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Controversy Over The Death of JP. Coen, Butcher Who Massacred 14,000 People on Banda Island


The Mystery of the Death of General Governor  VOC, Jan Pieterszoon Coen


Nyimas Ayu Utari, Image Source:dream,co,id

Jan Pieterszoon Coen was born in Hoorn, a port city in the Netherlands in 1657. He served as General Governor of the VOC in his colonial lands in the archipelago Nusantara (Indonesia present) twice, the first period was 1619-1623 and the second period was 1627-1629.

At the beginning of his tenure in 1619, Coen captured the port city of Jayakarta from British rule, then burned it to the ground. The following year Coen built a new city on the ruins of Jayakata and changed its name to Batavia.

After building a military force for approximately 3 years, in 1621 Coen carried out a massive attack on Banda Island which ended in a mass massacre. One of Coen's motives in the attack was to punish Banda island merchants for violating the prohibition against trading with the British. The occupation attack turned into a field of a massacre of the indigenous population by Coen's troops. It was recorded that more than 14,000 thousand people died in it, including women, the elderly,  and children. 

Among the Dutch community Coen is known as a firm and hard man with the nickname "Ijzeren Jan, Jan the Iron Fist", he does not hesitate to give the death penalty to people who are considered not to obey the rules. Even on June 6, 1629, a few months before his death, Coen still had time to torture his ancestor Sara Speck and executed Pieter Jacobzoon Kotenhuff who became his lover in adultery.

In 1869 the Dutch government erected a statue of the Coen Manumen as high as 4.10 m in the city of Batavia, to be precise in the Waterlooplien area (now the Banteng Square) in 250 years at the University of Batavia. At that time the KNIL headquarters was included in the Banteng Field area. During the Japanese occupation in 1943, the Coen statue was torn down and removed to the Kota Tua area, Batavia. The bronze statue which is considered to symbolize colonialism and its cruelty, was destroyed in the smelting around 1963.

There are two historical versions of how and where Jan Pieterszoon spent the last day of his life, Coen who reportedly died on September 21, 1629.

The first version from among the Dutch.

News of the massacre of the Bandanese, (in Europe the incident was known as the Amboina Massacre) finally reached Europe and it surprised many people, including the royal government officials in the Netherlands, Coen was eventually withdrawn back to the Netherlands. In addition, there were demands from the British government (in mainland Europe, England and the Netherlands were friendly) that Coen be prohibited from returning to the East Indies because he was considered responsible for the murder of British citizens in Maluku.

On various considerations in 1627 JP. Coen returned to Batavia with the same position as before, namely as Governor-General of the VOC, but this time his condition was not as good as before. Coen felt his reputation regarding the Amboina massacre in Banda had limited his steps and movements as governor. In addition, the two major attacks (1628 and 1629) launched by the Mataram Sultanate on Batavia, however had consumed his energy.

During the second war (1629) against the local kingdom of Mataram as well as in previous times, for daily needs the residents of Batavia relied on water supply from the Ciliwung river. The polluted water of the Ciliwung river at that time accelerated the spread of dysentery which took many lives.

During wartime, in 1629 the pandemic dysentry that hit the Batavia area became more widespread, the victims fell including Coen's wife Eva Ment, and their child. The death of people from his closest circle had drained Coen's energy deeper and knocked him down mentally. In the end JP. Coen had to give up because the dysentry he suffered ended his soul. according to information Coen's body was buried in de Oude Hollandsche Kerk (Mesum Puppet)


JP. Coen Statue.

The second version of the Mataram Circle,

After the death of his wife Eva Ment and their children on September 16, 1629, JP. Coen was mentally shattered, this has made Coen lose his passion and vigilance.

Meanwhile, long before the war began, Mataram had prepared secret agents who would be infiltrated into the military environment and the governor's residence.

To carry out this special task, Raden Bagus Wonoboyo, still part of the elite Mataram troops, prepared his daughter, Nyimas Ayu Utari. Like most Javanese women at that time, Nyimas Ayu Utari's appearance with a beautiful face with a soft character did not make people think that she was a tough woman with a steel mentality. After completing his training he joined Dom Sumuruping Banyu, a secret service agency of the Mataram Kingdom.

Nyimas Ayu Utari is the great-grandson of the founder of the kingdom as well as the first king of the Mataram Kingdom, Penebahan Senopati, and the nephew of the third king of Mataram, Sultan Agung. So it is clear that Nyimas Ayu Utari's appointment was not only because of her beauty but also because of the very high confidentiality status of her duties, in addition to the requirements of intelligence, fortitude, and courage possessed by an agent like herself.  

At beginning Nyimas Ayu Utari's entry to Batavia disguised as a merchant who boarded a commercial ship sailing from Aceh, then became a singer in a military nightclub, then entered ring 1 of the Governor's residence.

In a chaotic situation due to disturbances from the Mataram troops who were still surviving in the Matraman area, the dysentery pandemic, was added to Coent mentality which had not yet recovered. The situation and conditions were so perfect for an agent operation that had been well prepared. Coen was killed in silence, and his head was rushed out of the Governor General's neighborhood but Nyimas Ayu Utari was shot by the guards who caught her outside Coen's residence.  

His body was taken away by Mataram troops who were waiting for him outside and then rushed to the Depok area and buried there, in Keramat village, Kabayunan sub-district, Tapos district, Depok city.

According to information developed in Java, the head of JP. Coen from Batavia was brought to Yogjakarta, the center of the Mataram government and then buried on the steps leading to the tombs of the Javanese kings in Imogiri.

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