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The Rt. Hon. Tony Blair MP - Prime Minister

The Rt. Hon. Jack Straw MP - Foreign Secretary

His Excellency David Snoxall – British High Commissioner

The British High Commission

Port Louis


10 October 2001


The Chagos Community in Exile

We wish to draw to your attention the desperate plight of the Chagos community whose removal from the Chagos Archipelago between 1965 and 1971 was declared by the High Court in London to be unlawful on 3 November 2000.

Despite interim compensation arrangements in 1984, the community remains largely destitute, living in poverty and exile. We wish urgently to express upon Her Majesty’s Government the need to take urgent interim action to relieve the suffering of our community.

Accordingly, the Chagos Refugees Group has adopted a set of 10 demands upon which we earnestly request urgent action and which is attached. We make these demands to relieve our suffering, and to demonstrate that Her Majesty’s government takes its obligations under Chapter XI of the UN Charter (of which we attach copy) seriously. In a separate letter to the Secretary of State dated 5 September, our solicitors have impressed upon you the need to provide for the economic, social and political advancement of our community to rectify the wrongs committed by Her Majesty’s Government some 30 years ago.

It is a measure of the desperation of our community that unless there is a positive response within the immediate future, there are those who will be driven to make public protests to the British authorities in Mauritius.

Will you please urgently take account of our legitimate demands and grant us the relief which we seek.

Yours faithfully

Louis Olivier Bancoult

Chairman, Chagos Refugees Group


Charter of the United Nations