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Originally published Friday, January 18, 2013 at 1:00 PM

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Falkland Islanders schedule vote on their future

The Falkland Islands government has scheduled a referendum on the islands' political status and arranged for outside observers to show the world that it is free and fair.

The Associated Press

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STANLEY, Falkland Islands —

The Falkland Islands government has scheduled a referendum on the islands' political status and arranged for outside observers to show the world that it is free and fair.

Argentines claim British forces stole the territory from them 180 years ago and have ruled it as a colony ever since.

The islanders now have a democratically elected assembly, overseen by an emissary of the Queen of England. They also have a sizeable British military defense, ever since Argentina's failed 1982 occupation.

The vote on March 10-11 will be a simple yes or no question: "Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?"

Islanders have predicted an overwhelming vote for "yes."

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