KILAS BALIK: Sam Ratulangie dibebaskan dari pengasingan oleh NICA Belanda (Maret 1948)
One of the thousands, yes maybe millions of Indonesians who were fully absorbed by the idea of freedom for all as a basic human right, in this case for Indonesia was my late father: SAM RATULANGIE. (Satu orang diantara ribu2an, ya bahkan juta2an orang Indonesia yang sepenuhnya terserap oleh cita2 kemerdekaan bagi semua sebagai hak azasi manusia adalah almarhum Ayah saya : SAM RATULANGIE.)
SAM RATULANGIE attended the Declaration of Independence of Indonesia (17 August 1945) in Jakarta, as member of the delegation of Eastern Indonesia. He was appointed as the Governor of Sulawesi by President Soekarno. (SAM RATULANGIE menghadiri Proklamasi Kemerdeklaan Indonesia (17 Agustus 1945) di Jakarta, sebagai seorang anggauta delegasi Indonesia Bagian Timur. Beliau diangkat sebagai Gubernur Sulawesi oleh Presiden Soekarno.)
In the near future I will give an elaboration about the events that describes the struggle of SAM RATULANGIE in Makassar to fulfill the duties and responsibilities related the assignment above. The description will be based on documents collected by myself from various sources, such as from the National Archive (Arsip Nasional Rep. Indonesia) a.o. sources, concerning the preceding episode at Makassar (August 1945- March 1946) as well as the Serui period (1946 – 1948). (Ada permintaan dari beberapa pihak kepada saya untuk membahas sedikit mengenai perjuangan Sam Ratulangie sewaktu melaksanakan tugas dan tanggung jawab yang bertalian dengan pengangkatan tersenut diatas. Akan diupayakan agar diskripsi tersebut dapat terlaksana berdasarkan dokumen2 yang saya kumpulkan dari berbagai sumber seperti misalnya dari Arsip Nasional R.I. mengenai periode di Makassar Agustus 1945-Maret 1946, maupun di Serui (1946-1948).
Let me now start, with an episode which I may call “Freed from exile”. An exile that took two years of his life. In March 1946 my father was arrested from our home at about 10 o’clock, when most of us were preparing to sleep. A knock at our door, an invasion by KNIL military personnel, carefully chosen not to include Minahasans, and my father was brought to the jail at the Karebosi square in Makassar. (Sebaiknya saya sekarang mulai mengenai episode yang saya berikan judul: “Dibebaskan dari pengasingan). Satu pengasingan yang memakan dua tahun dari kehidupannya, sejak ia ditangkap dari rumahnya sejak Maret 1946 pada malam hari pukul 10 sewaktu kebanyakan dari kami sedang bersiap2 untuk tidur. Ketukan dipintu depan rumah, penyerbuan sekelompok serdadu KNIL yang dipilih sedemikian rupa agar tidak ada orang Minahasa dalam kelompok itu lalu Ayah dibawa ke Rutan didekat lapangan Karebosi di Makassar.)
This act by Van Mook caused fury a over Indonesia, not in the least in Jakarta and Yogyakarta. There were demonstrations by the “pemuda’s” (meaning “young people”). And when the journalists questioned van Mook WHY Ratulangie was arrested and later exiled , he answered: “Because it is better for him to be exiled”. (Tindakan ini oleh van Mook mengakibatkan amarah diseluruh Indonesia teristimewa di Jakarta dan Yogyakarta, a.l. ada demosnstrasi oleh para pemuda. Sewaktu para jurnalis menanyakan kepada Van Mook mengapa Ratulangie ditangkap maka ia menjawab: “Karena adalah lebih baik baginya agar ia diasingkan”.)
SAM RATULANGIE RELEASED FROM EXILE (MARCH 1948) Sam Ratulangie dibebaskan dari pengasingan (Maret 1948)
There are politically diverse opinions about the value of these conferences, but the result was that the NICA regime had to free all political prisoners they had all over Indonesia. ) (Walaupun ada berbagai pendapat mengenai hsail konperensi2 ini, satu akibat adalah bahwa rezim NICA harus membebaskan segenap tahanan politiknya diseluruh Indonesia.) Therefore the Serui exiles were to be freed and as soon as possible send straight to “Republican Area” that was at that time an area on Central and East Java about around Yogyakarta. My father and his colleagues were free as long as he stayed in the Republican area. The families however traveled somewhat later by ship through Makassar to Java and arrived in Tanjung Priok. (Sebab itu para buangan Serui harus dibebaskan selekasnya dan dikirim ke “Daerah Republik” yang mana pada waktu itu hanya bagian2 tertentu dari Jawa Tengah dan Jawa Timur. Ayah saya dan reka2nya dinyatakan bebas bergerak selama berada di “Daerah Republik”. Para anggauta keluarga menyusul beberapa waktu kemudian dengan menumpang kapal laut.)
The group concerned (GROUP OF SEVEN) were thus transported by plane via Biak to Surabaya and from Surabaya to the border of the NICA occupied zone to the Republic of (free) Indonesia zone. As being reported under severe conditions as not to speak to any person outside the group.
They experienced a sense of transformation to at last be in a FREE area, free from oppressors and colonialists when they passed the “demarcation line” . There was a coincidence that when they passed through the city of Madiun (some 50 km from Yogyakarta) they were just in time to attend the second anniversary of the KRIS (Kebaktian Rakyat Indonesia Sulawesi) that was being held at that city..
More pictures of the stop over at Madiun to attend the KRIS anniversary:
The group was being hailed as superstars or winners like a football team now returning with a trophee. After the stopover at Madiun there was a welcome at the Yogyakarta railway station. And I could see at my father’s face on the pictures that he must have been extremely tired physically.
From the book of which the (slightly battered) cover is shown above I have scanned some pages that describes in more detail the process of being freed from a two year involuntary expulsion from the revolution to freedom that was in full swing at the time.
The program for the group of seven was packed with activities, starting with an audience to Bung Karno and Bung Hatta and visits to the frontline.
Sam Ratulangie made no delay to visit the fighters at the eastern Java front, accompanied by Setiabudi, Wim Pondaag and Tobing and some aquaintances from Malang, to let himself be pictured “in action”.
Holding in his left hand the fresh flower bouquet whilst his right hand clutched the “attache case” (that was in fact my younger sisters doll clothes suitcase, but then holding important documents made up during his exile) he strolled along with the reception committee.
There was also an invitation by Alex Maramis who was Minister of Finance to attend a Financial Conference held in Kaliurang a vacation resort built by and for Dutch colonialists in previous years.
Some pictures made at this Conference in Kaliurang:
The area of the Republic of Indonesia was at that time limited to the above mentioned region resulting from the “First Clash” with the Dutch under Gen. Spoor. But even this (actually desperate) situation did not falter the spirit of Independence for our country and the confidence in the future ! It was indeed desparate but most people did not want to admit that to themselves as well as to others.
On the backside of the picture was written “Rapat di Istana, Minggu III-17- 1948”. The meeting seemed to be well, maybe over attended because many were sitting on the floor, all eager to hear of what the old man was going to say.
Again here also a fully packed room with people eager to know about how to survive after a period of exile by the Dutch.
It seemed apparent to me that at the time of exile, whilst van Mook was busy tryng to disintegrate our country and making benefit of the diversity part of our “UNITY and DIVERSITY” character of our nation., the exiled group very often met to discuss the development through the radio, very often through Radio Australia. Of course forbidden by the Dutch. They also thought about their agenda WHEN and IF they might be released.
They were following each step and each phase that was at that time made, for instance the establishment of the Negara Indonesia Timur (NIT) and all the other “states” in Kalimantan and Sumatra that van Mook grouped in a “Federation”. In front of the guns of the Dutch military many Indonesians joined in this political maneuvre of van Mook. Some previous friends, and even a few relatives of Sam Ratulangie had to join in this RECOLONIALIZATION effort, whilst the Republic of Indonesia, again in front of the guns of the Dutch under General Spoor had to shrink its territory to a relatively small area in central and east Java. The head of state was moved to Yogyakarta and President Soekarno was offered to stay at the Palace of Hamengku Buwono IX at the centre of Yogyakarta. This guesture was symbolic for the mindset of the Sultan of Yogya and highly appreciated by all of our people.
A very well written declaration by SAM RATULANGIE pretaining to that situation and condition I found in the book(1966) “DR. G.S.S.J. Ratu Langie” by Wim Pondaag (another ex-exile).
” ….. that the struggle, which is now being fought out by the Republic of Indonesia does not only involve the material, mental, moral and political essentials of that part of the Indonesian people limited in the Republic of Indonesia, but also the national freedom and national dignity of the whole Indonesian people and the recognition o the fundamental rights of that people to live as a free and independent nation, on the soil and on that part of the world, which the Almighty God bestowed on them” Djokjakarta, Dr. G.S.S.J. Ratu Langie ( 10 November 1948)
The words: : “but also the national freedom and national dignity of the whole Indonesian people” were referring to the Indonesian people who at that time were living on a part of Indonesia that was occupied by the NICA (Netherlands Indies Civil Administration) dibawah van Mook. In these areas NICA established “states” such as the NIT (Negara Indonesia Timur) and also in Kalimantan and Sumatera and even in West Java (Negara Pasundan). These “states were hastily constructed with the aim of “building a federation of Indonesian states”
Or in Indonesian language:.
Kata2 : “but also the national freedom and national dignity of the whole Indonesian people” berkaitan dengan Bangsa Indonesia yang saat itu mendiami daerah yang diduduki NICA (Netherlands Indies Civil Administration) dibawah van Mook. Di daerah2 ini oleh NICA dibentuk negara2 seperti NIT (Negara Indonesia Timur) juga di Kalimantan dan Sumatera dan bahkan juga misalnya di Jawa Barat (Negara Pasundan), yang dibentuk dengan dalih “Ingin mendirikan satu federasi negara2 Indonesia”.
In fact the situation for the Republic of Indonesia was precarious; pressed under threat of weapons of the Dutch (who just escaped from the second world war against the NAZI’s and using the weapons that they obtained from the Allied Forces) to exist in a relatively small are in Central and East Java. It was at this episode of development in our national history (very often forgotten now) that our group of seven ex-exiled arrived in Yogya.
The above mentioned basic consideration was later manifested in the so called “Manifes Ratu Langie” on 10 November 1948.
In my opinion the “Manifes Ratu Langie” called for an open and friendly position of the Republic of Indonesia towards the states that were created by van Mook. This was actually inevitabe because many of the personalities that were positioned as dignitaries were previous friends, and even also family members of Sam Ratu Langie. This resulted in a visitof the DPR members of the NIT to Yogyakarta under their chairman Arnold Mononutu. This group was named the “Goodwill Mission fro the NIT (East Indonesian State)”
There was a meeting between Sulawesi leaders from Yogyakarta with the Goodwill Mission at the Hotel Merdeka on 12 December 1948.
Whilst on the right side (the Goodwill Mission members one may observe a relaxed atmosphere, on the left side expressions of slight distrust at the faces is recognizable.
Despite everything it seemed that negotiations went on smoothly and a. o. agreement that soon, very soon a Goodwill Mission fro the Republic of Indonesia was to visit Makasar in return.
However this visit could not be realized because when the RI visitors were about to depart to Makasar from the Jakarta Kemayoran Airpof the ort whilst already sitting in the plane, the flight was cancelled due to the launching “Operation Kraai” that was staged by the Dutch under the command of General Spoor.
To be continued in my next post: