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About Chagos and the Chagossian community

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LIFE ON CHAGOS

The Chagossian community originates from the Chagos Archipelago, a group of coral islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. From the late eighteenth century onwards French and later British colonists populated the Chagos islands with enslaved labourers and contract workers, mostly from East Africa and Madagascar via Mauritius, to work on the coconut plantations. These people settled on the islands, developing their own ways of life adn cultural practices over many generations. This website is a testament to the knowledge, skills, and practices relating to life on Chagos, which elders and youngsters are keeping alive today.

FORCED DISPLACEMENT

As part of the negotiations leading to the independence of Mauritius in 1968, the UK Government excised the Chagos Archipelago from colonial Mauritius. In 1966 the UK agreed to make the largest Chagos island, Diego Garcia, available for a US overseas military base. The UK then forcibly displaced the Chagos islanders, first by preventing the return of individuals who had gone on trips to Mauritius and Seychelles, and later by restricting supplies, winding down work on the coconut plantations, and finally coercing the remaining islanders onto crowded ships.

LIFE IN EXILE

Between 1965 and 1973, around 1,500 Chagos islanders were relocated to Mauritius and over 200 Chagos islanders had been relocated to Seychelles. They lost their homes, their livelihoods, and most of their belongings, and many were separated from family members and friends. Without any formal resettlement assistance, they suffered greatly from discrimination, unemployment, and poor housing in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Mauritius and Seychelles. 

LAVI DAN SAGOS

Kominote Sagosien sorti Arsipel Sagos, enn group lil koray 18em siek, bann kolon franse, ek angle plitar, finn amenn bann travayer esklav ek angaze, laplipar depi Lafrik de lest ek Madagaskar via Moris pou travay dan plantasion koko. Kan lesklavaz inn aboli, zot inn swazir pou rest dan Sagos, delop zot prop fason viv, zot kiltir ek tradision, ki finn anrisi par sak nouvo zenerasion. Sa website-la, li kouma enn testaman ki montre bann konesans, talan, kiltir ek tradision ki reflet lavi dan Sagos. Tou sa ankor vivan gras-a bann gran-dimounn ek bann zenes Sagosien ki zordi pe pran larelev.

DERASINNMAN 

Dan kad bann negosiasion pou lindepandans Moris an 1968, Gouvernman Angle ti detas Sagos depi Moris ki ti ankor so koloni. An 1966 bann Angle tom dakor pou les bann Amerikin servi Diego Garcia, Sagos so pli gran lil. Ler la, bann Angle fors bann zilwa kit Sagos. Dabor zot blok retour bann dimoun Sagos ki ti an sezour dan Moris ek Sesel, apre sa diminie nouritir ek marsandiz pou Sagos, ralanti travay dan plantasion koko sizka zot fermtir. A lafin zot anbark se ki reste par fors dan bann bato deza ranpli.

LAVI EXILE

Ant 1965 ek 1973 apepre 1,500 dimounn Sagos finn instale dan Moris ek plis 200 dan Sesel. Zot inn perdi tou se ki zot ti ena dan Sagos, zot lakaz ek preske tou se ki zot ti ena ladan. Pir ki sa, boukou finn separe ek zot fami, zot inn perdi zot kamarad. Kote bann gouvernman, pa ti ena okenn plan relozman ni sipor kote sosial; lor la zot inn sibir diskriminasion ek somaz; lavi dan lamizer ti dir, ki li dan Moris ou Sesel.

 

 

Map of the Indian Ocean

Map of the Indian Ocean

Image copyright Manchester University Press 2011

 

Map of the Chagos Archipelago

Map of the Chagos Archipelago

Image copyright Manchester University Press 2011