Sulu Datus seek to convene peace, conciliation body to end Sabah row PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 March 2013 18:50

Strongly-worded appeals to put a stop to the bloodshed in Sabah, Malaysia was made recently by legitimate members of the Council of Royal  Datus of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo even as it calls for  immediate resolution of the conflict in the disputed Sabah territory .

At the same time, the Datus urged Malaysia to create a “peace body” to open initiatives for peaceful dialogue between the parties concerned.

Several resolutions approved and adopted during the 2nd Consultative Meetingof the Council of Royal

Datus of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo held on March 13, 2013 at the Sapphire room of the Grand Astoria Hotel, this city were addressed to the United Nations Secretary General, President Benigno Aquino III, Organization of the Islamic Conference and Malaysian Paramount Sultan and Prime Minister for the immediate intervention to halt the ongoing hostilities between Malaysian forces and members of the Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu.

The meeting was attended by at least 66 heirs of the Sultanate from Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga City  andPalawan. Also present were traditional and religious leaders, with the theme “Unity of the Heirs of the Royal Families and Traditional Leaders of the Sultanate of Sulu towards Peaceful Solution to end Sabah violence,” according to Hadja Liddy Rasul Tañedo, one of the prime conveners.

She said violence in Sabah must be stopped at once in order to normalize the situation and to avert more bloodshed in the ongoing fighting. “The only way to do it is to seek the serious intervention of our leaders,” Tanedo added.

She said the meeting, presided over by Datu Albi Julkarnain, chairman of the Council of Datus, was the 2nd series of a continuing consultation process of which the first was held in Jolo, Sulu last January 2008. It was aimed to consult, discuss and find solutions to the Sabah issues of theSultanate of Sulu.  The consultations also seek to address the  conflict that has arisen as a result of the actions of some heirs who have gone to Malaysia to demand the return of Sabah to the sultanate and the subsequent violence.

Tanedo is the granddaughter of the late Dayang Dayang Indah Taas, eldest daughter of Sulu’s 29th Sultan Jainal Abirin II of the Royal House of Patikul, Sulatanate of Sulu and North Borneo.

UN, OIC INTERVENTIONS

In a show of unity, the Datus appealed to the United Nations for immediate intervention to the ongoing Sabah conflict and stop to the harassment, abuse, arrest and killing of innocent civilians  by Malaysian military and police forces.

The standoff which erupted into a violent bloodbath has attracted the attention of the international community including the UN when its Secretary Gen. Ban Ki-Moon issued a statement calling for secession of hostilities between the two antagonist, urging them to settle the issue through dialogue in the negotiating table.

A similar appeal was made to the Organization of IslamicConference (OIC) to intervene to prevent further violence and commission of Human Rights violations and to avert the loss of precious lives.

OIC, composed of Islamic countries could play a major role to help their Muslim brothers in Sabah.

Earlier, the Royal Sultanate of Sulu has responded to the UN call and unilaterally declared a  ceasefire, which however lifted due to the continued refusal of Malaysia to cease from hunting down the remnants of the Sulu Royal forces led by Raja Muda (Crown Prince) Agbimuddin Kiram.

URGE  MALAYSIA TO CREATE A “PEACE AND CONCILIATION COMMISSION

A resolution by the Datus was adopted and addressed to His Highness Paramount Sultan and Prime Minister Tun Najib Rajak diplomatically asking Malaysia to stop hostilities against Filipinos who wentto Malaysia to reclaim Sabah Malaysia emphasizing among others, that the international community, as well as the Philippines and the Sulu Sultanate renounces war and would prefer a peaceful resolution to this conflict.

The Royal Datus urged Malaysia to form a “peace body” that would start a dialogue and spare the innocent Muslim and non-Muslim Filipino Civilians in the conflict-affected areas in Sabah from illegal arrest, killings, abuses and harassments.

“Whereas,we finally appeal to the addressee (Malaysia) to create a Peace and Conciliation Commission consisting of Malaysia, Philippines and Sulu Sultanate representatives based on mutual respect and dignity that could facilitate and help normalize the atmosphere of peace in Sabah (North Borneo), Malaysia wherein the existing conflict arisen,” the resolution said.

On humanitarian ground, the Datus also in the same resolution enjoined Malaysia to allow relief and humanitarian assistance to the victims of the atrocities.

“Whereas,  considering that the situation (obtaining) in Sabah, Malaysia is very much superfluous  and unwarranted not only to the Filipino people but the whole world as well, we appeal to His Highness, Sultan Agong and Prime Minister of Malaysia that all victims be provided with humanitarian aid such as medicines, provisions and relief assistance.”

Tanedo said it is prayed that the resolution would reach the head of States through the Ambassador of USA, China, Brunei, United Kingdom of Britain, Organization of Islamic Conference and other concerned countries.

NEED FOR DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF SABAH ISSUE

The Datus in a separate resolution, called President Benigno Aquino III for a deeper understanding of the Sabah issue (claim) and the sentiments of the ethnic peoples traditionally and historically under the Sultanate.

“Our ways may be distinct but we share the same aspirations of peace and development with the larger population of the country,” part of the resolution emphasized, which was duly signed by all.

The resolution, coursed through ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, also appealed to President Noynoy Aquino II to initiate immediate efforts through peaceful ceasefire solutions, rescue andprovide further humanitarian aids to the victims of the conflict in Sabah, at the same time asking the president to intervene to stop the killings, abuses and unwarranted behaviour of the Malaysian security forces against Filipinos.

It also asked the support of the Philippine government in the peaceful process of approaching the Sabah issue, involving all heirs and descendants of the Royal families, Muslim traditional and religious leaders, all stakeholders and the raayat (constituents).

“We hope and pray that Sabah conflict shall be resolved through peaceful means as soon as possible in order to spare the lives of innocent Muslim Filipinos in the conflict-affected areas at Sabah.”

“Finally, we appeal to His Excellency President Benigno Aquino III for immediate action before it’s too late,” the resolution concluded.

Dayang Dayang Putli Carolina Julkarnain, Dayang Dayang Derhana J. Hashim and Datu Nurshatri Ahmad were among the event’s organizers. Also in attendance were several guests with Ustadz Almadi Baginda who led the Pag Duaa and Mr. Abdulghafur R. Rabulan as the master of the ceremonies. — faber_concepcion2004@yahoo.com