The armed intruders claiming to be Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu (which legally and diplomatically, doesn’t exist and recognized by no one and not even their own sovereign government) came illegally into Sabah and taken position. They made claims and since 18 days ago, all efforts of diplomacy to get them to go back from where they came were just ignored.
Now that all avenues to resolve the matter diplomatically ended, deadly force was regretfully used and twelve lives gone, they want to play another drama. The Philippines President Benigno Aquino III on Saturday asked them to surrender immediately, without any condition.
This time, they are trying to get the Americans dragged into it.
Sultanate to invoke 1915 pact with US2:27 am | Sunday, March 3rd, 2013
Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram. AP FILE PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines—The Sultanate of Sulu is considering seeking the intercession of the US government in pressing its claim to Sabah by invoking a 1915 agreement with the US colonial government in the Philippines.
Abraham Idjirani, spokesperson for the sultan of Sulu, said the sultanate was considering invoking the Kiram-Carpenter Agreement of March 22, 1915.
Under that agreement, signed by US-appointed Governor of Mindanao and Sulu Frank W. Carpenter with the sultan of Sulu relinquished the sultan’s and his heirs’ right to temporal sovereignty, tax collection and arbitration laws.
In exchange, the sultan got an allowance, a piece of land and recognition as religious leader.
The agreement did not cover the territory of North Borneo, which the sultanate had leased to the British North Borneo Company.
Idjirani said that under the agreement, the United States also agreed to give “full protection to the sultan of Sulu should the question of Sabah arise in the future between the sultanate and any foreign authority.”
“We will remind them of their moral obligation. That obligation is not to use violent means but to help find a solution,” Idjirani said.
Princess Jacel Kiram, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III’s daughter, said the ball was now in the court of the Philippine and Malaysian governments.
“We are saddened and dismayed by the treatment of the government of this issue. We are trying our best to understand why we are treated this way, because it’s unacceptable,” she said.
Holding their ground
“We offer the 10 lives that were lost to our dear President and to Secretary Mar Roxas. I hope they do not wait for more people to be killed before they wake up and address the situation properly,” she added, referring to the followers of the sultan who were killed in a clash with Malaysian police in Tanduao village in Lahad Datu town, Sabah, on Friday.
By midnight Friday after hours of discussion, Jamalul decided that his brother Agbimuddin and his remaining 224 followers would hold their ground in Sabah.
“The Sultan came to a decision at midnight, weighing the lives of (224) and his brother and the aspiration that the ancestral land be recognized by Malaysia. The decision is to stay put,” Idjirani said on Saturday morning.
Open to talks
“This is not being stubborn. The sultan is open to talks,” he said, reiterating that only the sultanate could talk about disengagement with the Malaysian Embassy.
Idjirani said Malacañang’s “small window of opportunity” to end the standoff was not acceptable because all the government wanted was Agbimuddin’s group pullout from Sabah, without assurance of negotiations involving the sultanate’s claim to Sabah.
How can they claim that a third party has the ‘moral obligation’ of “Not to use violent means but to help find a solution”?
They marched illegally into Lahad Datu, which is a district in Sabah, a state as part of the federation a sovereign nation with high powered automatic assault rifles, machine guns and field artilleries. If that isn’t ‘an attempt to be violent’, the they must be mad.
The fact that Royal Malaysian Police as a Federal Government agency for internal security has been trying to infiltrate these armed intruders position in Kampung Tanduo instead of units from the Armed Forces in armoured vehicles with heavy machine guns being supported with artilleries and air operations (which include insurgency bombings) when all deadlines were busted, is a demonstration of least force utilized.
If this situation was to be handled by the Americans or even its allies such as Singapore or Australia, a more comprehensive deadly force would have been used much earlier.
The Sultanate of Sulu is not a legal entity anywhere and being recognized as so, by any sovereign nations. In the past decades, they were considered as rebels and even terrorists. More now, when the peace accord between the Bangsa Moro and the Phillipines has been struck four months before this Ramj Muda Agbimudie Kiram’s deadly drama. On top of that Malaysia, as a sovereign nation, is part of the treaty.
President Aquino III in a media conference in 26 Feb 2013 admitted the issue is “Complex and should be resolved with talks” and called for fellow Filipinos involved in the illegal armed intrusion into Sabah by forces claiming to be Sultan of Sulu’s Army as “Fool hardy act” and “Presence of armed intruders in Sabah would just bring the matter further away”.
Getting the Americans involved is a strategic a attempt to complicate the matter further. It is also a demonstration of the ‘hidden hand’ involved, just like President Aquino said in his media conference last week about “Quarters funding this armed intruders” to come all the way to Lahad Datu.
What is clear is that this group conveniently came to create trouble via one excuse after another, in weeks if not days before Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak dissolve the Malaysian Parliament and start the process of the 13th general election. This is exact drama like Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim is able to do or be part of the planning and execution.
Like Anwar and his Neo Con Jewish backers would anticipate, the more complicated and chaotic the nation is the better for them to move and make the ‘kill’. Literally.