Friday, February 22, 2008

Diego Garcia

The row about rendition flights landing on Diego Garcia, which houses a US military base anyway, reminds me of a horrible incident in its history. The Americans were looking for a communications base in the Indian Ocean in the 1960s and at first refused the British offer of Diego Garcia because of the large number of wild dogs on the island. The man in charge at that time was Sir Bruce Greatbatch, Governor of the Seychelles and Commissioner of the British Indian Ocean Territories and he was told to deal with this problem. His solution was in Indian style: to make the dogs commit suttee. He organised a funeral pyre of coconut husks to be built inside a shed, forced the dogs inside and set fire to it, burning alive around 1000 dogs. This was in 1971.

8 Comments:

Blogger Eurodog said...

WW, this is truly horrible.
How could anyone think of such a cruel act.

9:57 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Sorry to upset you, ED. I have no idea why he thought of it or how he managed to round them up.

11:13 am  
Blogger kinglear said...

Reminds me of the story as to how roast pork was discovered....

12:50 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

KL - please don't depress me!

1:44 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

What a terrible story, it's unbelievable.

10:09 pm  
Blogger Mountaingirl said...

I don't know what is worse the renditions themselves or the destruction of the dogs. Mankind can be pretty sick when it wants to be ...

12:46 am  
Blogger mutterings and meanderings said...

My God, that's horrific. Wonder what happened to Greatbatch when he died? I am a great believer in karma.

6:26 pm  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Oh, how horrible!

9:12 pm  

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