So the Southern Saga continues as both sides take serious actions. On the Sea Shepherd Pirate Group side they have retained counsel and who have preferred claims of piracy against the Japanese - seriously piracy by the Japanese. It was pointed out to NAUTICAL LOG that this claim is from an organisation that sells fund raising T-shirts imprinted with the vessels they have sunk by acts of piratical violence.
On the Japanese side according to this morning's "The Australian", and NAUTICAL LOG quotes in part from the article, the Japanese Government has accused Ms. Julia Gillard, Australia's Acting Prime Minister, of aggravating the whaling controversy between Tokyo and Canberra. They called for Australian action to prevent further illegal activities by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. NAUTICAL LOG always calls them a Pirate Group but here we must quote accurately. The Japanese officials warned a senior Australian diplomat that Ms. Gillard's statements immediately before and after the collision between Sea Shepherd's speedboat and a Japanese whaling ship were inflaming public opinion in Japan and making diplomatic resolution of the underlying dispute harder to realise. Japanese officials further questioned the jurisdiction of AMSA to investigate last week's collision. Without access to the crew of MS Shonan Maru #2 any finding by an AMSA Inquiry into the collision is likely to be meaningless. In fairness to AMSA NAUTICAL LOG would like to point out that MNZ is the lead nation as the DFC Ady Gil Flag State and AMSA is second chair. The Japanese have agreed to co-operate with the MNZ Investigation and also expect to vigorously contest the piracy complaint lodged in the Dutch Court. The daily Posts on the SS-PG website are a confused mass of outright lies and twisted facts, but then this has always been the specialty of Wats-his-name and SS-PG.
It would seem that our lady diplomats, first France and now Australia, have not handled this Southern Saga with deft diplomat hands. But we are not finished yet by any means the perhaps most preposterous is yet to come. As we mentioned at the beginning the Sea Shepherds retained counsel in The Netherlands and they in turn have lodged complaints of Japanese piracy.
Lets look at who's who in The Netherlands. One remembers The Netherlands as a bastion of correctness, the Dutch Republic, Calvinist, and conservative with a monarchy of Queens rather than Kings. Two thirds reclaimed from the sea with astounding maritime engineering system of dykes, polders and sluis to hold back and control the North Sea. The nation's International Airport called Schiphol, a former ship harbour again reclaimed from the North Sea. Today The Netherlands is still famous for its dykes, queens, extreme social behaviour, liberalism, drug "cafes", not processing properly a Nigerian transit passenger (going to the United States not our worry) who turns out to be a terrorist bomber, and the Flag State of pirate ships. So who is filing piracy complaints in Dutch Court, well once again we find the ladies in action.
Sea Shepherd retained the law firm of Bohler, Franken, Koppe, Wijngaarden and the Advocat assigned is Prof. Liesbeth Zegveld. While one says 'retained' one believes 'pro bono' work since the spinmaster 'Wats-his-name' seems to have unlimited ability to con money - excuse me - leverage finances from an extraordinarily wide group of persons internationally. BFKW www.bfkw.nl/ (go to this website for complete data in Dutch and English) as it likes to be known, is a firm of some seventeen activist attorneys whose mission statement is -"The power of the State versus the rights of the Individual"- heady stuff indeed. They cover Criminal Law, Asylum & Immigration Law, International Law & Human Rights. In addition Advocat Zegveld was appointed (September 2006) professor of International Humanitarian Law in particular the Rights of Woman and Children at Leiden University. This will stand her well in dealing with 'Wats-his-name' whose childish behaviour is well known in the maritime community and is regularly on display at his press conferences. Sea jersey with multiple patches and phony law enforcement badges that amazingly stop bullets like in 'matinee idol' cowboy movies.
Now Advocat Zegveld is going to have her hands full defending, even to a liberal Dutch Court, a vessel clearly marked with pirate symbols, flying a pirate banner and the New Zealand national ensign. How can a vessel found armed with lethal weapons, namely the recovered evidence arrows, complain that the other vessel involved is the pirate vessel. One cannot seriously imagine that the MS "Shonan Maru #2" had a box of arrows already aboard to produce for this occasion and further that they also discharged the oil seen streaming from the sinking DFC "Ady Gil". SS-PG claimed they had completely removed all the oil by pump, as any seafarer knows this is just not possible to do at sea under the conditions existing after the collision. She will also have to answer, as a Human Rights attorney, the racial slurs against the Japanese in the most recent SS-PG website Post. The twisted facts and outright lies daily published in the SS-PG website will not assist her in writing a defense brief.
It should be quite a case for BFKW and Advocat Liesbeth Zegveld which NAUTICAL LOG shall follow with interest.
UPDATE January 11, 2010.
Amazing as it might seem there are actually times when NAUTICAL LOG finds itself quite in agreement with SS-PG. Their latest website Post refers to remarks by Mr. Murray McCully the New Zealand Foreign Minister. One cannot but wonder at the education, attitude, perspective and diplomatic ability of this person. He is quoted as saying in part of a statement that New Zealand or any other nation has no responsibility to sent armed vessels to deal with the Southern Ocean conflict. Does this mean that the New Zealand Government disagrees with the International Anti-Pirate Naval Patrol off the Horn of Africa. Because Mr. McCully cannot choose to support one and ignore the other since it is the same offence in two jurisdictions. His Government is already investigating, it says, the Southern Ocean conflict through Maritime New Zealand (MNZ).
This plays right into the hands of the 'Wats-his-name' propaganda machine which is extremely capable. Looking from a distance of some 10,000 miles but having lived in New Zealand many years ago one is puzzled at its political diplomats of today. Mr. McCully NAUTICAL LOG would point out one of the purposes of having a Navy is that when the occasion demands it, as now, ones country can be quickly represented in an area. Projecting an effective and flexible presence without being overly aggressive by running around in camos and warpaint. At the same time instantly being able to bring military pressure to bear. If anyone should know how to use naval power it is a former British Colonial Nation.
Mr. McCully your Royal New Zealand Navy www.mil.nz/ aspires "to be the best small-nation Navy in the world" and its mission statement is "To contribute to the security and prosperity of all New Zealanders through the delivery of versatile, responsive and effective Maritime Military Capability across the spectrum of operations".
So get it together man, send a warship or two to deal with this conflict before someone gets killed.