Australia–Indonesia Relations - History - Indonesian National Revolution

Indonesian National Revolution

Following the Japanese surrender at end of the Second World War, Australian forces occupied Eastern Indonesia in coordination with the British Southeast Asia Command's occupation of Java. As Allies during the War, Australia and Britain were both under obligations to help the Netherlands restore control over the former Dutch East Indies. Australian forces also participated during the Borneo campaign alongside American forces particularly the Battle of Balikpapan in 1945. On 17 August 1945, Indonesian nationalist leaders Sukarno and Mohammed Hatta proclaimed the independence of the Republic of Indonesia.

Despite sympathies among the political left for the Indonesian Revolution, Australia cautiously withheld de facto regonition of the Republic until 9 July 1947, and then only over the regions of Java, Sumatra, and Madura Following frustrations over negotiations with Indonesian republicans, the Netherlands launched a major military offensive in Java and Sumatra on 20 July 1947. From that point and until Netherlands recognition of Indonesian independence in December 1949, Australian waterside workers banned Dutch vessels and vessels taking munitions and equipment to the Netherlands East Indies.

On 30 July 1947 Australia referred the conflict to the United Nations Security Council naming the Netherlands as the violators of the peace. Later, Australia raised the matter of Indonesia's decolonisation in United Nations. On 1 August 1947 the UN Security Council ordered a cease-fire and established a committee to broker a truce and a renewal of negotiations. The Indonesian Republic nominated Australia to sit on that committee. The committee produced the Renville Truce Agreement of January 1948. The Dutch launched a second major military offensive, occupying Republican territory in Java. Following a Dutch-Indonesian Round Table Conference from August to November 1949, Republic of Indonesia sovereignty over Indonesia was officially recognised in December 1949.

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    I see every day more clearly the value, necessity, and sanative qualities of the three B’s: Bench, Ballot, Barricade.
    Aurora C. Phelps, U.S. women’s magazine contributor. The Revolution (May 21, 1868)

    The inference is, that God has restated the superiority of the West. God always does like that when a thousand white people surround one dark one. Dark people are always “bad” when they do not admit the Divine Plan like that. A certain Javanese man who sticks up for Indonesian Independence is very lowdown by the papers, and suspected of being a Japanese puppet.
    Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960)

    There is no national science just as there is no national multiplication table; anything that is national is not scientific.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860–1904)