Thursday, June 17, 2010

Radio address by Queen Wilhelmina on 7 December 1942

Source: http://www.houseofdavid.ca/queen.htm

Today it is a year ago that the Japanese, without previous declaration of war, launched their treacherous attack on our Allies. At that time we did not hesitate for a moment to throw ourselves into the struggle and to hasten to the aid of our Allies, whose cause is ours.

Japan had been preparing for this war and for the conquest of the Netherlands Indies for years and in so doing sought to follow the conduct of its Axis partners in attacking one country after another. This plan we were able to prevent, thanks to our immediate declaration of war. After a year of war we can bear witness that the tide is turning and that the attacker, who had such great advantages, is being forced on the defensive.

It is true that the Netherlands Indies, after defending themselves so heroically are, for the most part, occupied by the enemy, but this phase of the struggle is only a prelude. The Japanese are getting ever nearer the limit of their possibilities as our ever-growing might advance towards them from all sides. They have not been able to break China's courage and endurance and Japan now faces the ebbing of her power in this self-willed war, which will end with her complete downfall.

At this moment my thoughts are more than ever with my country and my compatriots in the Netherlands and the Netherlands Indies. After an age-old historical solidarity, in which had long since passed the era of colonial relationship, we stood on the eve of a collaboration on a basis of equality when suddenly we were both confronted by the present ordeal. The treacherous aggression on the Netherlands in 1940 was the first interruption in the process of development; the heroic battle of the Netherlands Indies, followed by the occupation of the major part of this territory in 1942, was the second.

At the time when the Indies were still free and only Holland was occupied, the vigor of our unity became apparent and on both sides a feeling of stronger kinship developed more rapidly than it could have in peacetime. Now, however, this mutual understanding has been deepened still further because the same struggle is shared in all its agony and the same distress is suffered in all its bitterness. In the Netherlands as well as in the Netherlands Indies the enemy, with his propaganda for the so-called new order, has left nothing untried to lure the spirit of the people and to disguise his tyranny and suppression with the lies of his promises for the future. But these lies and this deceit have been of no avail because nearly all have seen through them and have understood that our enemies have as their aim nothing but slavery and exploitation and that as long as they have not been driven out and defeated there can be no question of freedom.

In previous addresses I announced that it is my intention, after the liberation, to create the occasion for a joint consultation about the structure of the Kingdom and its parts in order to adapt it to the changed circumstances. The conferences of the entire Kingdom which will be convoked for this purpose, has been further outlined in a Government declaration of January 27th, 1942. The preparation of this conference, in which prominent representatives of the three overseas parts of the Kingdom will be united with those of the Netherlands at a round table, had already begun in the Netherlands Indies, Surinam and Curacao, the parts of the Kingdom which then still enjoyed their freedom. Especially in the Netherlands Indies, detailed material had been collected for this purpose and it was transmitted to me in December 1941 by the Governor-General. The battle of the Netherlands Indies disrupted these promising preparations.
We can only resume these preparations when everyone will be able to speak his mind freely.

Although it is beyond doubt that a political reconstruction of the Kingdom as a whole and of the Netherlands and the overseas territories as its parts is a natural evolution, it would be neither right nor possible to define its precise form at this moment. I realize that much which is great and good is growing in the Netherlands despite the pressure of the occupation; I know that this is the case in the Indies where our unity is fortified by common suffering. These developing ideas can only be shaped in free consultation in which both parts of the Kingdom will want to take cognizance of each other's opinions. Moreover, the population of the Netherlands and of the Netherlands Indies has confirmed, through its suffering and its resistance, its right to participate in the decision regarding the form of our responsibility as a nation towards the world and of the various groups of the population towards themselves and one another.

By working out these matters now, that right would be neglected, and the insight which my people have obtained through bitter experience, would be disregarded.
I am convinced, and history as well as reports from the occupied territories confirm me in this, that after the war it will be possible to reconstruct the Kingdom on the solid foundation of complete partnership, which will mean the consummation of all that has been developed in the past. I know that no political unity nor national cohesion can continue to exist which are not supported by the voluntary acceptance and the faith of the great majority of the citizenry. I know that the Netherlands more than ever feel their responsibility for the vigorous growth of the Overseas Territories and that the Indonesians recognize, in the ever-increasing collaboration, the best guarantee for the recovery of their peace and happiness. The war years have proved that both peoples possess the will and the ability for harmonious and voluntary cooperation.

A political unity which rests on this foundation moves far towards a realization of the purpose for which the United Nations are fighting, as it has been embodied, for instance, in the Atlantic Charter, and with which we could instantly agree, because it contains our own conception of freedom and justice for which we have sacrified blood and possessions in the course of our history. I visualize, without anticipating the recommendations of the future conference, that they will be directed towards a commonwealth in which the Netherlands. Indonesia, Surinam and Curacao will participate, with complete self-reliance and freedom of conduct for each part regarding its internal affairs, but with the readiness to render mutual assistance.

It is my opinion that such a combination of independence and collaboration can give the Kingdom and its parts the strength to carry fully their responsibility, both internally and externally. This would leave no room for discrimination according to race or nationality; only the ability of the individual citizens and the needs of the various groups of the population will determine the policy of the government.
In the Indies, as in the Netherlands, there now rules an oppressor who, imitating his detestable associates and repudiating principles which he himself has recognized in the past, interns peaceful citizens and deprives women and children of their livelihood. He has uprooted and dislocated that beautiful and tranquil country; his new order brings nothing but misery and want. Nevertheless, we can aver that he has not succeeded in subjugating us, and as the ever-growing force of the United Nations advances upon him from every direction, we know that he will not succeed in the future.

The Netherlands Indies and the Netherlands with their fighting men on land, at sea and in the air, with their alert and brave merchantmen and by their dogged and never-failing resistance in the hard struggle, will see their self-sacrifice and intrepidity crowned after the common victory with the recovery of peace and happiness for their country and their people in a new world. In that regained freedom they will be able to build a new and better future.

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Some Comments
1. Quoted from AUTONOMY FOR INDONESIA by A. ARTHUR SCHILLER 1944 - Pacific Affairs, vol. 17, no. 4, Dec. 1944, pp. 478-488.
‘In 1936 the so-called Sutardjo motion was laid before the Council, calling for autonomy of the Indies within the Kingdom, particularly by fostering greater political activity in Indonesian society, by establishing an imperial council with representation of the four territories therein, by enlarging the numbers and powers of the People's Council and making department heads — as ministers — responsible thereto. This precursor of the promises recently made was adopted by the Council. But in November 1938 a royal decree disposed of the matter, on the ground that "clarity of aim is lacking in its formulation, and that the calling of a conference in the manner visualized would be contrary to existing constitutional law."’
‘It was just a year after the invasion of Holland that the Queen and officials of the Netherlands government first promised far-reaching reorganization of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and of the component territories thereof — the Netherlands, Netherlands East Indies, Surinam and Curacao —upon the termination of the war. In the words of the Governor-General of the Indies,' on June 16, 1941: "Immediately after the liberation of the mother country, the adaptation of the structure of the Kingdom to the demands of the times will be considered, the internal constitutional form of the overseas territories constituting an integral part of the program." Shortly thereafter, the Queen promised that a conference would be held to advise the Crown upon the relation of the parts of the Kingdom to one another, and upon the revision of the Administrative Acts (constitutions) of the four territories? Details of the future conference were announced in January 1942: fifteen delegates from the Netherlands, fifteen from the Netherlands Indies, and three each from Surinam and Curacao. Ten of the Indies members were to be appointed upon recommendation by the People's Council, the central representative body of the Indies, the other five to be named by the Government of the Netherlands Indies independently. Queen Wilhelmina's radio address of December 6, 1942, was, accordingly, but a confirmation of a course of conduct outlined earlier.’

2. Quote from Imperialism in SE Asia- A Fleeting Passing Phase by Nicholas Tarling p. 262
The Dutch had … begun to prepare the way for their return as early as 1942 by an attempt to 'counter American attitudes toward colonialism'1. A broadcast by Queen Wilhelmina in December alluded to 'a commonwealth in which the Netherlands, Indonesia, Surinam and Curacao will participate' in 'a combination of independence and collaboration'. Talking to the British, H. J. van Mook, the wartime Colonial Minister, had envisaged a Netherlands government and a Netherlands Indies government, with equal status, and, above them, responsible for defence and foreign policy and matters of general interest, an Imperial government. The speech has been called 'a poorly designed and unrealistic proposal ... better characterized as an improvised concession to the language of the times rather than a map of the road to independence'. It echoed the proposals made by the moderate nationalists in the 1930s in the Soetardjo petition of 1936, for example and then rejected. It was, however, a belated attempt at a new form of post-imperial state-building that, unless it was developed in a liberal way, would have little appeal in 1945, and perhaps not sufficient even if it were.

3. Quote from Troubled days of peace: Mountbatten and South East Asia Command, 1945-46, by Peter Dennis, Manchester University Press, 1987 pp. 74-75.
American approval of Dutch colonial policies and their future application was the sine qua non for access to American military largesse, and when Roosevelt suggested that the Dutch make some announcement about the postwar status of the NEI and other Dutch colonies, Van Mook was among the ministers consulted on the thrust of the speech.'
It was timed to coincide with a meeting in Quebec of the influential Institute of Pacific Relations, which had organised a conference to discuss the postwar colonial situation. When she broadcast on 7 December 1942, the Queen promised to convene a conference as soon as possible after the end of the war to discuss the reorganisation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands into a Commonwealth in which relations between the four component parts (the Netherlands, the East Indies, Surinam and Curacao) would be based on the twin principles of 'complete partnership' and 'self-reliance' and freedom of conduct for each part regarding its internal affairs.' Although Roosevelt and American public opinion seemed reassured by these promises, the speech merely stored up troubles for the Dutch. It offered little concrete information about the postwar status of the East Indies, and gave even fewer substantive concessions to reformist let alone nationalist opinion. Van Mook's attempts to spell out the details to a number of American journalists were purely personal; others, including the Dutch prime minister, Professor P.S. Gerbrandy, maintained in private that the speech in no way represented any diminution of the powers of the central government over colonial affairs. Promises of a postwar conference locked the Dutch government into the vagueness of the speech and prevented them from advancing further initiatives as the wartime situation unfolded. The speech was delivered in English – for primarily American consumption – and thus was largely unknown to the very audience to which it was theoretically designed to apply. When the Dutch finally straggled back to the NEI in September 1945, they were no longer part of an American-dominated theatre, but were clinging to the coat-tails of the hard pressed British, who had colonial problems of their own. Furthermore, all the Dutch had to offer was a shadowy plan for reform that was almost three years old. Conditions in the NEI had changed dramatically since 1942, and had rendered the vague promises of the Queen's speech all but irrelevant.

The Dutch, however, did not realise this. Throughout the war information on the NEI was scanty and, as later events showed, often completely unreliable.

The Validity of the August 17, 1945 Proclamation

A memorandum by Batara R. Hutagalung
Founder and Chairman of the Committee of Dutch Honorary Debts

Introduction
To this day, the Dutch Government still refuses to recognize August 17, 1945 as the de jure independence of the Republic of Indonesia. According to the Dutch Government, de jure independence of Indonesia was on December 27, 1949, with the "transfer of sovereignty" (soevereiniteitsoverdracht) from the Dutch Government to the United States of Indonesia (RIS) as agreed at the Round Table Conference (RTC). (See the article by Batara R. Hutagalung in the daily Rakyat Merdeka of October 2 and 3, 2005 in Indonesian language. It can also be accessed at:  


Points of agreement at the RTC included among others:
1. The formation of an Indonesia – Netherlands Union, with the Queen of the Netherlands as the head of the Union.
2. RIS was seen as a continuation of the Dutch – East Indies Government and was required to pay a 4.5 billion Dutch Guilders debt of the Dutch East Indies Government to the Dutch Government. This included the costs incurred by the Dutch East Indies Government to finance the First and Second Military Aggressions.
(Note: This debt was repaid in instalments to the extent of 4 billion Dutch Guilders, until the Indonesian Government stopped these payments in 1956).
3. The Indonesian National Army (TNI) was required to accept former soldiers of the Royal Dutch East Indies Army (KNIL) who chose to join TNI.
(Note: In the ’70-s, some of the officers had been promoted to the rank of general and held top positions in the TNI).
4. The question of Irian Barat was postponed; at the Transfer of Sovereignty on December 27, 1949, West New Guinea was not included.
(Note: For the Dutch government therefore, legally West Irian (Papua) is not part of the Republic of Indonesia. In 2000, the Dutch Government commissioned and financed historian Prof. Dr. Pieter Drooglever to conduct research on the West Irian People's Referendum (Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat, PEPERA). After 5 years of research at great cost, in 2005 Drooglever published his research results in a thick, 740 page book titled: "Act of Free Choice." In a nutshell, Drooglever concluded that PEPERA was a big fraud. This is a blatant disregard of the historical fact that the implementation of the People’s Referendum was conducted under the supervision of the United Nations and was endorsed by the United Nations in 1969. One should question therefore, why, after 30 years, in the midst of a number of issues faced by the Indonesian Government in Irian Barat, the Dutch Government chose to raise this matter again).


In 1956, the Indonesian Government unilaterally cancelled the RTC Agreement. (The complete text of the Act of Cancellation in Indonesian language can be read on:   


The Indonesian Government also decided to stop paying the remaining 500 million Guilders debt. At that point in time, 4 billion Dutch Guilders out of the total of 4.5 billion had already been paid.

Claim

On May 20, 2005, an Indonesian NGO called the Committee of Dutch Honorary Debts (KUKB), delivered a petition to the Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende, making the following demands from the Dutch government:


1.To recognize the de jure independence of the Republic of Indonesia on August 17, 1945.
2. To apologize to the Indonesian people for colonization, slavery, human rights violations, crimes against humanity and war crimes, particularly those conducted by the Dutch army during its military aggression in Indonesia between 1945 – 1950.
3. To provide compensation to the families of the victims of the Dutch military aggression.
(About KUKB see: 


On August 16, 2005 in Jakarta, Dutch Foreign Minister Bernhard Bot stated that the Dutch government has now morally and politically accepted the Proclamation of Independence of Indonesia on August 17, 1945 and expressed his regrets on the casualties on both sides.


In a TV interview in Jakarta, Minister Ben Bot said that the recognition of independence had been legally granted at the end of 1949, meaning at the transfer of sovereignty to the United States of Indonesia. He said that recognition can only be given once. He further said that compensation has been given by the Dutch government through various aid programs to Indonesia.
(Parts of the interview transcripts in Indonesian language can be read at:
http://batarahutagalung.blogspot.com/2006/02/belanda-tetap-tak-akui-kemerdekaan-ri.html)


Recognition and apology!
Prior to his departure to Jakarta on August 15, 2005 in The Hague, during the commemoration day of the release of the Dutch internees at Japanese internment camps in Indonesia, Minister Ben Bot stated that the Dutch government now de facto accepts the August 17, 1945 Indonesian independence proclamation.
(For the full text in Dutch language, see:
http://indonesiadutch.blogspot.com/2009/10/toespraak-ter-gelegenheid-van-de-15.html)


This statement was actually very surprising, because it implies that according to the Dutch government, until August 16, 2005, the Republic of Indonesia did not exist at all and its existence was only just accepted on that date, but is still not legally recognised. This means that in the eyes of the Dutch Government, the Republic of Indonesia is like an illegitimate child. It exists, but is not legally recognised.


December 9, 2008, on the occasion of the 61st commemoration of the Rawagede Massacre, Dutch Ambassador Dr. Nikolaos van Dam also expressed regrets.


In response to this expression of regrets, the Chairman of the KUKB however, announced that remorse (regrets) only are not acceptable. The Dutch Government should offer apologies, the same as demanded by the Dutch of the Japanese Government for the suffering endured by the Dutch population interned in Japanese internment camps in Indonesia during the Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945.

Dutch Dilemma

History records that the Federation of Indonesian States (RIS) was dissolved on August 16, 1950 and by Presidential Decree, the form of the state was returned to the Unitary State of Indonesia as proclaimed on August 17, 1945.


Thus, the de jure federal form of state recognised by the Dutch government no longer exists; the association is now with the Unitary Republic of Indonesia. For the Dutch this is a dilemma indeed. Were the Dutch Government to recognize de jure the independence of the Republic of Indonesia of August 17, 1945, it would have serious consequences:
1. The Dutch would have to admit that what they called the first and second "Police Actions” launched respectively July 21, 1947 and December 19, 1948, were in fact acts of military aggression against an independent and sovereign nation.
2. The Indonesian government would have the right to demand war reparations from the Netherlands, as demanded by countries that were victims of the Japanese military aggression.
3. Dutch veterans would be considered war criminals.


On the other hand, if the Indonesian government continues to allow this attitude by the Dutch government, Indonesian freedom fighters buried in various War Hero cemetaries in Indonesia would have to be classified as robbers, rioters, security vandals and extremists that were armed by the Japanese, because at the time, the reasoning by the Dutch for the launch of their "Police Actions” was “to restore law and order to eradicate robbers, rioters, security vandals and extremists armed by the Japanese”.


The loss of Dutch historical rights over its colonies
The Second World War began in Europe with the German invasion of Poland on September 3, 1939. On May 10, 1940, the Netherlands was attacked by the German Army and surrendered within three days. The Dutch Government and the Queen fled to England and formed a government in exile in London. Thus, the Dutch government no longer existed.


In East Asia, Japan's military aggression began with the attack on the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941. In South East Asia, Japan launched its aggression by attacking the South East Asia countries which, except Thailand, were all European colonies. One by one these colonies fell into Japanese hands.
USA, Great Britain, The Netherlands and Australia formed a coalition troop command called ABDACOM (American, British, Dutch, Australian Command) under General Sir Archibald P. Wavell. Admiral Karel Doorman was appointed as the Tactical Commander for the Allied fleet.


In fierce fighting on February 27, 1942, known as the “Battle of the Java Sea”, the Allied Fleet was destroyed by the Japanese in one day. Admiral Karel Doorman died in battle and the Allied flagship was sunk.


After destroying the allied sea defences, on March 1, 1942 Japanese troops landed on the island of Java. The landings were conducted simultaneously at three locations: Banten, Eretan Wetan and Kranggan.


In just one week, the Royal Dutch East Indies Army forces were defeated by the Dai Nippon army. On March 8, 1942, Lt. Gen. Hitoshi Imamura of the 16th Japanese Army gave the Dutch an ultimatum to surrender or be destroyed.


On March 9, 1942 at Kalijati, Lieutenant General Hein ter Poorten, Supreme Commander of the Dutch East Indies Army representing Governor-General Tjarda van Starkenborgh-Stachouwer, signed an unconditional surrender document. The Dutch handed over their entire colony to the Japanese. Since that date, the Dutch have lost their rights over the territory of the Dutch East Indies.


Thus, March 9, 1942 is also the official expiration date of the Dutch colonial rule on Indonesian soil.


The loss of the Dutch "historical rights" to Indonesia was described at length by
Lambertus Nicodemus Palar, Chairman of the Indonesian Delegation to the United
Nations at a meeting of the UN Security Council on January 20, 1949, after the 2nd Dutch military aggression that began on December 19, 1948.
Excerpts of his remarkable memorandum read as follows:


"... Blatantly ignoring progress and historical reality, the Dutch still hold on to their conviction that the problem in Indonesia is a Dutch internal affair and that the existence of the Republic is illegal, to be eradicated as soon as possible. In this context, the current Dutch policy is one of obstruction; they try to ignore the Three Country Commission established by the UN Security Council after the first Dutch military aggression was launched on July 21, 1947, four months after the Linggajati Agreement which was an effort to solve the problem of Indonesia. On the contrary, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia maintains that the Indonesian issue must be solved under the auspices of the Security Council with the mediation of the Three Country Commission, because it would provide the only guarantee that the Dutch will not violate any agreement or propose a unilateral solution...”


“...This Dutch opinion, based on dogmatic legalities, will continue to hinder the efforts of reaching an agreement. It is because of this that they maintain that the Republic is illegal and that they still hold sovereign power in the whole of Indonesia...”


“...The is a fact that the Republic of Indonesia was born not as a result of an uprising against the Dutch, but was born after the Dutch unconditionally surrendered to the Japanese without any serious attempt to try to defend the country...”


“...The Dutch did not even try to defend Indonesia; in fact they deliberately obstructed the people of Indonesia to get military training, so the Indonesians were helpless and unable to defend themselves against the Japanese aggression...”


“...Indeed, the Dutch colonial policy never gave an opportunity to the Indonesian people to become a strong nation, as this would jeopardise the position of the Dutch as colonial masters and would have been contrary to their efforts to continue their authority over Indonesia. This was the reason why the Dutch did not have the ability to fulfil their duties and responsibilities of defending Indonesia against foreign aggression...”


“...Thus the Dutch not only handed over Indonesia to the Japanese imperialists and did so without any serious efforts at defending it, but also refused to give the Indonesian people the power to fight the Japanese themselves...”


“...After the Dutch East Indies government unconditionally surrendered to the Japanese, the people of Indonesia decided to pursue their own strategy. Based on this strategy, the Indonesian leaders considered the occupation by the Japanese army as temporary, because no one believed that Japan would be able to defeat the Allies, especially America, Russia and Britain. So the Indonesian people used the Japanese occupation for their own purposes, as a period of preparation to be able to decide their own fate at a later date, including preparations for the possibility that they would have to oppose the Japanese military rule...”


“...No one can deny the historical fact that the Indonesians have paid dearly with thousands of lives in the struggle to seize weapons from the Japanese occupation forces to enable them to achieve independence and proclaim their declaration of Independence on August 17, 1945. We did not receive independence from the hands of the Dutch; we paid for it with our blood...”


“...We reject the Dutch claim that they have historical rights over Indonesia. Their historic rights were destroyed when they demonstrated their inability to take responsibility for the defence of Indonesia...”


“...From any point of view, "historical rights" based on power and oppression is no longer valid in a world that strongly encourages self determination...”


“...Supposedly legally binding agreements, if not based on justice and do not consider recent historic facts, in all fairness cannot be said to represent a reasonable historical course...”


“...At this time the Dutch Government and its representative at the Security Council are trying to justify its recently launched military action, a military action that undeniably is not in accordance with UN principles and the Renville Agreement, by reason of what they call their responsibility towards Indonesia...”


“...The historical facts are still fresh in my memory...”


“...One important matter is whether the Dutch can really defend Indonesia against foreign attacks without the help of the Indonesian people? The Indonesian people were determined from the very beginning that they would not support Dutch colonialism. Therefore, the danger of foreign attacks will increase if the Dutch colonialism in Indonesia continues rampant. Colonialism impedes the development of the sense of nationhood, an important factor in the defence of any country...”


“...All of this is proof that the problem in Indonesia is not a domestic matter of the Government of the Netherlands and the Indonesian people, but is an international problem. The Indonesian problem is related to world peace. The problem is also related to United Nations principles, and therefore the intervention of the Security Council to help solve the problem would is justified. In these Security Council sessions, the Republic of Indonesia has the status as "one of the parties in the dispute", the same as the Dutch and no less. This is like a thorn in the flesh for the Dutch, but cannot be denied. Neither can the Dutch disregard the reality of the Republic. The longer the Republic exists, the more real is its existence, which cannot just be ignored...”


“...If the Netherlands were to try to eradicate the Republic without influencing world politics, they should have done so in 1945. In fact, the Dutch people wanted to do just that at the time. But it cannot be disputed, that at that time the Netherlands did not have the military power to stop the Republic. Only with the help of the British Army and financial and materiel assistance from America were the Dutch able to set foot again on Indonesian territory...”


Three years existence of the Republic of Indonesia
“...So far, the republic has existed for three years and is therefore not easily eradicated like the Dutch want...”


“...During these three years, the Republic has formed diplomatic ties with other countries and with the Security Council and has established friendly relations with several nations...”


“...The Republic has a functioning administration in its territories, established its own identity and fulfils the conditions of any independent and sovereign nation: A national flag, an army and police force, money and a taxation system and its own foreign relations...”


“...The people of the Republic feel a strong sense of identity as sovereign and democratic citizens and as citizens of a democratic nation they have full rights: freedom of movement, freedom to congregate, freedom to express opinions, to speak freely and freedom of the press; also the freedom to choose their own religion. These realities cannot be eradicated without a tremendous reaction…”


The above words are part of the contents of a Memorandum by the Indonesian Delegation to the United Nations Security Council.


The Capitulation of the Japanese to the Allies
After having defeated the Allied Forces on Java, the Japanese Army was in power in all South East Asia countries that previously were European colonies. As long as the war still raged in Europe and Africa, the Allied Forces were still divided and could therefore not muster sufficient strength to face the Japanese in Asia. After the capitulation of the Germans in May of 1945, the Allies were able to divert their forces to fight the Japanese in Asia.
On August 6, 1945, the United States of America dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and on August 9 on Nagasaki. America then threatened to drop the next atomic bomb on Tokyo, the capital of Japan. On August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced the unconditional surrender of Japan to the Allies.
The Unconditional Surrender document was signed on board the USS Missouri in the Bay of Tokyo on September 2, 1945. This meant that from August 15 until September 2, 1945, there was a vacuum of power in the countries occupied by the Japanese, including Indonesia.

Statehood based on International law

On August 17, 1945, in the period of vacuum of power, the leaders of Indonesia proclaimed the nation’s independence. On August 18, Soekarno was installed as President and Mohammad Hatta as Vice President. On September 5, 1945, the first Indonesian cabinet was formed.


According to the Montevideo Convention signed by 20 nations in the Americas on December 26, 1933, the necessary conditions of statehood were fulfilled:


Article 1
The state as a person of international law should posses the following qualifications: a) A permanent population; b) A defined territory; c) A government; and d) The capacity to enter into relations with other states.


Article 3 of this convention states that independence is not subject to recognition by other nations. In fact, prior to recognition by other nations, the nation in question has the right to protect its integrity and independence. The article reads as follows:


Article 3
The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by other states. Even before recognition, the state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit, to legislate upon its interests, administer its services, and to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts. The exercise of these rights has no other limitation than the exercise of the rights of other states according to International law.


In 1946, the Arab League and on June 10, 1947 Egypt recognized Indonesia’s independence, and later, after its independence from the British, was followed by India. Thus, the four conditions according to the Montevideo Convention were fulfilled.
(See  http://indonesiadutch.blogspot.com/2009/11/montevideo-convention-convention.html)


Moral and Political basis
The political will of colonized countries to be independent emerged at the beginning of the 20th century. Officially, it was first presented by American President Woodrow Wilson in his Fourteen Points for Peace concept, presented to the American Congress on January 8, 1918, 10 months before the end of World War I. In the 5th point of the Concept Wilson says:
“A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the population concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.”
(For the complete text, see: 


At the time, Franklin D. Roosevelt was the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the Wilson cabinet. On March 4, 1933, Roosevelt was elected as President of the United States for the first time. Roosevelt was the only American President elected 4 times. He remained as president until his death on April 12, 1945.


On August 14, 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt as President of the United States and the British Premier Sir Winston Churchill issued an edict that became known as the Atlantic Charter. Point 3 of this charter says:


“… Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see the sovereign rights and self government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived from them…”.
(For the complete text, see:  http://indonesiadutch.blogspot.com/2009/11/atlantic-charter.html)


This third point became known as the “…right for self determination of peoples…”
The Atlantic Charter became the basis of the United Nations Charter that was signed in San Francisco on June 26, 1945. Article 1.2 of the United Nations Charter reinforces the third point of the Atlantic Charter. It reads:


“… To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take appropriate measures to strengthen the universal peace…”
(For the text, see: 



Even The Dutch Queen Wilhelmina agreed with the Atlantic charter. In her radio speech in the London exile on December 7, 1942, she said:
“…A political unity which rests on this foundation moves far towards a realization of the purpose for which the United Nations are fighting, as it has been embodied, for instance, in the Atlantic Charter, and with which we could instantly agree, because it contains our own conception of freedom and justice for which we have sacrified blood and possessions in the course of our history…”

And also, for the first time in history, she said ‘INDONESIA’, instead of ‘Netherlands Indies’, she said further:
“…I visualize, without anticipating the recommendations of the future conference, that they will be directed towards a commonwealth in which the Netherlands. Indonesia, Surinam and Curacao will participate, with complete self-reliance and freedom of conduct for each part regarding its internal affairs, but with the readiness to render mutual assistance…” (See: http://indonesiadutch.blogspot.com/2010/06/radio-address-by-queen-wilhelmina-on-7.html)

Validity of the August 17, 1945 proclamation
Thus, it should be clear from a number of viewpoints that the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Indonesia on August 17, 1945 is legal from the aspect of international law as well as from political, moral and human rights aspects. The so called “Police Action” I (July 21, 1947, which was a transgression on the Linggajati Accord) and “Police Action” II (December 19, 1948, which was a transgression on the Renville Accord) were clearly military acts of aggression towards an independent and sovereign nation.

In his speech at Jakarta on August 16, 2005, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Ben Bot said:

“…In retrospect, it is clear that its large-scale deployment of military forces in 1947 put the Netherlands on the wrong side of history. The fact that military action was taken and that many people on both sides lost their lives or were wounded is a harsh and bitter reality…”

Ben Bot said “military forces”, not “police forces”. Judging from his words, Ben Bot clearly said that the large scale deployment of troops was a military action, not a police action.


        *****

Pluralization of Narratives on the History of Indonesian Independence

Panel Discussion

Time : Saturday, 19 June 2010, 09.50-16.00
Place : LAK Theater, Lipsius, Leiden University.

Background:

When a group of Dutch intellectuals signed a petition urging their government to 'fully acknowledge' Indonesian independence in 1945 (see text http://indonesiadutch.blogspot.com/2009/12/indonesie-werd-onafhankelijk-in-1945.html),
controversy sparked in the Netherlands. The proclamation of the Indonesian Independence on 17 August 1945 seems to rest more unresolved subjects with less capacity to tackle them. These include the on-going process surrounding state-formation and nation-building of the new born nation. Here, many aspects of them might be found in the foundations of the unspoken [for not saying unresolved] problems taking place in 1945-1950. It was the period when both Indonesian and Dutch experienced the turbulent years: the formation of the Republic on one side and the 'law and order' on the other. Some issues and stories have been put forward and discussed exhaustively; however, many have not been known yet within various Dutch and Indonesian communities respectively. Realizing that understanding various narratives of the past will shape the nature of relations of people of both countries, we feel that it is necessary to create space and fora to put forward those neglected and ignored voices, in order to stimulate them to speak up with their own narratives concerning the Indonesian Independence. We think that through such doing we can bridge some narratives within Dutch and Indonesian respectively, and link them each other. We are fully aware that this is not an easy and short journey. A follow up and juxtaposition of narratives should be made present in both Dutch and Indonesian communities through further efforts such as in a field of research, education and mass media.

Objectives:
1. To uncover various narratives of the history of Indonesian independence. The unfolding of the diverse narratives is expected to enrich the perspectives in reflecting the many facts of the history of Indonesian independence.

2. To recognize various implications which might arise if the Dutch government 'recognizes' 17 August 1945 as Indonesian Independence Day. Considering the recognition of sovereignty associated with different aspects of inter-state relations, it becomes important to understand the implications which might arise in various aspects of these relationships, both at the state and society level.

3. To explore the possibilities of creating spheres to facilitate sustainable discussions about the pluralization of narratives of Indonesian independence and the possibility to dissect the narratives through research. In addition to maintaining the continuity of dialogue, a sustainable discussion is also expected to trigger further review by various parties to provide scientific bases for the various narratives developing during the discussion.

4. To explore the possibilities of disseminating the various narratives on the history of Indonesian independence through education. The current narrative of Indonesian independence in both Dutch and Indonesia's schooling appears to be 'one-sided'; hence, it is essential to deconstruct the current curriculum to pave the way for the pluralization of the history of Indonesian independence.

5. To explore the possibilities of using mass media for the dissemination of the various narratives on Indonesian independence. Since formal schooling as a conventional method of learning history is not the only way, mass media can be an additional means to facilitate the exchange of discourses on the narratives.


Programs:
09.50-10.00 Opening: Alpha Amirrachman

Session 1: Pluralization of Narratives on Indonesian Independence
10.00-11.00 : Presentation
1. Umar Hadi (Deputy Chief of Mission, Indonesian Embassy) (confirmed)
Exploring the hidden narratives of Indonesian independence: Bracing new
forms of relations between Indonesia and the Netherlands
2. Nico Schulte Nordholt (Twente University) (confirmed)
Uncovering the hidden narratives of Indonesian independence: Dutch
perspectives
3. Nico Schrijver (Leiden University) (to be confirmed)
Framing human rights situation in Indonesia 1945-1950: An international
public law perspective
4. Jan Breman (University of Amsterdam) (confirmed)
'Operatie product' as part and parcel of politico-economic motives?: A
background
5. Muhammad Yuanda Zara (Leiden University) (confirmed)
Uncovering the hidden narratives of Indonesian independence: Indonesian
perspectives
6. Laurie Lijnders (Utrecht University) (confirmed)
Dutch high school experience on Indonesian independence: A view from
within

11.00-12.00 : Discussion, moderator M. Najib Azca
12.00-13.00 : Lunch Break
----------------------------------------------------
Session 2: The Implications of Pluralization of Narratives on Indonesian Independence
13.00-14.00 : Presentations
1. Frances Gouda (Amsterdam University) (to be confirmed)
Living voices of the past: Research agenda for Indonesian and Dutch
activist-researcher
2. Martin van Bruinessen (Utrecht University) (to be confirmed)
Academic and political research on the theme of neglected and ignored
voices: Dutch agenda
3. Agus Suwignyo (Leiden University) (confirmed)
Telling different narratives through Indonesian educational channels:
Opportunities and challenges
4. Wim Manuhutu (confirmed)
Telling different narratives through Dutch educational channels:
Opportunities and challenges
5. Joss Wibisono (Radio Netherlands) (confirmed)
Actualizing different narratives through contemporary Indonesian mass
media: A sketch
6. Tjitske Lingsma (confirmed)
'How we Dutch could learn from Germans': A view of a Dutch journalist

14.00-15.00 : Discussion, moderator Dini Setyowati
15.00-15.15 : coffee break
15.15-15.30 : Poetry readings, Dini Setyowati
15.30-16.00 : Summary and recommendations: Alpha Amirrachman & Syahril Siddik
Registration: mr.siddik2010@gmail.com
0617889618

The Organizing Committee of 'Panel Discussion:
Pluralization of Narratives on the History of Indonesian Independence'.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Netherlands shifts to the right

Published: 10 June 2010 10:28 | Changed: 10 June 2010 19:11
By our news staff

The right-wing liberal VVD and populist PVV were the big winners of Wednesday's parliamentary election in the Netherlands. Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende was ousted after eight years in power.
After a neck-and-neck contest with the Labour party, the VVD emerged victorious, garnering 31 of 150 seats in parliament, with 98 percent of the votes counted. "It looks like, for the first time in history, the VVD will be the biggest party in the Netherlands," VVD leader Mark Rutte told supporters Thursday morning, when preliminary results showed Labour would be left with 30 seats. The right-wing liberals may have shaken the social democrats, led by former Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen, but never has the biggest party in parliament occupied so few seats, and never was the margin seperating it from the runner-up so slim.
Geert Wilders' PVV won the most in the election. Wilders, who is internationally known for his unequivocal criticism of Islam, went from 9 to 24 seats in parliament. While he ran a muted campaign and polls predicted he would barely double his seats, Wilders proved especially popular in the south-east of the country. His growing following there is part of the reason the Christian democratic party of incumbent prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende was halved at the polls. The CDA lost 20 of its 41 seats and will now be the fourth party in Dutch parliament.
The devastating result for the CDA who have led the country for all but eight of the last 30 years, forced prime minister Balkenende to step down as his party's leader. After the voters had "sent a clear message," Balkenende said, resigning was "part of his political responsibility". Never since the Second World War have Dutch voters punished an incumbent prime minister quite so hard.

Look left or right?
The power shifts and slim margins show the Dutch electorate is more fractured than ever. Left-wing liberal D66 moved up from 3 to 10 seats, while green party GroenLinks grew from 7 to 10. The Socialist Party lost 10 of its 25 seats and the ChristenUnie, the orthodox Christian party that was the minority partner in the CDA-Labour coalition that fell in February, went from 6 to 5. Fundamentalist Christian party SGP and the Party for Animals both retained two seats. Turnout was low, at 74 percent.
The question is if Rutte, who can now become prime minister and take the lead in forming a coalition, will look to the left or to the right to tackle the Dutch budget deficit and push reforms. Rutte could augment a VVD-Labour coalition with the green party and left-wing liberals, which would give him a 81 seat majority, or he could ask anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders and what is left of the CDA to form a government with the backing of 76 members of parliament.

Wilders: 'ready to govern'
Many may wonder if Wilders is willing to make the compromises that come with multi-party coalitions, but the PVV leader himself announced he is ready. "I hope that we can govern. They can't get around us or push us aside," he said after he learnt about the results. It remains to be seen if others want to include Wilders, who defected from the VVD in 2004 over his position that Turkey should never be allowed into the EU. Within the CDA especially, concerns have been raised about the way he has lashed out at religion. And the VVD is looking to raise the state pension age from 65 to 67, something Wilders has sworn won't happen if he is included in government.
The alternative is a revival of the so-called Purple coalition, which ruled from 1994 to 2002. Under prime minister Wim Kok, Labour led a coalition with VVD and D66. Those three parties do not have a majority today, but GroenLinks seems a likely candidate to join such a government. This coalition would demand a significant number of compromises from all sides though, as the VVD wants to push austerity measures of 30 billion euros, while the left-leaning parties have said they don't want to crush the recovering economy and spare the underprivileged in society.
Finally, the option of a cabinet of national unity composed of the centrist parties VVD, Labour and CDA has been mentioned. But what they promised voters during the campaign differs widely and such a government would exclude winners PVV, GroenLinks and D66 while including losers CDA and Labour, the latter of which lost three seats.
Coalition negotiations look set to start on Thursday and, according to Mark Rutte, will be "very difficult".

Source: http://www.nrc.nl/international/election2010/article2561211.ece/The_Netherlands_shifts_to_the_right

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pluralization of Narratives on the History of Indonesian Independence

Panel Discussion

Time : Saturday, 19 June 2010, 09.50-16.00
Place : LAK Theater, Lipsius, Leiden University.

Background:
When a group of Dutch intellectuals signed a petition urging their government to 'fully acknowledge' Indonesian independence in 1945, controversy sparked in the Netherlands. The proclamation of the Indonesian Independence on 17 August 1945 seems to rest more unresolved subjects with less capacity to tackle them. These include the on-going process surrounding state-formation and nation-building of the new born nation. Here, many aspects of them might be found in the foundations of the unspoken [for not saying unresolved] problems taking place in 1945-1950. It was the period when both Indonesian and Dutch experienced the turbulent years: the formation of the Republic on one side and the 'law and order' on the other. Some issues and stories have been put forward and discussed exhaustively; however, many have not been known yet within various Dutch and Indonesian communities respectively. Realizing that understanding various narratives of the past will shape the nature of relations of people of both countries, we feel that it is necessary to create space and fora to put forward those neglected and ignored voices, in order to stimulate them to speak up with their own narratives concerning the Indonesian Independence. We think that through such doing we can bridge some narratives within Dutch and Indonesian respectively, and link them each other. We are fully aware that this is not an easy and short journey. A follow up and juxtaposition of narratives should be made present in both Dutch and Indonesian communities through further efforts such as in a field of research, education and mass media.


Objectives:
1. To uncover various narratives of the history of Indonesian independence. The unfolding of the diverse narratives is expected to enrich the perspectives in reflecting the many facts of the history of Indonesian independence.
2. To recognize various implications which might arise if the Dutch government 'recognizes' 17 August 1945 as Indonesian Independence Day. Considering the recognition of sovereignty associated with different aspects of inter-state relations, it becomes important to understand the implications which might arise in various aspects of these relationships, both at the state and society level.
3. To explore the possibilities of creating spheres to facilitate sustainable discussions about the pluralization of narratives of Indonesian independence and the possibility to dissect the narratives through research. In addition to maintaining the continuity of dialogue, a sustainable discussion is also expected to trigger further review by various parties to provide scientific bases for the various narratives developing during the discussion.


4. To explore the possibilities of disseminating the various narratives on the history of Indonesian independence through education. The current narrative of Indonesian independence in both Dutch and Indonesia's schooling appears to be 'one-sided'; hence, it is essential to deconstruct the current curriculum to pave the way for the pluralization of the history of Indonesian independence.
5. To explore the possibilities of using mass media for the dissemination of the various narratives on Indonesian independence. Since formal schooling as a conventional method of learning history is not the only way, mass media can be an additional means to facilitate the exchange of discourses on the narratives.


Programs:
09.50-10.00 Opening: Alpha Amirrachman

Session 1: Pluralization of Narratives on Indonesian Independence
10.00-11.00 : Presentation
1. Umar Hadi (Deputy Chief of Mission, Indonesian Embassy) (confirmed)
Exploring the hidden narratives of Indonesian independence: Bracing new forms of relations between Indonesia and the Netherlands
2. Nico Schulte Nordholt (Twente University) (confirmed)
Uncovering the hidden narratives of Indonesian independence: Dutch
perspectives
3. Nico Schrijver (Leiden University) (to be confirmed)
Framing human rights situation in Indonesia 1945-1950: An international public law perspective
4. Jan Breman (University of Amsterdam) (confirmed)
'Operatie product' as part and parcel of politico-economic motives?: A
background
5. Muhammad Yuanda Zara (Leiden University) (confirmed)
Uncovering the hidden narratives of Indonesian independence: Indonesian perspectives
6. Laurie Lijnders (Utrecht University) (confirmed)
Dutch high school experience on Indonesian independence: A view from
within

11.00-12.00 : Discussion, moderator M. Najib Azca
12.00-13.00 : Lunch Break

-----------------------------------

Session 2: The Implications of Pluralization of Narratives on Indonesian Independence
13.00-14.00 : Presentations
1. Frances Gouda (Amsterdam University) (to be confirmed)
Living voices of the past: Research agenda for Indonesian and Dutch
activist-researcher
2. Martin van Bruinessen (Utrecht University) (to be confirmed)
Academic and political research on the theme of neglected and ignored
voices: Dutch agenda
3. Agus Suwignyo (Leiden University) (confirmed)
Telling different narratives through Indonesian educational channels:
Opportunities and challenges
4. Wim Manuhutu (confirmed)
Telling different narratives through Dutch educational channels:
Opportunities and challenges
5. Joss Wibisono (Radio Netherlands) (confirmed)
Actualizing different narratives through contemporary Indonesian mass
media: A sketch
6. Tjitske Lingsma (confirmed)
'How we Dutch could learn from Germans': A view of a Dutch journalist

14.00-15.00 : Discussion, moderator Dini Setyowati
15.00-15.15 : coffee break
15.15-15.30 : Poetry readings, Dini Setyowati
15.30-16.00 : Summary and recommendations: Alpha Amirrachman & Syahril Siddik
Registration: mr.siddik2010@gmail.com
0617889618

The Organizing Committee of 'Panel Discussion:
Pluralization of Narratives on the History of Indonesian Independence'.