MLA Summers tells Tanzania Falklands don’t want to be colonized by Argentina
A Falkland Islands lawmaker was scheduled to meet on Tuesday with Tanzania top officials to explain the Islands support for post-colonial status and the coming referendum next year to determine its political future, faced with the insistent sovereignty claims from Argentina.
Member of the Falklands elected Legislative Assembly Mike Summers had an appointment with Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Bernard Membe, in Dar es Salaam to discuss the issue.
MLA Summers is expected to convey to Mr Membe a message from about 3,000 residents of the Islands, including the eight MLAs from the two constituencies in which the UK Overseas Territory is divided.
“Falkland Islanders are comfortable with the post-colonial relationship with the UK and did not wish to be re-colonized by Argentina”, explained MLA Summers who did a round of the local newspapers in Dar es Salaam: 'Daily News', 'Sunday News', 'HabariLeo', 'HabariLEO Jumapili' and 'SpotiLEO', belonging to the Tanzania Standard (Newspapers) Ltd.
MLA Summers was accompanied to the newspapers' offices by the Deputy British High Commissioner to Tanzania, Mr Julian Chandler.
The Falklands’ lawmaker said he was seeking Tanzania's support as a member of the UN Committee on Decolonization (C 24), and that it would be wise for it and other countries that are part of the process to look at the wishes of the people of the area rather than interests of the colonial powers.
He added that the post-colonial position under Britain is also confirmed in the Islands' constitution of 2009. He said a number of countries supported the wishes of the Islanders but there were a number, particularly the Latin America nations, that backed Argentina.
To further show the Falklands right to self determination, a referendum will be held next March which is expected to send a clear strong message to the world that the Islanders are very happy with their current post colonial political situation.
Argentina and Britain went into war in 1982 over the Falklands following the invasion of the Islands by Argentine forces, which were finally expelled by a UK Task Force on 14 June or Liberation Day, the most important event of the local calendar.
Argentina has included in its 1994 constitution a clause claiming the Falklands/Malvinas as Argentine territory.
The Falklands, comprising two large islands and 778 smaller islands, are self- governing except in the areas of defense and foreign affairs. Its economy is particularly strong, based on fishing, tourism, agriculture and a budding but promising oil industry. Its per capita income is equal to that of the US.
Since 1833, British administration has been uninterrupted, except for the Argentina invasion of 1982. (Tanzania - Daily News)