back to article Uh-oh .io: Question mark hangs over trendy tech startup domains as UN condemns British empire hangover

The future of internet addresses ending in '.io' – popular with tech startups – may be in doubt after the United Nations condemned the UK's continued ownership over islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean that own the domain. This week, the UN's general assembly voted overwhelmingly 116-6 to condemn the UK's occupation of …

  1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Political hot potato.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      If .io is bad. then why not try Indian Ocean Territory as .iot - I bet there would be far more demand for that.

      1. VeganVegan
        Trollface

        Who will be the 1st to register “id” if .iot becomes available?

        See title

    2. TheMeerkat

      If the U.K. paid and Mauritius government excepted the payment, why the island should be “returned”?

      1. YetAnotherLocksmith

        Because it was a 50 year agreement?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No the US deal was, the islands were bought outright.

          Not a leasehold property.

      2. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Because the UK told Mauritius to accept the money or forget about independence.

        1. Joe Gurman

          What is there....

          ....about the word “empire” that you don’t understand?

      3. My Opinion

        Have you got that right? Accept is to receive, whereas except is to exclude. Didn't they take the payment, not refuse it?

      4. Mike Friedman

        Because the people who lived there at the time had no say in the matter. They were being used as pawns by the great powers and by Mauritius.

        And because the fruits of colonialism are always a mess. The British have found this over and over again but they still can't learn the lessons they should (Brexit is ultimately about Britain not being able to come to terms with the fact that it's a medium sized country with limited power). The lesson should be, don't blunder into someone else's home, "claim" it for your Queen and then control the place by evicting the people who live there. Is that really so complicated? Just because you can doesn't mean it's right or legal. You would most certainly not like it if someone did that to you. Because these people lived in a remote area and were poor and brown doesn't make it right.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "The lesson should be, don't blunder into someone else's home, "claim" it for your Queen and then control the place by evicting the people who live there."

          This sceptred isle has been subject to such invasions and clearances over thousands years. The Stone/Bronze Age inhabitants of what is now England were pushed into Wales.

          Then 2000 years ago the Roman "veni, vide, vici" lasted for about 400 years. Followed by a free for all in England and Scotland as various Continentals raided - then colonised - different parts. Finally a thousand years ago the Normans from France imposed a new ruling class to carve up ownership of England's assets.

        2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          When the British blundered into the rocks, they *weren't* somebody else's home, they were empty rocks in the middle of nowhere, they didn't evict anybody from there. The British then imported labourers to the islands. Unfortunately, that resulted in those imported labourers becoming the indigenese by colonisation of terra nullis, meaning that 150 later they had become the native, and the British *were* kicking people out of their home.

          You can't say "your great-great-great-granddad wasn't born here, so bugger off", otherwise London would lose 90% of its population.

          1. Joe Gurman

            Isn’t that the point of Brexit?

            To eliminate the 90% and send them back to some imaginary place in the past?

      5. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        Because the concern is that the people that got paid had no legal authority to do so, or even if they had the authority, they didn't sign it of their own free will.

        It'd be pretty hard to argue that the government of Mauritius was operating under their own free will as they were facing down two massive nations that have a long history of knocking over governments they don't agree with and then installing their own leaders.

        1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

          And just how many nations had the US overthrown in 1965? 0?

          And given that Mauritius was a British colony until 1968, this whole thing looks like nothing more than an exercise in anti-Angloism.

          1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

            "And just how many nations had the US overthrown in 1965? 0?"

            By 1967, we had used the overthrow of several nations as a negotiating tactic. Panama during the Canal, pretty much the entire history of the United Fruit Company, Operation Ajax, the Bay of Pigs, the overthrown of Queen Liliʻuokalani in Hawaii, numerous coups in Central and South America. And this is just the stuff off the top of my head...

            In 1967 alone, we attempted many times at overthrowing the governments of Cuba, the USSR, China, and a handful of other nations that had adopted communism, or we suspected might aligning themselves with the Soviet Union.

      6. cream wobbly

        Because the payment has ... accpired ... I guess?

  2. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    think you missed the bit about david milliband turning into a marine conservation area, the twisted little bastard.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Headmaster

      ...david milliband turning into a marine conservation area...

      Hmm. I always had him down as being more full of shit than fish?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Perhaps his brother stabbing him in the back has allowed the BS to be drained and replaced by fish?

        Pure supposition, the publicly available evidence suggests that there's still a lot of BS present...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shameful Indeed

    Sad to see the same vein of imperial shitheadedness still clinging onto its grubby little compulsion to mess people around half a world away.

    Another example of the 'Special Relationship' at work too.

    1. pintofbitter

      Re: Shameful Indeed

      Do we get our £3.5m back then ?

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: Shameful Indeed

        With inflation?

      2. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Do we get our £3.5m back then ?

        Of course. As soon as we reimburse the deported for 50 years of life each. How much does a Tarzan earn in a year? How much is a year of your 20s worth when you're 70?

  4. steelpillow Silver badge
    Megaphone

    The American elephant in the room, er, ocean.

    It's al very well blaming the Imperialist running dogs on the island of baby-eaters, but we have to remember that the air base is occupied, run, devastated and polluted by those good ol' constructors of the Statue of Liberty, amenders of Democratic Constitution and renditioners of People We Don't Like, the US of A.

    Maybe the UK should hand the political landmine to them wholesale?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Our special role.

      Our special role in this tawdry bit of bullying and theft is that of scapegoat.

      We kicked the Chagossians out, then leased DG to the US.

      So its no fault of the US. Even if they did put us up to it.

      1. sid1950

        Re: Our special role.

        Actually the US asked for the site, and they wanted an indefinite lease. The whole thing was done "on the nod", in other words no proper treaty's. The UK just took it from the islanders, and handed it over to the US. I don't think the US is paying the UK anything.

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: Our special role.

          And one reason we handed it over was we could barely muster enough medium-range bombers to inconvenience Moscow, never mind long-range ones to bother the Middle East.

          Plus Ca Change....

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: Our special role.

            I would personally consider fifty three 1.1 megaton nuclear bombs going off over Moscow a mite more than an inconvenience, especially when delivered by a missile that had a standoff published attack range of 575 miles. Given that military forces prefer people to underestimate what their weapons can do and have had that habit since talking about the attack range of a spear i'd suggest that range might in fact be a bit short.

            Also; Diego Garcia didn't have the airbase on it before we handed it over, so we'd have had to build one and if we did want to base bombers anywhere to "bother the middle east" then our base at Akatori is closer and rather more convenient from the west side of the Middle East. Bahrain is rather more convenient from the east side and this is where we base units as required.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Our special role.

              We've got a live one!

              Another idiot who thinks a winnable nuclear war is a reality.

    2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: The American elephant in the room, er, ocean.

      ...by those good ol' constructors of the Statue of Liberty...

      Do you mean the French? It was built in France and assembled in the States.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The American elephant in the room, er, ocean.

        OP is another really definite person whose world-view was developed with eyes and mind closed.

      2. Anne-Lise Pasch

        Re: The American elephant in the room, er, ocean.

        constructor doesn't mean assembler?

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Re: The American elephant in the room, er, ocean.

      America didn't invent global violence, xenophobia, Might Makes Right and White Man's Burden bullshit. Guess where they learned all that from, I'll give you a hint, it's a nation whose flag is also mostly red and white stripes with some chunks of blue.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The American elephant in the room, er, ocean.

        "America didn't invent global violence, xenophobia, Might Makes Right and White Man's Burden bullshit."

        It was always the way of empires going back as far as written history on all continents. England was late into the modern empire building game. The Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch were by then the champions of acquisition and exploitation. In the late 19th century scramble for Africa the Belgians possibly surpassed everyone. The USA were too busy colonising their interior peoples to bother about overseas territories - that came later with taking the Philippines from the Spanish in 1898.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The American elephant in the room, er, ocean.

          Just more evidence that the people with power were and are utter scumbags.

          And these days, they want you to vote for them.

          If you do, you're complicit.

      2. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: The American elephant in the room, er, ocean.

        Dinnae fash yersel but, the blue and some of the white sloping lines will be going soon when we extract Scotland from this septic Union run by incompetent narcissists.

        We can then a build a proper, normal northern European social democracy. Maybe we can persuade the Royals to bicycle about when they're up here or we could just become a republic (my preference but I'm a democrat). Brenda is known to dislike staying in Holyrood House across from Holyrood parliament when she has official duties. She opens our parliament every year you know. Constitutionally required to do so. She only does it for places like Canada, Aussie or NZ if she is touring at the time. But she goes up to Edinburgh every year to open it.

        BTW please try and replace her with a Governor General like those places once we're independent. It will hasten the republic.

        Oh yes and we get rid of the geriatric home known as the House of Lords as well. The SNP does not nominate peers and will expel any member who accepts a peerage. We saw what it did to the Labour party and before that our Clan Chiefs post the '45 and enabling the Clearances. Lessons have been learned, by half of us at any rate.

  5. don't you hate it when you lose your account Bronze badge

    the sun never sets on the British Empire

    Isn't that the belief that is causing so much shit. After all we can't be wrong if we have an Empire. After traveling the world, damned if I can find it. Says a lot when even the Australians think were idiots. No insult mates, all I want is a fair go.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: the sun never sets on the British Empire

      The reason the sun never sets on the British Empire according some old timers - "God doesn't trust the English'

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: the sun never sets on the British Empire

        Another saying is, "if God put them on an island, it was because they did something to deserve it".

      2. John Mansfield

        Re: the sun never sets on the British Empire

        Oscar Wilde is reported to have said that the sun never sets on the british empire because God wouldn't trust and englishman in the dark!

    2. MJB7 Silver badge

      Re: the sun never sets on the British Empire

      It isn't a belief, it is a geographical fact. See https://what-if.xkcd.com/48/

      I think returning the Chagos Islands to Mauritius might end that.

    3. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: the sun never sets on the British Empire

      It all started to go wrong when The Empire started to let the people in the lands (indigenous and exiles) think they could run things themselves. America, Canada, India, Australia and all the little lands in between.

      And the final nail in the coffin was letting Women have a say.

      Time to #TakeBackControl, make this Empire GREAT again, get out of Europe and get back to the good old days.

      I'd like to say this is #Sarcasm but the weekend has shown there are a number of people in the UK who think this is a good idea.

  6. Thoguht Silver badge

    Those who do not learn history...

    It's all very well saying that A should give some land back to B because B lived there first, but if you accept that then how far do you have to go back to make things right? Should the French return England to the Danes and the Germans? Should the Danes then piss off and let the Germans return England to the Spanish so they can then argue amongst themselves over whether the descendants of the Celts or the Beaker people should have it?

    So, sorry and all, but history is jam-packed full of stuff like this. Civilisations come and civilisations go, and to try to put things back like they were by drawing a line at some arbitrary point in time is a nonsense.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hazarding a guess here

      Just a guess, but I'm thinking that Thoguht is not a Chagossian?

      It is interesting to hear that he sees no wrong that could and should be righted here.

      Presumably if some military power came and took over his home, in order to use it as a staging point for bombing and invading other countries in that part of thw world, after fifty years, he'd have stopped complaining about it, and would be telling his children to do likewise. Why do I not find this credible?

      1. James Anderson Silver badge

        Re: Hazarding a guess here

        Thats pretty much what happened if you lived in:

        Bentwaters, Woodbridge, Chicksands, Greenham Common, Sculthorpe, Wethersfield and Upper Heyford.

        and still applies of you live near Lakenheath, Molesworth, Mildenhall and Alconbury.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Hazarding a guess here

          I had friends based on Upper Heyford and Mildenhall in the '80s, a few like my friends would mix with the locals but many never left the base and would have cheerfully removed the locals to a much greater distance.

          Xenophobia seems to be a national trait

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Hazarding a guess here

        >Just a guess, but I'm thinking that Thoguht is not a Chagossian?

        But Thoguht does make a valid point, although uses a poor example, given the European nations agreed their borders after WWI, along with the borders of many former empire countries, particularly those in the middle east. Interestingly, China whilst agreeing to the post-WWII settlement, doesn't feel it needs to abide by it and thus feels fully justified in occupying Tibet, along with any other lands that might have been overseen in the distant past by imperial China.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Hazarding a guess here

          "agreed their borders after WWI"

          I think you missed an I there (WWII). Or you forgot about the little kerfuffle we had between 1938 and 1945 where it seems not everyone agreed on those borders. (And we had a lot of changes to the borders after 1945 too, what with the whole Soviet Union, DDR/BRD, iron curtain palaver).

    2. steelpillow Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Those who do not learn history...

      "to try to put things back like they were ... is a nonsense."

      I am sure that Sinn Fein, Israel and the Ukraine would be the first to agree with your wisdom. And think of all the Allied lives that leaving Europe as it was in 1942 would have saved.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Those who do not learn history...

      Did you know that Portugal has announced that descendants of Jews expelled by the Spanish Inquisitions can have Portuguese citizenship, and that thousands are taking them up on it? And that is rather less recent than the Chagos foulup.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Those who do not learn history...

        [In before anyone else] .... I wasn't expecting that!

        P.s. there was also a Potruguese Inquisition but according to the details about it I read in a museum (in Portugal) then that was a lot less severe or thorough than the spanish version (so I assume no comfy chairs or plump cushions were involved!)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Those who do not learn history...

          Yes,I should have written "Iberian Inquisitions".

          1. Youngone

            Re: Those who do not learn history...

            "Iberian Inquisitions".

            No-one would have expected that.

    4. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: Those who do not learn history...

      @ Thoguht: So, sorry and all, but history is jam-packed full of stuff like this.

      I'm not sure why you have attracted so many downvotes unless it is because you have stated something that is simultaneously true but unpopular and "unfashionable". History is littered with instances where a colonial power (sadly, often but not always the UK) has trampled all over indigenous peoples and dispossessed them.

      For consistency the UN should castigate Spain for its ongoing occupation of Ceuta & Melilla (a move that could possibly result in the UK losing Gibraltar, although its status as British is the outcome of a treaty with Spain) while at the same time insisting that it (Spain) returns the gold that it plundered from South America centuries ago.

      Again for some sort of consistency is the UN going to insist that Britain rescinds the Balfour Declaration and then demand that the country currently known as Israel be returned to its original occupants? I don't see that happening any time soon, although insisting that the Chagos Is be returned to the Chagossians is in reality no different.

      Sadly History is messy, and not always "fair". Unravelling it might prove even messier.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Those who do not learn history...

        "Unravelling it might prove even messier."

        Unscrambling eggs comes to mind.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No different?

        ". . insisting that the Chagos Is be returned to the Chagossians is in reality no different from Britain rescinding the Balfour Declaration and then demanding that the country currently known as Israel be returned to its original inhabitants. . . "

        If you don't see a massive difference between these two cases, then look again.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: No different?

          @Simon B-52: you are quite right. Firstly because this happened very recently, and secondly because no other group has moved in to make permanent homes. No-one will be dispossessed, so there are no conflicting rights here. If the USA want a military base there, then they can make suitable arrangements with the people who lost out as a result of shit-head UK politicians thinking that the Empire was perpetual.

        2. Commswonk Silver badge

          Re: No different?

          @Simon B-52: If you don't see a massive difference between these two cases, then look again.

          Perhaps it depends upon where the viewer is standing. From the Palestinian viewpoint it almost certainly looks just the same.

          Disclaimer: I am not Palestinian; neither do I have any "middle east connections".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Point of view

            Yes of course point of view is hugely important.

            Also, for the record, I am neither Palestinian or Israeli / Jewish, nor do I have any "middle east connections".

            Palestine / Israel is an almost universally contentious subject and I think it unfortunate that another poster even made the comparison in the first place. It is almost impossible to talk about this situation without either causing or giving excuse for offence.

            It is, or at least should be an entirely separate matter, considered on its own merits - comparisons often serve only to muddy the water, and sometimes that is exactly why they are made in the first place.

            However, I stand by what I said - If you don't see these two situations as being very different from one another, then look again.

            1. BigSLitleP Silver badge

              Re: Point of view

              So do we return American to the Natives? How about Australia? Should we return Europe to the Italians? How about the Middle East to the Greeks? Or should we just turn over the whole lot to Mongolia?

              At which point in time should we say our borders were correct?

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: Point of view

                >At which point in time should we say our borders were correct?

                Well, the wise guy would say when the relevant parties can reach an agreement. However, that doesn't take account of human nature, so even though every thing may have been agreed some future generation will decide that the settlement was somehow unfair...

                so the best we can do is probably to revisit the lines drawn on the map at the end of the colonial period by the various European powers.

      3. Schultz Silver badge
        WTF?

        Sadly History is messy, and not always "fair"

        So we should celebrate those not-so-messy cases, where right and wrong are easily discerned and wrongs can be righted. For example the case where your dad's generation kicked off some islanders with the words "Unfortunately along with the birds go some few Tarzans or Man Fridays whose origins are obscure, and who are hopefully being wished on to Mauritius etc. When this has been done I agree we must be very tough and a submission is being done accordingly." Read it again if you missed the details.

        I agree that not all wrongs can be righted (as a German, I have my particular historic perspective). But claiming ownership of islands half-way around the world -- simply because those natives didn't have the guns or newspapers to fight back is despicable. Even the Balfour declaration won't make that wrong a right.

      4. Nutria

        Re: Those who do not learn history...

        Would North Africa revert to the Ottoman Empire? Would they then revert it to the Romans? Would they revert it to the Egytians and Carthaginians? Who would revert it to???

        1. YetAnotherLocksmith

          Re: Those who do not learn history...

          The Africans who live there, is probably the answer!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Those who do not learn history...

            "The Africans who live there, is probably the answer!"

            The problem is that populations have migrated over the centuries.

            South Africa was the natural home of the nomadic Bushmen.

            Europeans were initially confined to the Cape of Good Hope as a ships' restocking port about 400 years ago. Then some of the Dutch travelled northwards as cattle farmers. In the process they met a migration of Africans moving southwards from north of the Limpopo - who were also cattle farmers.

            The nomadic Bushmen were incompatible with cattle farming - and were forced out of the central grasslands into the Kalahari Desert.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Those who do not learn history...

      And there have, of course, been political parties committed to helping people return to the lands of their ancestors. Not generally approved of in liberal circles though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Those who do not learn history...

        "And there have, of course, been political parties committed to helping people return to the lands of their ancestors. Not generally approved of in liberal circles though."

        I blame a few years of peace for giving the impression the human race can solve disputes over large areas of land without killing a lot of people...

        I mean look at the success we've had with previous efforts at resolving these difficulties in the likes of Ireland, the Balkans, the Ukraine, the Middle East, Africa, Asia... Actually, I'll stop before it gets too depressing.

        The reality is that the UK government can try and resolve this issue if they choose too or just leave it to a judicial process that will likely take 2-3 generations. And then only favour the underdog if the military value of the location changes...

    6. NeilPost Bronze badge

      Re: Those who do not learn history...

      Yes, perhaps Spain would do a deal on Gibraltar in exchange for “Spanish North Africa may refer to: Contemporary Spanish North Africa: Spain's two autonomous cities: Ceuta and Melilla’”

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_North_Africa

      You don’t thear much about them returning them to Morocco. Funny that.

      1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

        Re: Those who do not learn history...

        As I recall, the Moroccan delegate always votes in favor of UN resolutions calling for the return of Gibraltar to Spain.

        1. -v(o.o)v-

          Re: Those who do not learn history...

          And Moroccans should be sent back from the Western Sahara...

    7. S4qFBxkFFg

      Re: Those who do not learn history...

      "A should give some land back to B because B lived there first, but if you accept that then how far do you have to go back to make things right?"

      At the very least, if there are 'B' individuals still alive, and it is accepted as fact that their homes were where they said, then they and their descendants should be allowed to return, with healthy compensation for their trouble.

      (Yes Israel, I'd apply this to you too.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Those who do not learn history...

        "Yes Israel, I'd apply this to you too."

        The Jewish settlers from Europe bought their land from the then current owners - usually absentee landlords of the Ottoman Empire. Much of what they bought was considered worthless by the locals eg the Hula Valley was a malarial swamp.

        It was the surrounding Arab states declaring war in 1948 that caused Arabs to flee areas with a Jewish majority. Those Arab states have also ejected most of their own long-standing Jewish populations.

        The 1967 war was an Israeli pre-emptive strike on the same Arab states who were preparing to attack again.

        After the Arab states declared war in 1973 - the dominant political parties in Israel are now often people descended from Jews forced out of Middle Eastern countries. The Middle Eastern political philosophy of "winner takes all" has slowly superseded the European one of potential compromise.

        1. Insert sadsack pun here

          Re: Those who do not learn history...

          "It was the surrounding Arab states declaring war in 1948 that caused Arabs to flee areas with a Jewish majority."

          This is a) untrue and b) not a compelling argument against letting refugees and their families return to the places they fled.

    8. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Those who do not learn history...

      "to try to put things back like they were by drawing a line at some arbitrary point in time is a nonsense"

      While I agree with the sentiment in general, there is at least one way to draw a line that is much less arbitrary than most - are any of the people directly affected by it still alive? There's quite a difference between talking about trying to figure out who might have owned what 1000 years ago, and talking about giving land back to the exact same people it was taken from a couple of decades ago.

      That said, it's also worth considering that anyone talking about the evils of colonialism and imperialism are rather missing the point. Neither Mauritius or Chagos were actually inhabited until those colonialists sent people there to set up colonies. Remember, Mauritius is best known for being home to the dodo, which is famous for not surviving the arrival of humans. Both Mauritius and Chagos were just empty land that various Europeans argued about who was allowed to set up house there, until eventually the locals decided they'd rather just sort themselves out. A lot of media coverage seems to imply that there was an old country there that the UK took over and now people want restored to its former glory, but in reality it's still just the same argument over exactly which colonists will own which bits. Obviously that doesn't justify the shitty way the British government treated its own citizens, but it's much more similar to something like the flooding of Capel Celyn (coincidentally also in 1965) than anything to do with imperialism.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Those who do not learn history...

        There wasn't a country, or central government there no. Most of the people living there didn't even actually have any property (They were living in the housing of former plantations), but they had been there for over 100 years by the time they were forcibly made to move. The issue is a sticky one, and not nearly so black and white as it's being made to seem by the UN. As are pretty much all territory disputes worldwide. The question boils down to basically: Does a government that moved a people somewhere forcibly as slaves have a right to then remove those people from the land they are living on when the UK government (legitimately) bought it from the landowner? When it comes right down to it, it's similar to the UK government buying up a few housing estates near Heathrow and evicting the tenants to extend a runway for instance. Only because the nearest other land to house them is hundreds of miles away, the people have to be moved hundreds of miles away, instead of into a different flat a few blocks over.

    9. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Those who do not learn history...

      Sure, I agree with "how far back do we go?".

      But I have an answer to that.

      How about we go back to the point where countries, specifically the UK amongst them, agreed to a set of standards, rules, ethics and aims around 'colonies'? Sure, ignore anything prior to that, but any actions towards colonies going forward from that point is a no-brainer to be held under that agreement, and in fact required under agreements made.

      The agreement I am specifically referring to is the 1945 UN Charter.

      The charter which has a chapter, Chapter XI, that deals specifically with de-colonization of occupied territories. Under which much of the de-colonization efforts of the 2nd half of the 20th Century were carried out under by the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and other European colonial power.

      In the words of wikipedia:

      It entered into force on 24 October 1945, after being ratified by the original five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—the Republic of China (after 1949, located in Taiwan and was later replaced by the People's Republic of China), the Provisional Government of the French Republic (later replaced by the Fourth Republic and then the Fifth Republic), the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (later replaced by the Russian Federation), the United Kingdom, and the United States—and a majority of the other signatories.

      The UK actions in the Chagos Islands occurred after becoming a signatory to that charter, therefore they are (or should be) bound by it.

      How's that as a "how far back do we go" for the UK, that is, their ratification of 24 October 1945 of the UN Charter that covers this exact situation in Chapter XI?

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Those who do not learn history...

      That's a great argument for the Argentinians to recover their Malvinas islands.

    11. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Those who do not learn history...

      how far do you have to go [usual sophomoric tu quoque argumentation]

      If we can't improve everything, we must improve nothing?

      It's astounding that the people trotting this argument out seem to believe that it's somehow novel, and wasn't introduced the first time anyone suggested correcting any injustice.

  7. werdsmith Silver badge

    Mauritius prime minister Pravind Jugnauth has attempted to smooth things over by saying the country is prepared to reach an agreement with the US and UK to allow the Diego Garcia military base to continue to exist – presumably in return for a fat check each year

    Presumably this is because the presence of a US military base means access to a lot of junk food?

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Presumably this is because the presence of a US military base means access to a lot of junk food?

      Probably pepper corns. Big crop around India & the spice islands. But history certainly hasn't been kind to the Chagosians. And US bases often aren't ideal tenants. Think they still owe Cuba a lot of silver for their base there, and the US may be reluctant to pay Mauritius a market rate for an exclusive, private island.

      Then there was the creation of a massive tourist trap. I mean conservation zone covering a very large chunk of the islands and Indian Ocean. That will likely become a nice little earner once sustainable fishing is permitted from licence and quota sales, along with sustainable tourism if the smaller islands are developed.

      Which won't benefit the original Chagosians, unless maybe some end up getting employed to look after the tourists. Diego Garcia is bound to need a lot of expensive redevelopment and cleanup work before it could be turned from sea fortress into eco-tourist hub for the rich and shameless.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "And US bases often aren't ideal tenants. Think they still owe Cuba a lot of silver for their base there,"

        Although I don't doubt US military bases aren't the best tenants, I understand the US has dutifully sent Cuba a check for payment of renting Guantanamo Bay. Cuba's policy has been to refuse to cash the check, under the premise that cashing the check will be a sign of legitimizing the arrangement. Supposedly there's a pile of annual rent checks in some minister's desk in Cuba.

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Coat

          Good to see some cheques and balances in ElReg's comments

        2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Even that situation has ended, America is now a colonial power.

          1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

            The US became a colonial power when we relieved Spain of its overseas possessions, if not a little sooner.

            Although, frankly, the Louisiana purchase could fairly be argued as such as well, except for our intent & execution to populate & fully annex it.

        3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          My bad. Was originally due to be paid in gold coins, and the lease had other restrictions that have since been ignored. I guess Cuba can argue the US broke the lease, and accepting payment might as you say, legitimise those breaches.. Plus of course the Cuba that originally signed it has long gone.

          But such is geopolitics, and why these disputes arise. Russia 'annexed' Crimea, US has 'annexed' a fair chunk of Syria.. Which obviously leads to accusations of double standards. For Chagos, I guess the UK is kinda stuck unless Trump does something really embarrassing during his state visit and we try to evict Diego Garcia.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Trump is bound to do something really embarrassing during his visit, and it will make no difference.

    2. Ken Shabby Bronze badge
      Holmes

      Fat Czechs

      I thought Fat Czechs were associated with the Atlantic ocean

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Missing words

      Maybe it's a side effect of the spread of such US idiom as:

      Protesting (against) something or someone

      Debating (the desirability or other quality of) something or someone.

      As intelligence degenerates, language follows.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Missing words

        Don’t even get me started on Imma.

        1. BigSLitleP Silver badge

          Re: Missing words

          Imma let you finish

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Editor / proofreader took a day off for the Bank Holiday did they?

      Submitted these via Corrections; nothing changed as yet.

    3. Matthew 3

      Re: Editor / proofreader took a day off for the Bank Holiday did they?

      It was probably written on a Mac keyboard.

  9. John Jennings

    Get real

    The Chagos islands are mostly less than 1M above sea level - apart from Deago Garcia. And it was leveled for an airstrip. The land is not viable for habitation without massive expenditure (every year).

    There is only one other island left for anyone to live on the archipeligo - and it doesnt have a natural source of fresh water.

    The land on the islands (except Deago) is regularly (every 10 years or so) submerged in tropical storms.

    Noone is going back to the islands. There were only around 1000 - 1200, and they lived on Deago.

    The one of the reasons the vote went the way it did was because France, Mauritius, China and Russia all want the US/UK out of the strategically important base.

    Their strategic value far outweighs other considerations. Stupid and insinsitive politicions memos from the 60's notwithstanding.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Get real

      Well cheer up, climate change left to happen by stupid and insensitive politicians from the 1980's-2010's will make them useless soon anyway.

    2. ivan5

      Re: Get real

      You left out the fact that the UN is trying to be the head of a One World Government.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Get real

        >You left out the fact that the UN is trying to be the head of a One World Government.

        Don't worry it if ever shows signs of happening, the UK will vote to leave.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Get real

          Don't worry it if ever shows signs of happening, the UK will vote to leave.

          They (well, the Brexiters) have already taken leave of their senses.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Get real

        "You left out the fact that the UN is trying to be the head of a One World Government."

        No, that's what the permanent members of the UN Security Council are all about.

        Democracy is the last thing they want.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get real

      "The land is not viable for habitation without massive expenditure (every year)"

      Sounds like the Chagossians were habitating there just fine. Maybe they were all rich? Oil barons, perhaps? Or maybe Internet millionaires from the dot com boom?

      1. John Jennings

        Re: Get real

        It exported sugar cane. The locals were freed slaves. Garcia and 3 or 4 islands had crops on them - they we not inhabited - or were when the work was done.

        There was ship-wrecking and piracy occasionally too- the trade winds would blow antartic whalers there.... 200 years ago.

        There is no viable market for any of that now.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: Get real

          There is no viable market for any of that now.

          Piracy is still rampant; it's just moved into the digital realm. So if you have an internet domain ...

      2. Somefagg0t

        Re: Get real

        Maybe this was before the postmodern surge in sea levels?

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Get real

          Maybe this was before the postmodern surge in sea levels?

          There hasn't been one, just a gradual increase since the last ice age. Plus some islands complicate doomsday scenarios due to coral liking being at a steady depth, so growing upwards.. Then things like parrot fish chewing that up and spitting sand out to make nice beaches.. Then human factors can offset that, like killing the fish, or extracting too much water so the land sinks, or just gets salty and undrinkable. But then there's the Chinese, who've proven themselves handy at the island building game,

          And then there's other traditional reclamation activity, ie a fair few islands in the US were created from compacted rubbish... And now developing nations are turning away first-world garbage, it could be an opportunity to create more land on some handy sea mounts or low lying islands.

    4. Tom 64
      Windows

      Re: Get real

      Indeed. Zero chance of the US giving up that base, it's far too strategically important to their wars on stuff

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: Get real

        We said that about the Panama Canal.

        NEVER underestimate American stupidity.

    5. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Get real

      You'd be more convincing if you got the name of the place right.

    6. Pat Att

      Re: Get real

      France abstained.

  10. E_Nigma
    Coffee/keyboard

    All Sides Make Me Want to Puke

    I like how ICJ can claim to have jurisdiction over something that happened in the 60's, while claiming to not have jurisdiction about the things that happened in the 90's on the basis of country X not having been a member of the international body Y at the time of the events.

    Word of warning - that's not coffee on the keyboard (see title).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All Sides Make Me Want to Puke

      The ICJ is trying to be the worlds court, not the worlds policeman. The key principle is that the ICJ has jurisdiction only on the basis of consent.

      If a state does not consent to take part in an ICJ case, if the ICJ ruled against a non-consenting state any sanctions applied to individuals, organisations or the state are likely to be ignored. Leaving the issue in a similar position to what it was before the ICJ were involved but now the ICJ share some of the blame for inaction.

      Would you prefer an ICJ that takes no action (the status quo) or a court that produces rulings against states that don't fully participate in its trials which are likely to be one-sided and result in no action?

  11. Palpy

    History and the march thereof

    Yes, every nation -- and prehistoric group of migrating primates -- have done bad things to get other peoples' land.

    We have, somewhat, learned to be a little better. For example, when the USians were decimating the Cherokee, human slavery was still legal in the southern US. Times have changed.

    And despite my personal pessimism, overall most societies have been changing for the better. Gradually, over the long term.

    The dispossession of Palestinians in 1947 (or whatever historical land grab you choose) doesn't justify the dispossession of the Chagossians, any more than the displacement of Homo neanderthalensis by Homo sapiens justifies it. (OK, according to some classifications, they were Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.)

    That was then. This is now. We who live now have an obligation to act in the present.

    --------------

    Yeah, I suspect the Chagos Islands will be underwater in fifty years anyway, and are probably not really habitable now without continual support from the outside. Doesn't matter, ethically speaking: the UK and the US should still give the Chagossians their land back.

  12. felixk

    Official UN documents:

    Resolution A/RES/73/295 http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/73/295

    Meeting Record (and vote tally): A/73/PV.83 http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/73/PV.83

    Press Release: GA/12146 https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/ga12146.doc.htm

    "Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965"

    At the time of this writing, only the press release was available.

    The discussion mentions the islanders; it leaves out a few other salient facts; among them is that the BIOT never belonged to Mauritius in the first place. At the time (1965) Mauritius was not a self-contained entity but part of the United Kingdom, and administrative divisions are dissolved, reformed and changed all the time.

    Mauritius' renewed interest might be enhanced not only by the plight of the Chagos Islanders but also by the prospect of 125.600 sq. mi. (~325.000 km²) of hitherto unexploited fishery and marine exploitation rights. Odd how that got no mention anywhere.

    The vote tally for A/RES/73/295 has not been released (the UN is quicker off the bat with a UK-bashing press release), but it would seem that the Ayes came mainly from the usual suspects – those bulwarks of freedom that demand a voice in the affairs of the world but won't even allow their own people free and fair elections. In short, the usual collection of tinpot dictators, murdering communists and religious autocrats.

    The ICJ's Advisory Opinion of 25 February 2019 (https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/169/169-20190225-01-00-EN.pdf) contains a rather amusing summary of how the tyrants and despoilers who rule a majority of UN member states kept telling the UK not to allow a base in that strategic location. Recommended reading! The opinion also presumes to tell the UK what it may or may not do to its administrative divisions. Here in Austria, we are lucky to have escaped the General Assembly's eagle-eyed watchers when a district ("Wien-Umgebung") was dissolved and its 118.634 (2015) inhabitants were, nolens volens, assigned to other districts.

    As far as I am concerned, what the UN needs is a Lord Protector Cromwell:

    "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately … Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

    (Speech to the Rump Parliament, 20 April 1653)

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      The British Oversees Territories have *NEVER* been part of the United Kingdom - that was one of the issues that kicked off the little disturbance in North America.

  13. Overflowing Stack

    Strategic importance

    These islands are of strategic importance to the UK and its allies, Mauritius doesn't have an Army and if they were attacked I am sure the UK and the US would come to its aid.

    The treatment of the islanders at the time sounds a bit rough, but that was then and they weren't raped or shot. Ultimately you have to remember that it was the middle of the cold war and the world isn't much safer than then.

    Stuff the UN!

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Strategic importance

      >These islands are of strategic importance to the UK and its allies, Mauritius doesn't have an Army and if they were attacked I am sure the UK and the US would come to its aid.

      Actually, I suspect the islands wouldn't be 'attacked'... Given their stategic importance, from a world shipping viewpoint, if the UK/USA walked away a bunch of very nice Chinese business men would soon be visiting Mauritius and offering an investment package, alternatively, given the islands are uninhabited, they might be simply annexed and developed - just like many islands in the south china seas...

  14. YetAnotherLocksmith

    I'm sure we will be just fine walking away /s

    Yeah, I'm sure we will be just fine walking away from the EU one day later this year, and no-one will object to any of this stuff anywhere as we try to drop back to World Trade Organisation rules! Even, apparently, the Chaggossians got a better deal than 30% of the UK is clamouring for!

  15. Andalou

    It sounds as if ...

    ... it's an enormous lunacy to me.

  16. Chris the bean counter

    International Aid

    Why does Mauritius have a claim as the islands half an ocean away. I suspect their claim is equally suspect.

    Hope we are not giving aid to any country that voted against us. Makes it laughable the claim that aid increases respect for us

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Slaves

      Because some of the slaves imported by the French to Mauritius settled there too.

      These aren't ancient indigenous peoples who crawled out of the ocean, they're descendants of European slaves brought to work on European plantations. I'll go with greater good argument here. As long as the Chagos islanders are compensated. there should be no issue here.

      You can't spell communism without UN.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: International Aid

      I dunno, by, why does the UK have a claim on the argentinian Malvinas islands?

      And why, considering this situation, wouldn't the argentinians be justified to expell their colonizing inhabitants?

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: International Aid

        Argentina just happens to be the nearest nation state to a bunch of empty islands that were in a convenient place for the UK at the time. Falklands were on the main shipping route to the Pacific before the Panama canal was built and provided a useful anchorage for ship repairs.

        The established rules are simple - it's your land if you can hold on to it - which generally means it will be too costly in blood & gold for anyone else to take it by force and keep.

        It's a fact than any border is where it is because that's where the last round of fighting or treaties left it and treaty negiotiations historically only happened when the option of war was available.

  17. Flywheel Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Sea level

    Apparently the sea-level around Chagos is proving a real risk, so giving it back to whomever might be a bit of a pointless exercise.

    This situation will of course be monitored and reported on by Warsi, our very own Minister for Chocolate Fireguards. Lucky us!

  18. John Savard Silver badge

    True Concern

    The issue should be to ensure that the Chagossians aren't living in appalling conditions in Mauritius. If the islands are strategically important to the defence of the Indian Ocean, nothing should be done to interfere with their availability to U. S. armed forces.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Defence of the Indian Ocean?

      Defence of the Indian Ocean?

      Talk about doublespeak. The US isn't on Diego Garcia to "defend" the Indian Ocean, it's there to have a staging post for millitary operations against that part of the world.

      That said, I'd still prefer it to be the US than the Chinese controlling DG.

      What a fucked up world we live in.

      In terms of what is realistically possible given the massive interests in keeping the status quo, I think your point wrt the wellbeing of the Chagossians is very important. We might also consider apologising for being such shits in the first place.

  19. -v(o.o)v-

    Even the ccTLD for the Soviet Union exists to this day. Don't think io is going anywhere.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The .io domain won’t disappear, it will just be managed by a third party (possibly even the current registrar) who send royalties to a nominated party representing the islands. The current owners of the .io domain may also be a little miffed, but the s the breaks in the fast moving world of domain registration.

      The worst that may happen is that the annual domain fees go up a bit.

  20. Insert sadsack pun here

    Seems like the real story here is the great decision to give the domain rights to a company IN PERPETUITY and somehow no-one knows where the money's going

  21. Danny 2 Silver badge

    .US was the first ccTLD

    And yet nobody uses it because they are ashamed of being yanks.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: .US was the first ccTLD

      Either that or they consider that basically the whole internet belongs to them and the country TLDs are just the bits they're renting out so they don't need to use one themselves.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: .US was the first ccTLD

        >or they consider that basically the whole internet belongs to them...

        This is probably closer to the truth, given the US corp first approach with resolving .com ownership, applicable laws etc. that was particularly noticeable in the high growth period circa 1995~2005.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Up with the new Mauritian empire!

    So Mauritius' claim to the the Chagos islands is that they once knew that the islands existed, but never settled them? The fact that the islands were assigned to Mauritius when Mauritius was a Franch colony is no more valid than any other colonial claim. If anything, the islands should be made independent when they no longer serve a military purpose, and the (descendents of) the oldest known colonists ("Chagossians") who wish to return granted settlement rights. However, with sea levels predicted to rise, they may not want to return. Leaving them as an international nature reserve might be a better option for everyone.

    It's not clear why the civilian inhabitants had to be removed from ALL the islands, did they think they were a security threat to the base?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    British courts have also sided with Chagos Exiles

    The UN or ICJ rulings should not have been necessary.

    Apparently, British courts have also ruled in favor of the Chagos Island exiles (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1552445/Chagos-Island-exiles-win-right-to-return-home.html) but the UK government has, using some bullshit logic (essentially a "because colony" loophole, expressed with supercilious meant-to-be-inscrutable British legalese) to avoid implementing the court's ruling.

    I would curse the scheming, greedy scumbags but they seem to have cursed themselves with Brexit...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: British courts have also sided with Chagos Exiles

      In the UK, the people with power are not the friends of the people without it.

  24. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Hungary and the Maldives?

    What's their dog in this fight? I understand the UK and US voting against this, Australia benefit from the base, Israel don't want the UN ruling that people have to leave illegally occupied territory but 10 seconds on wikipedia doesn't tell me why these two care.

  25. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Coat

    Have McDonalds registered

    the EIE domain*?

    * for their server farm, naturally

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