This week, Falklands' lawmaker MLA Teslyn Barkman was interviewed by Britain News Channel, GBC about her personal experiences in the aftermath of the 1982 war with Argentina, underlining how the UK government stood behind us, stood behind our freedom...and for our human rights to decide our own future.
Furthermore how Argentina has since implemented economic sanctions on the Falklands to limit the Islands' involvement in the international stage, and changed military brutality for an international campaign to brutally state that we don't have a right to exist as a people.
MLA Barkman was interviewed by Michael Portillo, a former Conservative member of Parliament who also held ministerial positions and visited the Falklands.
MLA Barkman started by saying that Argentina brought war to our home. My Mom, her family, my friends, my whole country were held captive, and while their homes were invaded, as we have seen, since then the UK government stood behind us, stood behind our freedom, acknowledging the shared history they hold with us, and the support for our people and for our Human Rights, to decide our own future.
However, unfortunately this is not a concept that's respected across the water, and rather than continue with military brutality, they've continued with an international campaign to get other countries to support their views, to remove our Human Rights. But they also lobby illegally economic sanctions against us to try to limit our involvement in the international stage, and to restrict our economy, and to hurt the oceans round us, which is particularly distressing.
Portillo said he had visited the Falklands: I've had the privilege to do that, and the kind of insight I had when I was down there, was that you had a very small population, but you had to be extraordinarily aware of world affairs. I think of you as a village where the foreign policy is paramount because you really have to think about how different governments round the world view you. Do you find the position of Argentina is a daily worry for you? does it affect your quality of life.??
Yes most certainly, replied MLA Barkman, as well as being a small population, there is a number of us with post traumatic stress because of the war. I myself was born after the war but I had to grow up with minefields, with the brutality of a country saying that our country, does not have a right to exist as a people.
Finally, ”I realize that we are an inconvenient truth to the government of Argentina, but we are not going to be removed. And I suppose that one of the most distressing things, even if we are the only people the Falklands has ever had, now I have to pass that burden on to my child, that, you know, the idea that we are used as a political pawn.