google79f3d4a96bd13f7b.html Colonials, Jan Pieterzoon Coen Reigns the Most Gloomy Times for the Residents of Banda Island - Nature and Culture

Colonials, Jan Pieterzoon Coen Reigns the Most Gloomy Times for the Residents of Banda Island

 The barbarian invasion that ignited Jan Pieterzoon Coen on Banda Island

Image Source:Kompas TV

1796 colonialism officially moved from the Dutch merchant alliance VOC to the government by the Dutch Government (Nederland East Indies). The Dutch with the VOC had long colonized parts of the eastern Indonesian archipelago since 1600, although on an individual basis they existed several years earlier.

1621- Massacre of people in the Banda Islands. At that time the Dutch group who came to Banda Island still carried the VOC entity, led by Jan Pieterszoon Coen. Almost the entire population of the Banda islands was killed, the rest were captured and sent to Batavia which is being built to become slaves.

Behind the cruelty, the Kingdom of the Netherlands is trying to build an image as a noble nation through the jargon "Civilizing Mission" , he said to raise the level of people in the archipelago who are considered primitive. This is very far from reality because the real presence of the Netherlands is in the interest of economic motivation with various trade policies and dirty politics to win the competition.

Assault carried out by Jan Pieterszoon Coen is structured and planned, 3 years Coen plans and prepares the power to complete its missions.

  1. Mission on behalf of the royal government to control the source of spices
  2. Punishing the Bandanese for violating the prohibition against trading with the British
  3. A personal mission of revenge for defeat in the group feud of 1609

Coen's revenge was triggered by a long-standing dispute between a group of  Dutch traders and local merchants, in which Coen was almost killed. 

Starting on 22 May 1609, Coen who was accompanying Dutch ship captains working for the VOC Pieter Willemszoon Verhoeff landed in Banda on a trade negotiation mission. In the negotiations, Verhoeff urged to hold a monopoly on the spice trade on the island of Banda and forbade the Bandanese to trade with other parties.

The rich Banda merchant group did not agree with the monopoly conditions, the negotiations turned into a dispute which eventually culminated in a bloody fight.

In this case, Verhoeff was killed, while Coen managed to escape and fled to Batavia. Since then Coen has held grudges by motivating himself with the slogan “don't despair, don't let your enemies” is an old Dutch slogan dating back to the 17th century.

Appointed governor general in 1619 Coen began to prepare his plans for an attack on the island of Banda by gathering a special force consisting of

  • 100 Ronin, mercenary samurai imported from Japan, 
  • 260 slaves, imported from various countries
  • 300 prisoners from Java

Coen departed with a naval fleet consisting of 13 transport ships accompanied by several reconnaissance ships, the total number of combat forces is about 1,600 people.

As a result of the Coen attack, 14,000 people out of the entire Banda population of 15,000 people were killed, including the elderly, women and children. The remaining 1,000 people, some of which were taken by Coen as slaves to work on the construction of Batavia.

Coen's action on the massacre of Banda became controversial even by a small number of Dutch people themselves. In 2011 the people of Hoorn City, where Coen was born, signed a petition for the city's, requested Coen’s statue to be moved. The Dutch people, especially those living in Hoorn, realized that what Coen was doing was not a war but a genocide massacre. 

As a country that officially supports the enforcement of human rights, the above petition has received support from some historians. Responding to these demands, a middle path was taken, the Coen statue was left standing in its place but at the foundation of the statue a plaque was installed that read "led a punitive expedition against one of the Banda Islands" and "thousands of Bandanese lost their lives during the assault" “Coen was praised as a vigorous and visionary administrator”

For many years, but it seems that it has only become a jargon of local political interests, by the opposition party. This is evidenced by the results of a survey about the Dutch colonial atrocities, 50 respondents supported and proud of the achievements of the Dutch colonialists, only 6 percent of the respondents expressed shame for the acts of cruelty during the colonial period.

It seems that the Dutch government deliberately covered up the history of colonial atrocities in the archipelago. In the education system in the Netherlands, the information conveyed by the Dutch tends to place themselves as victims rather than perpetrators of crimes, the Dutch government only refers to history during the German occupation during War II.  While the history of the massacre of the population on the Banda island carried out by the Dutch was never conveyed

The tragic end of life befell Coen. The climax occurred in 1829 when the Mataram kingdom carried out a massive attack on Batavia, informed that in the war Coen lost his life, but his body has never been found until now.

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