Roem Royen Agreement

For those who believe that Indonesia had to secure its independence through physical or military struggle, the agreement is often seen as a “capitulation”. The perception is therefore negative, because the agreement was seen as a withdrawal from the proclamation of independence of 17 August 1945 by abandoning certain areas, as stipulated in the agreement. This approach was widely used in our history books during the Era of Orde Baru (1966-1999), when the government of the day placed greater emphasis on the role of the army in our struggle for independence. Linggarjati is given not only the name of a small village on the slopes of the frightening mountain of Ciremai and near Cirebon in West Java, but also the name of an agreement. The Linggadjati Agreement was concluded on 12 November 1946 by a Dutch delegation and representatives of the Republic of Indonesia and officially signed in Batavia (Jakarta) on 25 March 1947. The Roem-Van Roijen agreement was an agreement between the Indonesian Republicans and the Netherlands on May 7, 1949. The name was deduced between the two main negotiators of the meeting; Mohammad Roem and Jan Herman van Roijen. The aim of the meeting was to resolve outstanding issues before Indonesia`s independence, which was to be granted at the roundtable conference in The Hague that same year. In the Netherlands, conservative forces strongly opposed the Linggadjati agreement.

The Commissioner-General appeared to have “given” Dutch East India to an irresponsible and unreliable group of Indonesian nationalists. The Dutch government has decided to amend and interpret the agreement to ensure that the Netherlands has an appropriate influence in Indonesia in the future. Parliament adopted a proposal by which the Netherlands definitively reinterpreted the Linggadjati agreement, without changing the exact terms of the agreement itself. Within the Republic of Indonesia, Sukarno had to face his own problems in order to gain support for the Linggadjati agreement. Radical elements within Indonesia were supported by the head of the army, General Sudirman (1915-1950), while he opposed the agreement that did not make Indonesia immediately and totally independent. Sukarno, however, succeeded in convincing the Indonesian parliament that the Linggadjati agreement was a springboard to full independence. On 5 March 1947, the Indonesian parliament accepted the agreement, but only with the explicit agreement that the Indonesian government should work for the “liberation” of Borneo and eastern Indonesia by making these territories “as soon as possible” part of the Indonesian Republic. On 25 March, the Linggadjati agreement was finally signed by the Netherlands and Indonesia at Rijswijk Palace in Jakarta. In fact, two different agreements have been signed. The Dutch signed the agreement, interpreted by the Dutch government and the Dutch parliament, which means that they have agreed on the establishment of a sovereign and powerful Dutch-Indonesian Union, in which the United States of Indonesia and the Republic of Indonesia have played only a minor role. The Indonesians signed the agreement in its most original form, accepting only a symbolic Dutch-Indonesian union and wishing for a fully sovereign United States of Indonesia, in which the Republic of Indonesia would play a dominant role.

Negotiations between the two sides began on 14 April, but ended up deadlocked after a week: the head of the Dutch delegation Jan Herman van Roijen called for an end to the guerrillas and an agreement to participate in the Indonesians` conference at the round table before the Republican leaders could return to Yogyakarta.

Comments are closed.