1512 Possibly discovered by Pedro de Mascarenhas and claimed
for Portugal, not occupied (Diego Garcia named Ilha de Dom
1559 Name Diego Garcia first used on a map created by Edward
23 Sep 1721 Claimed for France as part of Mauritius.
Jan 1745 First recorded landing on Diego Garcia by the British ship
1768 French Capt. Dufresne lands on Diego Garcia.
1785 First French settlements begin on Diego Garcia.
27 Apr 1786 Chagos Islands and Diego Garcia claimed for Britain
1786 Formally annexed by France.
17 May 1810 Part of British colony of Seychelles.
30 May 1814 British possession confirmed by the Treaty of Paris, part of
Seychelles (Oil Islands).
31 Aug 1903 Chagos Archipelago separated from Seychelles and attached to
Feb 1942 - Sep 1945 British garrison Diego Garcia.
08 Nov 1965 British Indian Ocean Territory established from parts of the
Seychelles and Mauritius (Chagos Archipelago, [including
Diego Garcia], Aldabra Islands, Farquhar and the Des Roches
17 Jul 1966 British evacuation of native islanders begins (completed in
30 Dec 1966 British-U.S. base leasing agreement for Diego Garcia (U.S.
Naval Communications Station Diego Garcia commissioned
20 Mar 1973).
03 Apr 1967 Britain buys all the plantations on the islands.
29 Jun 1976 Aldabra, Farquhar and Des Roches Islands returned to
01 Oct 1977 U.S. Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia opened.
02 Nov 2000 British High Court overturns 1971 immigration ban.
11 Jun 2004 BIOT law overturns 2000 court ruling.
11 May 2006 The Court overturns the 2004 law.
22 Oct 2008
The British House of Lords votes to support the government
decision denying the islanders return.
The British Indian Ocean
Territory (BIOT) or Chagos Islands is an overseas territory of the United
Kingdom situated in the Indian Ocean, halfway between Africa and Indonesia.
The territory comprises the six atolls of the Chagos Archipelago with over
1,000 individual islands (many tiny) having a total land area of 60 square
kilometres (23 sq mi). The largest island is Diego Garcia (area 44 km2), the
site of a joint military facility of the United Kingdom and the United
States. The territory is an archipelago of 55 islands, the largest being
Diego Garcia, accounting for almost three-quarters of the total land area of
the territory. Capital:
The Arms consist of a shield bearing the Union Flag
in the top quarter, a palm tree and St. Edward’s Crown in the middle half,
with three white wavy lines representing the ocean in the bottom quarter.
The two supporters are Turtles (Green and Hawksbill) representing the local
native wildlife. The Coat and Arms also consists of a Crown and Castle
bearing the Territory’s flag. The motto in Latin is "In
Tutela Nostra Limuria", in English this
translates "Limuria is in our Trust" and refers to the non-existent
continent of Limuria, once thought to occupy the Indian Ocean.
As a territory of the United Kingdom, the head of
state is Queen Elizabeth II. There is no Governor appointed to represent the
Queen on the territory, as there are no longer any native inhabitants. The
head of government is the Commissioner. The laws of the territory are based
on the constitution, set out in the British Indian Ocean Territory
(Constitution) Order 2004, which gives the Commissioner full powers to make
laws for the Territory. Applicable treaties between the United Kingdom and the
United States govern the use of the military base. The United States is
required to ask permission of the United Kingdom to use the base for
offensive military action.
Postage stamps have been issued for British Indian Ocean Territory since 17
January 1968. Since the territory was originally part of the Seychelles,
these stamps were denominated in rupees until 1992. However, after 1992 they
became denominated in
Pound sterling which is the official currency
territory. The first commemorative coin of two Pounds were issued on 2009.
38.60 mm. Edge:
Elizabeth II bust facing right. "ELIZABETH II. 2009 . BRITISH
INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY" written around her.
Coat and Arms of British Indian Ocean Territory in the center. "FIRST
COMMEMORATIVE COIN OF THE BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY" written around.
Value "£2" at the bottom.
One year type.
(23 Jun 2008 - 17 Oct 2012)
under British monarch: Elizabeth
II [Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor].
Note: This is the last British
territory to produce its own coin. Ms Joanne Mary Yeadon,
Administrator of British Indian Ocean Territory (03 Dec 2007 - Apr
2011) was invited by the Pobjoy Mint during the strike of these