We are publishing a message of Solidarity which LALIT sent to the International Antiwar assemblies, which were held this year on August 4th 2019. The message was translated in japanese and read to students and workers attending the Assemblies held in different towns in Japan.
Our political party LALIT in Mauritius expresses solidarity on the occasion of the 57th International Antiwar Assemblies in Japan, and at this time of year we always remember to commemorate the 6th and 9th August 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As you outline the three slogans you have chosen – the need to avoid the dynamics of the US-China trade war leading to war, especially under the Trump regime, opposition to the new arms US v/s China and Russia arms race, and the need for solidarity amongst workers and people against war and impoverishment – we support your Assemblies. We are pleased to have had one of our leading members participate in and even speak in anti-base rallies, in both Tokyo and Okinawa.
Meanwhile, in Mauritius, the long battle against the military base on Diego Garcia and its role in imperialist war, has this year been marked by massive victories that change the balance of forces against the UK-USA military base on Mauritian land. First the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague in February, held by a 13-1 decision of the judges that the UK illegally occupies the Chagos, including Diego Garcia, that it must hand over to Mauritius swiftly, and that other States have a duty to help get Britain to leave.
We note that the Japanese State voted against the initial UN General Assembly Resolution to go to the ICJ on 22 June 2018, but after the ICJ judgement, the Japanese State has “improved” its position by abstaining in the UNGA Resolution on the 22 May, noting the judgment and calling on the British State to withdraw from Chagos including Diego Garcia within SIX MONTHS, i.e. by 22 November 2019. The resolution was passed by 116-6, with Japan being amongst abstentions. This means the UK-USA illegality of the occupation of Chagos Archipelagos has been established. The UK acted illegally in dismembering Mauritius during the decolonization process. It acted illegally in forcibly removing all the inhabitants of Chagos. And it must now withdraw. This means that it is now clear to everyone in the world that Diego Garcia is illegally occupied. The huge US military base there has, as you know, been used to launch B52 bomberss, attacking civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as for secretly detainning and torturing prisoners arbritarily arrested all over the world, as part of “rendering”.
The UN resolution on Chagos Archipelagos represent a severe blow to the notorious UK-US imperialism that uses arms build ups, military bases and military force threat of military force, as well as outright war, as it’s modus operandi. This is a permanent threat to peace in the World.
So, the year 2019 has been a year with two big victories on the Diego Garcia issue, in times when victories are rare, and when we have seen the coming to power of far-right politicians like Modi, Trump, Duterte, Bolsanaro, Orban and Salvini. History is, as always, thus moving in different directions at the same time. And in victories, there are germs of defeat: LALIT has thus another battle on our hands: the Mauritian state, that we finally forced to go to the UN and its ICJ, has been swift to seek “rent money” from the USA for the base, instead of calling for a date for base closure!
Unfortunately, as often is the case, the UK and USA arrogantly disregard the voices of majority States in the world following the UN resolution of 22 May, and continue to occupy illegally the Chagos Archipelagos. However, the UK’s leader of the Opposition has, importantly, informed the UN that, if elected, his Government will respect the judgment.
All this to say that the struggle is international. The people of the UK and USA are now, through what we forced our Government to do at the UN system, better informed and thus better able to reign their Government’s in.
This means that we have to intensify our struggle as ever, in building support around 3 intertwined demands: (a) Decolonization of the Chagos Islands, illegally dismembered from Mauritius; (b) Closure of the US military base of Diego Garcia and (c) the right of return of the Chagossians and Mauritians on the land illegally occupied by the UK-USA. And this work, is seen by us, as part of the overall struggle against militarism, which is the final power on which capitalism rests.
LALIT expresses our solidarity with your struggle in Japan against the manoeuvres of what you accurately describe as warmongering rulers represented by US imperialists and their allies to impose their rule on the world.
International solidarity of the working class and their organisations is the way forward to consolidate antiwar struggle.
Let’s link-up our common struggles against military bases and imperialist war.
Lets link-up our struggles for a socialist world.