No opportunity has been lost during the 20th anniversary year of the Falklands War to remind the British public of the sacrifices made in 1982 and the pledge given to uphold the right of the Islander's to self-determination.
This was stated by the former Governor, Sir Rex Hunt, in his address as chairman to the annual general meeting of the Falkland Islands Association in London. He told a packed meeting that it had been a quiet year on the political front but very busy on public relations. Media interest in the anniversary was immense. The publicity has been good for the Falkland Islands. All the British Government's statements reaffirmed the pledges made since 1982.
"Close watch" on Anglo-Argentine talks But, Sir Rex sounded a note of caution when he cited Argentine press reports suggesting that during a meeting between Foreign Ministers Jack Straw and Carlos Ruckauf in November, Britain and Argentine had agreed to a yearly discussion at ministerial level on bilateral and multilateral subjects.
"If true", Sir Rex declared, "we shall need to watch this closely."
The Association's leadership expect to have a meeting soon with the new Foreign Minister with responsibility for the Falklands, Mr Bill Rammell, to express their views. They have already had a useful meeting with the new Governor, Mr Howard Pearce, before he left for the Falklands.
Sir Rex thanked London Representative, Miss Sukey Cameron and her staff at the Falkland Islands Government Office, for their help and co-operation during a hectic year. He recalled that in June, Miss Cameron had said freedom was hard won and easily lost, and " there are still those who would take it from us".
Sir Rex concluded: "Let us hope that the present Government learns its lesson from Gibraltar".
Harold Briley, (MP) London