Abu Sayyaf Terrorists and what Phillipines can learn from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj - June 29, 2016

For a start The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is the most violent of the Islamic separatist groups operating in the southern Philippines and claims to promote an independent Islamic state. Split from the Moro National Liberation Front in the early 1990s, the group currently engages in kidnappings for ransom, bombings, assassinations, and extortion. The ASG operates mainly in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi Provinces in the Sulu Archipelago and has a presence on Mindanao. Members also occasionally travel to Manila.

On 14 February 2005 they perpetrated simultaneous bombings in the cities of Manila, General Santos, and Davao, killing at least eight and injuring about 150. 

The 16th Centruy Emperor from India who laid the foundation stone for freedom from atrocities of the Mughals was also troubled by a tyrannical ruler ‘Siddi’ of coastal island fort Murud Janjira. The wise, brave, prudent and farsighted Emperor of ‘Hindavi Swarajya’ (Hindu Empire) Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had realized the threat from sea and had built arguably the strongest navies of those times. He had also ensured that the Siddis remained sea locked in their fort and the adjoining mainlands would become difficult for them to rule. Phillipines as a first step can ensure that the adjoining Mindanao Davao is freed from the clutches of Abu Sayyaf terrorists and force them to settle for the smaller islands for the time being.  

But for this to materialize it would also have to be supported by strong decision making by the government at power, an inclusive development approach for the possible sympathizers of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, a strong navy and also support from the neighboring island nations. The Emperor had almost breached their citadel and would have definitely established ‘Hindavi Swarajya’ there as well if not for his untimely demise.

We sincerely hope that in the larger interest of Phillipines and humanity the Abu Sayyaf Terrorists are brought to book at the earliest.

- Prof. Manish Kelkar

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