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Lecture 5

GOVT3999 Lecture 5: wk 5 Piracy in the present day_ Southeast Asia and beyondExam

Government and International Relations
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Piracy in the present day: Southeast Asia and beyond
Ikuya Tokoro,”Piracy in Contemporary Sulu: An Ethnographical Case Study” in Kleinen and
Osseweijer (eds) Pirates, Ports, and Coasts in Asia: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives.
(Singapore: ISEAS, 2010)
-The sulu archipelago is located in the philippines. It is a border ape with a close proximity with
malaysia and indonesia. It is positioned at the crossroads of three arge islads areas of maritme
southeast asia: mindaao, borneo and sulawesi islands
-piracy from the 8th century to the mid-9th century was slave raiding
-the main commodities of this trade were marine products suh as sea cucumbers, shark fins,
pearls and birds nests
-it was only after the us coloisation of the philippine archipelago that the sultanate of sulu was
brought to an end. The end of the sulu sultanata does not mea an end to maritime activities in the
-highly dependent on chgeable weather and other natural and /or socio-economic conditions, the
prices of these marine products fluctuate on both sides of the border between sulu and sabah and
sulu and indoesia
Complexities of term piracy
-in southeast asia the concept of piracy changes in differet time ad places
-the intricacies of raiding is importat in those societies
-unlike europea piracy in southeast asia did not involve criminals elements
Thus the western definations of piracy do not fit the reality of piracy
-unlike IMO’s defination of piracy, mundu a generic term for pirates does ot mean all mundu are
criminals for private gains
Contemporary sulu
Piratical attacks o ships in the high seas has become fewer compared with the 1950s or 1960s,
more small-scale attacks or robbery against small fisheermen boats or petty traders vessels are
rampant in sulu sea area. Tthe main purpose is to get engines or other valuables
-pirates i sulu are appropritaing modeern technologies luke high-speed outboat engines,
grenades, radio. However traditional beliefs such as ritual before piratical voyages are still
-inter-islad migration has increased and are easy targets for pirates
-refugeess, illegal immigrants since the early 1970s fleeing philippines has brought economic
destruction. Ongoing fighting between muslim separatist orgaisationa and philippine military in
sulu has pushed people to resort to illega economic activitis
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