Soegoro Atmoprasodjo, the First Person to Introduce Indonesian Nationalism in Papua

goodmorningpapua.com – Reporting from historia.id, on October 23, 1923, Soegoro Atmoprasodjo was born in Yogyakarta. He is a teacher who embeded nationalism in his students in Papua.

Soegoro Atmoprasodjo was born in Yogyakarta, October 23, 1923. He was active in Ki Hadjar Dewantara’s Taman Siswa and was an activist for the Indonesian Party.

At the beginning of the Japanese occupation, the Dutch government brought him to Australia. After the Japanese lost, he was brought back to Papua and worked at the Civil Service School. Soegoro’s way of instilling Indonesian nationalism in his students included introducing the anthem Indonesia Raya and forming political discussion groups.

In various discussions, he tries to convince his students that they are part of Indonesia which has diversity like Papua which comes from many tribes. To his students, he emphasized that unity was the main key to break away from the Dutch colonial power. His efforts paid off.

According to Suyatno Hadinoto in the Fire of the Struggle for the Liberation of West Irian, Soegoro then formed an underground movement to oppose the Dutch government. The movement was called IRIAN (Join the Republic of Indonesia Anti-Netherlands).

Soegoro planned a rebellion by involving students in the city of Nica and members of the Papuan battalion including Corinus Krey, Marcus Kaisiepo, Lukas Rumkoren, Lisias Rumbiak, Frans Kaisiepo, and two people from Sumatra, namely Sutan Hamid Siregar and Aran Panjaitan.

Soegoro also invited former Heiho soldiers, most of whom came from Sumatra and Java. The plan for the rebellion was caught by the Dutch government. Approximately 250 former Heiho were arrested. Soegoro imprisoned in Hollandia (Jayapura)

In prison, Soegoro again planned two rebellions in July 1946 and January 1947, which involved Marthen Indey, Corinus Krey, Bastian Tauran, eleven Ambonese who worked as repairmen, soldiers from the KNIL (Royal Dutch East Indies Army), members of the Papuan battalion, and 30 youths. Papua originating from around Lake Sentani.

The plan failed because a member of the Papuan battalion leaked it to the Dutch government. The Dutch government arrested and interrogated the rebels. Several perpetrators were released, but Soegoro was sentenced to 14 years, initially in Hollandia and then transferred to the Tanah Merah prison, Merauke

In 1950, Soegoro returned to Indonesia and worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Towards the return of Papua to the Republic of Indonesia, Soegoro became the Indonesian delegation with a position as an advisor in the UNTEA transitional government (United Nations United Nations Temporary Executive Authority). His Papuan sons then referred to Soegoro as the father of Irian.

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