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Philippines Invading Malaysia And Chasing Off China


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March 1, 2013:


Final peace talks with MILF are going well and both sides expect to finish all the details by next month. This would establish a new Moslem entity (Bangasamoro) in the south that would have more autonomy, but would make the Moslems down there responsible to maintaining the peace. This is no small matter because, more than elsewhere in the Philippines, the Moslem south has long had many more clan militias that believed it was their right to engage in private wars. Not all the clans share the MILF’s official attitudes about who shall have the right to make war in Bangasamoro. The peace deal could still come apart over these details, especially the exact extent of the power the Bangasamoro government would have.


In Sabah (a Malaysian province on the island of Borneo, which is southwest of the Philippines across the Sulu Sea) nearly two hundred armed Filipinos are under fire from Malaysian troops who have arrived to disarm and arrest them. There have been some casualties. The Filipinos are members of a clan descended from a line of Moslem rulers of a Moslem sultanate that disappeared in the 19th century as the U.S., Holland, Spain and Britain established control over the region. The Filipino government asked the intruders to withdraw, but were ignored. Technically, the Philippines still claims Sabah, because that is a popular stance among Moslem voters in the Philippines. But as a practical matter these claims are moribund and considered a bit of history and little more.


Abu Sayyaf has apparently gone total gangster and left its Islamic terrorism roots moribund. Members mention Islamic radicalism less and less and work at being kidnappers and thieves more and more. But they are still down there (especially Sulu and Basilan) and the government still wants them all rounded up. That will be difficult because criminal gangs down there have staying power via family and economic connections with locals.



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14 killed as Malaysia-Philippine standoff drags on



KUALA LUMPUR - Twelve followers of a self-described Philippine Sultan died in a shootout with Malaysian security forces Friday, police said, as tensions ratcheted up in their 17-day standoff.




The two Southeast Asian neighbours were caught by surprised on February 12 when dozens of followers of the little-known sultan of Sulu sailed from their remote Philippine islands to press the sultan's claim to Sabah, which is on Borneo island.


Jamalul Kiram III, 74, says he is heir to the Islamic Sultanate of Sulu, which once controlled parts of Borneo, as well as southern Philippine islands.



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Malaysia attacks Filipinos occupying Borneo town



KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia unleashed airstrikes and mortar attacks Tuesday on nearly 200 Filipinos occupying a Borneo coastal village but could not declare an immediate end to a three-week siege that has turned into a security nightmare for both Malaysia and the Philippines.


The assault follows clashes this past week that killed eight Malaysian police officers and 19 Filipino gunmen, including members of a Muslim clan that shocked Malaysia and the neighboring Philippines by slipping past naval patrols last month and storming the obscure village in Borneo's eastern Sabah state.


The clansmen, armed with rifles and grenade launchers, had refused to leave the area, staking a long-dormant claim to Malaysia's entire state of Sabah, which they insist is their ancestral birthright.


The crisis has sparked worries of a spread of instability in Sabah, which is rich in timber and oil resources. Other armed Filipinos are feared to have slipped into other districts in the area recently.



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