British High Commissioner in Mauritius. Below we've put together a summary translation for our non-French speaking supporters, with the help of Chagos Refugee Group UK Chairperson Sabrina Jean. In the article, Oliver Bancoult explains Chagos Refugee Group's response to the offer of £40m for Chagossian community projects over 10 years. He exp
On 19 December the Chagossian people lost one of the most powerful voices for their struggle, as Rita Bancoult passed away. Her funeral took place on the 22 December with family, friends and fellow campaigners. Aged 91, Madame Bancoult had been campaigning for the community's right to return to their homeland for decades. She also pressed the Mauritian and UK Government to do more to help Chagossians suffering in exile. Born in Peros Banhos in 1925, Rita Bancoult left her hom
Two years of waiting today came to end. The Government announced that they will not be going ahead with a pilot resettlement scheme that would have allowed two hundred Chagossians to return to their islands for a trial period of two years. The decision has truly rocked the Chagossian community. Many were too stunned to comment, others made clear that the fight is not over. In a written statement, Sir Alan Duncan MP said the decision was made “on the grounds of feasibility, de
Chagos Refugee Group Leader Oliver Bancoult is today (7 April) handing in a letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street calling on him to “show statesmanship” by ending Chagossians' exile. You can read Mr Bancoult's letter in full here. Chagossians have lived in exile since they were forcibly removed from their Chagos Islands homeland in the Indian Ocean in the early 1970s. Despite being British citizens, they were removed under UK Government order so a US
Brazilian weekly magazine Carta Capital has picked up the story of the Chagossian people's long fight for justice, in an excellent Spanish language article published this week. Read the original article in full and in Spanish here. You can read an automated translation, meanwhile, via the Google Translate service. Clear distinct memories of the unique life and culture which Chagossians had enjoyed for centuries on the Islands prior to deportation open the report. Speaking to
Leading figures of the Chagossian fight for justice have given their reaction to UK Government consultation papers on Chagossian return. Allen Vincatassin reacted quickly the publishing of the document, releasing a statement encouraging Chagossians to respond to the questionaire attached to the consultation document. In the statement Mr Vincatassin explains he has been in touch with the team who put the document together and will continue consulting with them. Oliver Bancoult