Thursday, February 25, 2010

Silviu Ionescu and Romania appear to have had the last laugh after all.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew's state controlled newspaper’s online edition of Feb 26, 2010 has this story, "Inonescu not likely to return". And I have to say of course, that I told you so.

It seems after all that Romania and Silviu Ionescu, one of their diplomats, formerly in Singapore, accused by Singapore’s government of having killed a pedestrian and injured 2 others in a road accident there seem to have had the last laugh after all!

The Government of Romania, as it appears, has snubbed this tiny tin pot dictatorship that Lee Kuan Yew struts around in, and in so many words, has simply told him and his totalitarian regime to go to Hell.

A short background that you already know. Silviu Ionescu, a Class A diplomat, fully covered by diplomatic immunity, attached to the Romanian Embassy in Singapore had been accused by Singapore police to have allegedly been drunk while there, drove an Audi automobile with a diplomatic license plate, beat red traffic lights, and ploughed into 3 people, resulting in a death and seriously injuring 2 others.

One has to remember that these are allegations made by Singapore police, a government which is well known for it's lack of the rule of law, an island that is in effect run by a strongman Lee Kuan Yew who has been in power since 1959 (longer than Cuba’s Fidel Castro), with a legal system which has systematically used its courts for decades to stifle and silence any dissent and a government that has imprisoned a man in it's jails (Chia Thye Poh) for a period longer than even Nelson Mandela.

To confirm this island being a banana republic with a legal system which is a principle political weapon for Lee Kuan Yew, the International Bar Association in it's 72 page report in 2008, describes it not too differently from that of North Korea and Singapore’s judges as a corrupt lot, beholden to Lee Kuan Yew for bribes, which they call a salary, in return for which they punish their political victims.

On the time honored legal principle that a man is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt, we have to assume, at this moment Mr. Ionescu is innocent of these charges coming from Lee Kuan Yew's island city state, which he runs at will.

3 hours after this accident, Mr. Ionescu had reported this car to have been stolen, he has consistently denied any wrong doing and left Lee Kuan Yew's island 3 days later for medical treatment. Mr. Ionescu now lives in his home country Romania.

Singapore had on their part had come up with almost daily reports in the their state controlled newspapers which you can imagine, has mostly propaganda, accusing Mr. Ionescu of this accident even though none of this has been proven in a court of law.

Of course, in a totalitarian country such as this, with its newspapers free to malign and vilify anyone they want at will, Mr. Inonescu is powerless to stop this character assassination against him.

You would have noticed by now that Singapore has already tried Mr. Ionescu in their state controlled media and have already convicted him, so to speak. This is the sort of thing that you see in despotic regimes all over the world. If they don’t like someone, just give him a bad name and crucify him. Simple as that.

And with great fanfare, this tiny island city state, with full publicity given in its state controlled press, had summoned the Romanian ambassador from Tokyo and handed him what are called "diplomatic notes", showing Singapore’s displeasure on what has happened and requesting that they return Ionescu to Singapore to attend a coroners' inquiry.

And it is here that we see both Romania and its Ambassador, metaphorically speaking, giving a tight slap across Lee Kuan Yew's face, politely that is. You could say a slap with an iron fist in a velvet glove!

Very politely, Romania suspends (mind you, not terminate) Mr. Ionescu for the duration of these Singapore proceedings. Since Mr. Ionescu is temporarily no longer a diplomat, very convenient indeed, they lift diplomatic immunity, but this of course does not satisfy Lee's demand that he be made to return. Romania politely says that it is up to Mr. Ionescu whether he wants to return to Singapore or not. However they on their part make no effort to help Singapore get what they want, that is, Ionescu in Singapore.

Briefly you could correctly say that Romania has shown Singapore complete disrespect. In fact they have made it known in so many words, that they are not going to help Singapore get their man, presumably because Singapore’s legal system cannot be trusted, as it stands thoroughly discredited in the international community.

As for Ionescu, somewhere in Bucharest, I suppose he too is having a good laugh at this tiny island city state run by this strongman Lee Kuan Yew and his son.

If you ask me for my opinion, I would have to say that Singapore deserves this sort of treatment from Romania. What else did it expect after brazenly and shamelessly abusing its law for decades. Lee Kuan Yew and his son have benefited from shaming their legal system and its judiciary this way, but the ones who have lost out are in fact innocent Singaporeans. By Lee Kuan Yew abusing the law for his private gain, Singaporeans have been put to shame, their courts have been put to shame and their judiciary has been subject of ridicule and contempt.

In this entire saga, Singaporeans should blame Lee Kuan Yew and what he has done to its legal system more than they blame either Mr. Ionescu or Romania. As the saying goes, you reap the seeds you sow. You get what you deserve.

I can tell you without hesitation that had this happened in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada or the US, Romania would have behaved very differently. This was an accident that would have warranted lifting of immunity and handing over the diplomat to the authorities as they did in the Georgian case some years ago in Washington DC.

But of course, that case dealt with the USA, a country whose legal system is respected in the world. Here we are dealing with a rouge port with Lee Kuan Yew running it. I guess Romania in fairness to their citizen Mr. Ionescu felt that he was unlikely to get a fair trial in Lee Kuan Yew’s island. Can anyone blame them?

Of course I send my condolences to the family of the deceased and the injured. I think they would be more apt in directing their anger at Lee Kuan Yew and his son, rather than the government of Romania or diplomat Mr. Silviu Ionescu.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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Unknown said...

Hi Mr Nair,

I am absolutely upset. Our foreign affair released a statement on monday saying they will cooperate with the romanian government. It feels so cheap being a Singaporean. Why are we cooperating with them? Even if we are, the heading of the report should never be put acrossed like this. The romania sent a diplomat to singapore they should be responsible to his behaviour and they have they responsiblity to cooperate with us not we cooperating with them.

Anonymous said...

hi there,
i am a romanian,i live in romania.
a thew years ago,an american diplomat killed an great romanian singer in bucharest,in an automobil happend the same way.he got away.soooo,let it was an accident.

Anonymous said...

hi there,
I'm a Brit who lives in Romania. This sad story does not surprise me. Romania tops the European tables for road traffic accident fatalities. When many Romanians live abroad they drive as they would do at home.

Anonymous said...

Mr Nair,

Shame on you. Using a sad incident for your own political agenda. Regardless of what the government is, this is a crime against an innocent young man who died because of someone who chose to run away from his mistake.

I'll be surprised if you could sleep at night in peace for what you've done.