Galleries more

Videos more

Dictionary more

LALIT Letter to Princess Anne re Diego Garcia royal decrees


Today Friday 3 December, following the banning of the LALIT demonstration against Princess Anne during her visit to Mauritius, LALIT representatives delivered a letter to the British High Commissioner in Port Louis. Ragini Kistnasamy, Rajni Lallah and Alain Ah-Vee, all leading LALIT members, delivered the letter in person. Some thirty LALIT members and supporters had gathered in order to inform anyone who came to the demonstration because they had not heard that the demonstration had been banned. Royal decrees, made at Buckingham Palace itself, and signed by Queen Elizabeth, Princess Anne`s mother, were the undemocratic instrument used in order to dismember Mauritius, to ban Chagossians from the Islands. This was the reason for the protest. The protest came at a time when Mauritian Government spokespeople are responding to the shocking Wikileaks revelations on the Diego Garcia issue.

Princess Anne, Princess Royal,
c/o British High Commissioner,
Port Louis.

Dear Madam,
We write to you, as representative of the British Monarchy, on the occasion of your visit to Mauritius. The Monarchy that you represent has been the source of certain autocratic powers on which the British State has relied in order to perpetrate a series of actions which have caused great suffering to the Mauritian people, including the people of Chagos. Some of these actions have been illegal, others immoral, and all of them based on anachronistic decrees decided behind the back of elected Parliamentarians of your own country. We refer to the "Queen's Order in Council" made at Buckingham Palace, an "Order" that illegally dismembered Mauritius. It reads:

"As from the date of this Order in Council the Chagos Archipelago, being islands which immediately before the date of this Order were included in the Dependencies of Mauritius, shall together form a separate colony which shall be known as the British Indian Ocean Territory. [Statutory Instrument Made 8 November 1965 at the Court at Buckingham Palace.]"

There was then a so-called Immigration Ordinance of 1971, enacted by the Commissioner for BIOT who is appointed by the Monarch. This Ordinance banished the Chagossians from their homes. Since the 2000 judgement in favour of the Chagossians, and even as recently as 2004, there have been further "Orders in Council" that over-rode the decision of the highest courts of your land.

It is today one month to the day that the Mauritian Prime Minister said "Des Anglais hypocrites, menteurs et malhonnêtes" ("hypocrites, liars and cheats") in respect of the actions of the British State regarding the matter of the "Marine Protected Area". The recent Wikileaks documents show that the Marine Protected Area was, in fact, designed for defence reasons - to keep the Chagossians out, whatever be the judgement of the European Human Rights Court, and to keep the Mauritian State at bay in its quest for sovereignty - and not because of some sudden love for the environment. The fact that your visit is one month after the coming into force of the Marine Protected Area and coincides with the publication of the Wikileaks documents makes the official nature of your visit all the more unacceptable.

We call on you, as representative of the Monarchy, to take note of our protest against the illegal dismembering of our country and the banishment of our co-citizens, the Chagossians, from their Islands, by Royal Decree, and also to take note of our protest against this form of monarchical and undemocratic decree.

Yours faithfully,

Rajni Lallah
For LALIT, 3 December, 2010