In typically imperialist manner, having removed the islanders, the British government set up a paltry trust fund by way of compensation, and then fought off attempts by the Chagossians to obtain the right to return. Several lower courts in the UK found in their favour, even declaring the expulsion unconstitutional, but that epitome of pure democracy, the unelected House of Lords, overthrew the rulings in 2008, leaving the Chagossians not only uncompensated and homeless, but unknown to virtually everybody else in the world.
A Wikileaks document in 2009 disclosed a new strategy by the two governments to declare the islands a “marine park”, which would end the Chagossians hopes of returning once and for all (see my comments under Bouvet Island), and provide a better mask for the military base; this has now come into being, and is, indeed, the world's largest marine protection area, with a total prohibition on the extraction of any natural resources therein. The other pretence, of official British sovereignty, is undermined by the fact that the island’s official political governor, known as its Commissioner, lives in England and has never visited the island.
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