Minahasa Nationalism

Oct 19th, 2006, in News, by

The Gerakan Kemerdekaan Minahasa in North Sulawesi have hopes of independence from Indonesia.

The region of Minahasa occupies the northern part of North Sulawesi province and contains the regencies of Minahasa, North Minahasa, South Minahasa, Bitung, Manado, Tomohon, and Bolaang Mongondow, see map. The people speak their own language, Manado Malay, and were generally pro-Dutch during the colonial period, with Dutch language, culture, and religion, having had a significant impact on the Minahasa.

On 25th September 2006 a declaration was signed by various figures in the region stating the goal of independence from Indonesia and claiming that a referendum on the matter would be held at Christmas of this year. The declaration is based on three principles:

  1. Freedom from discrimination (against minorities).
  2. Freedom from economic inequality and exploitation.
  3. Freedom from restrictions on religious worship.

The two key men behind the declaration are Dolfie Maringka and Revly Pesak, the former of whom said:

We no longer believe in the unitary republic of Indonesia. The ultimate goal of our movement is total independence/freedom for the Minahasa people. I’m ready to go to jail for this.
(Kami sudah tidak percaya lagi dengan NKRI. Tujuan akhir dari berdirinya gerakan ini adalah kemerdekaan total bagi rakyat Minahasa. Saya siap dipenjarakan dengan perjuangan ini.)

The two men said they had long planned to make their statement but two recent events caused them to speed up their plans – the issuing of the “SKB 2 Menteri”, the law on houses of worship, and the execution of Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva, & Marinus Riwu. In the land of Toar Lumimuut, they say, all religions will be free to grow and develop, unrestricted.

On the proposed referendum:

I’m sure if it were done most Minahasa people would vote to secede.
(Saya yakin, jika dilakukan referendum, rakyat Minahasa pasti setuju dengan gerakan ini.)

Their plan has Pauline approval, it seems. In Galatians 5:1, they point out, in a spirit of rather dogged, evangelical style literalness, it is said:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Much emphasis is placed by Maringka on the notion that God has granted freedom to all his people, that such freedom is necessarily inherent in the love of God, and therefore, logically, Indonesia, as a denier of freedom to minorities, engages in great sin, it denies or obstructs God’s will.

It is said in the report that a number of young men and university students attended the declaration although it is uncertain what the real level of popular support for the movement is.

37 Comments on “Minahasa Nationalism”

  1. Czeslaw says:

    Mr Hassan, one day your type of Islam may emerge from the 12th century darknes.

    I hope you still be around

  2. Karlira Kanakahuko says:

    Like me, Indonesian women,even Muslims are very vigilant against men’s oppression like from Sharia law. Why Indonesian women are against anti-pornography law? It is because Indonesian women are very broad-minded, unlike women in the Middle East and South Asia.

  3. Joseph Erwin says:

    My dear friends,

    Here I am hoping you will not hate me because I was born in America and because I grew up in a religion that claimed that it was the only correct one. I think of myself as a citizen of the world, but it does not surprise me to learn that some people hate all Americans. The policies of my country sometimes promote such hatred, mostly by being poorly informed and misunderstanding people from other nations and other cultures. There are many Christian people in America who wish to claim that America is “a Christian nation,” but they are wrong–and sadly, those who promote this idea are among the most ignorant of other cultures. The most extreme of these promote a kind of religious imperialism, and sadly, some political elements in our country–notably some of the wealthiest and most powerful–exploit the voting of the most ignorant in order to gain and maintain power. They seek to enrich themselves and their elite supporters through fostering international paranoia and waging war in ways that only drive people farther into hopeless anger and hatred. Some of my fellow Americans and I should not be the targets of hatred, but I can understand why this happens, when the policies of our country promote hatred. Now, for Indonesia, it is very sad to see fragmentation. I understand some of the reasons. The balance is delicate. The power from some areas over others has been excessive. I have been many times in all parts of Sulawesi Utara, especially Minahasa, but also other parts of Sulawesi (Sulawesi Tengah, and Sulawesi Selatan–even in what is now Sulawesi Barat). Also in what is now Papua (Irian Jaya, when I was there a few times) and to some locations in Maluku (Ternate, Ambon, etc.). I was nearly always treated well and with respect by people I met–only a few exceptions, where young men looked at me and thought I represented something they hated, that I was “untrue” “false” “infidel.”

    I do not ask anyone to tolerate the intolerable, but responding to hatefulness with stereotyped hatred is not a positive choice. Let us all try to find ways of creating progress and cohesion and harmony. If we focus our energy and talent and effort on constructive and progressive policies, we can overcome those who choose to hate for a living. I understand that patience wears thin, but there is not really an acceptable alternative to the use of our brains to find ways of peaceful harmony in the real and present world. Let us, among other things, draw energy and ideas across international boundaries.

    Your friend,


  4. touminahasa says:

    INDONESIA = ISLAMISASI = JAVANISASI, sad to say that it’s happened in a country claimed to be proud of multiculture and multiethnic. but the javanese people and the moslem are indeed the aggressor of our(MINAHASAN) culture, social, economic. OTDA/OTSUS is not enough. we should had been joined the ducth instead of NKRI.


  5. Pingkan says:

    As an half Minahasan, I hope it won’t happen 🙁 However, it could happen if there’s no justice yet for the minors in Indonesia. For all Minahasans, Torang Samua Basaudara 🙂
    God bless North Celebes a.ka. North Sulawesi 🙂 God bless Indonesia 🙂

    Peace xox

  6. Czeslaw says:

    To Mr. Hassan:
    Your quote directed at me: “I only hated bigots and self righteous fascists like you!”
    Mr Hassan, my people were murdered by 100s of thousands by fascists and communists. Why I would want to align my self with these two genocide pron groups?

    Mr. Hassan, I believe you could benefit from learning as much about the fascism as I learned and know about Islam and Koran. Mr. Hassan, hate is the biggest self punishment. I pity you.

    To Karlira Kanakahuko:
    Sharia law have nothing to do with Koran or Islam. No one can find/prove any link between Koran and sharia. Please bare in mind, that this whole issue (Islam) got started by a man convicted of crimes in the native Mecca Kingdom some 1200 years ago. Thus Mr. Mohammed was banned from Mecca for his crimes, not religiouse believes. If you would study/learn about Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler, you would learn that they too were convicted and jailed for criminal convictions in their respective countries.

    There are many similarities in this trio, but I don’t want to sound like I am trying to slander any one. I’m just pointing to true historical facts; nothing to do with bigotry – Mr Hassan, or to bad mouth any human being. Just undisputed historical facts.

    Definitely, I can’t find any religious roots in the sharia law. Definitively no link between sharia and Koran. I believe that nomadic Arab men who were unable to attract and keep a woman came up with this type of ideologies. Otherwise they would have to satisfy their own sexual needs by them selves, or man play with other man, or use animals for that purpose.

    Touminahasa & Pingkan:
    I remember when I was a kid in 3rd -4th grade, I was a geography geek. I found a funny looking island on the map, and I dreamed to move and live down there. It was the Celebes Island. Don’t ask why. Children live in own world. Today I am happy that I can exchange and receive few thoughts with people from the Celebes Island.

    From my own experience, and from the history here in Europe, I would caution you to be very careful with any form on Nazism. Either the political or religious nazism. Nazism means annihilating/destruction of all others by all means.

    IN Europe there were 3 nazitic nations: Germany, Communist Soviets and Ukraine. In the Ukraine the things were not as bad as in the Germany or Communist Russia, but still groups like Stefan Bandera and UPA and similar, the Ukrainian Nazi movement committed atrocities beyond the scope of this blog.

    Pretty similar when Muslim invaded southern Europe up to Spain.
    Muslims were throwing live human beings into hot and boiling oils, those who refused to convert to Islam. All villages were burned and destroyed with their inhabitants.

    Stefan Bandera group and the UPA in the Ukraine copied Muslims in the destruction of none Ukrainians on the Ukraine territories.

    Polish children were impaled, or cut with the saw in half alive, or in groups tide with the barb wires to the posts or threes, and were cut open their belies with the knives by UPA or Stefan Bandera organization. Polish settlements were ambushed at nights and burn with inhabitants inside. Those who tried to escape the fire where shot dead. Polish churches were burn with the faithful in them. Polish men were rounded up, shut in the back of the head, tide up in the drafts/bunches of 3-8 dead bodies and dumped into the rivers.

    This is what religious or political nazims means and what it does.

    I’m concerned, and I have legitimate reasons to be concern about the way Islam and Muslim are treating others. I just can’t find too much difference between nazism and Islam.
    There are too many similarities, and I don’t hear a single Muslim to address this situation.
    So, the history is the best teacher, and not one person’s view or opinion.

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