The Last Colony: A Tale of Exile, Justice and Britain’s Colonial Legacy
by Philippe Sands
The Last Colony by Philippe Sands is about the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, which Britain grabbed hold of in exchange for allowing the rest of Mauritius to become independent in the 1960s. The entire population of the islands was deported to make way for a US military base at Diego Garcia. Sands is a human rights lawyer and represented Mauritius at the World Court in the Hague, in a fight to allow the people of Chagos to go home. It’s a book about the importance of international law, an explanation of how it evolves and how it can be used to find justice. It’s also the story of one woman, Liseby Elyse, deported from Peros Banhos in 1973. She was 20 years old and pregnant at the time, but lost the baby. She gave powerful testimony to the ICJ in 2018.