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UK MP Schooled by Mauritian Minister Over Chagos Occupation



UK MP Schooled by Mauritian Minister Over Chagos Occupation
Image source: ThePrint

A senior British Labour Party member, Peter Mandelson, was advised at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi not to lecture the developing world on “imperialism”. During a discussion on the Russia-Ukraine conflict at India’s flagship multilateral conference on Friday, Observer Research Foundation (ORF) President Samir Saran said it was “ironic” that House of Lords peer Peter Mandelson should issue warnings about imperialism.

The Mauritius Foreign Minister, Maneesh Gobin, also on the panel, argued that international rules should be universally applied and not selectively. Mandelson, who held various Cabinet positions under former UK prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, had called on the Global South to firmly support Ukraine. He stated that these countries should resist Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “imperialist” ambitions to recreate a “post-Soviet empire”.

Mandelson urged everyone in the United Nations and the “so-called Global South” to rediscover the principle of anti-colonial solidarity and unequivocally support the fight for freedom and democracy in Ukraine.

After Mandelson’s passionate speech, ORF President Samir Saran indicated his desire to respond, but ultimately chose not to. When the House of Lords member inquired if the host was advocating for colonialism, Saran replied: “It’s rather ironic coming from you. Minister Gobin might have been more appropriate to make such a statement than a Lord from the UK.”

Saran leads the independent think-tank ORF that organizes the Raisina Dialogue in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

The Mauritius minister reportedly added, “Territorial integrity should be upheld equally for the Chagos Archipelago. It should not be upheld for one particular region and disregarded in another.” After Mauritius gained independence in 1968, the UK retained control of the Chagos Archipelago for strategic purposes in the Indian Ocean.

The UK also forcibly removed Chagossians from the islands. However, in January 2021, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruled in favor of Mauritius’ right to the Chagos Islands and ordered the UK to end its “unlawful occupation” of the territory.

Source: ThePrint

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