Although Lampung Province before March 18th, 1964, was administratively a part of South Sumatera, Lampung Province, just before Indonesia was declared independent, had shown a great potential and had its own cultural pattern that could add to their repertoire of traditional culture in Indonesia. Therefore, in the era of Dutch colony, Lampung region was not separated from the target of Dutch colonist.
When Banten was under the command of Sultan Agung Tirtayasa (1651-1683), Banten managed to become a center of trade that competed with VOC(Vereenigde Ootindische Compagnie) in the waters of Java, Sumatera and Maluku. Sultan Agung in an effort to widen his territory experienced an obstacle attempted by VOC, which had entrenched in Batavia. The son of Sultan Agung Tirtayasa named Sultan Haji was entrusted to replace the position of his Banten sultanate crown.
The glory of Sultan Banten had made VOC angry. Therefore, VOC kept on trying to rule out Banten Sultanate. In the end, VOC succeeded in persuading Sultan Haji to fight his father Sultan Agung Tirtayasa. In his fighting against his father, Sultan Haji asked VOC to back him up, promising that he would hand over his territory in Lampung to VOC. Finally on April 7th, 1682, Sultan Agung Tirtayasa was forced to step down and Sultan Haji was appointed Sultan Banten.
Of talks between VOC and Sultan Haji, Sultan Haji issued a charter on August 27, 1682, that contained among other things a clause saying that the trade control of spices on Lampung regency was handed over to VOC, which automatically gained a trade monopoly on Lampung.
READ: HISTORY OF KIYAI AGUNG ASNAWI BANTEN
READ: HISTORY OF KIYAI AGUNG ASNAWI BANTEN
On August 29, 1682, a convoy of VOC’s armada and Banten dropped anchor in Tanjung Tiram. The armada was headed by Vander Schuur who showed a credential from Sultan Haji. Vander Schuur’s first attempt turned out to be fruitless and he didn’t get spices that he looked for. It seemed that the direct trade between VOC and Lampung failed because not all possessors in Lampung did obey Sultan Haji who was allied with VOC. Even, Lampung possessors still recognized Sultan Agung Tirtayasa as Sultan Banten.
Meanwhile, VOC doubted if Lampung was under the command of Sultan Banten. Only then did VOC know that the command over Lampung was not absolute.
Placement of Sultan Banten’s representative in Lampung often mentioned as “Jenang” or sometimes called Governor was only done in order to take care of pepper trades. In fact, Lampung rulers spread over the remote villages and towns called “Adipati”. Hierarchically, Lampung rulers were not under direct command of Governor. So, Sultan Banten’s command on Lampung was only on coastal areas to monopolize the flow of agricultural products, especially pepper. It was clearly understood that Banten-Lampung relationship was only to help each other in terms of trade.
When Raffles ruled in 1811, he occupied Semangka area and did not want to hand over Lampung to Dutch colonist because Raffles thought that Lampung was not a Dutch’s colonial area. Only after Raffles had left Lampung, was Dutch Resident appointed for Lampung.
In 1817, the position of Radin Inten was stronger; therefore, the Dutch colonist felt worried and sent a small expedition headed by Assistant Resident resulting in an agreement that:
1. Radin Inten received financial support from Dutch amounting to f 1.200 a year.
2. Radin Inten’s brothers got respectively f.600 a year.
3. Radin Inten was not allowed to enlarge his territory except villages in his command.
However, this agreement was not obeyed by Radin Inten and he still fought the Dutch. Because of this, the Dutch ordered Leliever to catch Radin inten, who succeeded in killing Leliever and his troops. Dutch did not do anything about the death of Leliever, as it was busy fighting Diponegoro (1825-1830). In 1825, Radin Inten passed away and was replaced by his son Radin Imba Kusuma.
After Diponegoro war was over in 1930, Dutch attacked Radin Imba Kusuma in Semangka region, then in 1833 Dutch also attacked the fort of Radin Imba Kusuma but failed to occupy it. Only in 1834, after Assistant Resident was replaced by Dutch military officer, was Radin Imba Kusuma’s fort successfully occupied.
Radin Imba Kusuma had to run away to Lingga region but was arrested by Lingga residents and handed over to Dutch, which then isolated Radin Imba Kusuma in Timor Island.
Meanwhile, the people of Lampung in remote areas still fought Dutch which later used subtle tactics by giving out prizes to leaders of the people of Lampung who fought Dutch but to no avail. Not feeling safe, Dutch formed mercenary soldiers consisting of Lampung people themselves to protect Dutch’s interest in Teluk Betung and its surroundings. Radin Inten II, a son of Radin Imba Kusuma still continued to fight Dutch colonist. In the end, Radin Inten II was arrested and killed by Dutch troops who came from Java to catch Radin Inten II.
Since then, Dutch started to step his foot in Lampung. Such plantations as coffee, rubber, tobacco and palm oil ware developed. In 1913, to support deliveries of plantation products, Dutch had railways built from Telukbetung to Palembang.
Toward the era of Independent Day on August 17th, 1945, and post period of physical fighting, Lampung youth participated and felt how bitter it was to fight against cruel Dutch colonization. As mentioned earlier that in 1964 Lampung Residence was upgraded to become first level province of Lampung.
Source: Official website: lampungprov.go.id