Cocos (Keeling) Islands is an external territory of Australia. There are two atolls and twenty-seven coral islands in the group. The islands are located in the Indian Ocean at 12°07′S 96°54′E, south of ► Indonesia and about one-half of the way from ► Australia to ► Sri Lanka.
In 1826 a British settlement is founded at Cocos Island, since 1831 the islands are controlled by the family of Clunies-Ross. The Cocos Islands are considered a Dutch possession, but in 1857 Britain formally annexes the islands. The islands become part of Ceylon in 1878, the Straits Settlements in 1886, Ceylon in 1942, Singapore in 1946 and Australia in 1955. All that time the islands are ruled by the Clunies-Ross familie. After heavy protest in the decolonization committee of the United Nations, John Cecil Clunies-Ross relinquishes his authority in 1978 and Cocos Islands are from that moment on ruled as part of Australia.
Map of the South Keeling Islands from the Scottish Geographical Magazine, 1889
Notes and references
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