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British Indian Ocean Territory

Overview

The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) is located in the Indian Ocean south of Sri Lanka. In 1965 the islands were established as a territory of the United Kingdom. Some of the islands were transferred to the Seychelles when the BIOT obtained independence in 1976. The indigenous inhabitants were relocated during construction of a joint US and UK military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the islands in the archipelago. A trust fund was established to help compensate the relocated population. In 1998 a long legal battle began, brought on by the islanders, for more compensation which lasted until 2008. The final ruling was against the islanders, they were not allowed to return to the islands or offered more compensation. As of 2004 approximately 4,000 UK and US military personnel and civilian contractors inhabit the island with no indigenous population. The literacy rate is not known.

The educational system is based upon that of The United Kingdom.


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