The latest round of civil unrest in Argentina, which has resulted in at least sixteen deaths, is being monitored carefully in the Falkland Islands, but according to Governor Donald Lamont, ?There is no nervousness at Government House'.
Falkland Islands members of the Legislative Council, when asked for their response, commented, ?We would like to see each of our neighbours in South America enjoy political stability and a sound economy. The Falkland Islands have no significant trade with Argentina so should not be affected by their current problems. The days when Argentine dictatorships used the Falkland Islands as a distraction in times of internal trouble are long past. The Argentine people are better informed now and unlikely to be deceived'.
While some members of the 2.500 population have compared Argentina's current economic crisis to that which preluded the invasion of the Falklands in 1982, others have been quick to play down any significance. Former Head of Falklands radio, Patrick Watts, said ?Today we have a highly trained battalion of British soldiers stationed on the Islands, supported by fighter aircraft, naval warships, ground to air missiles and other modern technological warfare. It is a comforting deterrent. In 1982 we had just 45 Royal Marines, and an aging naval icebreaker as our Military defence'.
A spokesperson for the British Forces, based at Mount Pleasant, said that like everyone else, the Military Head Quarters were, ?Following the events in Argentina with keen interest'. However the spokesperson would not ?confirm or deny' the reported arrival, on Wednesday, of a large quantity of ammunition on board a RAF Tri Star aircraft from Britain. It is believed that the arrival of the ammunition was purely a coincidence, and part of a regular replenishing of stocks, and not significantly related to the mounting unrest in Argentina.
Commodore Richard Ibbotson, Royal Navy, the newly appointed Commander British Forces Falkland Islands, was unavailable for comment.