From ABS-CBN (Jul 8): Sulu sultan files complaint vs Malaysia before UN
The Sultanate of Sulu has filed a complaint with the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR), accusing Malaysia of violating a 1963 agreement over the arrest of several people involved in the attempted takeover of Sabah earlier this year.
Sultanate spokesman Abraham Idjirani maintained the people arrested by Malaysian authorities were never involved in the attempt.
Idjirani said the complaint against Malaysia was filed at the UN office in Makati City last week.
The complaint detailed several human rights violations committed by Malaysians against Sultan Jumamul Kiram III and other personalities suspected to have provided support to the failed invasion.
Idjirani pointed out Malaysia is a party to the accord signed in Manila in 1963.
He said the Manila Accord was signed on 31 July 1963 by the Federation of Malaysia, Republic of Indonesia and Republic of the Philippines.
The countries agreed to abide by the wishes of the people of North Borneo (now Sabah and Labuna) and Sarawak, within the context of the UN General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV), Principle 9 of the Annex, taking into account referendums in North Borneo and Sarawak that would be free and without coercion.
The accord also called for the peaceful resolution of the Philippine claim to North Borneo or Sabah.
“The arrest of Datu Amirbahar Kiram, who was not involved in the standoff, is a clear violation of the treaty,” Idjirani said.
“Datu Amirbahar, a nephew of Sultan Kiram, was never involved in the fighting. In fact, he was mediating for the peaceful resolution of the standoff,” he said.
Some of the NGOs or CSOs are bigwigs in the field of legal struggle for justice and human rights: Anak Mindanao (AMIN), Gaston Ortigas Foundation (GOF), Mindanao People’s Caucus (MPC), Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS), Mindanao Peaceweavers (MPW), Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ), and many others.
It is a matter of principle and policy that the MILF hears all voices that contribute to the attainment of genuine and lasting peace in Mindanao. But the voices coming from the NGOs and CSOs deserve special spot in our hearts, because they are the least affected or none at all by petty considerations. They speak from the bottom of their hearts. If peace is borne by now they are the last to demand for a share of the pie. We are sure of this because we have been dealing with them for decades.
Some of them even sent short message system (sms) to members of the MILF peace panel and perhaps also to the government peace panel. Notable of these well-wishers is a Catholic nun named Sister Arnold Maria, who despite her advancing age vowed unto herself to continue to support the peace negotiation through to the end or as long as she is alive. Thank you very much!
However, there are exceptions. Other NGOs and CSOs, despite their billings, are taking cues from shadow interests groups. This, however, is very hard to spot, except in how they manage issues. Sometimes, they take a gray position, which is actually a countervailing one. Ambiguity, which is closely akin to non-committal, can mean choosing either side of the equation.
It is time that these so-called cause-oriented groups start calling spade a spade! If what is just and truthful is their cause, then they are natural allies of the oppressed and suppressed. Here they belong and are identified with.