BEIJING, April 3 (Xinhuanet) — Argentina’s President has blamed Britain for maintaining a colonial enclave in the Malvinas Islands, calling it an injustice. This comes as the UK marks the 30th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War amid renewed tensions over the South Atlantic archipelago.
Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner addressed officials and veterans at a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of the war over the remote South Atlantic islands.
At the rally in Ushuaia, the Argentine city closest to the islands, she helped lower her country’s flag at the memorial and raise a new national flag.
And during her speech, she urged Britain to concede sovereignty of the islands Latin Americans know as “Las Malvinas”.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said, “Memory, truth and justice, because it is an injustice that in the 21st century colonial enclaves remain, just like the one we have here a few kilometres away. There are only 16 colonial enclaves in the world remaining, 10 of which belong to the United Kingdom.
We ask for justice so that they don’t continue to depleting our environment, our natural resources, fishing and oil resources, justice so that our territorial integrity is respected. It is absurd to make claim from more than 14,000 kilometres away when these islands are clearly part of our maritime platform.”
Fernandez has asked the International Red Cross to persuade Britain to let its experts identify unknown soldiers buried on the islands.
Fernandez made human rights a focus of her anniversary speech, not only honouring war veterans but also reaching out to the islanders.
She said Argentina sets a world standard for human rights and will respect the islanders’ interests if it manages to regain control of the islands that have been in British hands for nearly 180 years.
Meanwhile, a memorial service was held at the national war memorial in central England to remember the 255 British troops, 649 Argentineans and three islanders who died in the 1982 conflict.
The remembrance service came amid heightened tensions between Britain and Argentina, which has recently been reasserting its claim to the islands.