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A Policy of Concealment: Exiling the Chagos Islanders

This article was first written and published in May 2006 and then revised, expanded and updated in September 2006

Between 1967 and 1973 plans to illegally and forcefully evict natives of the Indian Ocean's Chagos archipelago - who were UK citizens - were put into action by the UK government. The evictions were carried out using deliberate subterfuge at the UN and under the 'radar screen' of the media, as well as bypassing Parliament.

The manner of eviction was not only undignified and ill-befitting a country that claims to promote human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, it was shameful, cruel and utterly unnecessary.

In an attempt to get around the legalities, the UK government pretended that there were no native islanders. The Foreign Office (FO) file term used was 'a policy of concealment'.

In 1966 the FO wrote:

"We must surely be very tough about this. The object of the exercise is to get some rocks which will remain ours. There will be no indigenous population except seagulls."


And just two years later in 1968 the FO added:

"The purpose of the Immigration Ordinance is to maintain the fiction that the inhabitants of the Chagos are not a permanent or semi-permanent population. The Ordinance would be published in the BIOT gazette which has only very limited circulation. Publicity will therefore be minimal."


In 1970, an internal government memo said:

"We would not wish it to become general knowledge that some of the inhabitants have lived on Diego Garcia for several generations and could, therefore, be regarded as 'belongers'."


The evictions were planned in the mid-60s and began in 1967. In 1971 the UK government banned the Chagos Islanders from returning home. By 1973 all the Chagossians had been removed. The purpose? To lease one of the islands - Diego Garcia - to the USA to build a military base.

Far from belonging to a bygone era, this abuse of power has been continued by the current Labour government:
  • In 2000 the Chagos Islanders won their case in the High Court declaring the 1971 ban unlawful, thus recognising the islanders' right to return home.
  • The UK government refused to allow it, however, and in 2004 used the royal prerogative (actually a governing politicians' prerogative) to once again ban the islanders from returning home, effectively overturning the High Court's decision. Another benefit of using this procedure was that it allowed the government to bypass Parliament.
  • On 11th May 2006 the Chagossians won another victory in the High Court, again recognising their right to return home. The judges ruled the government's Order in Council of 2004 "null and void", and described the exile as "outgrageous, unlawful, and a breach of accepted moral standards."
Regrettably, the UK government is appealing this latest decision, and in early 2007 the High Court will once again witness the government fighting against its own illegally-exiled citizens.

Astrology of an illegal exile

Astrologically, the use of power to disrupt the daily lives of a peaceful people can be traced to the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo of the 1960s, which was opposed by Saturn and Chiron in Pisces. The Uranus-Pluto conjunction came within 8 degrees of orb in the summer of 1962, and remained within that orb almost continuously until the summer of 1969. It was exact three times: October 1965, April 1966, and June 1966.

We can take this Uranus-Pluto conjunction opposed by Saturn-Chiron and see where, from the UK's point of view, the planetary line-up fell on the Earth's surface.

The map below shows the Indian Ocean, with a dot representing the island of Diego Garcia which is the main island of the Chagos archipelago and the seat of the USA-UK military base. The red vertical lines are the ones we're interested in. Reading from the left they are: transiting Saturn on the UK's IC, transiting Uranus on the UK's MC (combined with transiting Sun on the UK's MC), transiting Pluto on the UK's MC, and transiting Chiron on the UK's IC.

Chagos Archipelago & UK Transits

The UK's transits shown on this map are for September 1965, which was when the UK government struck a deal with the Mauritius government allowing the UK government to keep the Chagos islands in return for paying the Mauritius government compensation and granting the Mauritius government other benefits and rights. This was a necessary prelude to evicting the islanders.

A month later that agreement was confirmed. See how the Uranus and Pluto red lines have shifted towards the right:

Chagos Archipelago & UK Transits

Another month later the agreement with Mauritius became reality. The UK government created the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), for the express purpose of leasing Diego Garcia to the USA government for military use. The secret plans for evicting the natives moved a step nearer.

These major transits, depicted by the red lines, continued to sweep across this map towards the right, moving towards the Chagos Archipelago. They then swept across it, one by one. Come 1967, Pluto - symbolising the power to sweep away the old in order to make way for something new, as well as of course power issues - arrived at the Chagos archipelago, now known as BIOT. The evictions began.

Chagos Archipelago & UK Transits

More information
For more information and to support the remedying of this disgraceful flouting of domestic and international laws, please visit:
[NB These links open in a new window]
http://www.chagossupport.org.uk/
http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=351

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