British Indian Ocean Territory

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 6th May 2009.

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Photo of Keith Simpson Keith Simpson Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many visits to the outer Chagos Islands by members of the Chagossian community sponsored by his Department are planned in the next 12 months; and what estimate he has made of the cost per person to the public purse of each trip.

Photo of Gillian Merron Gillian Merron Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The British Indian Ocean Territory Administration (BIOTA) hopes to arrange two visits by Chagossians to the territory in the next 12 months. It is hoped that one of these visits will be to repair Chagossian graves in BIOT. Funding has not yet been secured but based on the cost of two similar visits in 2008, which together included 14 people, BIOTA estimate that this will amount to around £60,000.

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