|Ace Kindred Cheong, Updated 10:25 AM May 16, 2010 |
I have nothing against diplomats having immunity for and when caarying out official duties.However what i disagree is when diplomats abuses or have abused such immunity for comitting crimes and have caused death in other countries.
The 'immunity' which you mention is not as 'infinite' as you seem to assume. Whilst the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) does indeed provide in accordance with Article 31.1, "immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State", Article 31.4 elaborates further, the same article by stating that "The immunity of a diplomatic agent from the jurisdiction of the receiving State does not exempt him from the jurisdiction of the sending State." Your definition of 'immunity form persecution' thus seem quite lacking if not mistaken.
|A good example is Dr Silviu Ionescu a Romanian diplomat who have killed Mr Tong Kok Wai and injured 2 others.He managed to leave Singapore on the basis of diabetes and having to go back home for treatment.|
|Not only that Dr Silviu Ionescu had made a deliberate false police report that the embassy car has been stolen when in fact he was the one who have driven the embassy car.Also Dr Silviu publicly criticised Singapore and accused Singapore under the leadership of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is a country that do not respect law when Silviu was asked to comment by a foreign media.|
|I am fearful that if such diplomats in future would be involved in heinous crimes like murder or worst terrorism, I am sure that he or she being a diplomat with immunity would be far more dangerous than usual terrorists who can be and will be captured without having to worry about offending the opposite parties and governments.|
The VCDR is written with the lofty ambition of achieving high standards of diplomatic relations, standards requiring an almost religious, if not continuous bilateral abidance to its contained articles, 1- 53, every hour and every day for which the agreement stands.
I however, remain optimistic about the ultimate intentions and outcomes of both the original references.
|So what i like to comment is that when a diplomat is suspected in being involved in any crimes either in Singapore or any other countries, he or she can be detained to help investigate instead of allowing hm or her to leave the country and wait till the government which sends him or her to punish them for the crimes committed.|
Mother Teresa once said, "To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it." I guess effort, energy and commitment, not to mention a sense of propriety is necessary to keep diplomatic relations strong; the 'misdemeanors' of the opposite party must be nipped in the bud, if overlooked and allowed to fester, these indiscretions will only snowball into larger tragedies which make public to the world what flimsy foundations our relations are premised upon.
Mind you, the VCDR in its 'maiden glory' is available at source online at http://untreaty.un.org/ilc/texts/ins...s/9_1_1961.pdf - 16pages, medium font, cover page and preamble inclusive.
Substandard interpretations of the VCDR and wild assumptions of the same thus defeat the inceptive premise of the diplomacy. We must be careful in all our relations and unless we're truly prepared, not 'flirt' with all and sundry. And when problems arise, may our spirits not deviate from that of the Law.
Face it, one cannot have one's cake and eat it too.
As our source article 'TODAYonline'-May 14, 2010: 'The principle of diplomatic immunity is sound' clearly states: "While ignoring immunity sometimes might seem preferable at first glance, it's a two-way street that needs to be respected all the time to protect Singapore's diplomats overseas. Only by following the principles of the Vienna Convention at home can one country expect others to do the same for its diplomats abroad. "
Too much wine maketh a decision maker tipsy.
May Singapore rise to the occasion, with the cooperation of the Romanian Government, and under the existing mutual terms of the VCDR, resolve this issue with dignity and grace.
The book of law should be read in spirit, from front to back and not vice versa.
Thank you for your concern and interest over this issue.
Regards and God bless,
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Ps: It is my opinion that some additional clarifications need to be added to the VCDR- such as the compliance with local traffic regulations etc. Whilst A31.2 goes so far as to state: "A diplomatic agent is not obliged to give evidence as a witness", that should the receiving state, by way of its ordinary local procedures, find a 'diplomatic agent', to be of immediate hazard to human life and limb of the local community, intervene to minimize such risk in the least disruptive manner whilst upholding the safety of the community and keeping the sending state informed of such interventions at the soonest possible time. -etc-
A 'diplomatic agent' is stopped for suspected drunk driving. He is given the choice of either passing the on-site breathalyzer test, or making alternative arrangements to continue his passage of travel without himself being driver of a motorized vehicle. (the receiving country MFA would of course be accordingly informed of this incident).
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Quotes and references:
- Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (UN site): http://untreaty.un.org/ilc/texts/ins...s/9_1_1961.pdf
- 'TODAYonline'-May 14, 2010: 'The principle of diplomatic immunity is sound'
- 11May2010: 'The book of law should be read in spirit, from front to back and not vice versa'
- Mother Teresa Quotes: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/au...er_teresa.html
The following are appended articles of the 'Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations'
- Article 2 states: "The establishment of diplomatic relations between States, and of permanent diplomatic missions, takes place by mutual consent".
- Article 9.1 states:- "The receiving State may at any time and without having to explain its decision, notify the sending State that the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is persona non grata or that any other member of the staff of the mission is not acceptable. .."
- Article 29 states: "The person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. The receiving State shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity."
- A31.1 states: "A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State. ..."
- A31.4 states: "The immunity of a diplomatic agent from the jurisdiction of the receiving State does not exempt him from the jurisdiction of the sending State."