Senior Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell has responded to a recent report in the British press, demanding action be taken to stop Falkland Islanders from being victims of intimidation by politically motivated antagonists from Argentina.
*EXCLUSIVE FOR BLUEPRINT*
A report in the Times newspaper exposed how a fringe group of political activists fly in from Argentina to the Falkland Islands, with an aim of causing trouble among local people, only to fly out in groups again a week later.
It is not thought the activists belong to any mainstream Argentine political party.
The article outlined how locals had become the subject of a number of tactics designed to frighten the island community. Activists have been known to provoke arguments and film confrontations, only for the videos to be uploaded to social media.
Residents and visiting veterans of the conflict have expressed their disappointment at the behavior. Falklands Legislative Assembly Member Leona Roberts told the Times that activists were: “taking advantage of the Argentine cemetery, which should be a place of respect and dignity, to make these political statements. That is upsetting. It’s not welcomed by the families of the men in those graves either.”
The same report raised the idea of introducing a blacklisting system which would prevent known agitators from coming to the island in a bid to stop the 'intimidation'.
Speaking to Conservative Progress, Andrew Rosindell the Conservative MP for Romford said: " It is absolutely shocking that this small group of blatant politically-motivated activists have been able to visit the islands to whip up tension among such a peaceful community. "
The Secretary of the Falkland Islands APPG went on: " Memories of the conflict are still very raw on the islands and the last thing the islanders need is these people running riot. It isn't fair on the local community, the families of the fallen or indeed, law abiding Argentine families who visit the islands peacefully. I would welcome a blacklisting system that identifies these agitators and prohibits them from coming to the islands, before this activity escalates even further."
The islands, situated in the South Atlantic, are a British territory. In 1982, Argentine forces under orders of Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri, invaded the islands and occupied Government House on the islands' capital, Stanley.
In the conflict that followed, 255 British and roughly 650 Argentine servicemen were killed. Three Falklands civilians also died, before Argentine forces surrendered and the Islands were liberated.
In 2013, a referendum on the island found an overwhelming majority of Falkland voters backed remaining as a UK Territory.