From the MILF Website (Aug 27): Delegation of Turkish Human Rights lawyers visits Bangsamoro communities
Thirteen Turkish nationals visited Bangsamoro communities in Mindanao to express their support for the peaceful resolution of Bangsamoro struggle for self-determination.
The delegation of Human Rights lawyers are members of the İnsan Hak ve Hürriyetleri ve İnsani Yardım Vakfı (IHH) or Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief in english.
The foreign delegates visited Moro communities of Damakling in Maguindanao, Sapu Masla in Malapatan, Sarangani Province, Butig, Lanao del Sur and selected community in Davao City from August 23 to 26, 2013.
Members of the Moro communities comprised of officers and members of the local Political, Social Welfare, Youth, and Information committees of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front including the volunteers for security attended the occasion.
In the short program held at Brgy Sapu Masla on August 25, 2013 attended by more than 1,000 Moro people from Sarangani, South Cotabato and General Santos City, Omer Kesmen, head of the delegation, said, “We are too far from each other, but our hearts are near.”
Expressing their love and concern for Moro people, he added, “In our organization IHH, we talked on how to help you, how to reach you out,” he said and added, “Let’s thank Allah that we see each other.”
“We shall bring help from Turkey, let’s wait for the Bangsamoro government to be established,” the head delegate said.
“We see that the Bangsamoro struggle has reached an important point.” Kesmen also noted the poor situation of the Bangsamoro communities.
Sarangani Governor Steve Solon said, “Any help that brings peace here, we embrace it with love.” He related the program of the local government for its people anchored on equality and peace.
Necati Ceylan, President of the International Jurist Union, said their group is protector of human rights and has membership from 33 countries all over the world. “We are here to help protect human rights abuses,” he said.
“We are one Ummah and your problem is our problem,” he pointed out. “From now on, we will share sadness or happiness,”
A Moro youth leader said, ”We struggle for our future generations and we struggle for system change.” He reminded the audience to consider the life in the hereafter and not only focus in enriching oneself.
Sarangani Board Members Virgilio Tobias and Abdurakman Pangolima attended the event. Members of the GPH-MILF Local Monitoring Team were also present.
The group related about their organization and its programs with mandates to monitor, receive, and verify data or information reported by the concerned individuals in conflict-affected areas. They also discussed to the community residents matters that pertain to their rights and privileges when natural and man-made calamites occur in their respective areas particularly issues that affect the GPH and the MILF Peace process.
They said that the Non-Violent Peace Force act as mediator and makes recommendations to concerned authorities matters or issues that are reported to them which need urgent remedy or solution. Some of these are problems that affect internally-displaced persons (IDP’s) like human rights violations, lack of much-needed medicines, food, shelter and others. They stressed that condition like these need immediate attention so that the people shall not suffer for long.
The community gathering was organized by local residents who were so elated with the presence of Nonviolent Peace Force, an international non-government organization/service agency and non-partisan organization. Nonviolent Peace Force (NP) is a member of the Civilian Protection Component of the International Monitoring Team (CPC-IMT) holding satellite office in Pikit, North Cotabato.
At least forty (40) community residents from the municipalities of Matalam, Kabacan and Kidapawan City attended the activity. They expressed their thanks and gratitude to the guests for letting them know their rights and privileges embodied under international law.
The program ended at noon time.