SBY: Not a Dutch Lion

Oct 5th, 2010, in Featured, News, by

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono


President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has abruptly canceled his visit to the Netherlands at the last moment, saying at Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base just before an aborted takeoff today to the Land of Tulips that he was insulted by the plans of a Dutch member of the separatist South Maluku Republic (RMS) movement to file criminal charges against him. He said:

I have decided to cancel this visit

The president had been scheduled to leave Jakarta by Air Force One at 13.30, remaining in the Netherlands until October 9th, but it was not to be.

SBY spoke of his fears:

There has even been a demand for my arrest

This was despite the fact that a spokesman of the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague, Firdaus Dahlan, had assured the president that the Dutch government did not recognise the RMS, and would ensure the security of President Yudhoyono during his visit.

John Wattilette

John Wattilette

John Wattilette, the self-proclaimed president of the “Republic of South Maluku” (RMS) movement in exile, had made a demand for the arrest of SBY, in a teletext statement to the Dutch broadcasting network Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) on 2nd October. antara

Unfortunately the cancellation of the visit will mean SBY will not be showered with the awards and medals he had been due to receive in the Netherlands, now losing out on the coveted Order of The Dutch Lion, from the Dutch government, and the equally prestigious Willem Van Oranje medal, from Leiden University. antara

89 Comments on “SBY: Not a Dutch Lion”

  1. madrotter says:

    loosing out on all those frequent flyer miles! the horror, the horror!!!!

  2. Hans says:

    In Ternate, there is a huge and very beautiful Mosque but is not that North Maluku province, think we was speak abt the village of Soya in The South Moluccas

  3. Dirk says:

    @Ikut Republik Indonesia Anti Nederland

    Do you want an apology from the Dutch for the colonization of Indonesia? Do you really think that the Dutch should say that they are sorry for having invaded Indonesia ?

    If every country must apologize for past deeds and invasions, there is no end in sight.

    In that case Italy should apologize because the Roman Emperors invaded France, Belgium, parts of Germany, Spain, Israel, Roumania, England and parts of Africa and the Middle East.

    And the Indonesian Majapahit empire invaded many territories. So the Indonesian government should apologize to the people of Palembang, because Majapahit destroyed the Srivijaya empire over there.

    The Indonesian government should also extend its apologies to the people of Bali for the agressive islamic Javanese princes who always tried to conquer Bali.

    And what about Sultan Agung of the Mataram kingdom who conquered Surabaya. He let all the people in Surabaya die of hunger, and killed most of the others.

    Shouldn’t the Javanese offer their apologies to the people of Surabaya ?

    Indonesians do not know their history !

  4. Hans says:

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    (Redirected from Talk:Papua (Indonesian province))
    Is there any reason to believe that “Ikut Republik Indonesia, Anti Nederland” is an actual etymology, rather than a “back-formation”, a slogan devised to reflect an existing name? [1], refers to “the false assertion that… [Irian] had been an acronym for ‘Ikut Republik Indonesia Anti Nederland”; I’m not sure how citable that is, though. [2], also not particularly citable, says “Irian may be an abbreviation for ikut Republik Indonesia Anti Nederland”. [3], maybe marginally more citable, says “Irian, a Biak word meaning hot land was co-opted by Indonesian nationalists as an acronym, Ikut Republik Indonesia Anti Nederland”; it doesn’t make it clear whether that cooptation led to or followed the adoption of the name. [4], probably the most citable thing I can find online (it’s an op-ed piece in Asahi Shimbun says “In annexing West New Guinea, Indonesia avoided the name New Guinea, which the Netherlands used, and called it Irian, which means ‘sun’ or ‘red hot’ in the local language. However, the name was also given a political connotation during the operation to recapture West New Guinea during the early 1960s as the acronym for Ikut Republik Indonesia, Anti Nederland (annexation to Indonesia, anti-Netherlands).

  5. Arie Brand says:

    It is certain that SBY will not be put on trial in the Netherlands but Wilders is right now. The complaint against him is that he has been “sowing hatred” against ethnic/religious groups.

    The relevant “sowing hatred” (“haatzaai”) articles of the criminal code partly overlapped in domestic as well as in erstwhile colonial legislation. Exactly eighty years ago Sukarno was put on trial at the district court (“Landraad”) in Bandung. inter alia for “sowing hatred” against the colonial government. Though the articles on the basis of which he was sentenced had a repressive character he never attempted to have them removed from the Indonesian criminal code during the twenty years that he was in power. As far as I know they can still be found there and are often referred to with the old term “haatzaai”.

    As far as Wilders is concerned: the prosecution has asked for dismissal of the case. Though he is guilty of having made the statements that caused offence (comparing, among other things, the Koran to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”) it judges that, as a politician, he should have more liberty to make such statements, even outside parliament, than an ordinary citizen.

    The court might not agree.

  6. Odinius says:

    Dirk said:

    The Indonesian government should also extend its apologies to the people of Bali for the agressive islamic Javanese princes who always tried to conquer Bali.

    Bali, of course, is every bit as much Indonesia as Java, so perhaps the government should apologize to itself? It could also apologize to the Sasaks for the Balinese invasions that occurred over several centuries, then promptly accept the apology.

  7. timdog says:

    I think the Sasaks generally had a much rougher ride at the hands of Bali than Bali ever had at the hands of Java (historically). Madura should also unreservedly apologise for the Java-rampages of Trunajaya and Cakraningrat (I can’t remember which Cakraningrat it was off the top of my head, I apologise). In fact, how about the entire Indonesian nation engages in a mass bout of mohon maafing. How about the Dutch are invited in for the same purpose, and the British too for the less pleasant of the things that Raffles did (not least looting Yogya and the outrageously self-interested Palembang episode), and for Surabaya at the end of WWII. How about everyone says sorry to everyone else for the sins of the fathers?
    Or maybe not…

  8. Lairedion says:

    No need for apologies from any side. In 2005 then-foreign minister Wirayuda made it clear Indonesia is not seeking for Dutch apologies. What’s irritating is that the Dutch refuse to acknowledge past atrocities, even in a clear case like Rawagede.

    Ultimately the pribumis in Asia and Africa gained control of their own countries/nations again which was not the case with Australian Aborigines, NZ Maori and the indigenous populations in the Americas. I believe they are qualified to receive proper apologies as they have been stripped from their identities, culture, land and properties and are still among the most impoverished and marginalized.

  9. Arie Brand says:

    As a matter of fact Australia has officially apologised, through Prime Minister Rudd in Parliament.

  10. timdog says:

    I actually agree with you entirely Lairedion; my tongue was in my cheek in the above post, and I was, I think, nudging at the absurdity of “apology politics” when taken to extreme extents.

    The colonial examples you cite do indeed require apologies, while the fact of Independence (and the different circumstances) elsewhere make such a need less pressing.

    As for other things requiring official apologies, where there is some manifestly awful
    outrage committed by the government of a country which still exists in essentially the same form AND where there is a perceptible continuity between the government that committed the outrage and that currently in power, AND where the outrage in question was indisputable committed by the state AND where it took place within living memory (or at very least within the memory of the previous generation) AND where the outrage still has an impact on modern international/communal relationships then there is an argument for the need for an official “apology” (Japanese excesses in occupied Asia in WWII might be one such example; the Turkish Armenian genocide is certainly another)…

    But for silly hotheads to start harping on about the need for apologies for things that occurred back in the mists of time when one or all of the countries involved didn’t even really exist is not useful in any way…

    I’ll tell you what, those bloody Romans have got a lot of apologising to do. I think I might head down to my nearest Roman embassy and start protesting…

  11. Arie Brand says:


    Does Indonesia’s record in East Timor and Papua, to limit myself to those examples, require an apology? One could argue, as you and Timdog did, that ultimate independence makes the need for that less pressing (though for a third of East Timor’s population that independence came too late).

    But what about Papua?

    The crimes against the indigenous populations of North America and Australia are largely a matter of the past (though they still have their effects today) – but in Papua they are very much of the present.

  12. Odinius says:

    L said:

    What’s irritating is that the Dutch refuse to acknowledge past atrocities, even in a clear case like Rawagede.

    Agreed. I’m pretty well acquainted with Dutch scholarly literature on Indonesia, which is generally lucid about Dutch misdeeds during the colonial and postwar periods, so I was shocked when I realized how much denial there is in Dutch popular discourses on the Indies/Indonesia.

    Not that this is anything distinctly Dutch; very few Americans, for example, know about the violent suppression of Philippine nationalism in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War.

  13. Arie Brand says:


    What is “popular discourse”? I have related earlier , in the thread Dutch warcrimes, how after the revelations in 1969 of the former Dutch officer Dr.Hueting, the Dutch press was “dibanjiri” with articles about the matter. Likewise, if you use on Google the search word Rawagede, with as preferred language Dutch, you find numerous articles in the popular press about that particular crime. When you look at the Dutch version of Wikipedia you find, in addition, particulars about a number of Dutch television programs on the matter.

    But perhaps you know other sources for “popular discourse”?

    Incidentally there is apparently no consensus about the number of victims. A contemporary UN-report mentioned 150. An Indonesian pastor claimed that there were 431. The ”excessennota”, based on historical research under the guidance of the later Professor Fasseur (well known to you Odinus), came to a total of about twenty executions. This latter number is rarely mentioned in “popular discourse”. So, contrary to your assertion about the discrepancy between Dutch scholarly literature and “popular discourse”, there the case is presented as having been far worse.

    I read that official Dutch acknowledgement of it as a war crime has at any case issued in financial support of more than a million dollars for village projects. The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maxime Verhagen, also visited the place last year. It was reported in the “popular press” (the regional Brabantian paper “De Stem”) that the Chairman of the Association of Victims, Mr. Suparta (Suparto?), declared last year that the village would , together with the Netherlands, regard the issue as closed. On the other hand the Wikipedia article claims that the “widows” of the victims (how many of those can there be for a matter that happened 63 years ago ?) are still seeking individual compensation.

    Whatever is the case it can apparently still serve excellently for those who want to divert attention from uncomfortable questions about Papua. The Rawagede matter happened in the forties. The crimes in Papua are of a very recent date.

    Have you got an opinion, Odinius, about Indonesian “popular discourse” regarding those?

  14. Arie Brand says:

    I should add this:

    In the daily ‘Trouw’ of 26th November 2008 Professor Fasseur returned to the matter. He mentioned there that in the Westerling affair, as it was reported from the Indonesian side to the UN, there was a tenfold inflation of the number of victims. This was, he said, because it was already reported in 1947 (that is in the middle of a war situation A.B.). What he didn’t say, but apparently wanted us to understand, is that the same thing happened with the Rawagede affair which must have been reported to the UN not long after.

    Fasseur didn’t commit himself here to a number however. What he did say was that the research for the ‘Excessennota’ had to be done in a hurry and was far from complete.

    A certain Scholtens, a student writing a ‘skripsie’ for his Master’s degree, claims that he found archival evidence for a number of about one hundred victims and doesn’t understand where the ‘about twenty executions’ of the ‘Excessennota’ came from.

    I am not ‘tawaring’ here about these numbers. Every execution was one too many. But the issue here is the alleged discrepancy between ‘popular discourse’ and the scholarly literature where you, Odinius, got exactly the wrong end of the stick (apart from the fact that you agreed to Lairedon’s mistaken assertion that the Dutch had not recognized the affair as a war crime ).

    And can you now let him answer my question about Papua?

  15. Lairedion says:


    Indonesia is not exempted from criticism, condemnation and charges on human rights violations, abuse, torture and crimes. In my opinion no nation is and crimes are not subject to expiration.

    Since Indonesia’s invasion and occupation of East Timor was illegal by the toothless UN and marred by excessive violence and brutality an official apology is the least they can offer. However they couldn’t have pulled it off without the support of some Western nations I’m not gonna mention here.

    West Papua has been internationally recognized as part of Indonesia since Indonesia rigged the Act of Free Choice in 1969. So here we have the Indonesian state violating human rights of its subjects. Abuses, torture and violations should relentlessly be addressed and lndonesia should listen to what the Papuans want (more control over their own territory and resources (more autonomy) and having their basic human rights respected). All praise to Munir Said Thalib who paid with his life for doing this. If Indonesia is serious about this they should charge perpetrators and punish them. I’m well aware this is the ideal situation and far from reality. Just today Indonesia has admitted the recent torture of Papuans (source). A first small step in the right direction.

    So you see I don’t divert attention away. My gut feeling is you feel uncomfortable yourself coming with dubious statements on crimes happened in the past while it’s clear these crimes have everlasting consequences.

    On Rawagede:

    According to the official KUKB site J.M. Pondaag is acting as chairman and they certainly didn’t declare the case closed. Suparto/Suparta is mentioned nowhere.

    In May 2010 the Dutch court finally acknowledged Rawagede as a crime (source), but only after the KUKB and next of kin sued the Dutch State and the story gained widespread media coverage. In reality the Dutch State had hoped Rawagede would be forgotten. The reason why I wrote the Dutch War Crimes article in the first place and why I am so annoyed with ongoing Dutch ignorance.

    In general, it would be wise for former colonizers to come to terms with their own pasts. Failing to do so keeps putting the burden on current and future generations who have nothing to do with their ancestor’s wrongdoings.

    And can you now let him answer my question about Papua?

    Odinius replied on my comment, you jumped on it and now he must wait. What for? This ain’t no kindergarten but a blog where people can discuss matters freely within the boundaries set by the webmaster.

  16. Lairedion says:


    Many ordinary Dutch want the state to admit, acknowledge and apologize for wrongdoings in the colonial past, mainly for the reasons I pointed out earlier on coming to terms and experiencing it as a burden. Many Dutch Indies veterans are supportive as well.

    Politicans, lawmakers and the judiciary (the State) are ignorant and remain ignorant. Unfortunately it takes a case like Rawagede for them to move a little in the right direction.

  17. Arie Brand says:


    It is good that you now recognize that there has been official recognition of that foul deed in Rawagede as a war crime though you didn’t get it quite right. As should have been clear from your own source this recognition was not by “the Dutch Court”, as you have it, but by the “landsadvocaat” (a functionary similar to the Anglo-Saxon Solicitor-General) on behalf of the government.

    What also might have escaped your attention is that almost two years ago the Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia, Koos van Dam, attended in Rawagede the commemoration of the victims where he expressed, on behalf of parliament and the government, regrets over what had happened there. Subsequently there was a lot of hairsplitting about the question whether this amounted to an apology. He tried, probably in vain, to make an end to these semantic shenanigans by declaring that he had meant it as an apology.

    On Rawagede you wrote furthermore:

    “According to the official KUKB site J.M. Pondaag is acting as chairman and they certainly didn’t declare the case closed. Suparto/Suparta is mentioned nowhere.”

    What do you mean by “nowhere”? On the website of the KUKB folk? Elsewhere I found various references to him.

    In “De Stem” of 21st February 2009 he was called “the chairman of the association of victims” and quoted as saying “we willen wel samen met Nederland dit hoofdstuk afsluiten” (we want to close this chapter, together with the Netherlands).

    In the “Reformatorisch Dagblad” of 8th December 2009 he is described as a grandson of one of the victims and a foundation member of their association.

    In an article about the affair on the Jawa Pos network of 16th December 2009 he is called “ketua ahli waris”, a description that comes near to the position “De Stem” gave him.

    Anyway, when it comes to standing in this matter I would rather listen to him than to Mr.Pondaag, chairman of a private association that has seen fit to meddle in the thing. Mr.Pondaag appears to be a Dutch resident of Indonesian extraction who is living in the pastoral environment of a North Holland village (Heemskerk), socially and geographically as far removed from a Javanese desa as removed can be. I couldn’t make out from the KUKB website what his present position is on the matter and, frankly, I don’t see any particular reason why I should.

    You accuse the present Dutch government of “ignorance” and also of the attempt to keep the affair hidden. Though I sympathise in principle with the general thrust of these accusations, in the sense that we would all like the powers that be to be somewhat more knowledgeable and less conspiratorial than they often appear to be, it yet seems to me that these accusations are somewhat incompatible. I mean you cannot be ignorant about what you are trying to hide or attempt to hide what you are ignorant about.

    Before the affair received the limelight in the media the average parliamentarian or even government minister probably knew as little about the affair as you and me. They had indeed preciously little to go on. Even if they had had any particular reason to look up the now more than forty year old so-called “excessennota” they wouldn’t have been much wiser because there the matter is only mentioned in passing. And the only scholarly publication I know about such events in this period, the book “Ontsporing van Geweld” (Derailment of Violence) by the prominent Dutch sociologist Jacques van Doorn and his fellow author Wim Hendrix (who had themselves spent long years in the army there), does as far as I can recall not even mention Ragawede.

    But, of course, once the affair was out into the open it made no sense to try and hide it.

    However your accusation of a cover up is quite valid for the official folk (including cabinet ministers) who knew about this, or at any case about similar affairs (Westerling), in that wartime period. It holds particularly for the then prosecutor in Jakarta, Felderhof, whose main concern seems to have been to avoid any further publicity (any attempt to completely hide it was of course then futile as well since the UN had already been notified by the Indonesians). The Dutch public of the day knew next to nothing about these things except from some snippets of publicity in the form of indignant letters back home from drafted soldiers that were occasionally published in the left wing periodical press. Fasseur mentions the case of three marines who got hefty prison terms for insubordination because they had refused to follow an order to put a kampong on fire, saying that they didn’t want to be involved in such “German” methods of revenge.

    I doubt though that such scant publicity as there was back then had a ready reception. It is, seeing the attitude of the contemporary Dutch public, much easier to believe that your grandfathers were up to no good (and that one is himself of course infinitely more virtuous) than to accept this about your sons, husbands or brothers.

    When I can summon the energy I will translate the stuff that the contemporary European public in Jakarta was told.

    Finally, you tell me that this blog is no ‘kindergarten’. No. It isn’t a fire brigade or diving squad either. I mean these latter propositions would, when it comes to any connection with my previous letter, be of about equal irrelevance.

    I will comment on your remarks on Papua in a separate letter. I am off for the weekend.

  18. Lairedion says:


    When I can summon the energy I will translate the stuff that the contemporary European public in Jakarta was told.

    I will comment on your remarks on Papua in a separate letter. I am off for the weekend.

    Energy, letter? This does not predict anything good. Now Odinius has to wait much longer. 🙂

    I do hope this is not going the same way as the Marriage Age for Girls thread.

  19. Arie Brand says:

    You fabricated that ‘”kindergarten” out of thin air and now, lo and behold, you seem to have managed to get yourself enrolled there.

    Anyway, never fear for the vitality of that Dutch war crimes topic on this blog. It seems to be an evergreen. The thread you initiated about this is, as you know, the most commented on after ‘dating Indonesian girls’ (there are, after all, priorities). Curious that there is nothing similar here about Indonesian war crimes.

    Yet that is an ongoing matter whereas the Dutch are no longer in a position to commit them.

  20. Arie Brand says:

    I found this extract of the December 1947 Dutch language paper De Nieuwgier in Jakarta on the Internet. Somebody who calls him/herself batarahutagalung posted it.

    “16th December 1947


    Berita Indonesia published last night under bold headlines an extensive story about a ‘big mopping-up operation’ in the region of Rawagede in Krawang where allegedly in four days time 312 people were killed by Dutch soldiers, while 200 others were wounded. The ‘mopping-up’ operation was supposedly started in the night from 8 to 9 December and lasted until the 12th. In view of the seriousness of this accusation we hope that Dutch authorities will soon inform us whether something (and if so, what) happened in Rawagede. A fantastic rumour of this nature cannot be squashed soon enough.

    17th December

    Summary Dutch reaction: ‘Forceful action has been initiated against roving bands in the region of Krawang. These bands have now partly been rendered harmless.’

    The paper continues:

    We remind our readers in this context of an earlier report concerning the activities in this region of Soekarno’s ‘elite troops’, the Pasoekan Istimewa. Indeed, the Chinese press has lately been full of reports about terrorism in West Java’s ‘granary’.

    That Dutch troops have now started forceful action here is thus no reason for astonishment. And this is in all likelihood the explanation for the sensational story in Berita Indonesia concerning a big ‘mopping-up’ operation in this region. We only regret that our official sources believe it to be sufficient to provide two sentences about Krawang. If there was a big ‘mopping-up’ operation there were no doubt plenty of reasons for it and thus one could easily have been somewhat less parsimonious with information. One is again, however, too late and provides too little information, so that the Republican press has every opportunity to spread wild stories of which the details and figures will probably be incorrect. As is indeed the whole thrust of the story, which insinuated the slaughter of defenseless citizens, whereas we are obviously dealing here with completely justifiable action against robber bands.

    On the 22nd of December the paper keeps urging for an explanation from the Dutch side.

    Approximately 200 band members shot down.

    The communiqué published Sunday night by the Republican government concerning that action in the region of Krawang has promptly had an effect, in contrast to press reports that could not induce the Service for Army Contacts to bestir itself. Yesterday we got an extensive report from this service and so we say: better late than never. This ’elucidatory report regarding the action in Krawang’ states that this region was comparatively quiet in the first few months after the Police Action. However gradually republican bands started to infiltrate which began well organized action and managed to get a coercive hold on the whole population of Krawang.

    When this organization deemed itself strong enough it began to engage in open resistance. Bridges, roads, rice mills were destroyed on a large scale. Tank traps were dug. Any one who did not fully cooperate risked being abducted and executed – a task for which special ‘executioners’ had been put in place. Twenty-eight decapitated corpses were found in the Tjitaroem dam near Balahar.

    A clerk of the Republican wedana was abducted and had to witness several executions. He managed to escape before it was his turn. One victim was not murdered ‘properly’ (the blow in the neck was not fatal) and could, after having been thrown in the kali as a corpse, save himself by swimming. He reported to the nearest Dutch post.

    Numerous decapitated corpses were also found in many kalis near the coast. These crimes became more frequent, and the sabotage and destruction more intense, so that forceful action was necessitated in the second week of December. When, on the ninth of December, the region was shut off, it was established that the kampong Rawagede was the centre of the activity of the bands.

    Their members came in little groups of about ten out of the kampong and opened fire in several places. 150 of them were shot down and 9 were made prisoner, among who was an Indian, presumably a member of the International brigade. When houses in the kampong were searched republican stamps and membership cards of militant groups were found. The heaviest weapons used on the Dutch side in this action were 3-inch mortars.

    When the whole region around Krawang was shut down on the tenth of December a general search was begun. This led to a whole series of small-scale skirmishes with bands, in which they suffered small losses, generally about five men. This action is not fully finished yet. Its result is that the bands have been driven to the North. The region is now much quieter and the population is returning to the desas. It fears still, however, the revenge of the bands and the kampongs where Dutch troops are based are therefore filled to overcrowding.

    27th December

    Inquiry Krawang Affair?

    Reuter has learned from a Republican source that the Republican government has sent a letter to the Committee of Good Services with the request to put in place an inquiry into the events in Krawang in which, according to the Republic, through an action of the Dutch army 300 Indonesian citizens were killed and 200 wounded. “

    For good measure I compare this with part of a contemporary account by a local historian of Krawang called Sukarman, that appeared in an article by Deden Gunawan in detikNews of 13th August this year. Sukarman points to some specific military reasons for this action in this fragment. In the rest of his account he stresses however that the Dutch soldiers were scared of this particular kampong and that they had more than once set out to go there only to return halfway to base in Krawang, 25 kilometers from Rawagede. This could be part of proud kampong lore – on the other hand it seems to provide at least part of a motive for this war crime: fear.

    “Mengapa Belanda berbuat sekeji itu di Rawa Gede? Menurut Sukarman, peneliti sejarah Karawang saat ditemui detikcom, wilayah Rawa Gede merupakan tempat berkumpul sejumlah laskar pejuang yang ada di wilayah Bekasi dan Karawang. Bahkan sejumlah pejuang dari Cirebon maupun Yogyakarta kerap menjadikan desa tersebut sebagai tempat persinggahan.

    “Warga di Rawagede, terutama para juragan tanah di sana sangat terbuka terhadap para pejuang. Mereka rela memberikan makanan maupun tempat menginap bagi para pejuang. Jadi untuk urusan logistik para pejuang tidak merasa khawatir,” jelas Sukarman.

    Selain jadi gudang logistik, imbuh Sukarman, kawasan Rawagede juga sangat strategis untuk memobilisasi penyerangan. Soalnya, saat itu Rawagede dilintasi jalur kereta api antara Cikampek-Rengasdengklok. Saat itu Rengasdengklok merupakan salah satu gudang persenjataan dan material. Di sana ada bekas markas pasukan Pembela Tanah Air (Peta).”

  21. Lairedion says:


    The Rawagede story appeared in Dutch media back then in September 2008 and I thought it was interesting enough to write a post on it and so did the webmaster.

    If that bothers you so much please feel free to write a piece yourself on Indonesian war crimes…..

  22. Arie Brand says:

    No, it doesn’t bother me at all. I am, in fact, quite interested in these matters which are part of Dutch as well as Indonesian history.

    What do you think about those articles in De Nieuwsgier? The bit about that action in Rawagede seems a tissue of lies but what they say about Indonesian guerilla activities has a ring of truth. After all, alll guerilla armies try to get the population to cooperate, by fair means or foul – mostly foul.

    On the whole it reminded me of the thing that that Dutch Aceh officer, who in the ‘Land of Herkomst ‘ is called Arthur Hille, said to Eddy Du Perron. He told him not to pay any attention to army bulletins because these were generally penned together by “John Cunt and his mate”.

  23. Lairedion says:


    I do not think anything of those Nieuwsgier articles. As I said before feel free to start a post on your own if you want to explore this subject or Indonesian crimes as a whole, to trigger your curiosity. Maybe I will participate then.

    I have given my opinion on Indonesian wrongdoings here, in the ‘Get a Fire’: Kindeman Gire Video thread and on other threads on various subjects. I criticize Indonesia where I believe criticism is justified and I will continue to do so. Furthermore I answered your question on Papua. I even allowed myself elaborating my viewpoint on East Timor, just to show I take matters seriously.

    If it doesn’t satisfy you, it’s your problem. not mine.

    However when Dutch colonialism/crimes (or Western in general) are addressed you’re showing oversensitivity with constantly bringing up seemingly similar Indonesian cases. And here you’re again, trying to start a discussion on foul means in Indonesian guerrilla tactics.

    If this is your stance on engaging in discussions so be it but then I have nothing more to say to you.

  24. Arie Brand says:


    Well, well. Would it, after your prickly reaction, be fair to wonder where the ‘oversensitivity’ is to be found?

    And, frankly, I fear that the stock of the world’s wisdom (nor mine for that matter) will not be noticeably less if ‘you have nothing more to say’ to me about these matters, because thus far in this exchange you have shown yourself to be, uh, somewhat careless about facts.

    This might have less to do with your personal disposition than with a general Indonesian attitude as far as historical inquiry in this period is concerned.

    Some professional Indonesian historians apparently have a hard time there. I quote from one of my earlier letters on the war crimes thread:

    “The Dutch Institute for War Documentation organized in June 2003 an international conference of historians to deal with the “bersiap-period” under the title “Identity and Chaos in Indonesia 1945-1946”. I will translate here a paragraph from a report about it. It deals with some remarks by the Indonesian historian Bambang Purwanto. “He talked about the resistance he gets in his own country at the slightest attempt to deal somewhat objectively with the history of the Revolution. He had already been reproached for not being a real Indonesian. The name ‘bersiap-time’ is not known in Indonesia. It is called the time of chaos there. Purwanto acknowledged fully that horrible things had happened in this period, but he thought that it might make more sense if hence forward more attention would be given to the humanitarian element that emphatically also has played a role in this time.” “

    I have not personally gone through this time in Java but when I worked for the “Pamong Pradja” (B.B.) in Papua I heard from one of my chiefs, who had to live through it all as a district officer, stories that fully confirmed the picture that De Nieuwsgier gave of guerilla activity there – and worse. He was an old colonial diehard then whose words could not be trusted? Ah, what can one say. I never saw him in that light. During the war he had, through his initial refusal to sign the student oath of loyalty to the German occupation regime, slid gradually into more active resistance and finally landed in a German concentration camp – an experience not often found in the curriculum vitae of right wing diehards.

    Historical explanation is to a large extent about context. And this is often completely lost sight of when these matters are dealt with, also, I must say, in Dutch public debate today where frequently a minimum of information is linked to a maximum of willingness to judge.
    Albert Van der Hoogte’s novel “Het Laatste Uur” (The last hour) which deals with his personal experiences in Java in this period would, if it was published today, find very few buyers. They know already what was going on there, don’t they?

    To return to my experience in Papua, I saw at the end of it the first phase of the Indonesian occupation, so misleadingly called “pembebasan”. I must say that this has made me extremely skeptical about Indonesian “revolutionary” rhetoric that had played such a large role in the Sukarno regime’s ideological preparation for this venture. Incidentally, has any one ever proposed to remove one of the most conspicuous stone faced lies in the world: that statue in Jakarta picturing a Papuan couple “breaking its chains”?

    I have touched on these matters in the series I wrote for “Australian webdiary” (see and also in a chapter I contributed to P.Schoorl (ed.) Besturen in Nederlands Nieuw Guinea, 1945-1962, Royal Institute for Linguistics and Anthropology (KITLV), Leiden 1996 (there is an Indonesian edition, published by the same institute, with the title “Belanda di Irian jaya: amtenar di masa penuh gejolak”).

    I will still comment, some time this week, on your remarks on Papua. As to your refusal to continue this conversation: see above.

  25. Arie Brand says:

    P.S. “If it was published today” should of course be “if it were published today”.

  26. Arie Brand says:

    I will continue this discussion on the “West Papua Timeline” thread.

  27. David says:

    Couldn’t find it anymore.

    In the search box at the top of the page, putting in ‘west papua’ brings it up as the first result; but burying your comments on the third page of a soon to be obscure post/thread is about the same as putting it on a 4 year old even more obscure post. You should have a blog, it’s too much work you say, but the main difference is instead of clicking a button that says ‘submit’ you click a button that says ‘publish’. The advantage is that more than about 4 people will see it.

  28. sambara says:

    I just don’t understand why SBY canceled his trip to Holland, but I become more confused when our legislative members insist on traveling to Greece. Who is more economical?

Comment on “SBY: Not a Dutch Lion”.

RSS feed

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-20
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact