MNLF eyes ‘Kosovo-style’ campaign (The Philippine Star, Feb. 3, 2014)

MANILA, Philippines - The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has warned it will carry out what it calls a “Kosovo style” struggle to “decolonize” southern Mindanao and some parts of Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak.

MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari called on his followers to renounce armed struggle and adopt the Kosovar model by carrying out peaceful assemblies in attaining their political objective for self rule, spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla said yesterday.

Fontanilla was referring to the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence where participants unanimously declared Kosovo as independent from Serbia. [Which was of course after the armed-struggle part of the Kosovo campaign.]

“Armed struggle is already obsolete as proven in other countries. [But not in Kosovo.] We will bring our cause to the people,” Fontanilla said.

He said their struggle is now on the second phase after Misuari declared the independence of the Bangsa Moro Republik in Sulu in last year.

According to Fontanilla, peaceful assemblies are scheduled next month in key cities in Mindanao and Sulu.

“The MNLF is just expressing its desire to be an independent state and it will be the people who decide, it’s a war in winning the hearts and mind of the people,” he said.

Fontanilla said the MNLF is now taking the next step that will involve a series of assemblies for every province where Muslims, Christians and tribal groups will express their desire for self-rule.

Here is a flashback to just some of the other Kosovo toll booths, which made themselves known in 2008 itself:

Salahuddin congratulates Kosovo people, Urges world to ensure Kashmiris get freedom (GK NEWS NETWORK, Feb. 20, 2008)

United Jehad Council chairman, Syed Salah-ud-Din has congratulated the people of Kosovo on gaining independence and urged the world community to take a cue from Kosovo and ensure that the people of Kashmir are granted right to self determination and the issue is solved as per the promises made in the UN resolutions.

Salah-ud-Din paid tribute to people of Kosovo who sacrificed their lives for independence. “India should read the writing on the wall that…The only thing that comes in the way of Kashmir resolution is the stubborn attitude of India,” he said. “The world community should break this stubbornness so that the nation is liberat[ed] from the 60-year-old illegal military occupation.”

Kashmir separatists buoyed by Kosovo declaration (Islamic Republic News Agency, Feb. 19, 2008)

…Pro-independence leaders in Srinagar, buoyed up by the Kosovo declaration, have already started making calls for meting out similar treatment to Kashmiris by the International community.

Yasin Malik, Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) said, “The international community, particularly the European Union, should play a pro-active role now towards the resolution of Kashmir issue as they did in case of Kosovo.”

Kosovo, a tiny land-locked nation of two million and one of the poorest in Europe, with no functioning industry, declared independence from Serbia….Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday reiterated India’s position saying that the “territorial integrity of all countries should be fully respected by all states” and that the Kosovo issue should have been resolved by dialogue.

Malik said the Kosovo development has strengthened belief in Kashmir that an Independent Kashmir is possible.

“Kosovo is yet another example” of new nations coming into existence “despite repression and suppression.”

Independence of Kosovo, according to Malik, “immortalizes the fact that sacrifices of martyrs for freedom of their motherland never go in vain.”

Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani sounded more enthusiastic over the creation of an independent Kosovo.

“It is a moment of delight for Muslims all over the world,” Geelani was quoted as saying by the Srinagar media.

Geelani, who heads a faction of Hurriyat Conference, said the creation of a Muslim state within the European heartland has strengthened the resolve of the people of Kashmir to achieve their right to self- determination.

“The day is not far away,” Geelani said, “when the people of Kashmir will announce their Independence from imperial India.” Geelani’s rival and the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference went a step ahead and said they have started the process of unification of the pro-freedom parties in order to speed up the freedom struggle. […]

Separatist Moldovan region wants to have Kosovo style independence (Feb. 19, 2008)

CHISINAU, Moldova - The Moldovan separatist region of Trans-Dniester said Tuesday it would like to be recognized as an independent state like Kosovo.

A statement from the foreign ministry said that Kosovo represented “a new way of resolving conflicts all around the world,” the Olvia state news agency reported.

“A speedy international recognition of Trans-Dniester will help the international community to consolidate stability and security in the
region,” the statement said.

Trans-Dniester, in eastern Moldova, is not recognized internationally but receives support from Russia. It is mainly populated by Russian and Ukrainian citizens.

Moldova has had troubles with the separatists since a war in 1992 left more than 1,000 people dead.

Moldova said Monday that it would not recognize Kosovo’s independence, referring to Trans-Dniester and saying that Kosovo’s declaration created “deep concerns.”

Supporters of Kosovo’s independence, including the United States and major Western European powers, have insisted that Kosovo is a special case and does not set a precedent for other breakaway regions.

Corsican separatists “delighted” over Kosovo (Tanjug, B92, Feb. 19, 2008)

PARIS — The Independent Corsican Nation (CNI) welcomed with “delight” Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence.

They also saluted Kosovo and the “brotherly Kosovo people”, the French media reported.

CNI said that they hope that a delegation of the provisional Kosovo government would shortly take part in the International Days, an annual event held each August in Corsica.

The International Days, consacrated to nationalism in Corsica, rally separatist European organizations from the Basque country and Catalonia in Spain, the French Bretagne, Sardinia and Sicily, Tyrol and other regions in Europe.

Yesterday, other separatist movements, such as the Basque regional authority in Spain, and Chechens in Russia, welcomed the development.

ETA to follow Kosovo example (B92, Jan. 5, 2008)

BILBAO — The Basque separatist group ETA will base its calls for independence on the example set by Kosovo, says local daily Gara.

ETA, which the EU considers a terrorist organization, stresses that its fight “is not utopia” and cites the examples of Kosovo and Scotland….

“This nation has a right to its own development,” says ETA, which has been responsible for 819 murders in the last 40 years in Spain in its fight for the Basque country’s independence.

Kosovo officials say that they will soon declare independence against the wishes of the Serbian authorities.

In Scotland, the Scottish National Party secured a majority in elections to the Scottish parliament in May, and is looking to hold a referendum for independence in 2010.

Basque leaders wish to hold a similar referendum in the same year.

Blogger Bhaskar Dasgupta wrote the following at the time:

Separatist Movements Seek Inspiration in Kosovo (May 31, 2008)

A whole bunch of comments on various places (here and here for example) were placed on my previous essay where I said that the current Kosovo declaration will cause problems. Here’s a well arguedarticle on this topic. The six cases they quote are:

Spain: The Basques and the Catalans
Cyprus: The Turkish Cypriots
Romania: The Magyars in Székely Land
Bulgaria: The Muslim Pomaks
Greece: The Turks of Western Thrace
Slovakia: The Hungarian Minority

I wonder if those who are getting all excited about Kosovo independence will also join in asking for independence for these and the other minorities such ashere, here, here and here.