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LALIT launches world-wide email petition to close down Diego Garcia

13.04.2005

LALIT on Saturday 12th March, which was INDEPENDENCE AND REPUBLIC DAY, announced the launch of a world-wide petition for the closing down of the US military base on Diego Garcia. This petition is to be sent to the elected representatives of the people in the countries concerned, i.e. the US, the UK and Mauritius. Then we will be organizing follow-up activist work, based on the signed petition. This petition was planned by LALIT after so many people wrote to us asking what they could do to help, during our campaign for a flotilla to go to Diego Garica, and after the excellent John Pilger film, STEALING A NATION. The petition was actually launched on 20 March to coincide with Lalit’s meeting against the war and against occupation.

SUBJECT of PETITION: CLOSE MILITARY BASE ON DIEGO GARCIA ISLAND

To:
The Hon. J. Dennis Hastert: Speaker of the House of Representatives, US Congress
The Hon. Ted Stevens: United States Senate, US Senate
The Rt Hon Peter Hain MP: Office of the Leader of the House of Commons, UK, House of Commons
The Hon. Premnath Ramnah: Speaker of the National Assembly, National Assembly of the Republic of Mauritius

I, THE UNDERSIGNED, call on the House of Representatives of the USA, the Senate of the USA, the Parliament of Great Britain, and the National Assembly of Mauritius, to work to ensure:

1. The immediate decolonization of Diego Garcia and the Chagos Archipelago through the disbanding of the illegitimate British Indian Ocean Territories; the cancellation of the Orders in Coucil that prohibit the return of Chagossians to their native islands; the re-unification according to international law and the UN Charter, of the Republic of Mauritius that was dismembered as an illegal condition to Independence in 1968.

2. An immediate halt to ever using Diego Garcia for B-52s or other military apparatus to attack other countries (whether Afganistan, Iraq or any other land) and the complete closing down of the United States military base on Diego Garcia; the organization of an ecological clean-up; a public undertaking that no other base be set up elsewhere to replace this one; the conversion of part of the base into a non-military Tsunami Warning Station for the Indian Ocean, and part into a UNESCO World Heritage Site around a vast ecological project to regenerate the coral and the lagoons. 3. That an immediate visit by the Red Cross and respected journalists be organized, so that independent investigations can be conducted into the persistent allegations that there have been and/or are Guantanamo-style prisoners being held or rendered on or near Diego Garcia.

4. The immediate right of return, as well as full reparations and compensation for damages, from the US and UK governments to all Chagossians forcibly removed between 1965 and 1973.

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