Executive Council Summary June 29 2016

MEMBERS of Legislative Assembly noted at this week's meeting of Executive Council that the survey of Camp radio services has been completed, and that the acceptable level of service needs to be agreed by MLAs. MLA Mike Summers said they also noted the new Charter Party for the Concordia Bay is due to be in place by 8th July. Four FI representatives will attend the MoD Industry Day at Abbey Wood on 15 July, and the interim project manager for the Old People’s Service Development project has been appointed and will arrive shortly.

Departure arrangement for the Argentine yacht San Martiniana were noted, together with the costs to be reclaimed from the owners.

Read more: Executive Council Summary June 29 2016

Evolution not revolution say Falklands politicians at UN

EVOLUTION not revolution will be the Falklands path for political change MLA Gavin Short told the Decolonisation Committee of 24 (C24) at the United Nations on June 23

He told the Committee, which has the aim of ending colonialism: “We are pragmatic enough to realise that we are only a small country and as such may not be able to go for full independence due to size.”

He reminded the gathering that  the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “had only recently stated that ‘according to the Charter of the United Nations and relevant General Assembly resolutions, a full measure of self-government can be achieved through independence, integration or free association with another State. The choice should be the result of the freely expressed will and desire of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.’

“Nowhere in his address to the gathering did he mention that these ideals did not apply to the Falklands nor was he heard to mention that we should become an Argentine colony nor did he say that self-determination does not apply to the Falklands.”

MLA Short and MLA Mike Summers both delivered an address to the C24.

MLA Summers concentrated on outlining key facts about the Falklands economy, developments in agriculture, fisheries, tourism and hydrocarbons and on constitutional development and emphasising Islanders political choices. He said: “Falkland Islanders are comfortable with the constitutional relationship with the UK. 

“We have the right to move away from it if we so wished, but there is no current wish to do so. Our wish to maintain our current status was amply demonstrated in March 2013 by a referendum, in which Falkland Islanders resolved to remain an OT of the UK...”

He and MLA Short both invited the Committee to visit the Falklands and better understand it. MLA Summers said: “...you could see for yourselves the democratic processes and the extent of internal self-government, and that we are very clearly not a colony of the United Kingdom.”

Debunking Argentine claims that Islanders are an implanted population he noted: “Our Islands when first discovered had no native population, and in that respect we are unlike most colonial situations of the 18th and 19th centuries. No ethnic population was either absorbed, suppressed or extinguished.”

He spoke of the long ancestry in the Islands adding: “Settlers arrived and departed of their own free will, and arrived from many different parts of the world, including Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, UK, Norway, Denmark, Germany and North America. In more recent years we have citizens originating from Peru, St Helena, Zimbabwe, Russia, Thailand and the Philippines. At recent censuses Islanders have identified themselves as coming from 57 different ethnic backgrounds. 

“So if you have heard before, or hear again today that we are an implanted British population, the facts simply do not support such a claim.”
Both MLAs touched on an NGO’s right to develop its economy, and noted Argentina’s attempts to thwart it.

MLA Short said, “over many years and up to this present day,” Argentina, “is still trying to wreck the Falklands economy and thus force us to subjugate to their unwelcome and uninvited attempts to return us to a colonial situation.”

He indicated it was the responsibility of the C24 to find fresh and creative approaches for, “quite a few of the non self-governing territories still on your list...” but that way should be arrived at, “by listening to the wishes of the people in those territories rather than attempting to impose something upon them.”

He said the committee needed to modernise,  and reprimanded members for an, “awful, colonial way of looking at things.” They had planned to speak  to the UK and Argentina about the Falklands, “the old colonial master and one that has designs on being the new colonial masters,” said MLA Short.

He concluded: “No person, no group of people, no organisation or committee will ever be permitted by the people of the Falkland Islands to undermine or bypass our right to self-determination or put them back into a colonial situation - ever.”

Argentina was represented by Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, former Falkland Islander Alec Betts and others.

ICRC schedule confirmed

A DELEGATION from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will hear the views of the Falklands public next week, on the subject of the ICRC’s possible future humanitarian mission to identify the remains of fallen Argentine soldiers at Darwin Cemetery.

This first visit is described as a scoping mission to enable assessment of the logistical and technical requirements for carrying out the task.
Within the schedule planned for the four members of the group, they will have the chance to chat with Islanders at a public meeting at Goose Green at the club at 1630 on June 29, and in Stanley at the Chamber of Commerce on June 30.

They arrive in the Islands on June 27 and will reside at Malvina House Hotel and that night will meet with Members of the Legislative Assembly and the Governor.
Their first meeting the next day (June 28) will be with the Director of Public Works and then with MLAs, the Chief Executive, the Argentine cemetery caretaker and later with Eric Goss MBE, farm manager at Goose Green in the 1982 war.

They will travel to Darwin on June 29 and June 30 and have technical and logistical discussions with FIG and landowners  on July 1 and logistical discussions with the private sector.
The group, comprising Laurent Corbaz, Edmond Corthesy, Morris Tidball-Binz and Oran Finegan are scheduled to depart on July 2.
MLAs have stated that all parties concerned recognise, “this is a sensitive subject for all involved.”

FIG Statement Regarding Brexit

THE Falkland Islands Government will be working with the public and private sector to further investigate the impact of Brexit on the Islands.

Falklands representatives congratulated all involved in campaigning on both sides of the debate, adding: "As with the referendum on our political future in 2013, the impressive turnout and widespread engagement with the referendum reflects well on our respective democracies."

Read more: FIG Statement Regarding Brexit

Stanley Leisure Centre – New Fees And Charge

From 1 July 2016

Stanley Leisure Centre would like to announce a revised set of fees and charges, following an internal review. The purpose of the review was threefold: to slim down the number of membership options; to ensure the charging policy was fair; and to encourage broad participation in sports and exercise from across the community.
From 1 July 2016 there will be one adult membership option, which will be priced at £120 for a full year and will offer access to swimming pool, racket sports and cardio facilities at Stanley Leisure Centre. This represents a price cut to all public membership packages and a removal of the corporate membership option. Six month and three month packages are available on request to help spread the cost of a full years’ membership.
We are pleased to announce the continuation of significant discounts for children, students and families – and all facilities will continue to be free for the over 60s. There is also a substantial discount for Camp residents. For non-members the popular mix-it-up card offers ten sessions for swim or fitness at excellent value.
There are minor amendments to other charges at Stanley Leisure Centre, such as charges for sports hall hire.
For more information about memberships or other information please call the Leisure Centre reception on 27291.