Monday, September 21, 2015

A00553 - Esmail Kiram II, Self-Proclaimed Sultan of Sulu


Esmail Kiram II, the self-proclaimed sultan of Sulu, in 2013.CreditAaron Favila/Associated Press

MANILA — Esmail Kiram II, the self-proclaimed sultan of Sulu who in 2013 encouraged a last-ditch, violent effort to regain part of the Malaysian island of Borneo for the Philippines, died on Saturday at a hospital in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines. He was 75.
A sultanate spokesman, Abraham Idjirani, said the cause was kidney failure. Mr. Kiram was buried on Monday in an ancestral graveyard on Jolo Island in the Sulu Archipelago.
Though he claimed the title of sultan of Sulu, several other descendants of the original sultan, who lived in the 15th century, make the same claim. Before Spanish colonizers arrived in the 16th century, the sultanate of Sulu ruled over vast stretches of territory, including parts of what is now the southern Philippines and Borneo.
Mr. Kiram, who was born on Nov. 9, 1939, in Maimbung, the Philippines, issued a directive for the descendants of the original sultan to unite in the peaceful pursuit of the sultanate’s historical claim to the part of Borneo that borders the southern Philippines, Mr. Idjirani said in a text message. Mr. Kiram’s younger brother, Phugdal Kiram, was named the new sultan, he said.
With the support of Mr. Kiram, the previous sultan, Jamalul Kiram III, ordered several hundred fighters to invade the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo in 2013 to reclaim the area for the sultanate and for the Philippines.
The attack left more than 60 people dead, set off the most serious security crisis in Malaysia in more than a decade and strained the country’s relationship with the Philippines.
The sultanate’s claim to parts of Borneo is based on past control over the area, and the Philippine government has said repeatedly that it continues to study the issue and has not given up on the claim.
The Kirams say Sabah was leased to Malaysia. Malaysian officials contend that, in exchange for lease payments to the Kirams, the sultanate ceded the territory to their country.
Over the years, the once powerful sultanate of Sulu has lost influence to other groups, becoming essentially a symbolic organization, said Richard Javad Heydarian, a political science professor at De La Salle University in Manila.
“As the botched Sabah operation showed, their political influence is very limited,” he said.
The Philippine government signed a landmark peace agreement in 2012with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the largest Muslim separatist group in the country. The smaller Moro National Liberation Front, which is allied with some of the descendants of the sultan of Sulu, was largely left out of the peace talks. Other factions on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao have replaced the political power of the sultanate, Mr. Heydarian said.
“Mindanao has gradually moved to a postsultanate era, which is dominated by rebels, warlords and modern warfare,” he said.


Ismael Kiram II (also spelled as Esmail Kiram II) (November 9, 1939 - September 19, 2015) was the self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu[1] in the Philippines from March 12, 2001 until his death.


Jamalul Kiram III was subsequently abdicated for leaving Sulu after his coronation in 1986. Self-proclaimed Sultan, Jamalul likewise abrogated the authority of the Philippine government to retake Sabah from Malaysia in 1989. Jamalul Kiram III's death changes nothing in the hierarchy, being an abdicated sultan was allowed to undertake the supposed homecoming of Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram in Sabah, which turn bloody when the Malaysian forces rounded up the group of Raja Muda Agbimuddin when they illegally intrude Sabah. Around 68 of his followers died during the standoff.[2] Shortly after, upon the death of Jamalul Kiram III, Agbimuddin Kiram was restored as Rajah Muda of Esmail Kiram II being mistaken next in line to Jamalul Kiram III to the succession of the throne. Esmail D. Kiram II, through no approval of the Royal House of Kiram.[clarification needed] He proclaimed himself as Sultan in 1999 and was subsequently crowned on March 12, 2001,[3] as his older brother Jamalul Kiram III moved to Manila after his coronation in 1986 for the latter's dialysis treatment. Other unrecognised heirs and pretenders to the throne continue to claim the heritage of the now-politically defunct but traditionally and culturally alive sultanate.[4] He is the younger brother of Jamalul Kiram III who were both sons of Datu Punjungan Kiram the second son of late Sultan Mawallil Wasit.
In November 2012, Jamalul Kiram III was elected to take over Sabah, as leader being abdicated is regarded as Sultan of Sulu. Ismael Kiram II allowed him as his co-coregent, as Jamalul lives in Taguig CityManila, far away from Sulu. Ismael, as the reigning sultan, administers the sultanate's court in Sulu.[3] The nonexistent title was used to address Esmail as "Sultan Bantilan" or "Caretaker Sultan" of Sulu however it was a violation of the law of succession to be called caretaker.[5]

Ismael Kiram II (also spelled as Esmail Kiram II) (November 9, 1939 - September 19, 2015) was the self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu in the Philippines from March 12, 2001 until his death.

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