UK Chagos Support Association EGM summary

On Saturday 24 July 2021 UK Chagos Support Association held an Extraordinary General Meeting, bringing together the current committee, a selection of supporters of the Chagossian cause and a number of Chagossian community representatives.

Taking place three years after our last Annual General Meeting, over 2 hours the group considered the work of the last several years and how we could all best support the Chagossian cause in the future.

Much of the time was taken up by discussion of a proposal for the future of UK Chagos Support Association, which you can read here in Kreol and here in English.

In short, the proposal suggests a gradual winding up of UK Chagos Support Association over the next 6-12 months, with simultaneous work to establish a separate organisation which would focus more exclusively on community support work, including a programme of hardship grants.

The proposal had the backing of all who spoke in the meeting and has received several pieces of positive feedback from Chagossian community representatives since the meeting. But it was agreed more Chagossian feedback on the proposal would need to be gathered before taking final decisions on the dissolution of UK Chagos Support Association, and the remit of any new organisation.

To this end it was agreed the current committee would lead work on a short survey to be shared with the Chagossian community, and to arrange a series of meetings with Chagossian community groups and individuals. If possible, in person meetings in Crawley, Manchester and London will be arranged. It was agreed the aim would be to end this consultation process within 3 months.

During the meeting the committee shared a statement on reflecting on the past few years of work since the 2018 AGM, and providing context on the reasoning behind the current proposal. You can read this here.

Treasurer Peri Batliwala shared her Treasurer’s Report covering the period since the 2018 AGM. This covered income and spending over the past three years, noting in particular 2020-2021 had seen a huge increase in our spending on our hardship grant programme, owing to the effects of the pandemic.

All attendees affirmed their continued support for the Chagossian struggle for justice in all its forms, and our joint deep respect for the Chagossian activists who have led that struggle over the decades.

The committee’s statement emphasised the wishes of the committee to continue to support the struggle in whatever way best suits their current priorities.

The current committee will over the next few months seek feedback on this proposal from the Chagossian community, and explore the best way to implement the changes outlined in the proposal. Although it was added new volunteers or committee members would be most welcome, and needed, in order to complete this process on schedule.

We will be very happy to speak to any Chagossian interested in discussing these issues further. We also welcome any and all support in scoping out the potential for setting up a new organisation. Please email to get involved or to ask any questions.

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