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What Italy Tried to say
April 03, 2013 by:
Ravikumar Ambadi Points: 12
Killing of hapless fishermen by Italy''s Marines near Indian cost has turned to a big diplomatic issue between India and Italy. Discussing the issue here to find out what the stand of Italy tried to convey to the world
When you go through the pages of various dictionaries, the meaning of diplomacy has been stated as the activity or skill to manage international relations. One more meaning seen in many dictionaries is to deal effectively with highly sensitive people. Irrespective of the matter which meaning you are accepting, Italy has proved it as a wrong assumption. Diplomacy even lost its dignity during the ongoing controversy of Italian Marines killing two hapless Indian fishermen for no fault of them.
The incident happened in Arabian Sea on 15th February of 2012. Oil tanker MV Enrica Lexie was on her voyage to Egypt from Singapore. On the fateful day she came across with a fishing boat with 11 crews on board. Two marines Salvatore Girone and Massimillano of Vessel Protection Detachment (VPT) of Italy fired towards the fishermen mistaking them as pirates. Mr. Ajesh Binki and Mr. Valentine died in that shoot out. The matter was reported to the authorities and India Coastal Guard chased the ship and brought it to the Indian shores.
Indian authorities were clear that the incident happened within Indian Contiguous Zone and hence it should be treated as a murder case based on the prevailing laws of the land. However, Italian authorities denied the fact and they claimed that the incident happened outside the Indian Contiguous Zone and hence the matter should be decided in an international court based on international laws.
However, a murder case has been charged against those two marines and the local police arrested them. After a few days they got bail on strict conditions and one among them was not to leave India till the case has been decided. Still the Supreme Court of India allowed them to leave the country to celebrate Christmas along with their family members and those two marines have returned within the allowed time. They have allowed leaving the country on a guarantee submitted before the court by an Indian national. Again in the month of February 2013, they approached Supreme Court of India and requested to allow them to go to their nation to participate in the election procedures. This time court allowed them to do so based on an undertaking given by the Italian Ambassador to India Mr. Daniele Mancini stating that the two will come back at any cost and he is responsible for it. Thus they left India and as a shock to the government Italian Foreign Ministry announced that the two marines will not return to India for facing the trial. India government has taken the issue seriously and the Supreme Court of India ordered that the ambassador should not leave the country till April 2nd.
Here some points need a special mention. While hearing the plea to leave India the court asked whether there is any facility for postal voting or voting online in Italy. If that is there, it is not necessary for them to go to their native places for casting their votes. The answer was no which is totally a lie as Italy provides facilities for postal voting. Secondly, while giving the undertaking in the court the Ambassador has agreed with full heart that he will be submitting himself to the court. In other words, diplomatic immunity will not be valid in this case.
Presently the argument of Italy is that since both the countries have signed a treaty to exchange convicts belonging to respective nations, there is no need for these marines to go to India again. However, the treaty was related to the exchange of convicts and these marines are not being convicted by any court. They are under-trials and this treaty will not be valid in their case.
Whatever may be the legal points and arguments, let us come to the point. What message Italy is trying to give to the world through this incident. After agreeing for all the terms put forth by the Indian Judiciary now Italy is playing a foul game by putting the diplomatic immunity issue in the international level. They have proved that they can come down to any level to fulfill their selfish ambitions. Submitting an undertaking in a nation's upper most court and then claim for diplomatic immunity is nothing but cheating. They think that they can be free even after committing cold blood murders. So, finally what Italy wants to say to the world? Do they mean that the ghost of fascism is still roaming around there in Italy or they want to say that they are moving towards bringing back the Mussolini period?
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