FLASH BACK: Sam Ratulangie arrested again (25 December 1948)

Below is a chart (from the internet) describing the geographic political (geo-political) situation of the Republic of Indonesia after the first Dutch aggression and prior to the second aggression. (The Dutch named it “first and second POLITIONAL action, but the Indonesian name for it was: first and second AGGRESSION)

Situasi RI Awal Dec48
Situasi RI Awal Dec48

After being freed fromf exile by the CONICA (van Mook) Sam Ratulangie  and (part of) the family were stationed in Yogyakarta. He threw himself in many activities enjoying the newly obtained freedom in movement that was denied to him for two and a half years. Traveling to the front lines to cheer up the young people and also to and fro Jakarta to attend several meetings being active as an advisor to the Government of the RI in preparation for the upcoming negotiations with the Dutch Government.

This made its mark on the health of Sam Ratulangie. Being physically exhausted he became sick also as a result of the malaria he obtained in Serui. Upon hearing this President Soekarno paid a visit to Sam Ratulangie at his home.

Pres. Soekarno and Ibu Fatmawati's visit
Pres. Soekarno and Ibu Fatmawati’s visit serving the tea is my younger sister Uki

At that time our family was (partly) united and lived in a house on one of the main streets of Yogyakarta. A picture was made there, not showing my eldest sister and me. My sister “Zus” Ratulangie (as she was nicknamed) was in Jakarta, studying at the Medical Faculty of the University of Indonesia, whilst I, as a middleschool student was in bed in Jakarta, suffering from malaria contracted  a long time ago at the time we were in Serui, Papua.

At Yogyakarta 1948
At Yogyakarta 1948, l.to r. my elder sister Milly, my mother, my younger sister Uki and my father.

Sam Ratulangie tried to recover as soon as possible. I was told that  one of the missions that were actually planned for Sam Ratulangie was to be sent as a special envoy of the Republic of Indonesia to be temporary stationed in Manila, where his relationship with President Quezon was still fresh in mind (1940).

President Quezon guest of the VIA (Vereniging van Indonesische Academici) In 1940

President Quezon guest of the VIA  (Vereniging van Indonesische Academici) in 1940 

The passports were being prepared and as a secretary to assist him Gerard Rorimpandey was appointed. BUT history took another turn the aircraft that should have flown  them (the RI 1) was shot down by the Dutch army two days before the date set as departure date to Manila.

By September 1948, the Dutch military command had succeeded in decoding the Republic’s encyrpted secret code, gaining crucial intelligence on Indonesian military and diplomatic strategies and plans. This allowed General Simon Hendrik Spoor to counteract Republic actions on the battlefield and diplomatic stage. The Dutch were so confident of this advantage that they held a press conference in Jakarta three days prior to the actual attack.[9] The Dutch also timed their attack to coordinate with plans by the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to dispatch a private plane to fly Sukarno and Hatta to Bukittinggi in West Sumatra where they would head an emergency government. A Republican delegation led by Sukarno would then be flown to New York via New Delhi to advocate the Republic’s cause in the United Nations General Assembly. Throughout the Indonesian National Revolution, newly independent India had been sympathetic to the Republic cause which they viewed as a struggle against Western imperialism.[9]  

From WIKIPEDIA (“Operation KRAAI”):

It might have been possible that Sam Ratulangie’s intended trip to Manila was related to the above mentioned (encrypted) message. And might eventually further his journey from Manila to New York  to also join Sukarno and Hatta. However there are no written information about this.

The “second aggression” of the Dutch started at December 18 (1948) landing their  troops  on Maguwo Airport. From Wikipedia (Indonesian language) is this picture:

Second Dutch Agression 1948
Second Dutch Agression 1948

And Yogyakarta was bombed. I was in Jakarta and did not join our family in Yogya because I was in the hospital suffering from malaria also caught during our stay in Serui. Later my mother told me that the family sought shelter under the table.

The “Operation Crow” of the Dutch started at December 19 (1948) landing their  troops  on Maguwo Airport.

On Christmas evening 25 December 1948 AGAIN (as in 1946) a knock on the front door and my father was told told to  come with the Dutch soldiers.  I can only imagine now the feelings of my mother after she saw my father brought away whilst she closed the front door…….

It appeared that this time my father was not taken to a jail or anything of that kind, but to the Presidential Palace where besides Bung Karno, Bung Hatta also Bung Kecil (Syahrir) and a fewother important other persons were also captured.

Indonesian President Sukarno, Vice-President Mohammad Hatta, and ex prime minister Sutan Sjahrir were seized by the Dutch and subsequently exiled to Bangka.[1] They let themselves be captured hoping it would outrage international support. However, this action was later criticized among Indonesian military circles which regarded it as an act of cowardice by the political leadership.[1] Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX stayed at his palace in Yogyakarta and did not leave during the entire occupation. The Sultan himself refused to cooperate with the Dutch administration and rejected mediation attempts by the pro-Dutch Sultan of Pontianak Hamid II.[13] 

 From WIKIPEDIA (“Operation KRAAI”)

As mentioned above the Istana Presiden at Yogyakarta became the temporary home of Sam Ratulangie. Compared to the jail at Karebosi (now turned into a mal) at Makasar this certainly was an “improvement” in treatment (!!!!).  My mother could relax a little bit when she heard about it.

Many, many years later I met Ibu Rahmi Hatta and she remembered my father at that period in Yogya in the Istana Presiden. She told further that once there was a guard of the Koninklijke Nederlands-Indisch Leger (KNIL) who kept watch at the Istana. He was also from Manado. She said that my father spoke with him in a dialect (most probably in Tondanese). Se told me that my father said to the guard to join the cause, and join the Republic. The guard only smiled …….. Yes there were times ……..

On January 12th 1949 Sam Ratulangie was transferred to Jakarta and arrested at a place at Jalan Menteng Prapatan 53  (now Hotel Aryaduta) together with Mohamad Natsir, Setiabudi (Douwes Dekker) and Adam Malik. They were waiting for their transfer to  Bangka where Bung Karno, Bung Hatta, Moh. Roem and some other Indonesian leaders. (Source: “Dr. GSSJ Ratu-Langie” by Masjkuri, 1978). I still remember that every afternoon we were allowed to visit him there.

At that time my father was 58 years old. He was physically weak, his eyesight had deteriorated. His drive to work hard without exhaustion, the continous pressure of various regimes and depriviations during his exile in Serui, Papua had reduced his health significantly. This was the reason why the oppressors decided that Sam Ratulangie should not have to be transfered to Bangka but was released in Jakarta  to be able to  join his family on a “house arrest” status.

FLASH BACK: Sam Ratulangie, the final curtain…….


2 thoughts on “FLASH BACK: Sam Ratulangie arrested again (25 December 1948)”

    1. Thank you Bung Ibrahim…. it is our duty to keep the young generation aware about the dedication and sufferings of our predecessors

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