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article imageMalaysian forces continue to attack Filipinos of Sultan Kiram III

By Robert G Cope     Mar 7, 2013 in World
A comic tragedy on barely known islands in the South Pacific continues with fears of a wider conflict. That story with a map is contained here.
The political crisis over the near comic tragedy in the South Pacific has been reported from Manila in considerable detail by Digital Journal correspondent, Antonio Figueroa.
While there is, surprisingly no notice of the pending crisis in Australian media, Time in the US is keeping up with events.
It's comedy and deaths. From the Philippines, a Muslim Sultan, Jamalul Kiram III, sends his brother and perhaps 200 armed invaders to Sabah. Kiram III is the leader of the world's poorest monarchy. His quest is to re-claim a vestige of a bygone era – a sultanate on the island of Borneo. That was in February.
For weeks, the invasion is largely ignored until a patrol of police is ambushed by the followers of the Sultan. Malaysia responds during the first week of March with air, ground and naval forces driving the invaders into the jungles, estimates of deaths reportedly about fifty.
The Sultan and his followers claim the Sabah region is theirs, a gift in the 1700s by the Sultan of Brunei. See the Sultan's website for images and the reasons given.
The mixed blotch of history is partly linked to a 1800s lease of the region to a British colonial-era company; when Malaysia became an independent nation in the 1960s, the British returned Sabah to the new nation, however, 'rental' payments – now considered too small – to the Sultanate continued.
The region, rich in forest products and potentially oil, has been drawing a steady stream of immigrants, many considered illegal, nearly all culturally connected to the Sulu islands of the Philippines.
As the invaders are pursued, there are diplomatic statements from the UN urging calm. Mishandling this almost comic, mouse and lion conflict, might spill over into other territorial claims involving the Chinese tiger.
More about Malaysia, Philippines, Southern philippines, Borneo, Muslims
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