Given the Prime Minister’s stated intention finally to go to the International Court of Justice and the Opposition Leader’s finally expressing an intention to go to Chagos on an official visit, LALIT’s website is re-publishing below the full text of the Declaration of Grande Rivière that followed the LALIT International Action Conference on Diego Garcia and Chagos held in 2010:
The Conference on Diego Garcia & Chagos held at Grande Riviere, Port Louis, Mauritius, bringing together 150 participants from 30 October to 2 November 2010, reached consensus that we share the combined aim of:
- the complete decolonization of the Republic of Mauritius, the dismantling of the British Indian Ocean Territories colony, and the re-unification of the country,
- the closing down of the US military base on Diego Garcia, and its ecological clean-up by the US,
- the right of return and full reparations for all Chagossians,
And that to advance these aims,
And given that there are some actions that can be set in motion only by the State of Mauritius,
We commit ourselves to putting pressure on the Mauritian State towards its acting in practice so as:
−To organize a formal State visit on the Trochetia ship to Chagos including Diego Garcia, which are all part of Mauritian territory as defined by the Constitution, and that the State delegation should include the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition;
−To enter a case in the UN International Court of Justice at the Hague through at once inscribing a Resolution to this precise effect on to the agenda for the next UN General Assembly due in 2011, and continuing to ensure that the Resolution is not later withdrawn from the agenda;
−To make a formal demand for UN inspections under the Pelindaba Treaty, as soon as the mechanism for doing so comes into force later this year,
−To use all other UN bodies and procedures possible for bringing about actions that indicate a clear statement of Mauritian sovereignty over Chagos, and that indicate the danger the military base represents.
And, at the same time, in the context of the present debate on electoral reform and Constitution amendment, and in response to imperialist and private capitalist interests clearly targeting Mauritian Islands and land, to work towards giving concrete expression to the Chagossians' participation in the democratic set-up of the country; and to amend the Constitution so as to outlaw the setting up of any military bases on Mauritian territory in future;
That we will work towards the setting up of a Scientific Centre that gathers testimony about Chagos, collects documentation on Chagos, so that the history and culture of Chagos are kept alive;
And that, in the context of these demands, we call on the President of the Republic, the last living witness to the pre-Independence negotiations held at Lancaster House to come forward to give public testimony;
And that in order to advance the three causes stated in the first paragraph above, as well as the specific demands then enumerated in this Declaration, we commit ourselves to building up broad support on a national and international level,
And we delegate six people, the undersigned, to present this Declaration of Grande Rivière to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and also to make the Declaration public.
3 November, 2010.