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The Last Colony

By: Philippe Sands,Martin Rowson - illustrator
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh,Philippe Sands
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Summary

After the Second World War, new international rules heralded an age of human rights and self-determination. Supported by Britain, these unprecedented changes sought to end the scourge of colonialism. But how committed was Britain?

In the 1960s, its colonial instinct ignited once more: a secret decision was taken to offer the US a base at Diego Garcia, one of the islands of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, create a new colony (the 'British Indian Ocean Territory') and deport the entire local population. One of those inhabitants was Liseby Elysé, 20 years old, newly married, expecting her first child. One suitcase, no pets, the British ordered, expelling her from the only home she had ever known.

For four decades, the government of Mauritius fought for the return of Chagos, and the past decade Philippe Sands has been intimately involved in the cases. In 2018, Chagos and colonialism finally reached the World Court in The Hague. As Mauritius and the entire African continent challenged British and American lawlessness, 14 international judges faced a landmark decision: would they rule that Britain illegally detached Chagos from Mauritius? Would they open the door to Liseby Elysé and her fellow Chagossians returning home—or exile them forever?

Taking us on a disturbing journey across international law, The Last Colony illuminates the continuing horrors of colonial rule, the devastating impact of Britain's racist grip on its last colony in Africa and the struggle for justice in the face of a crime against humanity. It is a tale about the making of modern international law and one woman's fight for justice, a courtroom drama and a personal journey that ends with a historic ruling.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 Philippe Sands (P)2022 Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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An account of long injustice

Philippe Sands has written estimable books about human rights and breaches of them. This one concerns the little known expulsion of the Chagos Islanders from their home by the UK government with the connivance of the USA which wanted a desert island on which to establish a military base. He has been personally involved in the islanders’ attempts to gain the right in law to return. Politicians of both dominant parties in the UK have opposed that and even ignored court rulings. (Once their efforts to claim nobody has any power to challenge the status quo have failed!) Sands narrates much of the book, and he has the voice of the eminent lawyer which he is. Recently UK has said it will finally negotiate with Mauritius- perhaps don’t hold your breath!!!

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The further crimes of the British Empire

Just read this, seriously. it's such an important story and one we should all have known years ago. If you are here and wondering if this is for you and why you know nothing about the Chagos islanders then I implore you to give this book a listen, you won't forget them afterwards. The presentation here is fantastic by both the author and actress reading, they've even consulted on pronunciation unlike every other audible book! Not only of great historical importance but bang up to date the crimes and arrogance of the British Empire persists. I am buying this for everyone I know.