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Friday, 2 February, 2001, 20:31 GMT
Isle be Tam'd!
Chagos Islands
The Chagos Islands are remote and inaccessible
Scottish MP Tam Dalyell is to give his name to an island in the Indian Ocean.

The inhabitants of the Chagos Islands want to say thank you to the Labour MP for Linlithgow for helping them win back their homeland.

The islanders have got their land back more than three decades after they were evicted by the British to make way for an American air base.

Tam's Isle or Isla Dalyell may not have the same ring to it as the Seychelles, but the name Tam Dalyell will be put on the map.

Linlithgow MP Tam Dalyell
Tam Dalyell: No holiday plans
Mr Dalyell's name is to be applied to a tiny island in the Indian Ocean, 500km south of the Maldives.

The MP, who highlighted the story of the Chagossians in the House of Commons, says the returning islanders will need a lot of international help to rebuild the local infrastructure and reclaim their rightful home.

He said: "Well, it's very kind of them.

"I've been teased already about arranging holidays there.

"However, the truth of the matter is this. It is very inaccessible, there's no airstrip and it is difficult enough as it is getting the natives back there."

Although some of the wildlife of the Chagos islands - giant tortoises and pink-footed boobies - are a far cry from his constituency in Linlithgow, Mr Dalyell said it was unlikely he would be able to go there.

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See also:

03 Nov 00 | UK Politics
The Chagos Islands: A sordid tale
14 Jan 01 | Scotland
Scottish MPs' voting row re-ignites
03 Aug 99 | UK Politics
Dalyell rules out retirement
 | People in Parliament
Tam Dalyell
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