Falkland Islands, Chagos Islands and self-determinationPosted: January 4, 2013
Whilst President Fernandez of Argentina is deliberately raising the Falklands sovereignty issue to bolster her own re-election hopes, as well as distracting from the social problems facing Argentinians at present, the UK government is being equally (and quite blatantly) selective about whose self determination rights it respects.
If the Falkland Islanders wish to remain British, thats lovely! But the position of the UK on supporting the Falkland Islanders self-determination(SD) rights is only credible if it maintains consistency in respecting the SD rights of those from other territories it has come to acquire over the years.
Simply put, if the UK supports the SD rights of the Falkland Islanders, then why doesn’t it support the rights of the former residents of the Chagos Islands who were illegally evicted in the late 60s?
Is it just a case of political inconvenience? Does the fact that the US has a base at Diego Garcia factor into the decision over whose rights are to be respected and whose are be ignored?
(Incidentally, this is the same Diego Garcia that facilitated illegal rendition back in the early 2000’s, thus implicating the UK Government in President Bush’s illegal rendition programme)
Finally, such declarations of sovereignty and respect for self-determination rights must be considered in light of potential oil & mineral resources that may lie deep beneath the areas under contention.