Chief Leaders of the Achinese In- surgents to Submit. The War in Sumatra Has Cost the Dutch Over $200,000,000 and the Lives of Thousands of Soldiers.


Special Cablegram.
August 24, 1903, Monday

LONDON, Aug. 24 -- Private news from Achin, says the Brussels correspondent of The Times, is to the effect that Panglima Polem and Rajah Keumala, who have been for many years the two chief rebel leaders, will formally submit to the Dutch in the course of the next few days.
This, adds the correspondent, means the end of the war.

The colonial troops of the Netherlands have been at war with the Achins (also called the Atchins or Acheens, but more properly the At the Atjehers) almost continuously since the year 1873.

The cause of the war was the refusal of the Sultan of the Achins to recognize the suzerainty of the Netherlands, over which long negotiations took place. The Sultan sent a secret embassy to the United States diplomatic agent at Singapore to appeal for the military aid of this country, and at the same time he dispatched Commissioners to treat with the Dutch Government.

Encouraged by the hope of aid from Great Britain and the Unidet States, the Sultan rejected the terms offered by The Netherlands. In the meantime he had obtained from British and American merchants great stores of arms and ammunition. His treachery led to the declaration of war against him by the Governor General of the Dutch East Indies.

The war thus begun has cost the Dutch over $200,000,000 and the lives of several thousand soldiers. One expedition after another has been sent to Sumatra, but as soon as the revolt has been apparently crushed it has broken out again. The Dutch have tried by every means to end the war, which has crippled the finances of the Dutch Indies.

They sent a Weyler out to Sumatra, a man who had the blood of the Malays in his veins and who understood their treachery and vindictive cruelty. He was Gen. Karl van der Heyden, who was born and grew up in the East Indies, and who rose from the ranks to be Commander in Chief there. He succeede in imposing an iron rule over the Achinese, but he retired in 1881, and then the revolt broke out afresh and has continued ever since.

The Dutch at last, desperation, retired to small triangular district, with a coast line from the Port of Oleh Le to the fortified poast of Kota Pohama. A military dead line was marked by a rallroad on an embankment, and if a Malay rebel was found inside this line he was shot on sight. Outside the line no Dutch soldiers could go without danger of annihilation.

The Achins number about 2,000,000. They are a dark-skinned race, of small stature, and almost as intelligent as the Filipinos. Before the war began the Sultan lived in typical Eastern state. He had a fleet of 200 vessels and 1,000 elephants. His palace was full a gold and silver objects, and he possessed a remarkable collection of jewels.

His capital was captured by the Dutch, but the Achins then began the guerrilla tactics which they have kept up since. They were, of course, helped by the great enemies of European troops, sunstroke and disease. The pecullar construction of the native villages was also in favor of the insurgents. Owing to the rapid rise of the rivers in Sumatra and the resulting heavy floods the dwelling places of a great number of the natives are moored to piles.

On may an occasion, after some diabolical, treacherous outrage, the Dutch troops would set off on a punitive expedition against some village, only to find, when they arrived at their objective, that the villagers had drifted their dwellings to another quarter, and that it would be impossible to identify them.

Published: August 24, 1903

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