Saturday, March 06, 2010

Philippines: Mindanao - slow progress and timid statements

Source: Missionary International Service News Agency (MISNA) - A highly anticipated meeting in Kuala Lumpur between delegations from the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has concluded without taking any significant steps in the peace process.

The emissaries from Manila uttered cautiously optimistic but timid statements to the press suggesting, "everything went well'. There will be another meeting at the end of March.

Yesterday's meeting started with the presentation of MILF's proposals, which was followed by a question and answer debate. Over the past few weeks, the government had submitted a new plan to the separatists in Mindanao, which had been rejected at first glance, though now new official position appears to have emerged from the meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

Some sources said that the MILF head negotiator, Michael Matsura, claimed that his movement would wait for the new government to be established, after the end of current president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's mandate next May, to find an accord with Manila. MILF has been claiming sovereignty over the ancestral territory in Mindanao, an island that already enjoys a special statute; MILF wants to expand the scope of this statute.

Published by i On Global Trends - Mike Hitchen Online - news, opinion, analysis
See also Sydney Irresistible and for personal comment, Mike Hitchen Unleashed
Putting principles before profits