Apr 07, 2016

ASNLF General Assembly Confirms Current Leadership

The General Assembly of the Acheh-Sumatra National Liberation Front (ASNLF) was held in The Hague on 25-26 March 2016.  The two-day meeting coincided with the 143rd anniversary of the Dutch government’s official declaration of war against the Kingdom of Acheh on 26 March 1873. The assembly proceedings resulted in several important decisions, aiming to increase ASNLF's activities and further affirming its objectives for the upcoming four-year term. Among other decisions, the Assembly decided to confirm the current leaders, Mr Arrifadhillah and Mr Yusuf Daud, for the 2016-2020 term.

Additionally, the General Assembly also appointed a number of board members to ensure that future leadership efforts continue to increase. Among others, the presence of Abdurrahman Ismail, better known as Gurèë Rahman, as one of the new members in the organizational structure of the ASNLF, is expected to refine the consolidation and reconciliation of the Free Acheh movement within and outside of Acheh.

The General Assembly spanned across two full days, from morning until evening. The process was emotionally involving, democratic, and dynamic, leaving attendees confronted by a myriad of emotions, namely melancholy, happiness, and gratitude. Participants felt sorrow upon contemplation of all the fallen martyrs who defended Acheh over the last 143 years.  Nonetheless, the opportunity to network and form friendships with like-minded colleagues from all over the world, including from Acheh, Canada, Malaysia, the US, and several European countries, proved the assembly to be a fortunate occasion overall.  All of these ASNLF members gathered together for the sole purpose of bringing forth the best solution to redeem Acheh’s forgotten history and achieve a bright future for the homeland.  

The General Assembly was also attended by a number of independent observers consisting of academics based in the Netherlands, activists, and former politicians from a local political party in Acheh. The leadership of the ASNLF is very grateful for the valuable input and contributions shared by these observers.  

A number of important resolutions were passed during the assembly, including the improvement of human resources (HR), recruitment expansion, economic reform, and the emancipation of women in the struggle for independence. ASNLF’s mission for the next four years is to maintain and gradually improve the progress that has already been made towards independence.  

On the third day, March 27th, the delegation visited the Bronbeek Museum in Arnhem, also known as the Museum of the Colonial Dutch East Indies. The museum includes exhibits of sophisticated weapons owned by the Kingdom of Acheh that were seized by Dutch colonizers after the occupation of Kutaraja in 1874.  Presented amongst these weapons is the Meuriam Lada Sitjupak, a gift from an old ally, Sultan Sulaiman of the Turkish Ottoman Empire to the Kingdom of Acheh. 

The ASNLF delegates were amazed, proud, and extremely moved upon seeing the relics of their ancestors. As an example, in a document from the Achehnese - Dutch War, an article states that even after 17 years of continuous warfare, the Netherlands was still only able to hold a 50 square kilometer quadrant of land in Aceh. Never forget!