To: His Majesty King Willem Alexander
Delivered via: Mr. LAMBERT GRIJNS
Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for Indonesia
Jalan H.R. Rasuna Said No. Kav S-3
We respectfully ask the attention of His Majesty King of the Netherlands
That we who are named below:
- Name: Abd. Halik, representing in this matter the family/heirs in Bulukumba [, South Sulawesi,] of the victims of Dutch Army War Crimes under the command of Westerling in South Sulawesi in the years 1946-1947, known as “the 40,000 Casualties”;
- Name: Cardi, representing in this matter the Family/Heirs in Rawagede, West Java, of the victims of Dutch Army War Crimes known as “the Slaughter of Rawagede” in the year 1947;
- Name: Nin Turaiza, representing in this matter the Family/Heirs in Riau, Sumatra, of the victims of Dutch Army War Crimes known as “the Slaughter at the Indragiri River” in Riau in the month of January 1949;
- Name: Sitti Saerah, representing in this matter the Heirs in Gowa of the victims of Dutch Army War Crimes under the command of Westerling in South Sulawesi in the years 1946-1947, known as “The 40,000 Casualties”;
- Name: Abu Nawas, representing in this matter the Heirs in Gowa of the victims of Dutch Army War Crimes under the command of Westerling in South Sulawesi in the years 1946-1947, known as “The 40,000 Casualties.”
We hereby present a demand that responsibility be taken for the damages done to us by Dutch War Crimes carried out by the Dutch army. In connection with this and taking into account the following:
- [That] Until today the Government and Kingdom of the Netherlands has not acquiesced and has not acknowledged Indonesia as an Independent and Fully Sovereign Nation since the Proclamation of August 17th 1945;
- That the de facto legal, diplomatic, economic, and business relations between Indonesia and the Netherlands have all been based upon legal regulations that are primarily based upon the Constitution of Indonesia officially in effect since 1945. Because of this, it is a paradox or a contradiction that the Netherlands refuses to acquiesce to a de jure acknowledgment of the August 17th 1945 Proclamation, even as it follows the legal rules made on the basis of the 1945 Constitution in terms both de facto and de jure;
- That the Dutch Government that is under the authority of His Majesty the King of the Netherlands haspreviously perpetrated injustice in determining the awarding of compensation to the Children of the Victims of War Crimes;
- That the Dutch Government that is under the authority of His Majesty the King of the Netherlands has decided to waste money on the funding of the research project “Decolonization, Violence, and War In Indonesia, 1945-1950” in Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, and Bali through 3 (three) Research Institutes whose lack of independence and bearing of many particular interests has come under scrutiny.
That the Results of this Research will certainly cause harm to the values of the struggle of the Indonesian people and harm to the feelings and legal rights of the Children of Victims of Dutch Army War Crimes who are at this moment struggling to demand their rights. In addition to this, [that] research into the violence of the Decolonization period is decidedly unjust and meaningless when compared to the Dutch violence and crimes against humanity that transpired over the course of the 350 years of Colonization previous to it;
- (That) We have previously sent a letter to His Majesty King of the Netherlands via the Embassy of the Netherlands in Jakarta, respectively from Majalling (South Sulawesi) on September 16th 2015, Bulukumba (South Sulawesi) on November 17th 2015 and Rengat-Sungai Indragiri (Sumatra) on February 27th 2016 but did not receive a serious reply [and that] It is therefore urgent that this important Letter be taken seriously by His Majesty the King of the Netherlands;
- (That) There has not been a complete resolution regarding the 350 Indonesian (civilian) names who were executed and murdered without cause as a result of discoveries in the Dutch archives by the Netherlands Institute for Military History (NIMH) which were officially published in the Dutch media in 2016;
- (That) Ambassador Lambert Grijns, who is under the authority of His Majesty King of the Netherlands, has hurt our feelings with his pronouncements in the Indonesian media that are oriented towards relations in the future while belittling the Dutch-Indonesian relations of the past;
We hope that Mr. Lambert Grijns would be so kind as to realize the philosophy of the struggle of the Indonesian people, that is to say Jasmerah: “Never Forget History” [Jasmerah, lit. “red jacket,” an acronym derived from Jangan Sekali-kali Melupakan Sejarah or Never Forget History]. It is impossible for the Indonesian People to forget the crimes and wounds of 350 years of Dutch colonization. The values of the struggle of the Indonesian people in the past, present and future have always been based upon the philosophy of Jasmerah. The future will always feel empty if the past is belittled. Precisely at this time, the Netherlands is being accused of joining in discrimination against Indonesian coconut oil as a member of the European Union, such that it is unknown how long the European Union will continue to boycott it. This boycott has already decidedly damaged future Dutch-Indonesian relations.
In consideration of the above issues, and recognizing the plans of the King of the Netherlands to visit Indonesia on March 10th 2020, we the Family/Heirs of victims of Dutch crimes against humanity in Indonesia declare our position as follows:
- We strongly reject the visit of the King of the Netherlands without the legal acknowledgement of Indonesia as legally Independent and Sovereign since the Proclamation of the 17th of August 1945;
- We demand that the King of the Netherlands take responsibility and directly ask forgiveness for all manner of Dutch violations of human rights in Indonesia;
- We demand an immediate and just settlement of demands for compensation from the children of the victims.
Thus do we deliver this letter, and ask that His Majesty King of the Netherlands provide a response to it as soon as possible. The response may be addressed to our associate Mr. Irwan Lubis under the address Kantor DHC Angkatan 45 Jakarta Pusat, Gedung Joang Jl. Menteng Raya No. 31 Jakarta Pusat, Kode Pos 10340.
Jakarta, January 30th 2020
Those who represent the Heirs of the Victims,
- Abd. Halik (Bulukumba, South Sulawesi)
- Cardi (Rawagede, West Java)
- Nini Turaiza (Indragiri, Riau)
- Sitti Saerah (Gowa, South Sulawesi)
- Abu Nawas (Gowa, South Sulawesi)