Friday, 11 June 2010

Aceh’s de jure Sultan has died

Teungku Hasan Muhammad di Tiro (*25th August 1925), the founder of Aceh's independence movement, has died on 3rd June 2010 at the Zainoel Abidin hospital in Banda Aceh, where he was being treated for a failing heart, leukemia, and a lung infection.

The former leader of the Free Aceh Movement, Gerakan Aceh Merdaka (GAM), that was dissolved under a peace accord in 2005, passed away just one day after the government restored his Indonesian citizenship, which had been revoked because of his independence struggle in exile.
Hasan di Tiro claimed that Indonesia was an illegitimate state and that Aceh should reclaim its pre-1873 independence. He left Aceh soon after civil war began in 1976, first he went to Malaysia, then to Sweden. He returned in 2008, after leading the rebel movement from Sweden for three decades and becoming a Swedish national.

A memorial service was led by Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf in Mireue village, about 19 miles (30 kilometers) outside Banda Aceh. About 1,000 supporters and former rebels prayed over his body, which was wrapped in white sheets. Among the Acehnese, Hasan di Tiro was revered as the heir to the Aceh Sultanate. When he returned from exile in October 2008, the local media titled their articles A new 'sultan' for Indonesia's Aceh, or just a better peace?

Hasan di Tiro was the grandson of resistance leader Teungku Cik di Tiro, a national hero killed in 1891 in fighting against the Dutch troops, that had invaded Aceh in 1873. He is survived by a son from his American wife.

Wikipedia on the Sultanate of Aceh:
The Sultanate of Aceh, officially the Kingdom of Aceh Darussalam (Acehnese: Keurajeun Acèh Darussalam), was a sultanate centered in the modern area of Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia, which was a major regional power in the 16th and 17th centuries, before experiencing a long period of decline.

In the 1820s, as Aceh produced over half the world's supply of pepper, a new leader, Tuanku Ibrahim, was able to restore some authority to the sultanate and gain control over the "pepper rajas" who were nominal vassals of the sultan by playing them off against each other. He rose to power during the sultanate of his brother, Muhammad Syah, and was able to dominate the reign of his successor Sulaiman Syah (r. 1838-1857), before taking the sultan himself, under the title Sultan Ali Alauddin Mansur Syah (1857–1870). He extended Aceh's effective control southward at just the time when the Dutch were consolidating their holdings northward. Britain, heretofore guarding the independence of Aceh in order to keep it out of Dutch hands, re-evaluated its policy and concluded the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of Sumatra, which allowed for Dutch control throughout Sumatra in exchange for concessions in the Gold Coast and equal trading rights in northern Aceh. The treaty was tantamount to a declaration of war on Aceh, and the Aceh War followed soon after in 1873. As the Dutch prepared for war, Mahmud Syah (1870–1874) appealed for international help, but no one was willing or able to assist.

In 1874 the sultan abandoned the capital, withdrawing to the hills, while the Dutch announced the annexation of Aceh. The sultan died of cholera, as did many combatants on both sides, but the Acehnese proclaimed a grandson of Tuanku Ibrahim sultan. The rulers of Acehnese ports nominally submitted to Dutch authority in order to avoid a blockade, but they used their income to support the resistance. However, eventually many of them compromised with the Dutch, and the Dutch were able establish a fairly stable government in Aceh with their cooperation, and get the sultan to surrender in 1903. After his death in 1907, no successor was named, but the resistance continued to fight for some time. Indeed, Hasan di Tiro, who founded the Free Aceh Movement, is a descendent of the last sultan.

1 comment:

Donald Tick said...

L.S.; Chik di Tiro was a family of relgious people.Not royal He weas no son of the last sultan,who died 1939.He had no right to be sultan.That was his phanatsy.Thank you. I am resarcher about the dynasties of Indonesia. Donald Tick facebook