Saturday, November 3, 2012

Indonesia - Counter Revolution

Allied counter revolution
The Dutch accused Sukarno and Hatta of collaborating with the Japanese, and denounced the Republic as a creation of Japanese fascism. The Dutch East Indies administration had just received a ten million dollar loan from the United States to finance its return to Indonesia.
Allied occupation
A soldier of an Indian armoured regiment examines a light tank used by Indonesian nationalists and captured by British forces during the fighting in Surabaya.
The Netherlands, however, was critically weakened from World War II in Europe and did not return as a significant military force until early 1946. The Japanese and members of the Allied forces reluctantly agreed to act as caretakers. As US forces were focusing on the Japanese home islands, the archipelago was put under the jurisdiction of British Admiral Earl Louis Mountbatten, the Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command. Allied enclaves already existed in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), Morotai (Maluku) and parts of Irian Jaya; Dutch administrators had already returned to these areas. In the Japanese navy areas, the arrival of Allied troops quickly prevented revolutionary activities where Australian troops, followed by Dutch troops and administrators, took the Japanese surrender (except for Bali and Lombok). Due to the lack of strong resistance, two Australian Army divisions succeeded in occupying eastern Indonesia.
The British were charged with restoring order and civilian government in Java. The Dutch took this to mean pre-war colonial administration and continued to claim sovereignty over Indonesia. British Commonwealth troops did not, however, land on Java to accept the Japanese surrender until late September 1945. Lord Mountbatten’s immediate tasks included the repatriation of some 300,000 Japanese, and freeing prisoners of war. He did not want, nor did he have the resources, to commit his troops to a long struggle to regain Indonesia for the Dutch. The first British troops reached Jakarta in late September 1945, and arrived in the cities of Medan (North Sumatra), Padang (West Sumatra), Palembang (South Sumatra), Semarang (Central Java) and Surabaya (East Java) in October. In an attempt to avoid clashes with Indonesians, the British commander Lieutenant General Sir Philip Christison, diverted soldiers of the former Dutch colonial army to eastern Indonesia, where Dutch reoccupation was proceeding smoothly. Tensions mounted as Allied troops entered Java and Sumatra; clashes broke out between Republicans and their perceived enemies, namely Dutch prisoners, Dutch colonial troops (KNIL), Chinese, Indo-Europeans and Japanese.
The first stages of warfare were initiated in October 1945 when, in accordance with the terms of their surrender, the Japanese tried to re-establish the authority they relinquished to Indonesians in the towns and cities. Japanese military police killed Republican pemuda in Pekalongan (Central Java) on 3 October, and Japanese troops drove Republican pemuda out of Bandung in West Java and handed the city to the British, but the fiercest fighting involving the Japanese was in Semarang. On 14 October, British forces began to occupy the city. Retreating Republican forces retaliated by killing between 130 and 300 Japanese prisoners they were holding. Five hundred Japanese and 2,000 Indonesians had been killed and the Japanese had almost captured the city six days later when British forces arrived. The Allies repatriated the remaining Japanese troops and civilians to Japan, although about 1,000 elected to remain behind and later assisted Republican forces in fighting for independence.
Destruction in Bandung's Chinese quarter
The British subsequently decided to evacuate the 10,000 Indo-Europeans and European internees in the volatile Central Java interior. British detachments sent to the towns of Ambarawa and Magelang encountered strong Republican resistance and used air attacks against the Indonesians. Sukarno arranged a ceasefire on 2 November, but by late November fighting had resumed and the British withdrew to the coast. Republican attacks against Allied and alleged pro-Dutch civilians reached a peak in November and December, with 1,200 killed in Bandung as the pemuda returned to the offensive. In March 1946, departing Republicans responded to a British ultimatum for them to leave the city of Bandung by deliberately burning down much of the southern half of the city in what is popularly known in Indonesia as the "Bandung Sea of Fire". The last British troops left Indonesia in November 1946, but by this time 55,000 Dutch troops had landed in Java

Indonesian Republican government

Formation of the Republican government

By the end of August, a central Republican government had been established in Jakarta. It adopted a constitution drafted during the Japanese occupation by the Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence. With general elections yet to be held, a Central Indonesian National Committee (KINP) was appointed to assist the President. Similar committees were established at provincial and regency levels.
Questions of allegiance immediately arose amongst indigenous rulers. Central Javanese principalities, for example, immediately declared themselves Republican, while many raja ('rulers') of the outer islands, who had been enriched from their support of the Dutch, were less enthusiastic. Such reluctance among many outer islands was sharpened by the radical, non-aristocratic, and sometimes Islamic nature of the Java-centric Republican leadership. Support did, however, come from South Sulawesi (including the King of Bone, who still recalled battles against the Dutch from early in the century), and from Makassarese and Bugis raja, who supported the Republican Governor of Jakarta, a Menadonese Christian. Many Balinese raja accepted Republican authority.
Fearing the Dutch would attempt to re-establish their authority over Indonesia, the new Republican Government and its leaders moved quickly to strengthen the fledgling administration. Within Indonesia, the newly formed government, although enthusiastic, was fragile and focused in Java (where focused at all). It was rarely and loosely in contact with the outer islands, which had more Japanese troops (particularly in Japanese naval areas), less sympathetic Japanese commanders, and fewer Republican leaders and activists. In November 1945, a parliamentary form of government was established and Sjahrir was appointed Prime Minister.

In the week following the Japanese surrender, the Giyugun (PETA) and Heiho groups were disbanded by the Japanese. Command structures and membership vital for a national army were consequently dismantled. Thus, rather than being formed from a trained, armed, and organised army, the Republican armed forces began to grow in September from usually younger, less trained groups built around charismatic leaders. Creating a rational military structure that was obedient to central authority from such disorganisation, was one of the major problems of the revolution, a problem that remains through to contemporary times. In the self-created Indonesian army, Japanese-trained Indonesian officers prevailed over those trained by the Dutch[citation needed]. A thirty year-old former school teacher, Sudirman, was elected 'commander-in-chief' at the first meeting of Division Commanders in Yogyakarta on 12 November 1945

Indonesian National Revolution


Indonesian nationalism and movements supporting independence from Dutch colonialism, such as Budi Utomo, the Indonesian National Party (PNI), Sarekat Islam, and the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), grew rapidly in the first half of the twentieth century. Budi Utomo, Sarekat Islam and others pursued strategies of co-operation by joining the Dutch initiated Volksraad ("People's Council") in the hope that Indonesia would be granted self-rule. Others chose a non-cooperative strategy demanding the freedom of self-government from the Dutch East Indies colony. The most notable of these leaders were Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta, two students and nationalist leaders who had benefited from the educational reforms of the Dutch Ethical Policy.
The occupation of Indonesia by Japan for three and a half years during World War II was a crucial factor in the subsequent revolution. The Netherlands, under German occupation, had little ability to defend its colony against the Japanese army, and within only three months of their initial attacks, the Japanese had occupied the Dutch East Indies. In Java, and to a lesser extent in Sumatra (Indonesia's two dominant islands), the Japanese spread and encouraged nationalist sentiment. Although this was done more for Japanese political advantage than from altruistic support of Indonesian independence, this support created new Indonesian institutions (including local neighbourhood organisations) and elevated political leaders such as Sukarno. Just as significantly for the subsequent revolution, the Japanese destroyed and replaced much of the Dutch-created economic, administrative, and political infrastructure.
With Japan on the brink of losing the war, the Dutch sought to re-establish their authority in Indonesia and asked that the Japanese Army "preserve law and order" in Indonesia. The Japanese, however, were in favour of helping Indonesian nationalists prepare for self-government. On 7 September 1944, with the war going badly for the Japanese, Prime Minister Koiso promised independence for Indonesia, but no date was set. For supporters of Sukarno, this announcement was seen as vindication for his apparent collaboration with the Japanese.
Independence declared

Under pressure from radical and politicised pemuda ('youth') groups, Sukarno and Hatta proclaimed Indonesian independence, on 17 August 1945, two days after the Japanese Emperor’s surrender in the Pacific. The following day, the Central Indonesian National Committee (KINP) elected Sukarno as President, and Hatta as Vice President.[9]

Euphoria of revolution

We, the people of Indonesia, hereby declare the independence of Indonesia.
Matters which concern the transfer of power and other things will be executed by careful means and in the shortest possible time.
Djakarta, 17 August 1945
In the name of the people of Indonesia,
(Translation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, October 1948)
Bendera Pusaka, the first Indonesian flag, is raised on 17 August 1945.
It was mid-September before news of the declaration of independence spread to the outer islands, and many Indonesians far from the capital Jakarta did not believe it. As the news spread, most Indonesians came to regard themselves as pro-Republican, and a mood of revolution swept across the country. External power had shifted; it would be weeks before Allied Forces entered Indonesia, and the Dutch were too weakened by World War II. The Japanese, on the other hand, were required by the terms of the surrender to both lay down their arms and maintain order; a contradiction that some resolved by handing weapons to Japanese-trained Indonesians.
The resulting power vacuums in the weeks following the Japanese surrender, created an atmosphere of uncertainty, but also one of opportunity for the Republicans. Many pemuda joined pro-Republic struggle groups (badan perjuangan). The most disciplined were soldiers from the Japanese-formed but disbanded Giyugun (PETA) and Heiho groups. Many groups were undisciplined, due to both the circumstances of their formation and what they perceived as revolutionary spirit. In the first weeks, Japanese troops often withdrew from urban areas to avoid confrontations.
By September 1945, control of major infrastructure installations, including railway stations and trams in Java's largest cities, had been taken over by Republican pemuda who encountered little Japanese resistance. To spread the revolutionary message, pemuda set up their own radio stations and newspapers, and graffiti proclaimed the nationalist sentiment. On most islands, struggle committees and militia were set up.Republican newspapers and journals were common in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Surakarta, which fostered a generation of writers known as angkatan 45 ('generation of 45') many of whom believed their work could be part of the revolution.
Republican leaders struggled to come to terms with popular sentiment; some wanted passionate armed struggle; others a more reasoned approach. Some leaders, such as the leftist Tan Malaka, spread the idea that this was a revolutionary struggle to be led and won by the Indonesian pemuda. Sukarno and Hatta, in contrast, were more interested in planning out a government and institutions to achieve independence through diplomacy. Pro-revolution demonstrations took place in large cities, including one led by Tan Malaka in Jakarta with over 200,000 people, which Sukarno and Hatta, fearing violence, successfully quelled.
By September 1945, many of the self-proclaimed pemuda, who were ready to die for '100% freedom', were getting impatient. It was common for ethnic 'out-groups' – Dutch internees, Eurasian, Ambonese and Chinese – and anyone considered to be a spy, to be subjected to intimidation, kidnap, robbery, and sometimes murder, even organised massacres. Such attacks would continue to some extent for the course of the revolution. As the level of violence increased across the country, the Sukarno- and Hatta-led Republican government in Jakarta urged calm. However, pemuda in favour of armed struggle saw the older leadership as dithering and betraying the revolution, which often led to conflict amongst Indonesians

Indonesia - Budi Utomo

Budi Utomo (also Boedi Oetomo; "Prime Philosophy"), founded on May 20, 1908, was the first native political society in the Dutch East Indies. Today, the year 1908 is commemorated as the birth year of its "nationalist awakening." In 2008, the Indonesian government marked a centennial celebration of the modern birth of nationalist aspirations.
The founder of Budi Utomo was a pensioned government doctor who felt that native intellectuals should improve the masses in education and culture. The society held its first congress in May 1908. The congress was a gathering of students in Batavia. The first leader was Dr. Wahidin Soedirohoesodo, but by the organization's first major gathering in Yogyakarta in October 1908, he stepped aside for younger organizers.
The membership was a very high class of natives, government officials and intellectuals, confined very largely in Java and the Javanese. The furtherance of popular education became the main activity. Few branches expanded the activity into native commerce and industry. Tjipto Mangoenkoesoemo, who would later found the more radical Indische Party, expanded the scope of the society to include more working classes, and also the rest of the Indïes outside of Java. The organization enjoyed a rapid growth; in 1910 the society had 10,000 members enrolled in 40 branches. At the same time, it received official recognition form the colonial government.
Budi Utomo's primary aim was first not political. However, it gradually shifted toward political aims with representatives in the conservative Volksraad (the People's Council) and in the provincial councils in Java. Budi Utomo officially dissolved in 1935, but it has marked the first nationalist movement in the early twentieth century. After dissolution, some of the members joined the largest political party its time, the moderate Greater Indonesian Party (Parindra). In keeping with the outlook of Budi Utomo, former members—whether in the Volksraad or Parindra—insisted on the Indonesian language for all public statements.
The use of Budi Utomo to mark the inception of modern nationalism in Indonesia is not without controversy. Although many scholars agree that Budi Utomo was likely the first modern indigenous political organization, others question its value as an index of Indonesian nationality. For example, in his novels Pramoedya Ananta Toer, pointed to the exclusively aristocratic and male composition of Budi Utomo. Ariel Heryanto questions the nationalism of Budi Utomo, given that its existence was permitted by the Dutch regime: "Because of [Budi Utomo's] remarkably conservative character, the Dutch colonial administration tolerated [it]." Heryanto points to a "more populist and egalitarian" Muslim association (Sarekat Dagang Islamiyah), born a few years prior, as a more genuinely nationalist organization: one which was banned by the Dutch. In enshining Budi Utomo as the first nationalist organization, the current government reiterates the colonial version of history