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Mauritian Rocks can go to Diego Garcia but Mauritian PM Cannot


LALIT Communiqué

The Mauritian Prime Minister is making Mauritius not just look foolish but actually become a colluder in its own humiliation by the UK-USA occupiers of what is part of the Republic of Mauritius. We now have the absurd situation where the PT-PMSD Government agrees to the supply of tons and tons of rocks to Diego Garcia, part of Mauritius, when the Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam himself cannot go to this part of Mauritius. Mauritian rocks are welcome, but not Mauritian or even Chagossian-Mauritian people. Not even the Prime Minister. Minister of Foreign Affairs Arvin Boolell has admitted that this is the fourth time that such a cargo of rocks have been delivered there, presumably to the USA’s military sub-contractors. It is outrageous.

There are two reasons to put an, immediate stop to this practice of supplying rocks (some press reports say 20,000 tons, others specify 40,000 tons), and to maintain an embargo until such time as the Islands are returned to Mauritius and the military base closed down.

- This delivery of rocks is taking place at the very time of the re-negotiation of the illegal lease agreement between the stealer of the Diego Garcia, the UK, and the receiver of the stolen goods, the USA.

- The Mauritian Government has hauled the British Government before the UNCLOS tribunal (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea), and rightly so, because of Britain’s illegal declaration of a Marine Protected Area over territory which is not contiguous to its own. PM Ramgoolam, at Davos a couple of day ago, went so far, again rightly, as to criticize Britain for declaring a Marine Protected Area with a filthy base adjacent to it. But, how can a Mauritian company then be allowed to supply rocks for the continued expansion of this military base, no doubt to destroy the pristine lagoon on Diego Garcia even further?

It must be remembered that:
a) The British stole Diego Garcia, and this is totally illegal. A colonial power is not permitted to withhold a part of a country at the time of its Independence. Chagos was never “sold by SSR” as people like Jean-Claude de L’Estrac ridiculously maintain. The Queen was head of State of Mauritius in 1965 and also of Britain, so how could you have a sale between a person and herself. SSR was representing no more than a political party, anyway, when he acquiesced at the Independence negotiations to this colonial blackmail, while Maurice Paturau, who was in the team, was representing no more than …. the private sector. These were not roles that habilitate anyone to sell part of a colonized country to the colonial power!

b) What was supposed to have been set up there, in any case, was a “communications station”, not a military base. And certainly not one used for torture and illegal renditions, for bombing countries with which Mauritius is not at war like Iraq and Afghanistan, nor for housing nuclear submarines and their repair ship. The Mauritian Government when it knowingly provides rocks to further increase the size of the illegal base and to thereby risk further ecological destruction commits a crime.

c) BIOT is illegal. Seychelles, to prove the point, simply claimed and actually got all its Islands that were part of BIOT, back. This was done with the legal help of a Mauritian, the late Rajsoomer Lallah. Now is the time, more than ever, for the Mauritian Government to at once prepare the ground to formally submit a draft resolution for this year’s UN General Assembly. Such a UN Resolution can then back a case for an “Advisory Opinion” before the ICJ (International Court of Justice) at The Hague. That is what should be done.

d) The Mauritian State must be increasingly vigilant not to collude with the military occupation of our land in any way.

Alain Ahvee
for LALIT,
27 January, 2014

Also see article based on this communique in Le Mauricien 28 January, 2014