Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Principality of Sealand

Principality of Sealand in International Waters

Principality of Sealand
The Principality of Sealand is placed in international waters off the coast of England and one will find a tiny fort which claims to be the world’s smallest country. It is located 10 km from Suffolk Coast in southeast England and in 1967, had declared its independence from Britain.

Is a micro-nation situated in the North Sea and have a long and an amazing history. Its mass comprises of KM Fort Roughs, a former Second World War Maunsell Sea Fort off the coast of Suffolk, England, in United Kingdom.

This island fort was constructed during the second World War as a means of defense against German planes 7 nautical miles offshore in the international waters and in 1956, HM Fort Roughs originated, which was when the pirate radio era began.

It was a home to around twenty two inhabitants having its own royal family, currency, stamps as well as a football team, the Sealand All Stars. It seemed like an oil rig occupying a fort which has been left over from the war and is basically two concrete towers that is connected by an iron platform.

Official Website with Online Newspaper – `Sealand News’

Principality of Sealand
Sealand had participated in many commercial operations which have included the issuance of coins as well as postage stamps together with the establishment of offshore Internet hosting facility. Besides this, it also has an official website and publishes its own online newspaper known as `Sealand News’.

Sealand is also known to have a number of several amateur athletes, which represent Sealand in sporting events. As per their newspaper, a movie named Sealand is in the making which was scheduled to be released in 2013. Jack Moore along with his daughter were stationed here on behalf of Wonderful Radio London, one of England’s renowned radio stations that provided pop and rock music which was not aired by BBC.

Pirate radio stations were on boats and forts such as Fort Roughs in the international water, which did not seem to be legal till 1967 Marine Broadcasting Offences Act. It was during that year that Major Paddy Roy Bates had attacked the station and had claimed that it is an independent sovereign state, with the intention to set up his own station at the site.

Attempts by German & Dutch Mercenaries to take hold 

Principality of Sealand
In 1975, he tried to establish Sealand as a nation-state with the writing of a national constitution as well as the establishment of several other national symbols and thereafter moved to mainland Essex and when he got older, he named Michael, his son as regent.

Bates died at the age of 91 in October 2012. In 1968, his son Michael fired a warning shot at a worker who was making attempts to fix a navigational buoy, though official history convey that the shot was fired during an attacks by the British government. Michael being a British was summoned in court for being in possession of illegal weapon charges but since the Fort which Bates had called Sealand was in international waters, this case could not go on trial and Sealand was officially declared as an individual country, complete with a Constitution.

Alexander Achenbach, a German lawyer declared himself the Prime Minister of Sealand and hired some German and Dutch mercenaries to take hold of the fort in the absence of Bates and his wife who were on a vacation in England. Michael in the initial attack got captured by them but managed to get back the hold on the fort.

Aggressors Taken Hostage for Ransom 

Principality of Sealand
He took the aggressors hostage and held them ransom for a sum of $35,000. Austria, Netherlands and Germany asked UK to render help which was declined since Sealand was not technically controlled by UK. Thereafter with several weeks of negotiations of a German diplomat, they reached an understanding and the matter was resolved.

 According to Bates, this indicated that Germany technically recognized Sealand as an independent nation and that issue got off his mind. Achenbach on the other hand along with his fellow Sealandic rebel Gernot Putz set up a government in exile in Germany and till date his successors lay claims for legitimate authority. In 1997, all passports were revoked after they were linked to several high profile crimes. It had a population of about 50 with their economy consisting of mainly tourist booking, selling titles of nobility and an offshore internet hosting facility.

Sealand faced various problems in recent years. The country went up for sale in the year 2007 for a great sum of $906 million but there were no takers inspite of it being a Swedish BitTorrent site. The Pirate Bay made attempts to buy the country after the crackdown on copyright infringement by Sweden.Towards 1987 UK expanded its territorial waters to 12 miles offshore and Sealand is no longer technically in international waters anymore though they continue to consider that they are an independent micro-nation till date.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.