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Falkland islanders vote in referendum

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Falkland islanders vote in referendum

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On the Falkland Islands a referendum is underway asking the islanders to vote if they wish to remain a British Overseas Territory.

It comes during increased diplomatic tension between Britain and Argentina which claims sovereignty of the islands. London says it will only agree to negotiations if the islanders want them.

All the evidence suggests there will be an overwhelming yes vote. The result of the two day referendum which Buenos Aires has dismissed as a meaningless publicity stunt is expected on Monday evening.

The stakes have been raised after the discovery of commercially viable oil resources around the islands which are 12,000 kilometres from London and a 75 minute flight from Argentina.

In 1982 Argentine forces invaded the islands which they call the Malvinas. In a 10 week war around 650 of their forces were killed and are remembered in a memorial in the capital. Over 250 British died before Argentina surrendered in what is remembered as a humiliating chapter in the country’s recent history.