Lawmakers in Argentina’s Buenos Aires province have brought in a ban on ships using its ports if they have been involved in business activities off the disputed Falkland Islands. Reuters news agency says it is part of Argentina’s drive to discourage oil exploration in the area. It says the law “is aimed at keeping ships from obtaining supplies or raw materials in Argentina that could be used in energy exploration or the fishing industry off the Falklands.” Read more here.
A planned referendum on the future sovereignty of the Falkland Islands could be an embarrassing disaster if it is not properly managed, the chief executive of the islands’ government has warned.
The referendum has been called to spell out islanders’ feelings about whether to remain a British overseas territory, in response to political pressure from Argentina.
Keith Padgett told a public meeting the precise wording of the question used in the referendum must be “unbiased” if it is to give the world a message that “we are responsible and we know what form of governance we want.”
St Helenians with resident status in the islands are expected to be eligible to take part in the vote.
A full report appears in Penguin News, the islands’ newspaper
Falkland Islanders and military personnel paraded in heavy snow to mark the 30th anniversary of the end of Argentina’s occupation of the islands. Read Juanita Brock’s report of the 14 June commemorations here.
People on the Falklands are to vote on whether the islands should remain a British overseas territory,.
The island government has called for a referendum among the 3,000 islanders as a way of sending a clear message about whether they want to become part of Argentina, which lies 150 miles away at its nearest point.
The ploy has been announced on the eve of Liberation Day celebrations to mark the end of the brief but brutal war with Argentina 30 years ago, in 1982.The government in Buenos Aires has been stirring up international pressure on Britain over sovereignty of the islands.
The vote will not take place until early next year.
Argentina has begun legal action against five UK oil companies for offshore exploration around the Falkland Islands, claiming they are operating in Argentinian territory. In return, Britain has accused Buenos Aires of illegal harassment and intimidation. Read more here.
Argentina’s attempts to make life difficult for Falkland Islanders are “illegal”, says the UK government.
The latest move has been a threat of legal action against companies exploring for oil in the islands. Its foreign minister, Hector Timerman, promised “administrative, civil and criminal” penalties, claiming Falklands oil belongs to Argentina.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “These latest attempts to damage the economic livelihoods of the Falkland Islands people regrettably reflect a pattern of behaviour by the Argentine government.
“From harassing Falklands shipping to threatening the islanders’ air links with Chile, Argentina’s efforts to intimidate the Falklands are illegal, unbecoming and wholly counter-productive.
“We are studying Argentina’s remarks carefully and will work closely with any company potentially affected to ensure that the practical implications for them are as few as possible.”
“The British government supports the right of the Falkland Islanders to develop their own natural resources for their own economic benefit. The Falkland Islands Government is, as always, entitled to develop both fisheries and hydrocarbons industries within its own waters, without interference from Argentina.”
Prime Minister David Cameron says he has discussed rising tensions over sovereignty with President Barack Obama, and that the US clearly supports keeping things as they are.
An atmospheric set of pictures of the Falkland Islands, taken by Reuters photographer Marcos Brindicci, appears on a photoblog, here. Besides the usual reflections on the 1982 war, there’s a shot of island Willy Bowles, helping school children across the road in Stanley.
The headline writers are evidently reaching for very old lists of the pop charts in their quest to make the current Falklands tensions ‘more punter’. It was, perhaps, inevitable that we’d be given ‘Don’t lie to us, Argentina’; but now the embroiling of Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters in the debate has inspired ‘We don’t need no Falkland Islands’.
It’s a corruption of a line from Another Brick In The Wall – lyrics by Waters, Roger.
The latest news is that Morrissey, former front man of The Smiths, has also gone public in support of Argentina’s claim to the islands. What headlines will that prompt?
Titles to play with include The World Won’t Listen and, erm, Bigmouth Strikes Again.
As a teacher at a school just a few miles from the Dachau memorial site, it pains me no end to see such useful idiots fighting over each other to do the most service to the fascist cause. Morrissey would have found his words perfectly at home here in Munich 73 years ago.
To hell with the principle of self-determination, of hearing the voice of the actual Falklanders themselves, of even recognising the historical record. I am deeply ashamed that such people are allowed to be given the use of British media to spout their fascist ideology despite lacking any qualifications, understanding or experience in the matter whilst proclaiming that they speak for me.
Firms in Argentina have been urged to stop importing British goods, in order to put pressure on the UK to negotiate over the future sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. Industry Minister Debora Giorgi says they should seek alternative suppliers, according to the state news agency.