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Preparations for Falklands’ war victory to be celebrated thirty years on

Wednesday, September 14th 2011 - 21:57 UTC
Full article 153 comments
Officials hope the events could even involve Baroness Thatcher, 85 and frail Officials hope the events could even involve Baroness Thatcher, 85 and frail

Plans are being drawn up for celebrations to mark next year's 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict, reports Wednesday the Evening Standard. The UK Ministry of Defence, Foreign Office and Falkland Islands government are working on how best to commemorate the 1982 conflict with Argentina.

Officials hope the events could even involve Baroness Thatcher, who was prime minister during the 74-day conflict which cost 255 British lives.

The move is unusual because 30th anniversaries are not normally marked by Britain. Standard practice is to commemorate 25th and 50th year milestones but the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games have presented an opportunity for a “summer of celebration” next year.

There are also concerns that 85-year-old Lady Thatcher's failing health means 2012 will be the last major milestone she is able to mark, according to Whitehall sources.

The Falklands conflict, which ran from April to June, is seen as a turning point in the first term of her premiership. The repulsion of the Argentine invasion was followed by her victory at the 1983 election and she remained in office until 1990.

Planning for the commemorations is in the early stages but events are expected in both Britain and on the Islands. A military band could be sent to the Falklands and transport provided by the MoD for veterans' groups hoping to return to the South Atlantic.

RAF bases in the UK, including possibly RAF Northolt, could be made available and there is a chance Prince William could be involved if plans for him to tour the Falklands as a search and rescue pilot are approved.

A MoD source said an “exception” to routine was being made “to underline the Government's commitment to defend the Falkland Islands”.

The events are sure to raise tensions with Argentina, which lost 649 troops in the conflict and still contests sovereignty of what it calls the Malvinas and other South Atlantic islands.

But Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, secretary of Parliament's all-party Falkland Islands group, called the proposal “magnificent” and said it would “send a message” to Buenos Aires that Britain will not leave the Islands unguarded.

He added: “It is fitting there should be a commemoration for Lady Thatcher to attend as a tribute to the prime minister who led the country in saving the Falklands.”

Dick Sawle, of the Falklands' legislative assembly, said: “This will be a chance not just to express our gratitude to those who sacrificed so much for us but also to celebrate the Islands' progress in the past 30 years.”

Top Comments

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  • JustinKuntz

    Mmm, whatever happens, they will be commemorations not celebrations.

    Sep 14th, 2011 - 10:07 pm 0
  • Troneas

    what arrogance. don't they have their hands full with Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq?
    iraq: shameful intervention with thousands of innocent dead.
    libya: complete disregard to the GA resolution which limited the intervention to a “no-fly” zone; and allowing the rebels to perpetrate all sorts of human rights violations whist the government forces are being chased.
    afghanistan: thousands of dead people in a war that few people know what they are fighting for.

    but hey! lets celebrate a 30 year old war and offend another country in the process.

    but as my old poker buddy used to say: what comes around goes around.

    Sep 14th, 2011 - 10:27 pm 0
  • SamSalzman

    If you had won, I'm sure you would still be celebrating in a thousand years, so I don't think you can blame us for “offending” you.

    We should invite Queen Botox to the celebrations anyway. Mrs Kirchner and her cronies might make a drop a few more hilarious inaccuracies for the civilised world to laugh at.

    Sep 14th, 2011 - 10:35 pm 0
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