Poacher Elqui sunk; Constitutional report released for public discussion; Council insight; Council insight; Beadle quiz night postponed;
Poacher Elqui sunk
THE trawler Elqui has been scuttled near Lively Island. After her arrest in March for illegal fishing for toothfish in South Georgia, she was forfeited to the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) and the decision was made to sink the ship to prevent her being used for poaching in future.
She was scuttled at Shag Rocks, south of Lively Island, as specified in an agreement with Executive Council, at first light yesterday morning.
Gordon Liddle, SGSSI Operations Manager, and Mike McKay went on board first to open up sea water valves and port holes and to loosen hatch covers on Elqui, then an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, led by Flt Lt Josh Fortune, prepared charges on the ship.
Once everyone was off the ship, the charges were detonated by Richard McKee, SGSSI's Assistant Operations Manager. Elqui sank within three minutes. More next week.
Photo: The charges on Elqui go off; she sank in three minutes. Picture: G Liddle
Constitutional report released for public discussion
COUNCILLOR Mike Summers has urged the public to read the latest report on the Constitutional Review process. He said, "The Constitution is the document that underlines all Falklands legislation and the structure of the Falkland Islands Government, therefore it affects every individual, in one way or another." The report comes from the Select Committee set up by Legislative Council in 2000 following the suggestion in the 1999 UK White Paper on the Overseas Territories (OTs) that all OTs should examine their Constitutions and constitutional relationship with the UK, to ensure they suited all the current day circumstances.
The latest set of proposals from the Select Committee has been published in the report to allow public comment and discussion well before the next General Election in November 2005.
Councillor Summers, who is the Chairman of the Select Committee suggested, "Candidates for election and voters can then discuss the proposals during the election period and put their views on these or any other proposals that might be forthcoming".
None of the proposals in the report have been put to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for discussion or approval.
Councillor Summers explained, "The Committee feels it would be more appropriate for the next council to review and amend the proposals as required before they are put to Her Majesty's Government (HMG)."
A proposal to enshrine the right to self-determination in the body of the Constitution is made by the Select Committee. Self-determination currently appears only in the preamble to the Constitution.
In the report Councillor Summers says, "The Select Committee has received varying legal advice on whether the right to self-determination has greater effect in the body as opposed to the preamble; but all appear to agree that if there is a greater effect it will be in the body. Select Committee therefore takes the view that that is where it should be."
Councillor Summers said there was initial resistance to this from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) however he added, "...it is difficult to see how there could be a sustainable objection, given the prominence HMG gives to the right of self-determination..."
Also discussed in the report is the way the government is constructed and also the need to solidify the extent of self-government, which Councillor Summers says, "...underpins the right to self-determination."
He said the issue of the balance of authority needs to be discussed and writes in the report, "It remains the concern of this Select Committee (and its successors) to ensure that the balance between the UK's legitimate interests and the maximization of internal self-government is properly maintained."
The Report of the Select Committee on the Constitution is now available, by email or hardcopy from Gilbert House. To request a copy, please contact Cherie Clifford on telephone 27451 or email email@example.com.
A DISCUSSION on what the role of Councillor entails is to take place next week.
Councillors John Birmingham and Stephen Luxton and Chief Executive Chris Simpkins will hold a discussion on Thursday, October 13, in the Geography Room at the Community School from 7pm.
Councillor Luxton explained the intention of the group is to try and give a general overview of what being a Councillor entails, "...the time commitments, responsibilities, general processes that lead to decisions and the good and bad points of the job, for the benefit of anybody who may be thinking about standing in the election."
He said anyone is welcome to attend the talk, "...it doesn't have to be somebody seriously thinking about standing, though that is obviously the target audience." He added, "We expect to give a presentation lasting perhaps 30 minutes between the three of us and then an opportunity for questions and answers and further discussion on any particular points of interest."
Walk for the orang-utan
THE annual Walk for Wildlife takes place in Stanley on Sunday. This popular event, from which members of the Falklands Conservation Watch Group annually raise in excess of £1,500 for the World Wildlife Fund, will this year be in aid of the orang-utan.
Sarah Clement of Falklands Conservation said, "This is not just a Watch Group thing, it's for the whole community to take part - so come along." Walkers should meet at Victory Green at 10am. The walk ends at Gypsy Cove.
Beadle quiz night postponed
THE quiz night hosted by Jeremy Beadle planned for Thursday, October 13 has been postponed until further notice.