View Full Version : Ich Bin Ein Sealander
04-06-2000, 04:30 PM
Well, I read this Reuters (http://www.jokes.com/hnn/04_05_2000.reodd-story-bcoddarrest.html) article about a chap getting busted in Madrid for issuing false passports in the name of the "Principality of Sealand." I took the time to find their, um, "national website (http://www.principality-sealand.net/en00.htm)."
Quickly summarized, Sealand was a war-era antiaircraft gun platform in the Thames Estuary that was "occupied" by a Major Paddy someone or other in 1967. He formed his own country on the contention that the platform was abandoned and existed outside the territorial limits of Great Britain. Their fine site also offers a convenient application for citizenship.
So go take a look at the site, and "Dr. Dr. Dr. Walter Leisner's" expert opinion, and answer me these, cause I don't think I can:
1) Any experts in international law see a valid claim, here, or is it as ludicrous as it appears?
2) Would formal denial of this fine young "nation" threaten the sovereignty of other European micro-states such as Andorra, Monaco, and Lichtenstein?
3) If I apply for Sealander citizenship and a passport, is the State Department going to throw me in the slam, deport me, or deny me my Social Security? What is the U.S. position on dual citizenship with nations it doesn't even recognize?
Have fun with this one. Hope you haven't seen it before.
04-06-2000, 04:45 PM
um... they have their own licence plates... do they have cars??
They also have their own coins...
What is the population?
I have over 2000 posts, dammit! Show some respect.
O p a l C a t
04-06-2000, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by Sofa King:
2) Would formal denial of this fine young "nation" threaten the sovereignty of other European micro-states such as Andorra, Monaco, and LichtensteinI'll field this one. The "tiny" european countries include Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and the Holy See. They have a long history behind them, and all (except the Holy See) belong to the United Nations. The Holy See has observer status with the United Nations. I doubt their case could compare to Sealand.
04-07-2000, 01:59 AM
Man, they've got coins, stamps, license plates; I wonder when they'll get a domain extension. Is .sl taken?
Here's a picture (http://www.principality-sealand.net/03.jpg) of the place.
04-07-2000, 10:00 AM
According to Marshall T. Savage, author of _The_Millennial_Project_ any individual has the right to construct an artificial island in international waters (by the 1958 "Geneva Convention on the High Seas"). And since no existing country has the right to declare sovereignty over any part of the High Seas, the artificial island would be, in effect, independent.
04-07-2000, 06:03 PM
Here's the US position on all dual citizenships:
"The dawn of a new era is felt and not measured." Walter Lord
04-07-2000, 09:42 PM
Well, Cece's bent is pretty good, but I'm not sure it would apply to me. After all, I wasn't born in Sealand and I don't have a loophole status to fall back on.
I'm thinking that as long as I don't renounce my American citizenship, I can join up with whatever peaceful, unrecognized (by the U.S.) nation I want to, but as soon as Sealand is recognized (and I'm not holding my breath), I might have to renounce my allegiance with them, if I'm not already in trouble. On the other hand, if you recognize a new nation, there has to be a grandfather clause, right?
04-07-2000, 09:57 PM
Oh, man, this just keeps getting better and better:
Sealand- In the 1960s, one of Great Britain's more productive cottage industries was pirate radio. The painfully bland BBC and the painfully bland government of Harold Wilson took umbrage, and soon the pirate transmitters were forced underground. After one pirate station began transmitting from a ship outside the three-mile limit of the UK's waters, Roy Bates and Ronan O'Rohilly, both owners of pirate radio stations, got to thinking.
The North Sea at this time was littered with Second World War-vintage radar platforms. In 1966, Bates and O'Rohilly occupied one and called it Sealand. They began hatching moneymaking schemes ranging from not just a pirate radio station, but also a gambling resort and a corporate tax haven. As the freshly-minted nation's prospects rose, so did the tension between the diumvirs of the baseball-diamond sized empire. Bates seized the tower. In June of 1967, O'Rohilly launched an offensive, which Bates and his men repulsed with guns, Molotov cocktails, and a surplus flamethrower. Upon hearing that the Royal Marines were preparing to seize the platform, Bates declared Sealand's independence on September 2. On a jaunt back to the old country, Bates was arrested and brought before a British court on a variety of charges. He was acquited in October of 1968, since Sealand was outside of British jurisdiction.
Sealand stayed out of the news until a German businessman toured Sealand a few years later. During negotiations, the Germanís hired goons kidnapped the crown prince and set him back ashore. Prince Roy rapidly got together an army, hired a helicopter, and retook the tower. Since the German had accepted Sealand citizenship, Bates arrested him for treason. Over the next seven weeks, the German government repeatedly appealed to the British Foreign Office, which insisted that it had no jurisdiction. Further vindicated, Bates eventually released the German without payment of his 75,000 Deutschmark fine.
The next uproar took place during the Falkland Islands War of 1982. Argentina's initial success rapidly eroded, and the Argentinians conceived of a desperate plan. They contacted Bates and asked to lease Sealand as a missile base, hoping to destroy British morale. Bates swallowed down his mercenary impulses and declined. In a completely unrelated matter, Britain extended its territorial waters to the 20 kilometer limit later that year, soon after dynamiting another tower near Sealand. Sealand's only permanent residents, a small team of security guards, abandoned the platform after storms in 1991.
04-07-2000, 10:02 PM
Sofa: Depending on the action you take and the country for which you're taking that action (i.e., running for Prime Minister), you can very well be divested of your United States citizenship.
Please check out the information on the US State Department's site at http://www.state.gov .
And for the love of whatever deity you find holy (if this applies), please don't do what one elderly lady I know did: she renounced her US citizenship in Japan and thus lost the protection/assistance of the US government and got into serious trouble with the Japanese government. Turns out it's against their law to enter the country and pull that stunt without informing the Japanese government first.
04-07-2000, 11:10 PM
Sealand is obviously an artificial structure not a natural formation. This may be taking the whole idea too seriously, but without going into the issue of sovereignty, has Britain renounced ownership? After all, it would seem pointless for Bates to win recognition for his country and then find out that all the property in Sealand is owned by the British government.
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