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Old 14-12-2006, 03:39   #1
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Unhappy Chagos - Bad News for Cruisers !

Post copied with permission from the Cruiserlog forums.
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Submitted by Richard Donaldson-Alves:

I have just received this sad news :-

'Farewell Chagos' because I don't think too many boats will be coming there again! The Brits just gave the news. You can look the entire mess on the web but here's the gist.

Effective 1st Jan 07 the rent will be Pounds Sterling 500 per month, (approx $ 900!), payable in advance! 'On request for a permit, sent by e mail, fax or post a Visit Permit Request form will be sent. Once the completed form and mooring fee, (by bank transfer), have been received by BIOT a permit will be issued.

Please note under BIOT law, any person who enters the Territory, including it's 3 mile wide territorial waters without a permit is liable to imprisonment for up to 3 years and a fine of up to Pounds 3,000.

Please promulgate.

Richard
Richard has obtained the latest application forms and List of Rules from BIOT and these can be downloaded (in .pdf) HERE

Fair winds!
Bob
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Old 14-12-2006, 04:41   #2
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Further Questions About New Chagos Regulations ~ by doina (on Noonsite)
Goto: http://www.noonsite.com/Members/doina/R2006-12-04-2

Communique from
Headquarters British Forces
British Indian Ocean Territory
Diego Garcia
BFPO 485

NOTICE TO ALL MARINERS OF THE NEW PROCEDURES WITHIN THE BIOT

As of 1 January 2007 anyone wishing to visit the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) by yacht will need to apply for a permit in advance from the British Indian Ocean Territory Administration (BIOTA) in London. e-mail: mailto:BIOTAdmin@fco.gov.uk The mooring fee will also be increased from USD $ 100 for 3 months to GBP Pound 500 for 1 month, payable in advance.

On receipt of a request for a permit (sent by email, Fax or post) a Visit Permit Request form will be sent. Once the completed form and mooring fee (by bank transfer) have been received by the BIOTA office a Permit, Laws & Guidance for Visitors and maps and co-ordinates showing where yachts may be moored will be issued.

Please note, that under BIOT law any person who enters the Territory, including its 3 mile wide territorial waters, without a permit is liable to imprisonment for up to 3 Years and/or a fine up to 3000 Pound.

Mariners are also reminded that BIOT Customs will be enforcing British India Ocean Territory "The Imports and Exports Control Ordinance 1984" and "The misuse of drugs Ordinance No5 of 1992". The BIOT Drug dog will be deployed on future BIOT Patrols of the area. You are reminded that any breach of these ordinances may result in a fine or imprisonment.

D G Howard
British Representative
British Indian Ocean Territory
Fax: +44(0)20 7008 1589
Tel: +44(0)20 7008 2961 or 2890
Address: British Indian Ocean Territory Administration
King Charles street
London SW1A2AH


According to the CIA ~ British Indian Ocean Territory ~ Disputes:
”Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Archipelago including Diego Garcia.
In 2001 the former inhabitants of the Chagos Archipelago, evicted in 1965 and now residing chiefly in Mauritius, were granted UK citizenship and the right to repatriation; The UK resists the Chagossians' demand for an immediate return to the islands. Repatriation is complicated by the exclusive US military lease of Diego Garcia that restricts access to the largest island in the chain.”
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Old 14-12-2006, 04:50   #3
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Originally Posted by GordMay
Mariners are also reminded that BIOT Customs will be enforcing British India Ocean Territory "The Imports and Exports Control Ordinance 1984" and "The misuse of drugs Ordinance No5 of 1992". The BIOT Drug dog will be deployed on future BIOT Patrols of the area. You are reminded that any breach of these ordinances may result in a fine or imprisonment.
Is this implying the real reason may be down to drug use / trafficing in the area?
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Old 14-12-2006, 10:10   #4
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Two clues to the "real reason" may reside in the two words, "Diego Garcia" and the acronym "CIA".
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:35   #5
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Real Reason is perhaps M-O-N-E-Y

DoodleBug was in Chagos on the day that BIOT dropped the bomb on the new “fees” and regulations for staying there. FWIW, the scuttlebutt was not the dreaded words “Diego Garcia and CIA”; the dreaded words instead were “Diego Garcia, Club Med and Cooks Travel”. The aforementioned scuttlebutt is that Diego Garcia has potable water and a working airfield. The evil CM and CT (not the evil CIA) are funding a lawsuit by descendents of the copra plantation laborers, whose parents were returned to Madagascar in the 70s, following the simultaneous worldwide collapse of the price of coconut oil and the leasing of the British airbase at Diego Garcia to the US Air force. The US supposedly needed the base for their cold war / Vietnam war operations. Scuttlebutt maintains that if the Indigenous Peoples / Club Med / Cooks Travel coalition win the lawsuit and reoccupy Diego Garcia, they could be flying Airbus loads of tourists and have resorts up and running within months. If you think this is an exaggeration, the Maldives authorities on Ghan are using the NCO’s club on the former RAF base as a resort.

When were in the UK a few weeks ago, there were several news stories about the displaced, so called indigenous peoples and their lawsuit. The British authorities (they are the landlord to the USA) have forbidden the return of these people and one of the legal challenges being used, is that yachties have been allowed to visit the Chagos Islands but not the former residents. It seemed simplest for the British authorities to remove the yachties, by raising the mooring fees to punitive levels, in order to essentially deny access to the anchorages and thereby defuse this particular legal attack. The same news reports claimed that the USA had used Diego Garcia to fire rockets on Baghdad. I think reporters should occasionally take a look at a map.
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:56   #6
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"Repatriation is complicated by the exclusive US military lease of Diego Garcia that restricts access to the largest island in the chain.”

Every mention of DG that I've seen warns boaters in the strictest possible terms not to even think about coming near.

British Indian Ocean Territory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia says "There is no Governor appointed to represent the Queen on the territory, as there are no native inhabitants. " and that apparently the BIOT are all uninhabited islands that were split when Mauritius was granted independence. Making it seem that the UK has perhaps done this action in order to further discourage anyone from coming anyplace near DG for any reason--including visiting uninhabited islands.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:36   #7
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Angry

Obviously the military are being paranoid again and don't want anyone seeing aircraft taking off and landing. They forget that anyone can buy magazines devoted to military aircraft which give all the performance figures, what weapons they are capable of carrying etc. Are they afraid that a couple on a yacht might be spying and letting the targets know that aircraft are on their way. Dr Strangelove is alive and well I see!

I notice that a lot of contributors to this site, like myself, are ex service members. Have restrictions always been so bad or was it that we just didn't notice them as we were part of the team enforcing these rules?

Do I gather that this is a fight between the military and cynical big business disguising itself as a caring organisation? I have great sympathy for the population that was moved out and are not allowed to go back to the land of their birth but wonder at the morals of Club Med and Thompson's in supporting their cause with the intention of lining their own pockets eventually.

On a practical yachtie note surely if a boat has travelled literally thousands of miles to explore this beautiful archipelago then they should be allowed to stay for a few days without punitive payment of fees.

I really hate governments and officialdom. In this case I'm sure that even the "its their country and if you don't like it don't go" faction will see this as ruining another of our destinations and having to scratch it off the list of places to see.
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Old 12-02-2007, 14:57   #8
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Well - what happens if you are "in the area" on transit and weather forces you to seek shelter?

I am very rarely seen with $3k in my back pocket - where are they going to imprison me? Tony
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Old 12-02-2007, 15:37   #9
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"Well - what happens if you are "in the area" on transit and weather forces you to seek shelter? "
Same thing that happens if you seek shelter or distress aid at Diego Garcia. Someone will place you under close watch, possibly arrest, and investigate you to the nth degree. Then, you may be given aid and sent on your way, or you may be sent to Fort Leavenworth pending an espionage trial. US authorities have made it clear for decades, anyone who stops at DG for any reason without an express invitation, is going to be a military prisoner until and unless someone decides otherwise. And, some yachties who have put in there (in distress) have also reported being treated both well and fairly, I don't recall hearing any horror stories just some very serious warnings.

Apparently the Brits have chosen a slightly different tactic, I expect they would treat you as required or allowed under Admiralty Law. (Do we have any sea lawyers amongst us?<G>)
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Old 12-02-2007, 18:31   #10
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My understanding is that legally the Brits (me??!!) have no real case (Even with smart lawyers, Ethnic Cleansing of a whole population from their own country is a bit hard to dress up in legal mumbo jumbo as Ok), and the UK would probably be happy for the Islanders to return...........if only they hadn't given it to the US. Doh

I would imagine that the islanders and descendents will gradually be bought off or die (one way or another). That base sure ain't going anywhere.

I wonder why some countries want their own Nukes?
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Old 12-02-2007, 19:06   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvimatelot
Well - what happens if you are "in the area" on transit and weather forces you to seek shelter?

I am very rarely seen with $3k in my back pocket - where are they going to imprison me? Tony
Guantanamo Cuba, but who knows, I would not be surprised if one of the CIA's secret prisons is located on Diego Garcia...
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Old 13-02-2007, 01:52   #12
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We go cruising to be "free" from all the rules and regulations that we are increasingly bombarded with ashore. It seems that now even our freedom is rapidly and massively being eroded by officialdomf.

Can anyone here recommend a space vehicle to accommodate four? How much would I need to go star cruising? What are the customs and immigration officials like on Mars?
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Old 13-02-2007, 05:43   #13
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Hey,
Hope all is well in each of your worlds. I notice in a lot of things these days the talk so quickly turns to “Big Bad Big Brother”. The suppression of some ones freedom. It is like I’m listening to someone go on about how they hate the pigs (police). All they want to do is harass you, spoil your good time. Yes government regulation can be a huge pain, not saying I like it all that much either - But ----! Let’s not loose sight of the bigger picture. When some one has broken into your house, stolen your property, assaulted you or your family. Who calls the ACLU? Yes all isn’t well in the world so vote and change it. But keep in mind it isn’t to easy to talk your way out of being mugged by someone who has made it their way of life. Freedom is not free. At least not in the real world. Yes things should change for the better but let’s keep a foot in the real world and realize you need police near the area where crime is taking place and some time it makes things a bit inconvenient.
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Old 13-02-2007, 06:02   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pa La O La
Hey,
Hope all is well in each of your worlds. I notice in a lot of things these days the talk so quickly turns to “Big Bad Big Brother”. The suppression of some ones freedom. It is like I’m listening to someone go on about how they hate the pigs (police). All they want to do is harass you, spoil your good time. Yes government regulation can be a huge pain, not saying I like it all that much either - But ----! Let’s not loose sight of the bigger picture. When some one has broken into your house, stolen your property, assaulted you or your family. Who calls the ACLU? Yes all isn’t well in the world so vote and change it. But keep in mind it isn’t to easy to talk your way out of being mugged by someone who has made it their way of life. Freedom is not free. At least not in the real world. Yes things should change for the better but let’s keep a foot in the real world and realize you need police near the area where crime is taking place and some time it makes things a bit inconvenient.
Whilst absolutely agreeing with you, I do think that the Crime in the Chagos Archipelago was committed by the "Authorities" - 50-odd years ago. To hang this punitive fee on yachties aint gonna stop drug running or smuggling, I'm afraid. Increased surveillance of the area is, probably, a good thing and of course has to be paid for. It wont be paid for by yachties though: sadly, they just wont go there. Tony
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Old 13-02-2007, 06:06   #15
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I do appreciate that we need our police and other agencies but this is in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Its not exactly on the drugs road from Afghanistan is it? Surely it should be possible to designate an anchorage, a safe one, where yachties can go to to rest and carry out maintenance which is away from the military activities which they obviously want to keep from the public eye. Once again its a case of not thinking this through but cracking a very small nut with a very large hammer
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