State Sovereignty Enforcement Day in Indonesia Date in the current year: March 1, 2024

State Sovereignty Enforcement Day in Indonesia State Sovereignty Enforcement Day (Hari Penegakan Kedaulatan Negara) is observed in Indonesia on March 1 every year. It was created to commemorate the 1949 Yogyakarta General Offensive that was an important milestone of the Indonesian National Revolution.

Indonesia’s path to independence was long and bumpy. The independence movement in the Dutch East Indies, referred to as the Indonesian National Awakening, began in May 1908, when Wahidin Soedirohoesodo and Seotomo co-founded Budi Utomo, a nationalist society based in Java. Indonesia declared its independence on August 17, 1945, shortly after the end of Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies, but the Netherlands was not ready to let go of its former colony, and so the Indonesian National Revolution began.

The General Offensive of March 1, 1949, also known as the Yogyakarta General Offensive, was a pivotal moment of the Indonesian National Revolution because it played an important role in causing the international community to exert pressure on the Netherlands to transfer sovereignty over the former Dutch East Indies to the republican government of Indonesia.

Following the failure of negotiations with the revolutionaries, the Dutch launched Operation Kraai (Operation Crow) to capture Yogyakarta, the temporary capital of the de facto Indonesian Republic. The offensive began on December 19, 1948, and all Republican troops had withdrawn from the city by the following day. Dutch troops also captured several revolutionary leaders, including President Sukarno, and exiled them to the island of Bangka.

Even though the Dutch took control the Yogyakarta, they could not control the surrounding villages, so Indonesian troops led by General Sudirman continued to wage guerrilla warfare against Dutch troops. In early 1949, sultan of Yogyakarta Hamengkubuwono IX suggested the idea of launching a major offensive to recapture Yogyakarta to General Sudirman, who chose Lieutenant Colonel Suharto to be the field commander of the operation.

Suharto and his troops launched the offensive at dawn on March 1, 1949, catching the Dutch by surprise. They captured the city of Yogyakarta and maintained control over it for six hours before retreating due to the Dutch bringing in reinforcements.

Despite the retreat, the offensive was a success because its main purpose was to show the world that Indonesia was still fighting for its independence and was not ready to surrender. It inspired demoralized Indonesian troops across the country and helped the Indonesian Republic win international support. The pressure from the United Nations eventually led to the withdrawal of Dutch troops from Yogyakarta on June 29, 1949.

March 1 was designated as State Sovereignty Enforcement Day in February 2022. It is not a non-working holiday, but a special observance that aims to celebrate the people who fought for Indonesia’s independence, as well as to strengthen national unity, integrity, and pride. In Yogyakarta, the holiday is marked by parades and other festive events and activities.

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State Sovereignty Enforcement Day in Indonesia, holidays in Indonesia, observances in Indonesia, Yogyakarta Offensive