Forty years in exile: return to the promised land
Press release issued: 24 June 2008
The Leader of the Chagos Refugees Group, Olivier Bancoult, will be speaking at Bristol University on 26 June before going to the House of Lords for the hearing of the Chagos case.
The free public lecture, entitled Forty years in exile: return to the promised land, will be given at 6 pm in Lecture Theatre 2, 15 Woodland Road, Bristol.
Mr Bancoult will be visiting the UK for the hearing by the Law Lords of an appeal lodged by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office against three previous judgments upholding the right of the exiled Chagossians to return to their homeland, the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory - BIOT). The people were exiled between 1967 and 1973 to make way for a US communications centre on Diego Garcia.
The lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Mr Bancoult and a panel of experts on the Chagos saga. Stephen Howe, Professor of the History and Cultures of Colonialism, will chair the event and David Snoxell, former Deputy Commissioner of BIOT and High Commissioner to Mauritius and an alumnus of the University, will introduce Mr Bancoult.
The University's Centre for the Study of Colonial and Postcolonial Societies will host the event.
The lecture is free, but it will be necessary to reserve a place. To book, go to www.bristol.ac.uk/events
Further informationThe Centre for the Study of Colonial and Postcolonial Societies at Bristol University facilitates comparative discussion and collaborative research on colonialism and post-colonialism, crossing established disciplinary boundaries and conventional boundaries of time and space. Interests encompass the ancient and the contemporary, the Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone worlds and beyond, anthropology, drama, film studies, geography, history, sociology and literature. Many of these interests are represented in the teaching of an allied interdisciplinary and comparative 'Empires' MA.
The Centre represents an intellectual community based in, but stretching beyond, the University of Bristol. Particularly close external links already exist with the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, the University of the West of England and local filmmakers Icon Films.
The Chagos Refugee Group works on behalf of the Chagossian people, who were forced from the islands of Chagos to make way for US and UK military installations. The organisation works to promote awareness and recognition of the situation of the Chagossiam people as well as improving the social and economic situation of its members living in exile in Mauritius and Seychelles.
The organisation works towards its goals by pursuing legal action in the US and the UK, seeking to win recognition of the right of the Chagossian people to return to their homeland. At the same time it offers assistance to and cultural activities for Chagossians in exile.