• Aneuek Mud
  • Rapat Di Belanda
  • Yusuf Dawood and Guree
  • Pelanggara
  • Bangsa Aceh Berdemo Di Jalan Raya Stockholm
  • Organisasi pembebasan
Aneuek Muda1 Rapat Di Belanda2 Yusuf Dawood and Guree3 Pelanggara 4 Bangsa Aceh Berdemo Di Jalan Raya Stockholm 5 Organisasi pembebasan 6

Memorial Day of the Netherlands’ War Declaration of 26 March 1873

Oh, Netherlands

By: Asnawi Ali
E-mail: asnawiali@gmail.com

A memory to all Achehnese around the world

ALMOST every Sunday, I would spend my free time to sit in front of the computer and read several books written by Tgk. Hasan Tiro. His books were written in multiple languages and can easily be found on the internet in PDF format. He had written these books before the existence of computers and hand phones— much less the internet. Even so, his books radiate brilliance with their exceptional quality and are scientific; they rival the works of scholars of foreign universities, even if they were written on mountains in his fighting days without the assistance of technology.

Our country, Acheh, is deep in the Asian region. However, if we observe some evidences, hear witnesses, and read books, we would find that our nation has had a historical connection with a nation in Europe—Netherlands! This monarchical country is a member of the European Union and UN. It also hosts two important international institutions: the International Criminal Court and UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization), “the UN” for countries and nations yet to be independent.

How can it be history related among our nation with the Dutch?

In short, there was a close relationship between these two nations, as they even trade with each other. Sometime later, triggered by the lust to colonize and defense of country, the two grand nations battled each other. Which country did the oppressing, and which did the defending? The answer can be found from the testimonies of history.

If we analyze the reasons, we would discover that one of the reasons our nation lost its independence is because of the Dutch. Once again: the Dutch! Undoubtedly, history had witnessed that the Netherlands declared war on the nation of Acheh on 26 March 1873. Before that defining date, our country was an independent nation! We were equal to other nations!

In addition to the analysis, we can see for ourselves: which country came with the intention of colonizing another country by declaring war? History witnessed that the Netherlands instigated combat with the declaration of war against our nation! Did our ancestors traveled all the way to the Netherlands to occupy the Netherlands? Another thought: know that the Dutch not only went to war with our country, but also with other independent nations in the Malay Archipelago.

Look at the world map; had the Suez Canal not built, the distance between the Netherlands and Acheh would be very extensive. Calculate for yourself, how many months does it take to travel to Asia by ship? How many Dutch armies died in futility in the war? How much expenditure did they have to bear for this nonsense? Yet, the Dutch still followed through their war plan for the sole reason of satisfying their lust for blood and to oppress other nations, even though they were deep in the European continent. It then becomes crystal clear, which country was the oppressor, and which was solely defending itself against oppression.

According to the facts originating from the Netherlands itself, the war against Acheh was the most drawn-out and extensive war with the largest death toll and expenditure. The war resulted in the destruction of the Achehnese Kingdom—its heritage annihilated, its elders martyred along with its widows and orphans. The sovereignty of the nation changed when the king of Acheh was captured by the Dutch. Even then, the fight against the Dutch continued on the initiative of scholars and ulama, and then succeeded by the next generation.

Case in Portuguese

Netherlands, as a member of the European Union, is currently a civilized country. However, its historical debauchery cannot just be forgotten easily. Portugal, also a member of the EU, showed responsibility on what their ancestors have done to East Timor. As an example, when the Portuguese wanted to return to their country after invading East Timor. As soon as they left, the Indonesian military entered East Timor on Soeharto’s order. In political norm, the Portuguese felt guilty on what they have done to East Timor, because as a nation, East Timor has a political right to choose whether to integrate with Indonesia or become independent as its own nation.

For that reason, Portugal has always assisted East Timor activists in their campaign to obtain Referendum as a fair middle road to settle its conflict with Indonesia. In an international level, according to East Timor activists, Portugal has always tried to influence Indonesia regarding East Timor. In addition to those, in regards to basic human rights and self-determination, Portugal allowed East Timor activists to live in Lisbon. Observe for yourself, how Portugal--driven by their guiltiness on what their forefathers had done to East Timor --assisted East Timor activists. Outside of the religious doctrine, Portugal had paid its debt and fulfilled its moral responsibility on what they had done when they left East Timor soil.

Now, compare them to the Dutch who still have a historical connection with Acheh. Why, throughout the history of Acheh, have we never lived in harmony, peace, and stability, unlike other nations? There is always a conflict! Know that the source of every fault in our nation is the Netherland’s aggression towards Acheh. Acheh had yet to recover from the war, but the Netherlands had already decolonized Acheh and returned it to the hands of Indonesia. The Dutch then returned to their own country after robbing the wealth and heritage of Acheh. This was same of faulty when Netherland on December 27, 1949, when was illegally transferred Acheh's sovereignty into Republic of the United Stattes Indonesia (RIS) without a Referendum process.

Case in British

When the British invaded Malay soil and those surrounding it, they established the Commonwealth of Nations and made Malaysia as one of its member, along with other countries that had been under their empire. Portugal and England realized that the invasions and oppressions were their forefather's political mistakes. Yet, the Netherlands has still not realized any of this. What have they done to help Acheh to atone the mistakes of their ancestors?

If one mentions that the Netherlands did provide humanitarian aid during the tsunami disaster, we can argue that other countries, most of which have absolutely no historical connection with Acheh, provided more aid to Acheh than the Netherlands did. We can also observe this absence of guilty in other aspects. The Netherlands never provided any assistance to the Achehnese that were tyrannized in the conflict with Indonesia. Yet, other countries that have no historical relation with Acheh helped hundreds of Achehnese families and accepted them to their countries as refugees and asylum seekers. Thus, it is very clear that the Netherlands side with Indonesia, unlike Portugal and East Timor or British and Malaysia which have had the conscience.

I recall that such irresponsible political policy of the Dutch was also uttered by their vice ambassador in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was during the fasting month in 2011. I asked to meet with the Netherlands Ambassador to Malaysia, but alas, I was only met by the vice ambassador. During the course of the meeting which lasted 20-30 minutes, I happened to ask him an important question.

“Why did the Netherlands not withdraw its declaration of war of 26 March 1873 against Acheh, and how did Acheh become a part of Indonesia?

I was taken aback because the answer didn’t come directly from his mouth; he told me to wait for a few minutes so that he can look for the answer from Google. He then printed a piece of paper and handed it to me. It wasn’t funny, but I couldn’t help but smile. I reiterated my question.

“Where is the source for this?” He answered, “You can see it at the bottom of the paper.”

I read the paper and was disappointed to find that it contained the Indonesian version of history. Had I known that this would be the answer, I wouldn’t have gone to their office as I could have found the answer myself on the internet. Such is the knowledge level of an invader’s vice ambassador. If one does not know the history of his own nation, how could he participate in an objective discussion?

According to the ethics of a civilized country, if it knows that the political decisions of its forefathers were wrong, it would still apologize for their mistakes, however embarrassing it is. Do you still remember that several years ago, in 2011, there was a trial in the Netherlands on the Rawagede case, where eventually, the court decided that the Netherlands, as a state, was found guilty of the killing of innocents in Rawagede in 1947. The Netherlands was forced to apologize to the survivors and was stipulated by the court to provide compensation to the remaining heirs of the victims.

The total number of victims made up by our ancestors in Acheh is larger than that of the Rawagede case. Acheh’s issue with the Netherlands is a historical connection that is yet to be resolved. Anyone who has Achehnese blood running in his veins has a right to bring up the historical issue. Men are required to try, but success is not compulsory, as it all depends on the decision of The Almighty. Based on that, we must act according to our utmost capability, starting from the smallest step—just as the slogan of the hand phone manufacturer, Nokia: ‘Connecting People’.

Our Local Website

Laman web resmi kami: Sekretariat ASNLF/AM Sweden

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United Nations - Laman web PBB (Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa)

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