Update on boat to reclaim Diego Garcia

Submitted by AWL on 8 March, 2004 - 9:04

Update on the boat to take Chagossians back to Diego Garcia
From Lalit, Mauritius
Lalit's plan to go to Diego Garcia by boat has caught everyone's imagination. World-wide. The dream seems to be going to be able to come true.
And even more than we dreamt of at the beginning, may come true. Over a hundred different organizations and individuals from all over the world have contributed to launching the 'idea' plus another hundred or two hundred in Mumbai at the WSF.

First, the plan for a boat to go to Diego Garcia began to grow even before Mumbai, and to become a plan for a whole Flotilla to go to Diego Garcia. (So as to highlight all the issues in the matrix, and bring them into focus - the cruel forcible removal of the people living there, the challenge of re-nurturing and bringing back to life of the environment of those most beautiful of all coral islands, the need for completing decolonization, the surprising role of the women's movement all along, the link to the 'No War, No Occupation' movement, the memory of one of the wildest dreams of the UN i.e. the 'Indian Ocean Peace Zone', the thorny problem of the infamous dotted lines around Diego Garcia in the Pelindaba Treaty for a Nuclear Arms Free Africa.)

In Mumbai, the idea developed further: that a Flotilla go to Diego Garcia, taking the Chagossians back, and then at the same time become an ongoing flotilla against US military bases world wide. So that boats join in as the flotilla highlights base after base, thus becoming a permanent focus for the anti-war movement. And so that we can all contact any 'boating people' we know and get them to start contemplating joining in.

But let us start our brief report with a list of points of 'Progress made at Mumbai during the World Social Forum':

* The Lalit delegation and the Chagos Refugees Group, as planned, met face-to-face with the two ex-Greenpeace Operations People, Martini Gotje and Rien Achterberg, for the first time, and we discussed our plan in detail.

* The 'NO U.S. BASES' worldwide network met face-to-face for the first time at the WSF. The network has strengthened itself, which is wonderful, and the Diego Garcia boat plan has been adopted by the whole network, in two ways: Diego Garcia was named as one of the four priorities worldwide for anti-base actions (the others being Okinawa, South Korea and Irak), and the idea of a Peace Flotilla was adopted too. Here is the network's address: