Mauritian Foreign Affairs Minister Arvin Boolell in a speech at the celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the 1960 UN General Assembly Decolonisation resolution (resolution 1514) held in Algiers last December denounced the continued illegal occupation of the Chagos by UK and the USA. This, in itself, is not new. What is new in his speech is that he denounced the use of the military base on Diego Garcia to aggress Afghanistan and Iraq. He also denounced the rendition activities of the Bush administration on Diego Garcia. His speech followed a number of interesting speeches pointing out that the decolonisation process is far from over. Boolell concluded by calling for a common front to be built against imperial powers.
Minister Boolell's speech seems to have been well-received there. Those present included eminent personalities such as Ahmed Ben Bella, Kenneth Kaunda and Thabo Mbeki. Perhaps Prime Minister Ramgoolam will feel moved enough to come out and publicly claim that he is the one who wrote Boolell's speech just like he did when Boolell made a strong speech on the Chagos issue at the UN last year. But then again, he'll have to think twice: Minister Boolell's speech is in stark contrast his own public statement of 21 December 2010 in which he announced that the Mauritian State was filing a case against the UK under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) but at the same time abjectly stated his acceptance of the supposed need for a military base on Diego Garcia. (See Lalit's comments on Government new Chagos Strategy in our News Section).
An interesting account of the Algiers celebration held last December can be found at http://indiacurrentaffairs.org/the-algiers-declaration-yohannan-chemerapally