Chagos includes Diego Garcia

“First, they tried to shoot the dogs. Next, they tried to poison them with strychnine. When both failed as efficient killing methods, British government agents and U.S. Navy personnel used raw meat to lure the pets into a sealed shed. Locking them inside, they gassed the howling animals with exhaust piped in from U.S. military vehicles. Then, setting coconut husks ablaze, they burned the dogs’ carcasses as their owners were left to watch and ponder their own fate.

The truth about the U.S. military base on the British-controlled Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia is often hard to believe. It would be easy enough to confuse the real story with fictional accounts of the island found in the Transformersmovies, on the television series 24, and in Internet conspiracy theories about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

While the grim saga of Diego Garcia frequently reads like fiction, it has proven all too real for the people involved. It’s the story of a U.S. military base built on a series of real-life fictions told by U.S. and British officials over more than half a century.”

Suzelle, interviewed by Mauritian national TV, said something I didn’t know I’m sure: They took care of the dog cemetery but left their ancestors’ cemetery in an abandoned state. Translation mine, from memory, will double check/add verbatim later.

All other quotes from this article.

“Aurélie Lisette Talate was one of the last to go. “I came to Mauritius with six children and my mother,” she told me. “We got our house… but the house didn’t have a door, didn’t have running water, didn’t have electricity. And then my children and I began to suffer. All my children started getting sick.”

Within two months, two of her children were dead. The second was buried in an unmarked grave because she lacked money for a proper burial. Aurélie experienced fainting spells herself and couldn’t eat. “We were living like animals. Land? We had none… Work? We had none. Our children weren’t going to school.”

Today, most Chagossians, who now number more than 5,000, remain impoverished. In their language, their lives are ones of lamizer(impoverished misery) and sagren (profound sorrow and heartbreak over being exiled from their native lands). Many of the islanders attribute sickness and even death to sagren. “I had something that had been affecting me for a long time, since we were uprooted,” was the way Aurélie explained it to me. “This sagren, this shock, it was this same problem that killed my child. We weren’t living free like we did in our natal land.”

“Before the European Court could rule, the British government announced the creation of the world’s largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Chagos Archipelago. The date of the announcement, April Fool’s Day 2010, should have been a clue that there was more than environmentalism behind the move. The MPA banned commercial fishing and limited other human activity in the archipelago, endangering the viability of any resettlement efforts.

And then came WikiLeaks. In December 2010, it released a State Department cable from the U.S. Embassy in London quoting a senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office official saying that the “former inhabitants would find it difficult, if not impossible, to pursue their claim for resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago were a marine reserve.” U.S. officials agreed. According to the Embassy, Political Counselor Richard Mills wrote, “Establishing a marine reserve might, indeed… be the most effective long-term way to prevent any of the Chagos Islands’ former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling.”

Not surprisingly, the main State Department concern was whether the MPA would affect base operations. “We are concerned,” the London Embassy noted, that some “would come to see the existence of a marine reserve as inherently inconsistent with the military use of Diego Garcia.” British officials assured the Americans there would be “no constraints on military operations.””

Voices to prioritise

Fungai Chanetsa commented on social media(coupla days after the verdict for Philando Castille, I followed the news for the latter not the following: it seems there was apology to a family and over $1.2 million awarded for the murder of a bay retriever [dog]): “this is triggering for current and past reasons. I grew up in context where dogs owned by whites ate from the table while black employees ate food that even dogs would not eat, seeing black employees seating on an open truck cab in pouring rain while the dog was passenger. I actually cant stand dogs for that reason-reminds me too much of growing up in an apartheid state. And black people are murdered by police and not even an apology. Being black and living in this stressful context we have higher morbidity, and then they tell is we have preexisting conditions for just being alive. If they don’t shoot us, we die from all these chronic diseases.”

Whether you’re in Africa or a country like the U.S. if you’re listening, Black people keep reminding us of such things and their voices need to be prioritised.

High Time to Dump Gandhi

Appropriation and Peace – addendum

What everyone needs to know about Gandhi.

“Finally, the most damning anti-Dalit action of his life was his fast that led to the Poona Pact. Many in the West know this only as his fast to bring light to the plight of the “Untouchables”. This fast is the non-violence action that many cite in civil rights mythology as key to the image of Gandhi as an advocate for injustice and a success of the strategies for non-violence. It is even often misunderstood as a fast undertook directly in opposition to the British.
The truth of this episode is far from noble. This hunger strike was not designed to bring attention to the plight of the “Untouchables”, but rather was Gandhi’s attempt to diffuse and stop one of the strongest Dalit independence leaders Dr. Ambedkar, from ensuring Dalit autonomy within the newly formed Indian constitution.”

relates to my previous post and was news to me. It’s quite known that he was anti-black:

“This idea that Indians were better than native Africans pervades his writings on Apartheid where he writes consistently of the need to mentally and physically separate Indians from Indigenous Africans. Even more appalling, are his assertions of the indignities of being grouped with Africans by colonial entities. […]

Another telling example of his anti-blackness is where he makes the distinction that most Indians were not indigenous. This next quote reflects both his Anti-Black and anti-indigenous stance as he names specifically an Indian Adivasi/Indigenous tribe:
“The statute books describe the Indians as belonging to“the aboriginal or semi-barbarous race of Asia”, while as a matter of fact there is hardly one Indian in South Africa belonging to the aboriginal stock. The Santhals of Assam will be as useless in South Africa as the natives of that country. “
He argues against colonial attempts to equate Indians with indigenous Africans because in his view, indigenous peoples were “barbarous and useless”. […]
Finally, beyond these indefensible positions, Gandhi cheered on the British as they waged a war on the black Zulus. During the 1906 Bambatha Uprising […] They hung, shot, and severely flogged thousands of Zulus during this war leading to over four thousand Zulus being murdered during the rebellion. […] For assisting the war on Zulus in any way that he could, he was given the rank of Sgt. Major by the British Army.”

Reason #2 […]
“Harijan refers to the children who are the offspring of women who are bound to ritual sexual exploitation at Hindu Temples under the Indian system of ritual prostitution called the Devadasi system. They are called Harijan or Children of God so that the children’s paternity is not questioned. And it is this term that he attempted to foist on Dalits!

Needless to say this term is seen as an epithet and has been discarded by all except the staunch Gandhi followers and Hindu Fundamentalists.”


“His celibacy did not preclude him using the women members of his ashrams in participating in his “experiments” with sexuality. These experiments were aimed at testing his vows of celibacy by putting himself in predatory closeness with women of all ages. This included sleeping, bathing, and receiving massages from them while they were naked. The women involved included young and old women in the Ashram as well as his own grand-niece! Gandhi wrote about one such incident with his grandniece Manu when he called for her to sleep with him during a time of intense Hindu- Muslim violence in Bengal. He writes, “We both may be killed by the Muslims,” he told her, “and must put our purity to the ultimate test, so that we know that we are offering the purest of sacrifices, and we should now both start sleeping naked.” “