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International Conference for Action on Diego Garcia & Chagos issue

24.10.2010

L A L I T's INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE will last four days and it starts on Saturday 30 October. Its theme is "Action to close the military base on Diego Garcia & to end the illegal UK - USA occupation of Chagos & for the right to return & full reparations for Chagossians". The Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday (Public Holiday) sessions will be at the LALIT headquarters at Grand River North West from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, while the National Forum will be at the Municipality of Port Louis on the Monday at 5:00 pm. If you would like an invitation, please contact us at lalitmail@intnet.mu or phone on 208 2132 or 208 5551.

NEW DRAFT PROGRAM
Saturday 30 October - At LALIT, GRNW.
Morning Session (Presided by Lindsey Collen)
9:00 Registration for Conference.
9:30 Coffee, tea and juice.
Viewing of installation on Diego Garcia by artist, Nirmal Hurry.
Viewing of exhibition on Diego Garcia and Chagos.
9:40 Welcome and outline of Program.
9:50 Performance on Diego Garcia by artists: Krishna Luchoomun & Gérard Foy.
10:00 Opening Address: Former President of the Republic Mr. Cassam Uteem.
10:20 LALIT speaker: Militarism, Occupation, Colonialism, Displacement, Environment: Alain Ah-Vee. Questions & Comments
Questions & Comments
11:30 Speech by Chagos Refugees Group leader, Olivier Bancoult.
11:50 Speech by Chagossians' Social Committee leader, Fernand Mandarin.
12:10 Poem on Palestine read by Yannick: The Seed

12:30 Lunch Break

Afternoon Session (Presided by Rada Kistnasamy)
1:00 Welcome and outline of Program.
1:05 Lamer: Composed by Rajni Lallah (electric piano) with Joelle Hosseny (Vocalist): Lamer.
1:15 "My experience of displacement": A Chagossian woman speaks out.
1:30 The geo-politics of the bases issue & of the Diego Garcia issue: International Guest Speaker: Wilbert van der Zeijden, Transnational Institute, Holland, former co-ordinator of No Bases.
Questions & Comments
2:30 Ram Seegobin, LALIT: Difficulties in this Long Struggle.
Questions & Comments
3:30 Film by Peadar King made for Irish TV, The Chagos Islands are Closed (25 Mins)

Sunday 31 October - At LALIT, GRNW.
Morning Session (Presided Jean Yves Dick)
9:30 Tea, Coffee & Juice.
9:45 Welcome and outline of Program.
9:55 Reading passage from novel, MUTINY, on Chagossian displacement: Ashish Beesoondyal.
10:00 Music: Menwar
10:10 Dr. Vinesh Hookoomsing, former Pro Vice Chancellor, Univ. of Mauritius, on Marine Park issue.
Questions & Comments
10:45 Ragini Kistnasamy, LALIT: A Brief History of the Struggle geopolitical, social, political, legal.
Questions & Comments
11:30 International Guest Speaker: John Percy, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Australia: "US imperialism today economically weakened, but still politically and militarily deadly."
Questions & Comments

12:30 Lunch Break

Afternoon Session (Presided by Naheed & AM Sophie)
1:00pmTai Chi exhibition.
1:15 Messages from abroad: Read by LALIT members.
1:30 Workshops on history of the struggle and its future/demands & mobilization behind them.
Subjects covered will also be: Getting the Mauritian Government to put a case in the ICJ, re re-unification, against occupation, for the right of return, for reparations, getting a constituency for Chagossians, prepare for a Regional Assembly; Getting the Marine Protected Area un-decreed, de-colonization, the right to return; Getting the base closed, clean-up effected, the international struggle; Getting action under the Pelindaba Treaty
2:30 Report-back from x number of workshops
3:00 John Pilger's Film: Stealing a Nation (50 minutes)


Monday 1 November
2:00 "Press Briefings" at GRNW (press, radio and TV invited) with international & Mauritian guest speakers & LALIT members.
Late Afternoon Session (NOTE: At Municipality of Port Louis Council Chamber).
5:00 Political Debate: Political strategies on all & any of the themes in the title of the Conference.
o Dr. Arvind Boolell, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
o Paul Bérenger, Leader of the Opposition/ MMM representative.
o Lindsey Collen, representative of LALIT.
o Chair: Jean-Claude Bibi.


Tuesday 2 November, 2010 (Public Holiday) - At LALIT, GRNW.
Morning Session (Presided by Ally Hosenbokus)
9:30 Tea, coffee and juice
9:45 Welcome, explain program.
10:00 Rajni Lallah: "The Role of Women in the Diego Garcia Struggle."
10:20 International Guest Speaker: Penny Duggan, 4th International.
Questions & Comments
11:25 Message from Jeremy Corbyn, MP in UK with a long history of commitment to Chagos.
11:30 Film by David Constantin: Diego L'Interdite (50 minit) in presence of the film-maker.

12:30 Lunch Break

Afternoon Session Presided by (Ram Seegobin)
1:00 Poem and Music by Daniella Bastien, accompanied by Richard Beaugeandre.
1:15 "The Way Forward": A.Ah-Vee, R. Kistnasamy, L.Collen.
* Getting the Mauritian Government to put a case in the ICJ, re re-unification, against occupation, for the right of return, for reparations.
* Getting a constituency for general elections for Chagossians/preparation for a Regional Assembly.
* Getting the Marine Protected Area un-decreed, de-colonization, the right to return.
* Getting the base closed, clean-up effected, the international struggle.
* Getting action under the Pelindaba Treaty.
3:00 Closing Ceremony: