Saturday, 11 February 2017

Falkland Islands Conflict

One day I went for a ride on a bus to the beach, to give some time to thinking about the Falklands Conflict of 1982, wondering whether the Prime Minister at the time Margaret Thatcher was right in asserting British rule over the islands and engaging Argentina's military - I was asking God for wisdom about it.

(In 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland islands, a self-governing British Overseas Territory, claiming the islands were theirs. Britain, under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, dispatched their military and engaged Argentina's military. Over a thousand British and Argentine military personnel and three Falkland islanders were killed. After 74 days Argentina surrendered.)

Along the bus-ride, a South-American lady I'd previously met happened to get on the bus. I was surprised because I had no idea she lived en-route to Burleigh Heads. We talked all the way.

During the conversation I learned she's an Argentine; she also mentioned Britain - and I could sense 'attitude' in the way she talked about Britain because of the Falklands Conflict. I was a bit startled to notice that attitude, seeing I'd earlier perceived her to be a spiritual woman. So I personally noted that there possibly could have been some national-bias in Argentina which might have affected some Argentines' thoughts.

When we arrived at Burleigh Heads, we went our separate ways. I went to a secondhand store, and happened to notice a book about Margaret Thatcher. I bought it, and read a chapter where she spoke about the Falklands Conflict.

So now I'd heard the viewpoint of both an Argentine and the British Prime Minister. After walking around the beach-area thinking about the issue and praying, I went to get the bus home - and my Argentine acquaintance got on the same bus home. So we talked again.

Under the existing arrangement between the Falkland Islanders and Britain, it was an obligation of Britain's to defend the Falkland Islanders.

More than 30 years after the Conflict, the Falkland Islands held a referendum on its political status, with an overwhelming majority of voters - 99.8% - still favouring to remain under British rule.

Falkland Islanders, like all people, have the right of self-determination - not to have external rule imposed on them by force.

Britain was therefore fulfilling its obligation under the arrangement and defending the will and freedom of the Falkland Islanders; Britain has given the Falkland Islanders the freedom to determine their own political status - Argentina did not.

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