The topic of this post is not some great conspiracy about the invasion of Iraq, Jacob Zuma, or probably anything else you may have been considering when reading the headline. It’s this line that caught my attention.
They will not be able to stay overnight because the islands are infested with mosquitoes.
In the 1960’s and 70’s, the British expelled about 2,000 inhabitants of the Chagos islands to make way for a joint British-American military base.
The inhabitants have been fighting in the courts to return, and in 2000 won an important legal victory. However, in the post-911 frenzy of human rights abuses, the British legal trickery called an order in council overode this decision. So, the inhabitants were dumped in Mauritius.
Now, in a so-called “humanitarian” visit agreed by the Foreign Office, after 3 years of delays due to difficulties in finding a properly seaworthy ship, as well as political difficulties with Mauritius, who claim the islands, 100 of the exiles get to see the ruins of their communities, tend the graves of the dead and pray in the churches. However, they will not be able to stay overnight because the islands are infested with mosquitoes (from the Daily Telegraph).
It infuriates me that a government official can lie so easily, and seem to get away with it. Are we really expected to believe that it’s kind of the UK government to be looking after the people this way? Besides being paternalistic rubbish, even if the mosquito problem on Diego Garcia is so much worse than the monsters that assaulted me in the Amazon, the midges of the Scottish lochs or any other similary-infested area on the globe, are we really expected to believe that the top secret military base, complete with shelters to support B-2 bombers, and persistent rumours of it being another secret hideaway for those labelled terrorists have nothing to do with it? On top of that, the US and UK recognise all of the Chagos Islands as being part of the African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty. All that is, except for one island, Diego Garcia. I wonder why.