The death of Elizabeth II sparked debate in many countries about the British colonial past. During the seventy years of the Queen’s reign on the throne, about 20 British colonies gained independence. But critics say the British monarch never actively cooperated in the freedom of those oppressed countries.
“We do not mourn the death of Elizabeth.” So replied South African opposition party EFF on the death of the British Queen. “Never during her reign did she admit that the United Kingdom had committed colonial atrocities.”
“The Queen was instrumental in covering up the bloody history of British decolonization.” This is what historian and Harvard professor Maya Jasanoff says New York times. “How big this date is, we haven’t figured out yet.”
For example, during Elizabeth’s years on the throne, the British brutally crushed the uprising of the Kenyan anti-colonial Mau Mau movement. About 11,000 rebels were killed in the former British colony between 1952 and 1960. Some were brutally tortured. In 2013, about five thousand Kenyan claimants received compensation of more than 20 million euros.
33 Cypriot victims also received reparations from the British in 2019. Between 1955 and 1959 they were tortured on the Mediterranean island, which became independent in 1960.
Members of the Kikuyu people of Kenya in 1963. The Kikuyu participated in the Mau Mau uprising.
Britain destroyed documents on colonial crimes
We may never know all the crimes the British committed in the 37 colonies in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Former colonists destroyed thousands of documents that spoke of slavery, racism, summary executions and torture. It was revealed that this was done to cover up violations and protect the reputation of the government and the queen Watchman In 2012.
Nor is what Elizabeth discusses weekly with the British Prime Minister about foreign policy. What is certain is that the British monarch did not speak clearly publicly against colonialism. It goes no further than “we can’t turn the past back”.
Elizabeth II greets Canada’s original President David Ahinakyo on a visit to the country in 1973.
For many, Elizabeth II was a symbol of colonial oppression
Elizabeth II symbolically stood at the head of the Commonwealth until her death. This is a voluntary partnership of mainly 54 former British colonies, including Canada, Australia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and New Zealand.
In fact, the British established the Commonwealth to retain as much influence as possible over the former colonies. They will still need guidance from the “more sophisticated” UK.
The British Queen had no real political power. But she embodied her country’s colonial policies in all her travels, I suggested Journalist and former foreign correspondent Howard W. French. “She never criticized it.”
Mixed feelings among the people of the Commonwealth
Many Commonwealth residents have mixed feelings in response to the death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. “Bad things have happened here because of the Queen,” said a resident of the former Jamaican colony. youth news.
“They never said sorry,” said one of the citizens, speaking of the former British colonizer. “And I don’t think it will get any better with Elizabeth’s son and successor, Charles.”