UNAMAURITIUS LETTER TO BRITISH SHADOW COMMONWEALTH AND FOREIGN SECRETARY
Mauritius Sovereignty over Chagos Archipelago was attained since 12th March 1968. But owing to certain internal groups wrong political approach, our sovereignty might be jeopardized.
By Nundkeswarsing Bossoondyal, Secretary General United Nations Association of Mauritius (UNA Mauritius) and former President of the Socialist Working Youth League of Mauritius (SWYLM).
To members of UNA Mauritius/COSYM and friends.
I Would like to share with you the relevant references on the continuous occupation of Chagos Archipelago that I had made in person to Hon. Emily Thornberry MP, UK Shadow secretary for the Commonwealth and Foreign Affairs on 26th October 2018 at her office at British Parliament.
I would like to stress that I am referring exclusively from international law points of views as prescribed by UN resolutions on world decolonization. At this stage, we should not mixt up the issue of UN resolutions on Palestine and other states that was made before the UN resolution 1514 (XV) voted on 20th November 1960.
Today, if some ones said Chagos Archipelago was sold to UK in 1965, for me it does not stand valid. If that had happened then it should be looked like a Mauritius Supreme Court division of sale by levy which stipulate that those purchasing property by sale of levy do so under their own risk and peril if one day the legal owner show up. So, in case the sale of Chagos took place in 1965 then it falls in violation of the UN resolution 1514 (XV) of 1960 and 2066 (XX) which indicate that no dismembering of a state could take place while being under independence process. It seems relevant references were not properly taken while the agenda of Mauritius was debated at the General Assembly of the United Nations and during the International Court of Justice.
At this stage I am not referring the plight and the “desires and will” of the Chagossian. This need to be done with consultation among related partners at an appropriate time…
This is the extracts of the letter addressed to the UK Shadow Secretary for Commonwealth and Foreign Affairs, Hon. Emily Thornberry, MP, sent on 26th November 2018.
(United Nations Association of Mauritius – official letter head)
“Rt. Hon. Emily Thornberry, MP. Shadow Commonwealth and
Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland,
House of Commons,
Dear Hon. Thornberry,
Re: REPUBLIC OF MAURITIUS HAVING ITS OVERALL NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY OVER CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO
The United Nations Association of Mauritius presents its warmest compliment to you.
Following our meeting that was facilitated by the office of Hon. Jeremy Corbyn, Shadow Prime Minister held at your office at the Parliament on 26th of October 2018 and as agreed, I am submitting to you in writing the relevant points, links and views that was presented to you verbally.
I would first like to present my warmest thanks and appreciation that despite of your hectic schedule, you had accepted to receive and meet me so that I could present to you my relevant points on the continuous occupation of the Chagos Archipelago.
It appears that most of the points, links and views that I had presented to you were not mentioned by any of the concern Government representatives at the United Nations General Assembly (UN-GA) and at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
These are the mains component of my presentation made to you on 26th October 2018:
The UN Resolutions Nr. 1514 (XV) and 2066 (XX) BARRED any deal for detachment and scission or whatsoever territorial concessions made before the Independence of Mauritius.
We are writing in relation to the above matter. As a civil society, we wish to provide our opinion on this matter in view of resolutions that have been made by the United Nations.
We are of the view that there is no any legal basis for the Government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to continue occupying any Mauritian territory for the following reasons:
Considering the United Nations Charter article 1, chapter 2 and the UN resolutions 1514 (XV) and 2066 (XX), the Republic of Mauritius is, in the realm of international law, fully entitled to oversee its sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago.
1. UN resolution 1514 (XV): From 14 December 1960 until the Independence of Mauritius in 1968, it can be deduced that not even a single amicable settlement, undertaking or agreement can be made on compromising the independence process in a form of detachment, scission, bail or whatsoever deal, leading to dismembering of the territorial integrity or abusing any type of wealth and natural resources of a country, when country is under the process of complete decolonization and independence of any people. (Link: http://www.un.org/en/decolonization/declaration.shtml).
2. In September 1965, the Lancaster House’s conference between British Colonial Power led by Lord Taylor, under Secretary of State for Colonies and Chairman of the conference and the British Colony of Mauritius’s representatives was composed of the Mauritius Labour Party, Comite D’action Musulman, Independent Forward Block and Parti Mauricien Social Democrats. They could have excluded any decision, if any, on the detachment or scission of Mauritius or by retaining any natural resources/wealth and property of Mauritius which violate the UN Resolution 1514 (XV). It is to be noted that the representatives from Mauritius to Lancaster House were all British Citizens of Mauritius. (Link: https://www.google.mu/search?q=british+passport+mauritius+1967&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjmteTU2cneAhVlDMAKHfjXD_QQ7Al6BAgFEBM&biw=1366&bih=657#imgrc=pQ8BtKIkt3aw6M The Mauritian delegation to Lancaster House had all travelled with British Passport, as such they have to toe to the imposed rule from the British Colonial Power, if in case any territorial deal was done. While considering the clauses of UN Resolution 1514 (XV) we do not believe that the British Government will commit themselves in writing to violate of the UN Resolution.
3. UN resolution 2066 (xx), voted on 16 December 1965, consists of the following:
Questions of MAURITIUS (Link: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/218/29/IMG/NR021829.pdf?OpenElement) Quotes:
“…2: Reaffirms the inalienable right of the people of the Territory of Mauritius to freedom and independence in accordance with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV);
(3) Invites the Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland to take effective measures with a view to the immediate and full implementation of resolution 1514(XV);
(4) Invites the administering Power to take no action which would dismember the Territory of Mauritius and violate its territorial integrity;
(5) Further invites the administering Power to report to the Special Committee and to the General Assembly on the implementation of the present resolution; … “
4. The Mauritius Independent Bill (Hansard 1803-2005-1960s-1968-February 1968-13 February-Lords sitting. Mauritius Independence Bill – HL Deb 13 February 1968 vol 289 cc10-37) never made any single mention on the detachment of any territorial plot or the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius national sovereignty before its independence. (Link: https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/lords/1968/feb/13/mauritius-independence-bill
5. 1967 Mauritius General Election: The winning alliance of the Independence Party composed of (1) Labour Party of Mauritius, (2) Comite D’Action Musulman and (3) Independent Forward Bloc did not include in their Electoral Manifesto that Mauritius will accede its independence without the Chagos Archipelago or ceded to the British Colonial Power, otherwise it could have been considered as a sort of a referendum on the ceding of the of the Chagos Archipelago if it was agreed to be ceded at the Lancaster House in 1965. This could mean that they were never contemplating to cede the Chagos Archipelago and/or that this was illegally discussed at the Lancaster House which is in flagrant violation of the UN resolution 1514 (XV).
6. Mauritius Independent Act (1968) Links:
I wish to point out that no detachment, scission or lease has been mentioned in the above act,
otherwise it would have been in total violation of the UN Resolutions 1514 (XV) & 2066 (XX).
7. The Mauritius Independent Order 1968, (GN No. 54 of 1968) signed in the presence of Her Majesty, the Queen Elizabeth ll at the Queen Court, Buckingham Palace on 4th March 1967, also did not mention the detachment or ceding of the Chagos Archipelago before Mauritius Independence. (Link: http://www.govmu.org/portal/sites/independence/file/Mauritius%20Independence%20order%201968.pdf). From here, we end our British Citizenship following our independence proclamation of Mauritius and where we became a LEGITIMATE MAURITIAN and getting the rights to control our destiny.
8. At the Opening speech at the Legislative Assembly that proceeded the Independence of Mauritius on 12th March 1968, NOT a single word was also quoted on the detachment or scission of Chagos Archipelago if ever any official decision was taken or imposed at the Lancaster house of 1965.
9. In June 1974, during a conference on the Demilitarization of Indian Ocean and for a zone of Peace, organized by the – NGO, the Socialist Working Youth League of Mauritius, now affiliated with the UNA Mauritius, the Chief guest of the function, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of Mauritius had officially disclosed in his speech that he had never sold or detached the Chagos Archipelagos, but it was given on lease for 50 years so that the British Government could build a base of telecommunications in order to monitor the weather and cyclonic conditions in the region. Considering the above, then If such agreement was done after the Independence of Mauritius then the lease is valid, otherwise it is void and null if it was done before 12th March 1968, as in gross violation of UN resolution 1514 (XV).
10. As a matter of conclusion, considering the above UN resolutions, Independence Act, Bill and Order as well as following comments made by the Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the question of the Chagos Archipelagos at the United Nations (UN) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the recent remarks made to the effect that the British will return to the Government of the Republic of Mauritius the said islands when it is no longer needed by them; clearly indicates that Mauritius has its full rights of sovereignty over its territorial integrity on the Chagos Archipelago.
11. Observation: Taking into account that the Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland are among the founder-members of the League of Nations, the United Nations and five permanent members of the UN Security Council, will have to fully abide and adhere to the rules of International Laws and most particularly the United Nations resolutions 1514 (XV) and 2066 (XX) and the need to come to reason and grant Mauritius its full and total territorial independence by the re-attachment of the Chagos Archipelago at the earliest possible.
12. Therefore, the United Nations Association of Mauritius (UNA Mauritius) as a national civil society with international affiliations and enjoying bilateral cooperation with more than 150 UNA’s around the world and considering its aims and objectives to promote the noble values of the UNITED NATIONS, we firmly consider and are of the opinion that if, any deal was done at the Lancaster House in 1965, it became simply void and null as per UN SCR 1514 (XV) and 2066 (XX).
Secretary General, United Nations Association of Mauritius.
P.S: We are further enclosing a link of an official British diplomatic cable sent to US Administration with the signature of D.A. Greenhill, 26th August 1966, relating to the depopulation of the Chagos Archipelago stating “Unfortunately along with the birds go some few Tarzans or Men Fridays.” The British diplomatic cable to USA further quote the following: “We must surely be very tough about this, The object of the exercise was to get some rocks which will remain ours: there will be no indigenous population except seagulls who have not yet got a Committee (The Status of Women does not cover the rights of Birds)… Unfortunately along with the Birds go some few Tarzans or Men Fridays whose origins are obscure…