Lill-On Prim Ministru, Dr Robert Abela, u lill-Kabinett tal-Ministri

Lill-On Prim Ministru, Dr Robert Abela, u lill-Kabinett tal-Ministri
Aħna, il-firmatarji, individwi li jħaddnu valuri xellugin, progressivi u soċjalisti, qed niktbu din littra fid-dawl tar-rapporti riċenti dwar il-possibbiltà li l-Gvern ta’ Malta jidħol f’SOFA (Ftehim
dwar l-Istatus tal-Forzi) mal-Gvern tal-Istati Uniti. In-negozjati ta’ SOFA jitilqu mill-premessa li lpreżenza tal-forzi militari tal-Istati Uniti hija ta’ benefiċċju għall-interessi tal-poplu Malti. Aħna
nemmnu bil-qawwa li l-attivitajiet tal-forzi militari tal-Istati Uniti fil-gżejjer paċifiċi tagħna mhux
se jkunu fl-interess ta’ pajjiżna la fuq terminu ta’ żmien qasir, lanqas fit-tul. Ir-raġunijiet għattħassib tagħna huma kif ġej:

  1. SOFA mal-Istati Uniti, jew ma’ kwalunkwe gvern ieħor, ixekkel is-sovranità, ilġurisprudenza u n-newtralità tal-gvern ta’ Malta. Kwalunkwe ftehim imur kontra l-ispirtu
    u l-ittra tal-Kostituzzjoni tar-Repubblika ta’ Malta. Għalhekk, dan il-ftehim mhuwiex flinteress tal-poplu Malti għalissa, u lanqas għal ġenerazzjonijiet tal-futur. SOFA jeħtieġ li lgvern ta’ Malta mhux biss jikser l-Artikolu 1(3) kruċjali tal-Kostituzzjoni tagħna, iżda wkoll
    li jċedi l-awtorità tiegħu fuq kwistjonijiet bħalma huma d-dħul u l-ħruġ tal-forzi u lpersunal tal-Istati Uniti, il-possessjonijiet tagħhom, il-kundizzjonijiet tax-xogħol tagħhom,
    pretensjonijiet u kuntratturi, bejgħ, dwana u taxxi fuq id-dħul.
  2. Kwalunkwe ftehim ta’ din ix-xorta aktarx joħloq sistema legali de facto b’żewġ livelli li
    tiddiskrimina bejn membri tal-forzi armati tal-Istati Uniti u residenti Maltin. In-numru kbir
    ta’ inċidenti li jinvolvu forzi militari tal-Istati Uniti u ċittadini tal-lokal, f’postijiet diversi
    ħafna bejniethom bħall-Korea ta’ Isfel, l-Italja u anke r-Renju Unit, jindika li dan larranġament legali ta’ żewġ livelli huwa ta’ detriment għall-interessi taċ-ċittadini.
  3. L-istorja riċenti turi li l-interventi militari fir-reġjun tal-Mediterran u lilhinn kienu ta’ ħsara
    għall-paċi, is-sigurtà u l-benesseri taċ-ċittadini, u wasslu anka għal krimini tal-gwerra.
  4. Kwalunkwe ftehim ta’ din ix-xorta jista’ jittrasforma lil Malta f’insedjament tal-forzi armati
    militari tal-Istati Uniti sabiex ikunu jistgħu jipprojettaw il-forza militari fuq il-pajjiżi ġirien.
    Jekk dan iseħħ, aktarx li l-pajjiżi ġirien jikkunsidraw lil Malta bħala għadu,
    b’riperkussjonijiet serji fuq il-ħajja, is-saħħa, l-għajxien u s-sikurezza taċ-ċittadini ta’
    pajjiżna. Preżenza militari qawwija hija wkoll ta’ detriment għat-turiżmu u għallinvestiment barrani li sa issa kienu l-ikbar xprun tal-ekonomija tagħna.
    Fid-dawl ta’ dawn il-kunsiderazzjonjiet, qed nitolbu li l-gvern Malti jimpenja ruħu sabiex lanqas
    biss jikkunsidra, wisq anqas jidħol fi kwalunkwe diskussjoni li tista’ twassal għal SOFA jew
    kwalunkwe ftehim militari ma’ kwalunkwe pajjiż ieħor. Malta għandha żżomm l-aħjar
    relazzjonijiet possibbli man-nazzjonijiet kollha. In-newtralità tagħna hija sagrosanta, u kruċjali
    għas-sigurtà tagħna.
    Barra minn hekk, fid-dawl ta’ dak li hemm minqux fil-Kostituzzjoni tagħna, infakkru lill-gvern biddmir tiegħu li jfittex, b’mod attiv, il-paċi, is-sigurtà, il-progress ekonomiku u soċjali għal pajjiżna
    u flimkien ma’ dan, l-impenn fil-fond u għal dejjem li jirrifjuta li jidħol fi kwalunkwe alleanza
    militari jew SOFA ma’ kwalunkwe nazzjon.
    Aħna nistennew li l-Gvern Laburista jżomm l-unur tal-kelma u l-ispirtu tal-Kostituzzjoni tal-pajjiż,
    u li l-Kabinett jilqa’ pubblikament din it-talba.
    To the Hon. Prime Minister, Dr Robert Abela, and the Cabinet of Ministers
    The undersigned, individuals holding Left-Wing and progressive, socialist ideals, are writing this
    letter in light of recent reports about the possibility of the Government of Malta entering into a
    SOFA (State of Foreign Forces Agreement) with the Government of the United States.
    Negotiating a SOFA begins with the assumption that the presence of US military forces is in the
    interest of the Maltese people. We strongly believe that the activities of US military forces on our
    peaceful islands would not be in our short- or long-term interests. The reasons for our concern
    are the following:
  5. A SOFA with the US, and for that matter any other government, undermines the
    sovereignty, jurisprudence and neutrality of the Malta government. Any such agreement
    contravenes the spirit and letter of the Constitution of the Republic of Malta. Thus, it is
    not in the interest of the Maltese people now, nor for future generations. A SOFA
    requires that the Malta government would not only violate the vital Article 1 (3) of our
    Constitution, but would also cede its authority on such issues as the entry and exit of US
    forces and personnel, their belongings, labour conditions, claims and contractors, sales,
    customs and income taxes.
  6. Any such agreement is likely to create a de facto two-tiered legal system which
    discriminates between members of the US armed forces and Maltese residents. Countless
    incidents involving US military and locals, from places as diverse as South Korea, Italy and
    even the UK, indicate that such a two-tiered legal arrangement is detrimental to the
    interests of the locals.
  7. Recent history has shown that military interventions in the Mediterranean region and
    beyond have been detrimental to peace, security and well-being and were catalysts for
    war crimes.
  8. Any such agreement could turn Malta into an outpost for US armed forces to project
    military force into neighbouring countries. In doing so, we would likely make enemies of
    our neighbors with serious repercussions to the lives, health, livelihoods and safety of our
    citizens. A strong military presence would deter tourism and foreign investment which
    have been the main propeller of our economy.
    In light of the considerations above, we urge that the Malta government commit, NOT to even
    consider, let alone enter into any discussion that might lead to a SOFA or any military agreement
    with any other country. Malta should retain the best relations possible with all nations. Our
    neutrality is sacrosanct and the key to our security.
    Moreover, in light of what is enjoined by our Constitution, we remind the government of its duty
    to actively pursue peace, security, economic and social progress for our country and together
    with this – the diehard and indefinite commitment to refuse to embark on any military alliance or
    SOFA with any nation.
    We expect the Labour Government to honour the word and the spirit of our country’s
    Constitution and the Cabinet to publicly agree to comply with this request.
    Dejjem tagħkom / Yours Truly
    Dr Marie Louise Coleiro Preca President Emeritus Republika ta’ Malta
    Dr Alfred Sant MEP, eks-Prim Ministru u eks-Mexxej tal-Malta Labour
    Party
    Dr Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici Eks-Prim Ministru u eks-Mexxej tal-Malta Labour Party
    Dr Anne McKenna Mintoff Voluntiera The Malta Trust Foundation
    Dr Yana Mintoff Attivista Soċjalista
    Sammy Meilaq Eks-Chairperson Malta Drydocks
    Frederick Abdilla Attivist Moviment Graffitti
    Adrian Abela Traduttur Kummisjoni Ewropea
    Martin Abela President Żmienijietna
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    Damien Attard Attivist
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    Dr Michelle Attard Tonna Lettur u attivista
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    Petra Helene Bonello Ambjentalista
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    Dr Kurt Borg Lettur
    Matthew Borg Attivist Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar
    Conrad Borg Manché, Sindku tal-Gżira
    Tina Braxton Attivista Żminjietna u Storiku
    Dr David Buhagiar Lettur
    Martina Cacopardo Attivista
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    Emily Galea Studenta tal-Master
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    Martin Galea De Giovanni Attivist
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    Samwel Grima Attivist
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    Ċetta Mainwaring Konsulent fuq l-immigrazzjoni u Awtriċi
    Daniel Mainwaring Konsulent fuq Affariiet Barranin
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    Anna Spiteri Residenta Port il-Kbir
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    Dilettanti
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