Resource 4: The exile of Ugandan Asians – a news report in 1972
Background information / subject knowledge for teacher
1972: Asians given 90 days to leave Uganda
The Ugandan leader, Idi Amin, has set a deadline for the expulsion of most of the country's Asians. General Amin said all Asians who are not Ugandan citizens – around 60,000 – must leave Uganda within 90 days. The military ruler's latest statement amended his original expulsion order two days ago when he said all the country's 80,000 Asians had to go. Asians, who are the backbone of the Ugandan economy, have been living in the country for more than a century. But resentment against them has been building up within Uganda's black majority.
Expulsion surprises Britain
General Amin has called the Asians ‘bloodsuckers’ and accused them of milking the economy of its wealth. Up to 50,000 Asians in the former UK colony are British passport holders. In a broadcast, General Amin said he would be summoning the British High Commissioner in Kampala to ask him to arrange for their removal. The expulsion order has taken Britain by surprise. General Amin overthrew Uganda's elected leader in a military-backed coup last year but the British authorities had regarded him as a man they could work with.
Some British MPs have warned that letting more Ugandan Asians into the UK could raise racial tensions. They are urging the government not to take them in. MP Ronald Bell said Uganda's Asians had no real links to Britain. Mr Bell said: ‘They were either born in India or have retained close connection with India. They have no connection with Britain either by blood or residence.’
Adapted from original source:(Accessed 2008)