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The duty to restore peace

As attempts to negotiate were failing, and as the army was (successfully) conducting small-scale anti-Darul Islam operations between March and early May 1950, the areas of Tasikmalaya and Pekalongan saw a number of DI-TNI clashes and Darul Islam attacks on the civilian population, and combatants were being arrested in large numbers. At the same time, though, the press highlighted that in East Priangan, where the population was particularly poor, the Darul Islam’s scheme of land re-distribution had ameliorated the general living conditions of the local population, further reinforcing the conviction that the Darul Islam ‘issue’ could only be solved through a political compromise.[1]

But the Islamic groups were not the only ones to be disappointed. Cries for a political solution were coming from many sides, especially after the Yogyakarta police had underlined that this would have been facilitated by Kartosuwiryo’s diminishing strength. Wali Alfatah - the Masyumi leader and political representative for Central Java who was in favour of an Islamic state - agreed to embark on a mission to meet Kartosuwiryo at his headquarters in June 1950. However, he never succeeded in meeting Kartosuwiryo, and was instead held captive for several weeks by Darul Islam soldiers. Upon his release in late June, he commented that the imam would not accept a diplomatic solution and that only military force could bring the problem to an end.[2]

In the same month, Hamengkoeboewono IX planned a personal and unofficial visit to the areas affected by Darul Islam in Tasikmalaya. Soon after his return, Hamengkoeboewono IX reminded the population that the army’s role was to maintain order in the country, regardless of whether the enemy included peasants, labourers or religion itself. The TNI was thus ordered to cut all supply lines to Darul Islam headquarters. Despite the parties’ lack of faith in the efficacy of the parliament, a Republican official encouraged PSII and Masyumi to cooperate with the government to bring the Darul Islam to an end.[1]

Because Kartosuwiryo seemed uninterested in a dialogue with the representatives of the Republic unless Soekarno first recog?nized the NII, the conviction built up amongst the public that he was not going to accept any compromise. The Chinese-Indonesian newspaper Sin Po suggested that after all the effort the Darul Islam had put into keeping the Dutch at bay, it would never agree to give up the areas it controlled; nor would the population be keen on TNI regiments taking their place, as the Islamic militias still enjoyed much support. An even bleaker picture was drawn by an official in Pekalongan, who argued that the Darul Islam would not be terminated by either military force or political compromise, as it was there to stay.

Eventually, on 30 June, the RIS cabinet issued a declaration published in Kedaulatan Rakjat stating that it ‘respected the DI’s ideology as one of the political streams (aliran)’, but adding that if the movement caused disorder in society, the government had the duty to restore peace.[4]

  • [1] ‘Ichtisar gerakan DI/Kartosuwiryo’, Kementerian Dalam Negeri Yogyakarta, 24 July 1950,KabPerd no. 150, ANRI.
  • [2] ‘Missi sdr. Wali Alfattach’, Kementerian Dalam Negeri Yogyakarta to Minister of the Interiors RI in Yogyakarta, 10 June 1950, KabPerd no. 150, ANRI.
  • [3] ‘Ichtisar gerakan DI/Kartosuwiryo’, Kementerian Dalam Negeri Yogyakarta, 24 July 1950,KabPerd no. 150, ANRI.
  • [4] ‘Ichtisar gerakan DI/Kartosuwiryo’, Kementerian Dalam Negeri Yogyakarta, 24 July 1950,KabPerd no. 150, ANRI; ‘Statement Masjumi tentang perisitiwa “Darul Islam"’, Ketua DewanPimpinan Partai Masjumi Moh. Natsir, 23 April 1950, KabPerd no. 150, ANRI; ‘Sikap PSII terha-dap penjelesaian soal Darul Islam’, 4 May 1950, RIS no. 107, ANRI; ‘Soal Darul Islam dan pem-bersihan jang telah diadakan’, Menteri Pertahanan RIS, 8 May 1950, KabPerd no. 150, ANRI.
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