“The Long Road To Peace,” A Book By Salah Jubair Is Launched In Philippines: LUWARANDecember 2, 2007 at 1:24 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
SHARIFF KABUNSUAN, Philippines – “The Long Road to Peace: Inside the GRP-MILF Peace Process,” the book that deals with the over a decade-old peace gambit between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was launched at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat town in Shariff Kabunsuan.
The ongoing peace process between the Philippine government and the largest revolutionary group that formally started on January 7, 1997 with all its ups and downs, twist and turns, and of course its envisioned end state can now be well understood and appreciated from the standpoint of an author, who is an accomplished writer, esteemed revolutionary leader, scholar, diplomat and a peace maker.
Salah Jubair, the author of this literary masterpiece, is the pen name of one of the leaders of the MILF who currently heads the MILF peace panel that negotiates with the government.
He has been involved with the MILF Peace Panel since the start of the talks in 1997 initiated by former President Fidel V. Ramos. Jubair, in his remarks, admitted that writing a book on a subject you are actually involved with may be authoritative but a daunting challenge entailing lot of objectivity and focus.
“This piece speaks of the peace process and my intention is nothing but to serve and protect the noble interest of peace though you may not agree on my views and proposition,” Jubair said.
Jubair, however, stressed that the book does not reflect the official stand and policy of the MILF but very much in line with the convictions of the MILF leadership on how shall the peace process succeed.
“Peace process, peace building and conflict resolution can never be achieved overnight there will always be challenges but not insurmountable. Yet, indeed, there is no better substitute to peaceful means in resolving armed conflict,” he said.
The content of the book culminated with the impasse on the negotiations which took placed September of last year due to some contentious points that were left unresolved by both the GRP and MILF peace panels.
Nevertheless, it illustrates how the impasse can be overcome, thus, paving the way towards realization of a just and enduring negotiated political settlement of the conflict.
The Long Road to Peace cited the gambit of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in upholding the primacy of the peace process but still it raises a great challenge for the government to do more in order fairly and squarely resolve the Bangsamoro problem and conflict in Mindanao.
The book stressed the paramount importance of the participation of the international community and civil society in resolving conflict and building peace, especially the exceptional facilitation of the Malaysian government of the peace talks and the role of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) in ensuring the respect and sustenance of the ceasefire accord on the ground.
Lawyer Datu Michael Mastura, a revered writer and senior member of the MILF Peace Panel, said the book had wonderfully builds up the true account of the peace process and the various and differing perspectives, especially of the MILF, toward solving the problem and conflict in Mindanao which is for the common good of all, especially the succeeding generations.
The reader will find an immense satisfaction and desire on finishing reading the book, which stands alone in introducing vivid and truthful accounts of an ongoing colorful peace process between the Bangsamoro and Filipino nations, he said.
Institute of Bangsamoro Studies took the pride in publishing the book as its way of popularizing Bangsamoro studies as area specialization not only in policy studies but also in academic inquiries.
Prof Abhoud Lingga, Executive Director of IBS, expressed that the writings of Jubair will encourage young Moro writers to join the world of authors.
Lingga said the book is a must reference for policy makers, peace workers, public officials, researchers, media, international donor communities, military officials, academicians and negotiators.
People from all walks of life graced the launching ceremony to include the GRP Peace Negotiating Panel, international community, civil society groups, media, military, ceasefire committees, government workers, academicians, IMT, and sectoral representatives.
Secretary Silvestre Afable Jr, who is a former Chairman of the GRP Peace Negotiating Panel and now a Special Adviser to the Peace Panel, wrote the foreword of the book.
Afable, in his message, said “We have built a process that has been tried and tested against attempt to subvert and derail it. We and our allies have understood the underlying terrain in which the talks have taken place, the trajectory of our aspirations, and the tools and craftsmanship required to put them together in a common solution.”
Among the other writings of Jubair is the book “A Nation Under Endless Tyranny,” which depicts the injustices and oppression perpetrated against the Bangsamoro and the desire of the aggrieved nation to be freed from the clutches of tyranny including the imperativeness of waging an organized armed struggle and Jihad fi sabillah.