Falkland Islanders Vote in Favour of Staying with Great Britain
The people of the Falkland Islands have voted in a referendum to stay a part of Great Britain. Of the over 1,500 people who voted, there were only three votes against staying a British overseas territory. Over 90% of all Falklanders went to the polls. This proved that they were interested in deciding their own fate.
The referendum was held in order to give the Falkland Islanders a say in deciding their own future. The outcome of the referendum was a deep disappointment to Argentina, which have been claiming the Falkland Islands for over two hundred years. Argentinean officials commented that they did not acknowledge the wish of the islanders and said that the Malvinas, as they call them, will always be a part of Argentina. It claims to have received the Falkland’s from Spain in 1767. In 1833 the islands were conquered by Britain and have remained a British territory ever since.
Argentine soldiers invaded the Falkland Islands in April 1982, setting off a war with Great Britain. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ordered a naval armada to defend the island in the South Atlantic. After two months of fighting Argentina surrendered and withdrew their forces from the Islands.
Even Argentine citizens who lived on the island said they voted in favour of staying British because, in their opinion, they were better off if the British ruled the island. The government of Great Britain said it was willing to respect the decision of the islanders. The referendum was monitored by an international team of observers.
- acknowledge = respect, accept
- better off = here: they would have a better standard of living
- citizen = a person who lives in a country and has rights there
- claim = argue; to say that something is true
- disappointment = feeling bad because something did not work out as you expected
- fate = future
- forces = army, soldiers
- in favour of = to be for something
- invade = to enter an area with an army
- monitor = watch, observe
- naval armada = group of ships that belong to a country
- official = person in a high position in a government
- outcome = result
- overseas = in another part of the world; across the ocean
- poll = referendum
- receive = get
- referendum = when people vote on an important subject
- remain = stay
- rule = govern
- say = here: want to decide
- surrender = give up; admit that you have lost
- vote = to decide on something
- withdraw = remove, take back