STEALING A NATION
John Pilger, Christopher Matin (Chagos
Stealing a Nation is an extraordinary film about the plight of the
people of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean˜secretly and
brutally expelled from their homeland by British governments in the
late 1960s and early 1970s to make way for an American military base.
The base, on the main island of Diego Garcia, was a launch pad for
the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Diego Garcia is America‚s
largest military base in the world outside the US. There are more
than 4,000 troops, two bomber runways, thirty warships and a satellite
spy station. Before the Americans came, more than 2,000 people lived
on the islands, many with roots back to the late 18th century. There
were thriving villages, a school, a hospital, a church, a railway
and an undisturbed way of life. The islands were, and still are, a
British crown colony. In the 1960s, the government of Harold Wilson
struck a secret deal with the United States to hand over Diego Garcia.
Unknown to Parliament and to the US Congress, the British government
plotted with Washington to expel the entire population˜in secrecy
and in breach of the United Nations Charter.
John Pilger was born and educated in Sydney. He has been a war correspondent,
film-maker and playwright. Based in London, he has written from many
countries and has twice won Journalist of the Year in Britain for
his work in Vietnam and Cambodia.
Among a number of other awards, he has been International Reporter
of the Year and winner of the United Nations Association Media Prize.
For his broadcasting, he has won an American Television Academy Award,
an Emmy and the Richard Dimbleby Award, given by the British Academy
of Film and Television Arts.
John Hoskyns-Abrahall, President
PO Box 149
Oley, PA 19547