The Philippines government and separatist rebels have struck a deal on creating a Muslim homeland in the country's south which is expected to lead to a peace accord next year, officials said Thursday.While this deal is with the MILF, have no doubt that a beneficiary of such actions is Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf, Islamic terrorist groups aligned with al Qaeda.
The agreement on the extent of territory to be handed over had been a major stumbling block in the peace talks that opened when a ceasefire was forged with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2001.
The two sides did not disclose the new borders agreed after two days of talks here, but Malaysian officials said the territory would be greater than the present autonomous region in the troubled island of Mindanao.
"After more than three decades of problems in Mindanao, it is for the government to give concessions. It could not be the other side, so the government has to concede what it think is reasonable," said Philippines chief negotiator Rodolfo Garcia.
In an issue known as "ancestral domain," the land in question consists of untitled communal farms that came under formal state ownership when the Philippines became a Spanish colony in the late 16th century.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
What could go wrong? It's not like appeasement has been successful in diffusing conflicts in the past. Heck, all you have to do is look at what's going on in Pakistan and Thailand to know that appeasement only provides fodder for the Islamists to make additional demands and claims for still more territory. It's an excuse to take yet more, and to inflict still more carnage