Why The Original Inhabitants Of This Indian Ocean Island Haven’t Been Allowed Back Home Since 1973

On a paradise island in the Indian Ocean, the traditional way of life is crumbling fast. It’s 1968, and British and American colonialists have begun expelling the inhabitants from their beloved home. Within five years, not a single native will remain on this remote atoll. And more than four decades later, the islanders will still be fighting to return to their land.

Just a few years earlier, the land comprising Diego Garcia was sold from beneath the islanders’ feet and traded off to the United Kingdom – even as the rest of the region was gaining its independence. Now, the steady erasure of the native culture has begun. Those who take trips away are the first to go, as they are barred from returning home. And then the rest of the citizens are secretly turfed from the atoll en masse.

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