Britain nowadays is not a colonialist country and Argentina should leave the Falkland and its people in peace and respect their right to self determination, said Falklands elected member of the Legislative Assembly Dick Sawle quoted in the Argentine media.
“It’s a mistake to talk about events of 170 years ago, Britain nowadays is not a colonialist power” said Sawle when asked about British PM David Cameron statement before Parliament saying Argentina was ‘colonialist’, which generated an immediate strong reaction from Buenos Aires and the region.
PM Cameron told Parliament that “what the Argentines have been saying recently, I would argue, is far more like colonialism because these people want to remain British and the Argentines want them to do something else”.
MLA Sawle insisted that the key to the conflict is acknowledging the Falkland Islands’ people right to self determination, as enshrined in the United Nations charter, but which Argentina rejects point blank insisting on the territorial integrity of the country.
“If we have the right to self determination, Argentina must respect the wishes of the Falklands people and leave us in peace”, argued Sawle. “It is very clear that the Islanders to not want to be part of Argentina or be ruled by Argentina”.
MLA Sawle said it was the Falklands government and people’s desire “to have good relations as good neighbours” and rejected any political motivation in the denial of access to the Islands of a cruise vessel (Princess Star) with an outbreak of norovirus on board.
The Buenos Aires press said the decision was taken because there were Argentine tourists on board and in retaliation for the recent barring of all Falklands’ flagged vessels from regional ports.
“We don’t have an idea of the nationality of the tourists on board the cruise vessels. It was certainly not a political decision” said MLA Sawle who insisted on the virus outbreak and pointed out to the government’s official release which said the decision was taken “following consultation with both the ship’s doctor and a consultant microbiologist in the UK”.
Finally MLA Sawle said that “every year we receive many Argentine tourists and war veterans and they are most welcome”.