Via the Guardian:
Today the Foreign Office has made public the first batch of thousands of “lost” colonial-era files believed to have been destroyed. The documents were secretly sent back to the UK when former colonies became independent. They shed new light on how British officials ran countries such as Kenya, Cyprus and present-day Malaysia.
Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of post-independence governments. Here’s what [journalists] have published from the files today:
• Monthly intelligence reports on the “elimination” of the colonial authority’s enemies in 1950s Malaya (now part of Malaysia).
• The name of Barack Obama, the father of the American president, is on the top of a list of names revealed in a hitherto secret British colonial file of Kenyans studying in the US.
• Papers detailing the lengths to which the UK went to forcibly remove islanders from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
• Britain planned to test a very virulent type of poison gas in what is now Botswana, the colonial archives reveal.
• Records showing ministers in London were aware of the torture and murder of Mau Mau insurgents in Kenya, including a case of a man said to have been “roasted alive”.