Wednesday, 25 September 2013

News Direct 16th to 20th September 2013

This is the news from this week.



A group of parliamentarians from Panama recently visiting the Islands say that the information that they have learned from their trip will inform the Panamanian Government’s position on the Falklands sovereignty issue.

The group, which consists of three parliamentarians and a legal advisor for the Foreign Affairs Commission of the National Assembly, will prepare a report when they return to Panama.

Dalia Bernal, who is the President for the Foreign Affairs Commission of Panama’s National Assembly, said that she hopes further representatives from Panama will travel to the Falklands. She also said that this year’s referendum has been very effective in making clear the wishes of Falkland Islanders.


The Argentine ambassador in London has apologised to Prime Minister David Cameron for branding him “dumb” over the Falklands.

The Sun reported last week that Alicia Castro sent the Prime Minister a two-page letter of regret over her comments made last month where she called Mr Cameron dumb after he questioned the Pope’s view on the Falklands.

In the letter, the Argentine Ambassador expressed her “respect” for Britain and said her remarks were in no way intended to be offensive and not meant as a personal affront to Mr Cameron or his office.


A Conservative Member of Parliament has said that Argentina’s G20 membership should be revoked because of its behaviour towards the Falkland Islands.

In a discussion in the House of Commons, Henry Smith MP labelled Argentina's leader Cristina Kirchner as "disgraceful" for how she has treated Falkland Islanders.

Mr Smith also accused Argentina of deliberately falsifying its economic statistics, refusing to abide by international court judgments and refusing to pay its debts to other nations and institutions.

Mr Smith said the country's failure to pay back international loans could set a bad example for current financially-stricken eurozone nations.

Mr Smith called on the British Government to take a tough position on Argentina's G20 membership.

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said Mr Smith had raised a number of serious issues but he said the UK intended to develop its bilateral relations with Argentina through the G20.

He said that the British Government has always been clear that it would like a full, bilateral relationship with Argentina but that the Falkland Islands are British and will remain British.


The Falklands delegation at last week’s Liberal Democrat Party Conference received a strong message of support.

MLAs Jan Cheek and Ian Hansen along with FIG London Representative Sukey Cameron represented the Islands in Glasgow at the Conference. MLA Hansen said that the Conference was very positive for the Falklands.

Local News


Desire Petroleum has announced its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2013.

Highlights for the company included their data room opening in February, their farm-out process continuing with a number of companies still said to be engaged in the process and subject to rig availability, their new exploration programme could start as early as the fourth quarter of 2014.
The company posted a loss for the period of $1.6 million.


As part of a continuous review of capability and training within the Royal Falkland Islands Police Force, officers have now received specialist training to carry and use CapTor 2 Incapacitant Spray. Chief Superintendent Barry Marsden said it is part of a continuous review of equipment, and he hopes the spray will not be needed.


The Stanley Leisure Centre swimming pool is likely to re-open in the New Year following its refurbishment.

It had been hoped to have the facility open by Christmas but a delay has been experienced. Unhappiness has been expressed by parents when it was announced that the toddler pool would be scrapped in order to install a Jacuzzi and sauna.

Director of Central Services Simon Fletcher accepts that the situation could have been handled better.

Local Events


A passenger ship striking an object underwater and then crashing into a port facility was the scenario for last Wednesday’s major incident exercise carried out by the Falkland Islands Government.

The exercise involved the emergency services and other agencies, with the military helping to facilitate. FIG Director of Emergency Services Barry Marsden said it is important that the Government conducts these types of exercises.


A reception was held at Government House on last Wednesday evening to celebrate Chile’s Independence Day.

The strong links between the Falklands and Chile were recognised with many members of the Falklands Chilean community attending the event.

Governor Nigel Haywood said that the relationship between the Islands and Chile goes back many years. Chilean Ricardo Leyton was pleased to be able to celebrate the occasion at Government House. He says it’s good knowing that the Falklands celebrates such an important day for it’s Chilean community.

School News


Community school students and their parents have been expressing their concerns recently over what seems to be a sudden change in the school’s dress code policy.

Leggings and ‘skinny jeans’ are the topic of the concern as it appears students have been sent home to change due to these items of clothing being deemed inappropriate.

Following outcry in the community and comments on facebook head teacher of the Community School, Martin Winward has sent out a letter to parents in which he says he is aware there are various interpretations regarding the school’s dress code.

In the letter he says it will be his job as Headteacher with the support of Senior Leadership Team and staff to look at this in more detail and up-date parents with a clearer interpretation of our current policy.

In the meantime he has asked all staff to relax their approach to challenging students and their clothing and he also asked that parents support the school by ensuring their child arrives for school wearing clothing that is decent and fit for purpose.


And finally for last week, children at the Infant and Junior School took part in Thursday’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I spoke to Thomas, Selena, Soraye, Richard, Abigail and Christopher, who all enjoyed talking like a pirate for a day.


For more information on talk like a pirate day go to

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