Lalit sent the following letter to Arvind Boolell, the newly nominated Minister of Foreign Affairs to take urgent steps concerning the issue of British-US illegal occupation of the Chagos in view of the re-unification of the Mauritian state. Copies of this letter was forwarded to the Groupe Refugies Chagos, the Comite Social Chagossien, ex-President Cassam Uteem and Rajsoomer Lallah (UN Human's Rights Committee member).
Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade & Regional Cooperation
New Government Centre
We write because we believe there is a small window of opportunity open for the Mauritian State to take a series of initiatives with a view to the re-unification of the State of Mauritius. We refer to the need to act now in order to succeed in achieving the retrocession of Diego Garcia and Chagos. As you know, the Constitution specifies that the State includes Chagos and Diego Garcia. This means we are calling on you to do no more than ensure respect for the Constitution.
We call for you as newly appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs to act now, urgently.
As you are aware, any condition to Independence involving the breaking up of territory, as the UN Charter itself states, is an illegal condition, and the condition thus falls away. This part of the Charter ensures that self-determination is not used by colonizing powers in order to fragment states in the run-up to their Independence. As you know, the Seychelles, with the help of Mauritian jurist, Rajsoomer Lallah, achieved retrocession of their stolen islands that had been put in BIOT.
Today everyone in the world who follows international affairs has heard about Diego Garcia. This is a relatively new situation. And makes the timing for a claim propitious. It has come about because of media coverage of the US armed forces using Diego Garcia as a launch-pad for B-52 bombers attacking Afghanistan & Iraq. It is also the result of the CRG litigation, itself, which has put the issue on the agenda. It is also because of LALIT's participation in the NO BASES movement, which has given Diego Garcia a high profile in the world-wide increasingly strong anti-war movement. The John Pilger film, and now the Peadar King film have both further informed people. At the same time, the British and US States are weakening as their economies go into recession. They will now be starting to suffer from "over-reach" and may need to withdraw from many of their outposts and bases. At the same time, illegal "rendering" is now known to have taken place on Diego Garcia. British Ministers have admitted to misleading the House on the issue. Recently nuclear materials have been shown to be being stored there; how far is this from the original "communications station" spoken of to the late Prime Minister, SSR? All this to say that the balance of forces makes the time ripe for action:
* We suggest that you place the issue of the sovereignty of Mauritius over Chagos before the SADC Committee of Three (Troika) which deals with political issues. With SADC backing, the issue can swiftly be forwarded to the African Union, which can back Mauritius in getting the issue inscribed for a formal resolution at next year's UN General Assembly.
* Once a resolution has been voted, this would give the force necessary for Mauritius to put in a case for an "Advisory Opinion" from the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague. This kind of opinion has immense political weight.
* We call on you simultaneously to invite the Red Cross Int. to send in a team to enquire as to whether there are/were illegal prisoners held or rendered on this part of Mauritian territory, thus showing Mauritius's sovereignty in real terms.
* We call on you simultaneously to rally Cabinet approval for an announcement of democratic institutions similar to those enjoyed by Rodrigues for the people of Chagos. This shows sovereignty and also good faith towards the displaced people, now already exposed to the process of a second displacement, from Mauritius to assimilation in the UK.
Practically every country in the world will support Mauritius' claim on Chagos.
Thank you very much for taking this up as soon as possible with the Parquet.
Cc: Groupe Refugiés Chagos, Comité Social Chagossien, Cassam Uteem, Rajsoomer Lallah