July Update. The Chagos Support Association writes in its July Update that its members are deeply disappointed at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s decision to ask leave to Appeal to the House of Lords. This is their fourth appeal and justice delayed is justice denied. We expect better from a government who make a big issue of human rights.
The actual lodging of the appeal came at the very last possible moment and two days after the following letter appeared in the Guardian Newspaper:
“We applaud Gordon Brown's proposal to review uses of the royal prerogative and hope he won't let government lawyers undermine it. Within days, they could ask the Lords to deny the Chagos islanders their right to return to their homeland (Leaders, May 24). Under a bilateral agreement, the
This was signed by : Robert Bain (UK Chagos Support Assoc), Clive Baldwin (Minority Rights Group International), Dr. Vincent Cable MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Tam Dalyell, Geoffrey Fairhurst (Administrator, Ascencion 1999-2002), Andrew George MP, Richard Gifford (Solicitor for Chagossians), Baroness Ludford MEP, Don Mitchell QC (Anguilla), Bernice Olsson (Legislative Council, St. Helena), David Snoxell (High Commissioner to Mauritius 2000-2004), Lord David Steel, Mike Summers (Councillor, Falkland Islands), Caroline Yon JP (Ascension).
The update continues, “We were overwhelmed by the number of supportive and encouraging messages in the wake of the FCO decision. One lady in
Reading this report reminds us all that it is not only our Government and Opposition that are to be held suspect when it comes to constitutional reform. The British representatives are employed in a Department with a flawed reputation and history. They have their own agendas. We need to be sure of our principles before we begin treating with them. We need to be certain that our representatives are prepared to insist on matters of principle. If they go into the talks shooting from the hip like some Wild West gunslinger, they will bite the dust. Only persons of known integrity and principle can be trusted with such a responsibility. This is a time of great uncertainty and nervousness for all of us.