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Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly member seeks support – 20th Mar 2013

falklandsAn International lobbying effort is taking place to have people understand the situation in the Falkland Islands. The British Government that is responsible for the defence of the Islands is facilitating the effort. A member of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands, Mike Summers, had meetings today in Georgetown with Adviser on Governance in the Office of the President, Ms. Gail Teixeira, Opposition Leader Mr. David Granger and members of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee.

Summers says, that as far as Falkland Islanders are concerned, the issue is one of self-determination. In a recent referendum to decide on that issue, the residents of the islands voted to remain as a British Overseas Territory. For several decades, the neighboring Mainland country of Argentina has laid claim to the Falklands, which Argentina calls the Malvinas Islands. In fact, the two countries Britain and Argentina went to war in the 1980s over the Islands, based on what the Brits saw as a provocative invasive act by the Argentines.

Summers pointed out that in the Caribbean, where the people believe strongly in the right of self -determination, it is a bit of an enigma dealing with the region, because when it comes down to this issue with the Falklands, the Caribbean looks at what is in it for them. It is not a case of supporting the UK versus Argentina, Summers added, it is supporting the right of the people of the Falklands to determine their future.

Argentina on the other hand, has always seen the issue as one of the acquisition of its Islands by the British Government, a position strongly disputed by the British.

Guyana and at least two other countries in the Caribbean Community have similar long standing territorial disputes. CARICOM member states have adopted a strong position on the Palestinian question of self-determination too.

The Falkland Islands depend mostly on the Fishing industry for economic support but there is the possibility of oil exploration that will lead to a greater source of revenue. The Falklands are the size of Jamaica, but with a very small population of about 3000.

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