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The Future Integration of Indonesia: Focus on Acheh

Statement by Dr.Husaini Hasan at the International Conference on Acheh 
Butler Pavilion, Washington, Saturday, April 3rd , 1999.

Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, Good morning! 
SjŤŽdara ulŰn bangsa AcŤh nyang that lŰn sayang, Assalamuŗlaikum: 
I would like to express my gratitude for the International Forum for Acheh for having organized this Conference and for giving me this opportunity to address this historic gathering about Acheh and its relation to Indonesia. Before discussing the subject, allow me to share with you a moment about my bitter experience during my three year-stay in the jungle of Acheh. During those periods in the jungle between 1977-1980, I used to go down to the villages, meeting people and reminding them the history of Acheh and their identity as a nation. Because of this, the Indonesian regime had put a price on my head, wanting me dead or alive, and spread my pictures all over the country. I got ambushed three times and got three bullets in my body, but I am still alive until this very moment- thanks God the Almighty. I have been doing all this because I am an Achehnese, and I got all the consequences merely because I do not want to be called íIndonesianí. As a matter of fact, I have never got a military training and never fired a single bullet at anybody. Yes, I deal with blood everyday, but as an obstetrician, my duty is to save lives. My colleagues, the late Dr. Mochtar Yahya Hasbi, Dr. Zubair Mahmud, Teungku Haji Ilyas Leube, other prominent Achehnese, students and more than 20.000 Achehnese have been prisoned, tortured and killed since 1977 up to the present, just for the same reason. The only mistake we do, if you call it a mistake is, we are struggling for our freedom, we want to be called and treated as we are, the Achehnese, as our forefathers have always been.

As our topic suggests, we are supposed to discuss about the future of Indonesia in its relation to Acheh. To begin with, there have been three interesting issues that our people- Achehnese- are facing now: Autonomy, Federation and Independence through a free referendum.

Autonomy: What does Indonesia mean by autonomy? Indonesia has given autonomy for Acheh known as íDaerah Istimewa Acheh, Daerah Modal, etc. Actually, it is just an old tactic to divert the Achehnese people from demanding full independence, to calm down the peoples anger and to delay solving the real problem that is Indonesian aggression and colonization. We have already experienced that kind of autonomy immediately after the D.I. Movement in 1961. Acheh was then given autonomy on culture, religion, and education, but it was only on paper. In reality, Acheh has never got a chance to practice its own interests for the benefit of the Achehnese. In fact, autonomy is not the real issue at all, but it is a question of decolonization of the Dutch East Indies which has got a new name as the Republic of Indonesia. In other words, the Republic of Indonesia was established on the place of the entire territory of the former Dutch East Indies. Acheh was illegally transferred into the Republic of Indonesia. After 69 years of war between the Dutch and Acheh, which lasted in 1942, the Achehnese have never signed any peace-treaty with the Dutch. Instead the Dutch were ousted and they never returned to Acheh. How come the Dutch transferred Acheh into the Republic of Indonesia on December 1949, something that they did not possess. To accept the autonomy means we are perpetuating the Indonesian colonization on Acheh.

Federation: If we accept Acheh as a Federal State of Indonesia means that Acheh already loses its identity as a nation. The concept of identity is very important for the Achehnese as it is for every people in the world. Unfortunately, some of us, Achehnese, are in a state of identity crisis. We are proud to be Achehnese when we remember how heroic our ancestors were, but on the contrary we are sometimes ashamed to speak and write in our own language, Achehnese. Indeed, the Achehnese history as a nation is greater than the Indonesian history.

How can we still accept to be ruled by Jakarta, after what they have done to us in these 54 years ? I do not know how some Achehnese can still feel that Acheh already ímerdekaí (independent ala Indonesia), after having experienced tragedy after tragedy perpetrated by the Indonesian soldiers against the Achehnese civilians, as it has been extensively reported by Tapol, Amnesty International, Asia Watch etc. During these periods, a lot of innocent Achehnese have been mass murdered, hundreds of women raped, and thousands of houses burnt to ashes . What Indonesia has been doing to us is much worse than what the Dutch did during its colonialism. How can we still trust the Republic of Indonesia, and how can we still treat them as our big brothers while they never treat us as human beings. let alone as a nation.

Independence, the only alternative that is appropriate for us - Achehnese - is to be free from Indonesia - that is a fixed price. We the Acehnese are not Indonesians. We have no historic, political, cultural, economic or geographic relationship with them. Since the world begun, there never was a people, much less a nation called by the name of Indonesia. It is merely a new label which has nothing to do with the Achenese language, with our history, culture or our interests. 'Indonesia' was a fraud: a cloak to cover up Javanese colonialism against the nations outside Java in the former colonial territories of Dutch East Indies and in East Timor, the former Portuguese colonial territory. It was the Dutch who first declared war against the sovereign State of Acheh, on March 26, 1873, and on the same day they invaded our country, aided by Javanese mercenaries. Hundreds of thousands of the Achehnese lost their lives in this long bloody war. It is absolutely wrong, if we the present generation will freely give away Acheh, our beloved country, to Indonesia, to which our fore-fathers had sacrificed their lives. In addition to that, Acheh is very rich in natural resources that we are capable to develop our country into a welfare State. There are many independent countries in the world that are poorer or smaller than us such as Singapore, Vanuatu, Fiji, and even Holland. In spite of this, they are all members of the United Nations and some of them play very important role among nations. On the other hand, the Indonesian reputation in the world is so bad because of the flagrant human rights abuses perpetrated by ABRI and the extensively bribery and corruption by the Indonesian regime make the Indonesian debts can not be solved until the coming 4th generation. It is absurd to integrate with the Republic of Indonesia and to take over its debt.

The only thinkable 'future integration' that Acheh can do with Indonesia is 'an integration' with the same level as a cooperation among nations. Certainly, Indonesia will become the first priority for Acheh as well as other ASEAN nations in the South East Asia region. However, we are living in the small world, where we should share it as fair as possible, as civilize as possible, not like what Indonesia is doing to Acheh now. In the last 54 years, all profits made by oil, gas, gold and forestry industries, estimated at equitable US$2.1 billion annually from gas alone, have gone straight to Jakarta, with a tiny 1.6 percent returned to Acheh.

Ladies and gentlemen! Allow me to speak in my own language to the people of Acheh:

Keu bangsa lŰn AtjŤh nyang that lŰn sayang! 
Keu geutanjoŽ bangsa AtjŤh tjit saboh alternative sagai njang na njakni: Hudťp Meurdťhka! GeutanjoŽ AtjŤh hanjeuŽt ta hudťp dimijub peurintah bangsa laťn, hudťp lagŤŽ njan hana mumakna. GeutanjoŽ AtjŤh hanjeuŽt ta hudťp djeuŽt keu lamiŽt gob, hudťp lagŤŽ njan that -that hina. »ndatu geutanjoŽ baroŽ djťh, ureuŽng tjhik geutanjoŽ baroŽ, aneuk geutanjoŽ dan sjŤŽdara-sjŤŽdara geutanjoŽ uroŽ njoŽ, ka geu-rhŰ darah geuh, geu matť bak geupeutheun nanggroŽ AtjŤh njoŽ keu geutanjoŽ, panť ťk mungkťn ta djak djŰk nanggroŽ njoŽ prť mantong keu Indonesia!!! Teumeureuka teuh ngon bandum para sjuhada, han neubrť keuteunangan keu aneuk tjutjo geutanjoŽ AtjŤh ukeuŽ. Ho neuh Teungku-Teungku, Teuku-ampŰn, Tuanku, Doktor-doktor, insinjur dan awak sikula manjang, bandum bangsa AtjŤh, tjhik-putik tuha-muda, djak ta meusaboh bandum, ta atŰ barťhsan, ta peudong keulai NanggroŽ droŽteuh, NanggroŽ AtjŤh dan ta peulheuŽh droŽ teuh nibak peundjadjahan Republik Indonesia. Salah that-that meunjo neudjak tuntut supaja djidjak peugot keulai KODAM I Iskandarmuda. Njan kon Tantra AtjŤh, meutapi njan Tantra Indonosia. Nan beurangkapeuŽ djeuŽt djibŰh, njang peuntťng pat djiteurimong peurintah, disidťh di Djawa. Keu geutanjoŽ djinoŽ njang peureulŤŽ ta peugot nakeuh ta atŰ keulai tantra droŽteuh, Tantra AtjŤh njang bandum angŤŽta djih mulai pradjurit sampoŽ Ďan Panglima djih nakeuh awak AtjŤh, djiteurimong peurintah disinoŽ di AtjŤh demi keupeuntťngan bangsa AtjŤh, dan Neugara AtjŤh. Meungnyo geutanjoŽ mantong dimijub RI, maka peuŽ mantong njang neurantjana keu keupeuntťngan bangsa dan nangroŽ AtjŤh, handjeuŽt neu laksana. Bandum keuputŰsan njang neupeugot lť droŽneuh, akan djitulak meungnjo meulawan deungon keupeuntťngan Indonosia. Keupeuntťngan Indonosia, hana saban deungon keupentťngan geutanjoŽ AtjŤh. Keu geutanjoŽ, AtjŤh nakeuh lummŰi sa. Keu Indonosia, keupeuntťngan Djawa njang that utama; keupeuntťngan AtjŤh hana mumakna keu awaknjan, kadang rhŰt bak lummŰi limong, njang kajťm chit rhŰt bak lummŰi keuseuneulheuŽh that.BŤk tadjak meutjeukot lť peukara Otonomy atawa Federasi , tadjak boih-boih watŤŽ mantong, hana meuguna sapeuŽ keu geutanjoŽ bangsa AtjŤh. Njan bandum usui Indonosia bak didjak peu-ajeuŽm geutanjoŽ, mangat na watŤŽ keu-djih lom bak djimita akai untŰk djeuŽt djipeungeut geutanjoŽ sabť-sabť. PeuŽ han sťp djra lom njang ka djipeungeut geutanjoŽ lam 54 thŰn njoŽ? 
Njang peuntťng djinoŽ geutanjoŽ AtjŤh beutameusaboh bandum, ta atŰ barťsan droŽteuh bak ta lawan musŰh geutanjoŽ Indonosia, ta peugisa keulai dŤŽlat Bangsa AtjŤh di nanggroŽ AtjŤh meutuah njoŽ. 
WasiŽt …ndatu: 
Hai aneuk ta dong beu-kong, Beu meu-glong lagŤŽ geupula. 
Bak duŽk bak dong sapeuŽ pakat, Sang sineusab meu-adoŽ a. 
Hudťp beusarť matť beusadjan, SikrŤk gaphan saboh keureunda.

Finally, I sincerely appeal to all international human rights organizations, especially Amnesty International, Asia Watch, and all sympathizers of the oppressed peoples, and also the US Government to put pressure on Indonesia, not only on human rights issues but also concerning the rights of self-determination of the Achehnese people. 

Thank you. 

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Last modified: April 29, 2000