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Video message Francisca Pattipilohy

Video message Francisca Pattipilohy, not invited to speak during the second public meeting of the Dutch research on 1945-1949, September 13th, 2018, Amsterdam:

Full text:

“As one of the initiators of the open letter, I would like to emphasize that the starting point of the Dutch research should be that the Netherlands recognizes the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia at 17 August 1945.

In my opinion, the research should start from the notion that the colony was an illegal occupation of a country 55 times the size of the Netherlands with a population of more than 70 million inhabitants.

Following this perspective, the colonial war by the Dutch army that lasted from the beginning of 1946 until the end of 1949 was an aggressive war that aimed to recapture its former unlawfully occupied colony, whereas the struggle of the Indonesians was one to defend the independence of the Republic.

In March 1942 the illegal Dutch colonizers of Indonesia were defeated by the Japanese soldiers, Indonesia lost its Dutch colonial oppressor and its place was taken by Japan: another fascist colonial oppressor. When the Japanese were defeated on August 15, 1945, Indonesia became a free country. Two days later, on August 17, 1945 the Indonesians proclaimed the independence.

As a consequence of the divide and rule policy of the Dutch colonial regime, the Indonesian population saw their own brothers and sisters as enemies. The countless victims of brutal violence committed by Indonesian groups, organized or not, in the last months of 1945 were the result of the 350-year-long racist class system that was known for the unequal treatment of the Indonesian population.

As a result, the Indonesians for centuries developed an inferiority complex regarding the alleged moral and racial superiority of the white colonizer.

The Bersiap period does not exist in the Indonesian perspective. After the declaration of independence, after which Indonesia became a sovereign Republic, an Indonesian government was established. There was no power vacuum, the Indonesian government was the government of the country.

I am Francisca Pattipilohy, a living witness of the colonial, Japanese and Republican times. The research, discussed here tonight, is not based on all the points I have just mentioned. That is why Jeffry Pondaag and I took the initiative to write a critical open letter.

The research seems to consider colonialism as a given, the illegality of the Dutch occupation (the core problem) is not investigated. The research ignores the fact that all wars and violence are always consequences of a cause. In this case: the illegal colonial occupation.”