Written evidence from Anonymous (NBB0018)
Dear Ms. Harman & Fellow Committee Members,
As you know, the Citizenship & immigration issues remain unresolved for the descendants of the Chagos Islands. Many of us are now 2nd & 3rd generation. The generational trauma, pain, and sadness continue to be ever-present in our daily lives.
My grandparents from my mother’s and father’s side were born in the Chagos Archipelago (BIOT). Since the 60s they have been living in exile in Mauritius. They were evicted from their native land, since then their lives in Mauritius have been a real disaster, painful and a real tragedy. They were put into slums, left into extreme poverty and treated as 2nd class citizens by the Mauritian Government, sometimes beaten severely by the Mauritian police during protest. They were discriminated against, bullied because their culture was different. I, myself, remember going to protests with my parents and my grandparents and numerous other marches.
We are the young generation, we have been brainwashed by the Mauritian Government to always think that the British was the monster in Chagossian (BIOT) story, but now we have made a lot of researchers and we have seen all the money, millions that have been stolen from the Mauritian Government. Mauritius was the one to fully agree to sell the Chagos Archipelago without taking any consent from Chagossian or thinking about their well-being. Mauritius has built its economy on the money that was given by the UK for resettlement. We are suffering from generation to generation, THE PAIN IS REAL.
Many of us don’t support Mauritius sovereignty, I do not support Mauritius sovereignty on the British Indian Ocean Territory. We want to remain as a British overseas territory. Mauritius went to ICJ without our opinion, our consent, and our views. CRG (Chagos Refugee Group) is working with Mauritius and always makes decisions in our place. Actually Mauritius is reproducing the same thing with Agalega. The BIOT is the only heritage left from our ancestors’ painful story. Today we want to be seen, to be listened to, we want to exist. We are tired of being divided, manipulated and being a victim of the system.
We are not part of Mauritius, we are part of the beautiful British Indian Ocean Territory. I feel that I’m still in exile in Mauritius. The pain is real! My name is David Levis Victoire and I’m a 2nd generation, please free us from this agony, it’s been more than 50 years, please we need to be seen, to be heard and reunited in one place. It’s time for justice and recognize us.
We understand the Nationality & Borders bill is now making its journey through parliament. As a descendent from the Chagos Islands, I am writing to ask you and your fellow MP's & Peers to consider expanding this bill to include us. This bill has a broad title, and where there's the political will, there is a way to amend the bill to embrace us.
It would go a considerable way in fixing an unbearable situation for many of us forcibly displaced abroad. The high costs of immigration are not viable for us. We believe we are entitled as BOTC descendants to claim the right to register for British & BOTC nationality. The law needs to be changed!
We hope that the voices of BIOT/BOTC can be heard clearly during the committee stages, leading to a resolution. Henry Smith MP and Andrew Rosindell MP are vocal supporters of us. We hope the rest of parliament will listen to them in their representations of us.
Thank you for your time.