Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Diliman Diary blog: 02.15.2012 (Sulu Football Program Luuk)

Members of the Philippine Marines are now actively engaged in a program called "Sulu Football Program Luuk" which is aimed at instilling team work, discipline and a taste for positive hard work amongst the impressionable youth of Sulu province. It is the latest version of the Biblical admonition to convert swords into ploughshares. In this case, the youth are introduced to playing football on the playing field instead of wielding kalashnikovs on the battlefield.

However, much more is needed to persuade the disaffected youth of Sulu to adopt peaceful ways. Like the enraged youth of Iraq, Egypt, Palestine and Iran, who face similar dead ends as far as their futures are concerned, it boils down to more economic opportunities coming their way. In this manner, social justice, violence and more economic equity are inextricably intertwined. Historically, the citizens of this province have been left to twist in the wind by generations of Filipino politicians based in Imperial Manila.

If Imperial Manila wants peace in faraway Sulu, this toxic mix has got to change - permanently.

(Chanda Shahani)

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