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letusreturn.usa.org

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Phone Script for Calling Congress

 

 

Use the script below to call your members of Congress and urge them to support the Chagossians by signing the "Chagossian Support Sign-on Letter."

 

Please familiarize yourself with our “one pager” here and at bottom, which has key details about the Chagossians’ expulsion, their struggle to return to their homeland, and what we’re asking Congress to do. This will help you answer questions you might get from staffers. If you can’t answer a question, ask for the staffer’s contact information and say you will get an answer as soon as possible. Then email the question to: letusreturn.usa@gmail.com

 

How do I get contact information for Congress? Google a member's name or click here to search by name, then click on the name and then the "Contact Her/Him" button to get contact information.

 

Unsure who your Senators and Representatives are? Click here to search by zip code or address. Click on each name and then the "Contact Her/Him" button to get contact information.

 

 

Phone Script

 

Hello! My name is____. I am a resident of____ and a member of Let Us Return USA, a non-profit support group for the exiled Chagossian people of Diego Garcia. Can I please speak with the legislative assistant for foreign affairs?

 

I am calling about an issue that's very important to me. I would like to ask the [Senator/Representative] to sign the "Chagossian Support Sign-on Letter."

 

The Chagossians have been living in exile since the late 1960s as a result of the creation of a US military base on their Indian Ocean island, Diego Garcia. For almost 50 years they have been struggling to go home.

 

The "Chagossian Support Sign-on Letter" asks the Obama Administration to do a very simple thing: to state publicly that the United States does not oppose the resettlement of Chagossians in their homeland.

 

It is important to point out that the Chagossians are not calling for the removal of the base. In fact, many want to work on the base.

 

Thank you very much for helping to bring justice to the Chagossians!

 

 

Questions about contacting Congress: Email us at letusreturn.usa@gmail.com

 

 

Struggling for Our Fundamental Rights:

The Exiled People of the Chagos Archipelago

 

Background

 

  • In the 1970s, the US Government created a military base on the Indian Ocean island Diego Garcia in the British-controlled Chagos Archipelago. 

 

 

  • Prior to the base’s creation, the US Government convinced and secretly paid the UK $14 million to forcibly remove the indigenous Chagossian people of Diego Garcia and the Chagos Archipelago.

 

 

  • Numbering around 2,000, the Chagossians were deported and discarded in abject poverty 1,200 miles away in the slums of the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and the Seychelles.

 

 

  • Since their expulsion, Chagossians have been barred from returning to their homeland and remain deeply impoverished.

 

 

  • Although the US Government ordered and orchestrated the expulsion and paid the UK Government to carry it out, the US Government has systematically abdicated its responsibility for the appalling conditions of the Chagossians and has repeatedly covered up its instrumental role in their exile.

 

 

  • In 2012, more than 30,000 people signed a petition to the White House demanding the US Government recognize the wrongs committed against the Chagossians. Unfortunately, the Obama administration again refused to accept US responsibility for wrongfully expelling the Chagossians from their homeland. Congress has only addressed the issue during a single hearing in 1975.

 

 

  • In late 2014, the 2-year period to renegotiate the Diego Garcia base agreement commenced with the initial 50-year term expiring in 2016. While the bilateral executive agreement is subject to an automatic 20-year renewal, the renegotiations are a pivotal moment to redress the harm done to the Chagossians.

 

 

 

Our Aims

 

  • The Chagossians are not calling for the removal of the base on Diego Garcia or challenging its existence.

 

 

  • The Chagossians are asking the US Government to state publicly that it recognizes Chagossians’ basic right to live in their homeland and that it does not oppose the resettlement of Chagossians on Diego Garcia and in the rest of the Chagos Archipelago, with equal rights to work on the base.