Saturday, March 9, 2013

Joint Statement of Malaysian-Philippine CSOs

Standoff in Lahad Datu: Engage in Dialogue Now with all stakeholders to resolve the crisis peacefully 

We the undersigned Civil Society organisations (CSOs) from Malaysia and Philippines are extremely concerned over the on-going standoff between the Malaysian security forces and followers of the Sultanate of Sulu’s heirs, Jamalul Kiram III at Lahad Datu, Sabah. We the CSOs, together with all individuals, organizations and networks, urgently call upon President Benigno S. Aquino III of the Philippines, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak of Malaysia and Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, to disavow all forms of violence, and instead supports dialogue as the primary mechanism for a resolution to the siege.

We are very concerned and worried about the security of civilians in Lahad Datu, Semporna and the surrounding villages and we would like to see a peaceful solution to resolve this ongoing problem. According to media reports, at least sixty (60) people have been killed in Lahad Datu, Semporna and Kampung Tanduo, Sabah.

We believe the situation in Lahad Datu requires swift and peaceful intervention. We urge all parties to resist from using force while remaining committed to dialogue and negotiation throughout this process.

We are also very concerned with the lack of real-time information with respect to what has actually taken place so far in Lahad Datu. Up to this point the information received through the Malaysian news media lacked transparency and created unnecessary rumours and assumptions about the situation. The people has rights to get the information on on-going issues in Sabah. 

In this context, we call on the governments of Malaysia and Philippines and the Sultanate of Sulu to:
  • Immediately declare a HUMANITARIAN CEASEFIRE so that agencies concerned can take immediate measures to ensure the safety of women, children, elderly and other vulnerable persons in the affected area.  And provide “safe zones” where humanitarian organizations and relevant agencies can install facilities to be accessed by those who are injured and require immediate medical care; 
  • Take immediate steps to end the use of violence and to engage in dialogue with all stakeholders to resolve the crisis peacefully. 
  • Take proper measures to ensure that in the process of resolving the crisis, the human rights of everyone involved are respected and protected especially civilians from Lahad Datu, Semporna and nearby villages;
  • Take immediate measures to secure the safety of journalists who chose to access the area at all times to ensure fair reporting and dissemination of information to the general public;
  •  Cease and desist from using excessive force and armed violence to end the prevailing conflict;
  • Initiate an independent and impartial investigation into the killings that has taken place and make the findings of the investigation public.
We fervently dissuade all the principals involved from brinkmanship by instead living up to your respective legacies as genuine leaders of your people with honor and dignity.

We urge you to come to terms with the unfolding of events that has serious implications on many lives and social institutions.  We all can’t afford that this will escalate into a grave humanitarian crisis spilling over into other nearby villages aside from Lahad Datu and Semporna, Sabah.

Time is of the essence.  The world is looking at you, now.

Civil Society of Malaysia and Philippines
March 8, 2013

Please sign this joint statement to show your concern, support and commitment to resolve the issue in Sabah in a peaceful manner.



Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
Women's Centre for Change (WCC) 
ALIRAN (Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara)
Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility
Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
Justice for Sisters
Seksualiti Merdeka
Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
Community Action Network (CAN)
Persatuan Sahabat wanita Selangor
Community Development Centre (CDC)
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
Malaysia Youth & Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
All Women's Action Society (AWAM)
Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)


Mindanao PeaceWeavers (MPW)
Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)
Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) 
Free Burma Coalition – Philippines (FBCP) 
Active Citizenship Foundation (ACF) 
Agri-Aqua Development Coalition, Mindanao 
AGONG Peace Network, Mindanao
Akbayan Citizens Action Party
Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)
Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao (AFRIM)
Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc
Banwaon One Tribe, One Territory, Mindanao
Center for Peace Education – Miriam College
Citizen’s Peace Watch 
Civil Peace Service Program – Southern Christian College
Coalition of Social Development Organizations
Coalition for the Development of Sibuguey – Western Mindanao
Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good Governance
Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society
Council of Organized Social Service Agencies in Mindanao
Derepa te Erumanen ne Menuvu, Mindanao 
Focus on the Global South -Philippines
Gitib Inc., Mindanao
GZO Peace Institute 
Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas (HRDP)
Institute for Comparative and Advanced Studies (ICAS Phils)
Institute for Popular Democracy (IPD)
Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP)
IQRAA Islam Foundation
KAGDUMA, Incorporated, Mindanao
Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP)
Kebager te Ked-Inged, Mindanao
Kahugpongan sa Mindanaw 
Khairul Bariyyah Youth Movement (KBYM)
Landcare Foundation of the Philippines, Inc
Lumad Mindanaw Peoples’ Federation
Mindanao Peoples Peace Movement
Mindanao Peace Advocates Conference 
Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO   Networks (MINCODE) Secretariat  
Mindanao Alliance of Self-Help Societies – Southern Phils Educational Cooperative Center
Mindanao Congress of Development NGOs and NGIs –Mindanao
Mindanao Indigenous People Women Development
Mindanao Solidarity Network (MSN)
Network for Transformative Social Protection
Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka  (PAKISAMA)
Partnership of Philippine Support Services Agencies – Mindanao
Pakigdait, Incorporated
Paghiliusa sa Paghidaet – Negros (PsP-N)
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)
Partido ng Manggagawa (PM)
Pasaday Manobo Association (PAMAAS)
Pax Christi Institute - Philippines
Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ)
People’s Alternative Studies Center for Research & Education in Social Dev’t (PASCRES)
People’s Global Exchange (PGX)
Philippine Action Network to Control Arms
Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court
Philippine Human Rights Information Center (Philrights)
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Philippine Business for Social Progress - Mindanao
Philippine Partnership for the Devt of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PHILDHRRA)
Pinay Kilos
Rajah Buayan Cultural Institute (RBCI)
Redemptorist Center for Social and Ecological Concerns - Mindanao 
Shariful Hashim  Cultural University (SHACUS)
SOCSKSARGEN Sociological Society
SPREAD – Oblates of Notre Dame
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
The Peacemakers’ Circle Foundation
Women and Gender Institute
Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (We Act 1325)
Women’s Human Rights and Legal Bureau (WLB)
World March of Women – Pilipinas
Young Moro Professionals


Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict – Southeast Asia (SEA-GPPAC)
Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)
Asia-Pacific Movement on Debt & Development (JSAPMDD)
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific (CATW-AP) 
International Peace Bureau (IPB)
ISIS International
Media Defense- Southeast Asia

NABODHARA, Bangladesh

Generation Wave Institute

Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF)

East Timor Students Solidarity Council (ETSSC)

Asienstiftung (German Asia Foundation)
Philippinenbüro – Asienhaus

Burma Centre Delhi

All Nepal Peasants Federation (ANPFa)
All Nepal Women Association (ANWA)

Center For Peace & Civil Society (CPCS) 

Prof. Anuradha Chenoy, University of India
Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy, University of India
Mr. Ramon Casiple, IPER, Philippines 
Ms. Sia Phearum, Director, HRTF Cambodia
Mmk, Tggw, Myanmar


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