AN INDEPENDENT MOLUCCAN STATE BY VIRTUE OF THE RIGHT OF SELF – DETERMINATION?
On April 25th 1992, a new Government, the Government of the Republic of the Moluccas in Exile has been formed, with mr. J. SOUNAUWE as PRESIDENT, mrs. J. BERNARD TAMAELA as VICE PRESIDENT and DR hc RANDOLPH DELANO MULLER as AMBASSADOR
This new Moluccan government in exile was formed on the initiative of the Moluccan political organisation “Homeland Mission 1950”. The main aim is to obtain the independence of the Republic of the Moluccas again.
After the transfer of sovereignty from the Netherlands Indies to the United States of Indonesia in December 1949 an internal strive between the Unitarian Group and the federalists began. The Unitarian Group was aimed at a Unitarian state while the federalists stood by the decision made during the round table conference (R. T. C. – treaty) August 3RD – November 2ND 1949; determining that Indonesia will become a federate state. Several federal states joined the Republic of Indonesia, which had the disposal of the strongest military troops. Only the federate state East Indonesia were left over, of which the Moluccas made a part.
On April 25TH 1950, the Republic of South he Moluccas was proclaimed in Ambon, capital city of Republic of the South Moluccas.
The main reason for the proclamation was that the Moluccas people did not want to live in a Unitarian Indonesian state. The Moluccan people were always loyal and had been fighting on the side of Dutch during the decolonization – lasting so many years.
After negotiation between The Republic of the South Moluccas and Indonesia had failed, Indonesia blocked the Moluccas Islands. From July the military attacks started on the young and independent state, and finally, In November 1950 Ambon was definitive occupied.
On the surrounding Moluccas Islands, among others Ceram, the Guerrilla and resistance continued. But as it is very hard to resist under an oppressive power, the struggle for independence continued from the Netherlands.
At first there existed two organisations striving for the Independence of a free Republic of the South Moluccas.
The organisation led by Mr. J. Manusama had focused their policy through the years mostly on social elements of the stay of Moluccan people in the Netherlands. Mr. J.. J. Tamaela lead the other organisation, a government in exile and emphasized the strive for independence on international level, especially at the United Nations in New York. Mr. I. J. Tamaela obtained a concrete result: the African state Benin recognized the Republic of the South Moluccas as an independent state.
Unfortunately, after Mr. I. J. Tamaela died in 1978, his organization was less active in the struggle for independence.
The Government of the Republic of the Moluccas in Exile was formed on April 25th 1992, on the initiative of the Moluccan political organisation “Homeland Mission 1950”, which is a member of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous People.
After many years of attending and participating the United Nations conferences in Geneva from 1985 until present day and making international contacts in New York and Washington, it seemed, focusing the developments in the international community and politics, necessary to form a government.
A major difference between this new government and the above mentioned organisations is, that the new government strives for the independence of the entire Republic of the Moluccas and not only for the territory of the South Moluccas. The Government of the Republic of the Moluccas in Exile emphasizes the fact that the strive for a Free and Independent Republic of the Moluccas should be focused on international politics and the international community.
DOES THE RIGHT OF SELF DETERMINATION PROVIDE A SOLUTION?
Originally the right of self determination as such was not recognized in the United Nations Charter.
However, after World War II, as a consequence of the appeal for decolonization, the principle of self determination which was constituted in the United Nations Charter, now had been developed to the right of self determination, through several resolutions in the Charter of the United Nations.
The right of self determination is constituted among others, in the articles 1, 55, 73 and 76b. The right of self determination may be defined as follows : the right of people, living in a determined territory, to declare the political and juridical status of that territory.
However, this definition does not make very clear to whom the right of self determination is applicable; according to the Charter to the sovereign equality of existing states or the right of a state to choose and determine its own form of government or even the right of a people or territory to choose and determine its own form of government irrespective of the wishes of the state of which the people of territory is part of.
In the first meaning, the right of self determinations is granted to Indonesia; according to the second definition, the Moluccan people can claim the right of self determination. The classical international law recognizes the first definition.
The right of self determination in art. 73 and 76, art.73 *Declaration recognized the second definition of the right of self determination. This can be derived from resolution 1514 (XV) 1960 concerning the Declaration of the Granting people of Independence to Colonial Countries and People/ This resolution interprets art. 73 as follows: “All people have the right to self determination, by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. It is clear that the right of self determination is applicable on trust territories, territories under a mandate and non self governing territories.
The right of self determination may only be practiced without affecting the colonial borders. Since the development of the principle of self determination to a right of self determination seemed to be a solution for the decolonization problem, the realization in the United Nations was developed that the right of self determination might also offer a juridical solution in cases which are not related to decolonization.
Several resolutions of the General Assembly of the United Nations declare that the people of South Africa and the Palestine people have the right of self determination.
From the so called “COB – report”, 1984 you can conclude that there is a development to a different practice of the right of self determination.
The United Nations Sub Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities took the initiative to make this report; explicitly concluding that indigenous people have the right of self determination. This report contains several ways of autonomy, the filling – up of this right is of the people itself.
Another, in 1991 established non governmental organization in the U. N. P. O. (United Nations and People Organization) which offers an international forum to unrepresented nations and people to ask attention for their ideals.
The above outlined developments in the United Nations point to a juridical development which can make an adjudication of the right of self determination beyond the colonial context, possible. This may offer prospects to the strive of a Free and Independent State of Moluccas.
The essence of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous People and the U. N. P.O. may not be underestimated; as a juridical standard mostly is a result of a political anticipation on the changing international community, emphasized by organizations.