सोमवार, जनवरी 08, 2007

A Country For Sale

SAMACHAR -- The Bookmark for the Global Indian:

This is the strangest news item I read in long time. I quote -

A former World War II fort in the North Sea, which was settled 40 years ago and declared a state with its own self-proclaimed royal family, is up for sale, The Times said on Monday.

The tiny Principality of Sealand, which began life as Roughs Tower in 1941, is a 550 square metre (658 square yard) steel platform perched on two concrete towers 11 kilometres (seven miles) off the coast of Harwich, eastern England.

It is accessible only by helicopter and boat but according to its owners, who want offers of eight digits or over, boasts uninterrupted sea views, guarantees complete privacy and is a tax haven.

Although its nation status is disputed, Sealand boasts a military past like any other country, defending its sovereignty from outside threats.

Former British army major Paddy Roy Bates began occupying the island with his family in 1967, declared it a state in international waters and gave himself the title "prince".

Britain's Royal Navy attempted to evict him the following year but were unsuccessful. As they entered territorial waters, Roy of Sealand fired warning shots from the former fort.

A judge then ruled in his favour that Sealand was outside British government control as it was beyond the three-mile limit of the country's waters.

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