Recognized Sulu Sultan discussed issues and concerns pertaining the plight of the Tausugs under the leadership of Sulu Provincial Governor Abdusakur Tan.
His Majesty Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I, in the meeting expressed his support to the development efforts of the local government leadership in bringing the desired changes in the lives of the constituents of the province.
Kiram, whose great forefather and ancestor was HM Sultan Jamalul Kiram I (Sultan of Sulu and Sabah 1823 to 1844), who first used the surname Kiram, is believed to be the first Kiram Sultan, and was succeeded by his son and grandchildren.
Together with his father, Al-marhum HM Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram (Sultan 1947-1973), there were seven (7) Kiram Sultans of Sulu and Sabah, whereupon in recent past his late eldest brother HM Sultan Mahakuttah Abdulla Kiram became Sultan of Sulu and Sabah from 1974 to 1986.
The governor took cognizance and respect to the Sulu Sultan for his visit and even expressed appreciation for his pledge to assist the province in fulfilling the vision and programs of the local government for the welfare of the Tausug.
At the same time, HM Sultan Fuad stressed that close cooperation and collaboration between the Sultanate and the provincial civil authority of Sulu under the stewardship of Gov. Tan and the whole officialdom.
“We must work together for the common good in order to attain our goals for the betterment of our people through your local initiatives,” Sultan Fuad Kiram said.
Tan bares his priority programs that are now being implemented to include livelihood development projects, peace and order, and education and health Services.
The Sultan told the governor about his grave concern over the preservation of the Tausug culture and tradition which he wanted to perpetuate with the help of the Sulu officials.
“Our grave concern for our beloved Tausug people now only numbering over 5 million scattered in Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Palawan, Zamboanga Peninsula and Sabah, that the Muslim Tausug people being a minority group within about 100 million Philippine Christian-dominated population, we fear our centuries old arts and culture, our Tausug language, identity and values as a people is now being eroded, and may be lost forever to the Tausug future generations,” lamented the Sultan.
The Sultan has appealed for unity and reconciliation among various factions and vowed to support the present government even as he extolled his “Amba Raaayat” to support the peace initiatives of President Noynoy Aquino to once and for all settle the long standing and deeply-rooted Mindanao conflict thru peaceful means.
“We express our support to the peace and order initiatives of President Noynoy. The on-going peace negotiation with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is encouraging,” he said.
“But we also express our desire that the provisions of the 1996 Peace Treaty between the MNLF and the Philippines be fully implemented as the cornerstone of a better Mindanao and Sultanate of Sulu, the Sultan added.
The Sultan also promised to make representation before the World communities, particularly with the United Nations for the protection of the people’s rights as a minority in Mindanao.
“We and our Tausug people seek the protection of the United Nations and the international community to protect our rights as a minority group in the Philippines,” the Sultan further said.
He assured that with the help of a unity people under the sultanate and the provincial government, nothing is impossible in achieving jointly the goals for development.
“Our problems are numerous and sometimes daunting, but we can resolve the problems confronting us as a people, to develop and assist our people in Sabah, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Zamboanga and Palawan, to build schools, roads, drinking water supply systems, telecommunications, hospitals and medical health services, refuge for the orphans, widows, elderly, destitute and underprivileged, which can only be done when we are united,” he assured.
“There is hope in the hearts and minds of our people that, under the true Sultan, we can recover and restore our Sultanate to its former glory. There is hope that peace and prosperity will come to us through our uniting work for a better tomorrow.”
He pledged to uphold and live up to “ the sacred traditions of our Sultanate and to the memory of our dear brother, H.M. Sultan Mahakuttah Abdulla Kiram (Sultan 1974-1986), and to our beloved father H.M. Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I (Sultan 1947-1973), to our grandfather H.M. Sultan Mawallil Wasit Kiram (Sultan 1936), and to his brother, our grand uncle H.M. Sultan Jamalul Kiram II (Sultan 1893-1936), also to his brother and our grand uncle H.M. Sultan Badaruddin Kiram II (Sultan 1881-1886) and to his father, our forefather, H.M. Sultan Jamalul Ahlam Kiram (Sultan 1861-1881) and his father, our forefather, H.M. Sultan Mohd. Pulalun Kiram (Sultan 1844-1862) and finally to his father, our forefather, and originator of the Kiram blood line H.M. Sultan Jamalul Kiram I (1823-1844).” Faber Concepcion