History The Province of Aceh, The Cross Gate of Past Commerce and Culture


INDEPHEDIA.com - The Aceh region is located in the westernmost part of the archipelago, located on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia.

The Aceh region occupies a strategic position as a gateway for trade and cultural traffic that has connected East and West since centuries ago.

Aceh is often mentioned as a stopover for Chinese, European, Indian and Arab traders, thus making the Aceh region the first cultural and religious entry in the archipelago.

In the 7th century Indian traders introduced Hinduism and Buddhism. However, Aceh's role stood out in line with the entry and development of Islam in this area, which was introduced by Gujarat traders from the Arab ranks towards the 9th century.

According to historical records, Aceh is the first place where Islam entered Indonesia and the birthplace of the first Islamic kingdoms in Indonesia, namely Peureulak and Pasai.

The kingdom built by Sultan Ali Mughayatsyah with its capital in Bandar Aceh Darussalam (present-day Banda Aceh) gradually grew.

Its area covers most of the West and East coasts of Sumatra to the Malacca Peninsula.

The presence of this area grew stronger with the formation of the Sultanate of Aceh which united all the small kingdoms in the area.

The Aceh Sultanate reached its peak in the early 17th century, during the reign of Sultan Iskandar Muda.

At that time the influence of Islamic religion and culture was so great in the daily lives of the people of Aceh, that this area earned the nickname "Seuramo Mecca" (Serambi Mecca).

This situation did not last long, because after the death of Sultan Iskandar Muda, his successors were unable to maintain the greatness of the kingdom.

This caused the position of this region as one of the major empires in Southeast Asia to weaken, so that the authority of the kingdom declined and outside influences began to enter.

The Aceh Sultanate became the target of Western nations which was marked by the signing of the London Treaty and the Sumatra Treaty between the British and the Netherlands regarding the arrangement of their interests in Sumatra.

The attitude of the Western nations to control the Aceh region became a reality on March 26, 1873, when the Dutch declared war on the Sultan of Aceh.

This challenge, which is called the 'Sabi War', lasted for 30 years and swallowed up a large number of lives, forcing the last Sultan of Aceh, Twk. Muhd. David to recognize Dutch sovereignty in the land of Aceh.

With this recognition of sovereignty, the Aceh region was officially included administratively into the Dutch East Indies (Nederlansch Oost-Indie) in the form of a province.

Since 1937, the Aceh region turned into a residency until the end of Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia.

The rebellion against Dutch colonialism was still going on to all corners of Aceh.

Then, the war turned against the Japanese who came in 1942. This war ended with Japan's surrender to the Allies in 1945.

During the war for independence, the contribution and participation of the Acehnese people in the struggle was so great that the First President of the Republic of Indonesia, Ir. Sukarno gave the nickname "Capital Region" to the Aceh region.

Since the Indonesian nation proclaimed independence on August 17, 1945 as an independent and sovereign nation and state, Aceh is one of the regions or parts of the Republic of Indonesia as a residency of the Province of Sumatra.

Simultaneously with the formation of the Aceh Residency, based on the Decree of the Governor of North Sumatra Number 1/X dated October 3, 1945, Teuku Nyak Arief was appointed as Resident.

The position of the Aceh region as part of the territory of the Republic of Indonesia has changed its status several times.

During the independence revolution, the Aceh Residency in early 1947 was under the administrative area of North Sumatra.

In connection with the Dutch military aggression against the Republic of Indonesia, the Residency of Aceh, Langkat and Tanah Karo were designated as military areas.

The military area was located in Kutaradja (now Banda Aceh) with the Military Governor Teungku Muhammad Daud Beureueh.

Even though at that time a Military Region had been formed, the residency was still maintained. Subsequently, on April 5, 1948, Law Number 10 of 1948 was stipulated.

The law divides Sumatra into 3 autonomous provinces, namely North Sumatra, Central Sumatra and South Sumatra.

North Sumatra Province includes the Residency of Aceh, East Sumatra and South Tapanuli, led by Governor Mr. S.M. Amen.

In facing the second military aggression launched by the Dutch to control the Republic of Indonesia, the government intends to strengthen defense and security.

At that time, the government issued Decree of the Emergency Government of the Republic of Indonesia Number 21/Pem/PDRI dated May 16, 1949 which concentrated civilian and military powers to the Military Governor.

At the end of 1949 the Aceh Residency was removed from North Sumatra Province and subsequently upgraded to Aceh Province.

Teungku Muhammad Daud Beureueh, who was previously the Military Governor of Aceh, Langkat and Tanah Karo, was appointed Governor of Aceh Province.

Some time later, based on a government regulation in lieu of Law Number 5 of 1950, Aceh Province returned to being a residency as it had been at the beginning of independence.

This status change caused political turmoil which disrupted the stability of security, order and peace in society.
The wishes of the Acehnese leaders and people were responded to by the government so that Law Number 24 of 1956 was issued concerning the re-establishment of the Aceh Province which covered the entire territory of the former Aceh Residency.

With the issuance of Law Number 1 of 1957, the status of the Aceh Province became a Level I Autonomous Region and on January 27, 1957 A. Hasjmy was appointed Governor of Aceh Province. However, the political turmoil in Aceh has not completely ended.

To maintain national stability for the sake of national unity and unity, through Prime Minister Hardi's mission known as Missi Hardi in 1959, discussions were held related to political turmoil, governance and development of the Aceh region.

The results of the mission were followed up with the Decree of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Indonesia Number 1/MISSI/1959.

Since May 26, 1959 the Level I Autonomous Region or Province of Aceh was given the status of "Special Region" with the full designation of the Special Region of Aceh Province.

With this title, Aceh has broad autonomy rights in the fields of religion, custom and education. This status was confirmed by Law Number 18 of 1965.

Various policies in the administration of government in the past that focused on a centralized system were seen as a source for the emergence of injustice in the life of the nation and state, this condition gave rise to upheaval.

The central government responded to this by granting Special Autonomy with the passing of Law no. 18 of 2002 and the Province of the Special Region of Aceh changed to the Province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam.

Then, based on the Regulation of the Governor of Aceh Number 46 of 2009 concerning the Use of Aceh Names and Titles of Government Officials in the Administration of Official Documents in the Aceh Government Environment dated April 7 2009, it is emphasized that the designations of Autonomous Region, Regional Government, Regional Head/Deputy Regional Head, Representative Council Regional People, Nomenclature and Nameplate of the Aceh Government Work Unit (SKPA), Signature Title, Position Stamp and Agency Stamp in the Administration of Official Documents within the Government of Aceh, changed and standardized from the designation/nomenclature "Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam" ("NAD") to designation/nomenclature "Aceh".

This was done while waiting for the provisions in Article 251 of the Law on Governing Aceh which stated that the name Aceh as a province in the NKRI system would be determined by the DPRA as a result of the 2009 elections. (*)

Source: acehprov.go.id

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