Referendum – a game changer

7 Apr

Mike Summers, speaking on his return from his United States tour, told the Falkland Islands Radio Service that the American Congressmen that he had met talked about the Falklands Referendum being a “game changer.” BA Herald Editor

Summers, a Member of the Falklands’ Legislative Assembly, reviewed the trip which he’d made with Sharon Halford; ” We had a wide range of discussions on the first Monday in the States. I stopped in Miami for a while and talked to some cruise companies there … and also met with Congressman Mario Dules Belar who has a key interest in the cruise industry. ..  we had some very good discussions and confirmations from a couple of cruise vessel companies that they are reinstating their business in the Falklands again next year.

Sharon Halford carried on to Atlanta to do some interviews with CNN and I was diverted to New York so Sharon also dealt with the announcement of the results of the referendum in Washington on Tuesday and did all the media work there.

Wednesday was a key day in Washington. We had a whole series of meetings with various Congressmen and we met people in important positions in the Western Hemisphere Committee, people in the Foreign Affairs Committee and others who we knew from other activities. And without exception the Congressmen were saying that the referendum changed the game in the Falklands.

It changes the way that people should be seeing the Falklands and it brings another clear dynamic to these discussions they were very supportive of our right to self-determination. And I am not sure if you have heard or it has been announced that there is a Motion now on the floor of Congress supporting the right to self-determination for the people of the Falkland Islands.

Thursday was a day back in New York where we met with UN Officials. We had a very good opportunity to present the Falklands case about the referendum, how it went and what the programme was going on from there. They listened very carefully. I think they were generally very supportive of what we had done and what we are doing but naturally much more cautious about what the UN might say as a result of the referendum. There is no indication at this stage that the UN as an institution will take any different view in public. But clearly they get the referendum and what it means.

The same day we had a very interesting meeting with a number of UN Ambassadors, all of whom sit on the C-24. It was a very positive discussion with people clearly understanding what it is we are doing and why we are doing it. Some of them are agreeing very strongly with the concept of self-determination for the people of the Falklands. Others perhaps are slightly more cautious. Even amongst countries that we may not have expected automatic support it was evident. Countries like Indonesia and Iraq expressed quite strong support for the right to self-determination for the people of the Falklands. We also had a good discussion led by the Ambassador from Papua New Guiana about different ways of doing business in the C-24 and I think there is a caucus of countries that sit in the C-24 who are frankly fed up with the way that it operates and that they need to do it differently. It was an interesting discussion that will be very helpful to us and I am looking forward to June.

On Friday we went back to Washington and had meetings in the National Security Council and State Department who are the advisors to the US Government on Foreign Policy. They were very supportive and agreed that the referendum changed the dynamic. .. at a personal level very much appreciate what we were doing and why we were doing it. In fact the US position on the Falklands has changed by a degree or so. We are not expecting a big bang. It has changed by a degree or so in that the statement by the US after the referendum was that it recognised the democratic nature of the referendum and it then went on to refer to negotiations between all parties. That’s different because previous statements had referred to both parties…”

Asked about the reaction of Argentina’s Government, Summers said; “I think they are struggling to know how to deal with it. I think it is inevitable that they would go to the UN. I think the arguments that we have about not being an implanted population and not being a colony and about Argentina wanting to colonise the Falklands and all those sorts of things are pretty powerful and pretty well understood and simply going there and repeating a number of slogans that have a limited base in fact will have limited effect.  I don’t think it will make that much difference.”


53 Responses to “Referendum – a game changer”

  1. Don Alberto April 8, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    Of course the referendum is a game changer.

    The Argentine argument is that the future of the islands should not be decided according to the wishes of the Falkland Islanders, but to what is in their interest.

    After the referendum it is difficult to see any difference betwen ‘wishes’ and ‘interests’.

  2. lornefirth April 8, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Im sure Mexico wanted Texas back, and the same with Russia with Alaska, when they discovered oil .The Argies never had any title to the Falkland,so they should stop harrasing there neighbour…… lifes too short !!!

  3. Argentina (@devolverislas) April 8, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    A referendum tipped by some US congessmen as a “gamechanger” was a small consolation for the representatives of the Falkland Islands to take back from Washington. Last month the Obama administration refused to recognize the referendum. Contrary to the comments of MLA Mike Summers, the US State Department did no more than “take note” of the results and called on the parties, not “all parties” as claimed by Summers, to seek a resolution to the conflict. Those parties, since the passing of General Assembly resolution 2065 (XX) Question of the Falkland Islands/Malvinas, are Argentina and the UK.

    • Junius April 8, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

      The US did NOT refuse to recognise the referendum. What they said was that they couldn’t take note of a referendum that hadn’t (at that time) taken place.

      • Argentina (@devolverislas) April 11, 2013 at 1:46 am #

        That was Secretary of State John Kerry’s comment before the referendum. I was referring to the State Department spokesperson’s answer to a question at the press-conference the day after the referendum.

      • Junius April 11, 2013 at 11:41 am #

        They’ve already taken note. Got a link ??

    • Don Alberto April 20, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

      Argentina (@devolverislas) writes:

      “Those parties, since the passing of General Assembly resolution 2065 (XX) Question of the Falkland Islands/Malvinas, are Argentina and the UK.”


      The Argentine government has declared that the people of the Falkland Islandes is British and the Argentine government has acknowledged that the islanders are citizens of the UK.

      The Argentine government is free to choose whoever it wants as negociators – so is the UK government.

      The UK government can choose members of the Falkland Islands Government to represent it, if it so wishes.

  4. devolverislas April 11, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    US State Dept. press conference 12th March:

    • Junius April 12, 2013 at 12:06 am #

      ” Well, we take note of the results of the recent democratic referendum in the islands, where the residents voted to retain the islands’ current political status as a British overseas territory. The residents have clearly expressed their preference for a continued relationship with the United Kingdom. That said, we obviously recognize that there are competing claims. Our formal position has not changed. We recognize the de facto U.K. Administration of the islands, but we take no position on sovereignty claims.”

      Referendum noted then. Recognition indeed from the Americans. They were unlikely to change their political position however, they need to hold on to it so not as to affect their relations with Latin America. That said – did you note in the article that there is a motion before the Congress proposing recognition??

      ” .. I am not sure if you have heard or it has been announced that there is a Motion now on the floor of Congress supporting the right to self-determination for the people of the Falkland Islands.”

      • Argentina (@devolverislas) April 13, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

        The supposed motion in support of self-determination for the Falkland Islanders has as much chance of getting off the floor of the US Congress as the petition which the islanders or their backers tried to float in the White House at the time of the referendum.

      • Don Alberto April 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

        It seems that you only read the headline, Clematys.

        “…. in the name of good governance. …

        The British neo-colonial government brought criminal charges against a dozen Turks and Caicos official, including five ministers in the Misick government, including [ex-premier minister] Misick himself.”

        If corruption was detected in the Falkland Islands, the same would happen there, in accordance with the constitution.

        Given that Argentina together with Gabon and Tanzania is no. 102 on the Corruption Perception Index 2012 (where 1 indicates the least corruption), a similar paragraph seems to be missing in the Argentine constitution.

      • Clematys April 17, 2013 at 1:32 am #

        It appears you are the one who can’t read the article. Corruption has been detected countless times in the very heart of the British establishment and everywhere in the empire. Have you ever heard the phrase “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”? Where there is power, there is corruption. The only difference between one corruption and another, is the color of the skin.

  5. Don Alberto April 17, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    Clematys wrote: “Corruption has been detected countless times in the very heart of the British establishment and everywhere in the empire.”

    I seem to have missed that. Where in the article do I find this text?

    If it isn’t there, I guess you are the one who didn’t read the article text.

    • Clematys April 17, 2013 at 11:31 am #

      You also seem to have missed the part where the article points out the inherent racist attitudes of this whole charade. In fact, that is the gist of the article, unashamedly pointing out one of the major characteristics of the British establishment.

  6. Clematys April 25, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    How the World sees Britain:

    “Isn’t it the truth that your country has developed historically by stealing the wealth and resources of others by colonising and using cheap labour? Is it not the case that without immigrants the women in your country would grow moustaches because you would have ended up marrying your first cousin”

    • Don Alberto April 25, 2013 at 8:05 am #

      You are referring to the encomienda system, aren’t you?

      • Clematys April 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

        That is the present image of Britain, and the best you can get. If you dig deeper the image gets worse and worse. Ask the Chagos islanders what they think about Britain.

      • Junius April 25, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

        I think the Chagos Islanders are quite keen actually – they live here !

  7. Biguggy April 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Slightly off topic here but on another website under another name I am having a battle with a ‘defender of the Government of Argentina’.
    During the course of my enquiries I have discovered that under Article 27 of the UN Charter the following clause exists:
    3.Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that, in decisions under Chapter VI, and under paragraph 3 of Article 52, a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting.
    I further note that Security Council Resolutions 502 and 505 were voted on by the UK delegation.
    Can anyone tell me why that was allowed?

    • Junius April 26, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

      Biguggy – I seem to recall reading something about this in the original papers recently released under the 30 year rule, but am struggling to remember. It came down to interpretation I think (wouldn’t it ever) – one of the reasons we didn’t actually declare war possibly.

      I may have something in

      Otherwise I’ll have to have a dig about. I’m sure Sir Anthony Parsons talked about it somewhere.


      • Biguggy April 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

        Thank you.
        I read your link as far as the passing of Resolution 502 but found nothing.
        One thing it did explain was that although C24 has in fact been in ‘existence’ since November 1961 it is only ‘timed’ as having existed since the formation of the Fourth Committee. I was wondering for some time where ‘they’ got the 30th Anniversary from. Now I know.
        Thank you again, I will read the rest of your link later.

      • Junius April 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

        I’ve had a quick look through my notes but I cannot find it – and yet I’m sure I’ve seen it somewhere. If I come across it I’ll let you know.

      • Biguggy May 1, 2013 at 7:28 am #

        I found it on page 228 of the document available here:

        The Resolution was made under Article 40 of the UN Charter, not paragraph 3 of Article 27.

        Nice diplomatic footwork by Sir Anthony.

        The resolution would still have passed even had the UK abstained.

      • Junius May 1, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

        Well done. I’ll take a look at that.

  8. Biguggy April 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    Thank you.
    I have now finished reading the rest of your link.
    I found no reference to it even in the part about Resolution 505.

  9. Clematys April 28, 2013 at 12:21 am #

    2010 –
    [ … In May 2009, Colin Roberts, the Foreign Office director of overseas territories, told the Americans Diego Garcia’s value in “assuring the security of the US and UK” had been “much more than anyone foresaw” in the 1960s, when the plan to set up the base was hatched.

    “We do not regret the removal of the population since removal was necessary for [Diego Garcia] to fulfil its strategic purpose,” he added under a passage that the Americans headed “Je ne regrette rien”.

    Roberts, admitting the government was “under pressure” from the islanders, told the US of the plan to set up the marine park on 55 islands around Diego Garcia, known as the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). “Roberts stated that, according to [Her Majesty’s government’s] current thinking on a reserve, there would be ‘no human footprints’ or ‘Man Fridays’ on the BIOT uninhabited islands,” according to the American account of the meeting. The language echoes that used in 1966 when Denis Greenhill – later the Foreign Office’s most senior official – described the inhabitants as “a few Tarzans and Man Fridays”.

    The leaked cable says Roberts “asserted that establishing a marine park would, in effect, put paid to resettlement claims of the archipelago’s former residents”.

    A US state department official commented: “Establishing a marine reserve might, indeed, as the FCO’s Roberts stated, be the most effective long-term way to prevent any of the Chagos Islands’ former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling in the BIOT.” …]


    • Clematys April 28, 2013 at 12:22 am #

      2012 –
      Colin Roberts, CVO Appointed as Governor Designate.
      The Falkland Islands Government were today delighted to hear news of the appointment of Mr Colin Roberts CVO as the next Governor of the Falkland Islands.


    • Clematys April 28, 2013 at 12:27 am #

      The Grand Wizard is being welcome by the islanders’ representatives.

    • Junius April 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

      And you point is Clematys??

      • Clematys April 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

        If you’ve read the posts above and understood their meaning, you cannot be seen as an useful idiot. If you know exactly what you are doing, you shouldn’t play dumb or be surprised by other people’s responses.

      • Junius April 28, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

        And you point is Clematys??

      • Clematys April 29, 2013 at 1:20 am #

        Playing dumb won’t buy you time or get you anywhere.

      • Junius April 29, 2013 at 4:49 am #

        You haven’t made any point Clematys except refer to the Chagos Islands without making a connection with the Falklands.

        The Chagos Islanders were Mauritians when the UK purchased the Chagos from Mauritius. The Mauritians on the Chagos were retrned to their homeland – Mauritius. They accepted compensation – 3 times in fact although their own Government appears to have stolen most of the first. What happened, and the way it happened, does not cast the British Government of that time in a particularly good light but the Chagos Islanders have the option of the courts – which they are using. As part of the 2nd or 3rd compensation package many of them became British Citizens which is what they asked for.

        So now – if we were to return them to the archipelago, we would be returning British ‘implants’ – so perhaps that would be the connection that you are trying to make? On the other hand, I understand that when the US airforce leaves, the archipelago is likely to be returned to Mauritius – which has a claim in by the way. Then we would be sending British Citizens (ex-pats) into a foreign country.

        What I find amusing is that some of you simple souls think you understand the situation.

        The court case continues and has been at the European Court of Human Rights for 7 years. If the islanders win their case, they’ll go back (possibly) – but then will probably find that they are Mauritians and will have to fight that Government too for the right of self-determination. I wonder if the Mauritian Government will allow them the same access to the courts ??

        And after all these years in the UK I can’t see them liking what they find there. Nothing but palms and fish – which is what they left!

      • Clematys April 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

        You are totally ignoring racism because that’s something you take for granted and is normal in your neighborhood, but most of the World sees it very very differently, and sees right through you. It’s so absurd that you even dare to treat the Chagos islanders as a disconnected case, when the connection has a name and is right in front of yourself.

      • Junius April 29, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

        Is there any country as racist as Argentina? What is the percentage of black or indian/asian people there these days? There was a large black population after slavery was abolished – what happened to them? The Chagos ARE NOT connected to the Falklands in any way. Your petty attempts to link the two have never gained any creedence either at the UN or around the world. You see – even Mauritius, if we’d never purchased the archipelagoi from it, would have allowed the USAF base and cleared away the residents. No country in the world – not even yours – would have failed to take that deal.

      • Don Alberto April 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

        Since General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) was adopted, the UK has brought 28 states to sovereign independence and membership of the United Nations, most of them in Africa and Asia.


      • Clematys April 29, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

        Racism indeed. The UK is presently nominating a racist to an influential and controversial political position. This is happening in real-time and right now, not some decades ago. Engage and deal with the matter instead of trying to ignore, deny or whitewash it.

  10. Biguggy June 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm # which is dated 14th January 2013

    States, inter alia, the following:
    “To continue to examine the political, economic and social situation in the
    Non-Self-Governing Territories, and to recommend, as appropriate, to the General
    Assembly the most suitable steps to be taken to enable the populations of those
    Territories to exercise their right to self-determination, including independence, in
    accordance with the relevant resolutions on decolonization, including resolutions on
    specific Territories;”

    Please note the word ‘populations’. It would seem that the UN consider the vote appropriate as Argentina has frequently claimed that the human inhabitants of the Falkland Islands are a ‘population’, not a ‘people’. Here we have it ‘populations’ are entitled to self-determination. Another myth/lie/claim of Argentina shot down in flames!

    • Biguggy June 20, 2013 at 8:25 am #

      What I really like about the above Resolution is that Argentina voted for it!
      Are we therefore to assume that Argentina has altered its stance and now supports the rights of the Islanders to Self-determination?

      • Clematys June 21, 2013 at 12:16 am #

        We’re gonna ask the population of East London if they want to be a part of the UK or Pakistan. Surely if the UK was in any way serious about self-determination, even the Chagos islanders would have already been granted their wishes. Oh I forgot, their skin colour don’t match British standards.

      • Don Alberto June 21, 2013 at 1:53 am #

        What is the skin colour of the indigenous peoples in Argentina whose land is being stolen even today?

        UN Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Asks Argentina to Stop Evicting Indigenous Peoples:

  11. Biguggy June 21, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    You can ask whatever group you like which, of any two groups you choose, they wish to belong to, it is irrelevant to the subject of my post.

    • Clematys June 21, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      Or you can go around stealing and invading other people’s lands, just like the UK does. For the umpteenth time, the United Nations is requesting the UK to resume sovereignty negotiations with Argentina. The British can fool nobody and the “referendum” has produced nil points.

      • Biguggy June 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

        Still irrelevant to my post.
        Argentina has long maintained that the Islanders had no right to self-determination largely due to the fact that UN General Assembly Resolution 2065 described them as a ‘population’ and not as a people(s) as per the Charter.
        Well, in my opinion UN General Assembly Resolution 67/134, which Argentina voted for, has now clarified that situation by stating in paragraph 7(c):
        “To continue to examine the political, economic and social situation in the Non-Self-Governing Territories, and to recommend, as appropriate, to the General Assembly the most suitable steps to be taken to enable the populations of those Territories to exercise their right to self-determination, including independence, in accordance with the relevant resolutions on decolonization, including resolutions on specific Territories;”
        Now, in my opinion, that paragraph confirms the Islanders’ right to self -determination and further, in my opinion, that said Islanders have exercised that right by their recently held referendum.
        Should you wish to discuss those points I will be happy to do so. I will not be diverted by subjects, although interesting, are not relevant to my post.
        Now as a result of yesterdays farce at the C24 said committee may or may not recommend to the General Assembly that the referendum held by the Islanders be a true expression of the Islanders right to self-determination. Should said committee ignore the referendum, or indeed recommend to the General Assembly that it does not express the views/wishes/interests of the population then it will be further confirmation, should any be needed, that said committee is not only biased but not functioning in accordance with its mandate.

      • Clematys June 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

        The UN is unfazed. Don’t blame it for not tolerating or cooperating with British malicious and farcical colonial maneuvers. In short. you will not have your cake and eat it.

      • Junius July 6, 2013 at 6:57 am #

        It is the C24 that is irrelevant – not the referendum

  12. Biguggy August 23, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    Just to give an idea of how RGland tries to twist the truth please review the RGland official website:
    and then see how many subtle inaccuracies you can find.:
    For example:
    1. Section “3. PERIOD 1966-1982” first paragraph it states that UNGA Resolution 2065 required that the dispute ‘must’ be settled by negotiation. Said resolution states no such thing, it ‘invites’ the Governments of the UK and RGland to find a way to settle their ‘problems’ by dialogue. A whole lot of difference.
    2. In the section ‘History’ the RGs now only claim that the Argentine authorities were expelled. Very interesting as Argentina as a country as such did not exist at the time. Even allowing that they meant the United provinces authorities, it is of great interest to note the Timberhead, in his address to the C24 committee earlier this year, still persisted in claiming that the Argentine population had been expelled. The RG politicians and troll cannot even get their myths and claims to line up with easily verifiable facts or even there own versions of events.
    Further investigation will reveal many more.

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