Empire’s atrocities globally hardly describes freedom

NANAIMO – Re: Meaning of ‘Empire’ can be redefined, Letters, June 11.

To the Editor,

Re: Meaning of ‘Empire’ can be redefined, Letters, June 11.

I cannot let Matt James’s letter pass without a reply.

He states, “… the Empire did maintain the Commonwealth as a place of freedom.”


Freedom for the Boers, interned in concentration camps during the Boer War?

Freedom for the 379 killed and approximately 1,200 wounded at Jallianwalla Bagh in Amritsar in 1919?

Freedom for the hundreds of thousands of Kikuyu herded into concentration camps – almost all of whom were badly beaten, some to death, and subjected to unspeakable tortures – in Kenya in the 1950s?

Or more recently Baha Mousa, an Iraqi hotel clerk beaten to death by British troops in Basra in 2003.

And the Chagossians, evicted from their homes on Diego Garcia with no compensation so the British could lease the island to the U.S. to build an air field.

Only recently those Kikuyu still alive were awarded small compensation for the abuses they suffered.

Freedom and Empire?


R.W. Bates