|2nd[b] Governor of Central Kalimantan|
30 June 1958[a] – 17 February 1967
|Preceded by||R.T.A. Milono|
|Succeeded by||Reinout Sylvanus|
|Born||2 February 1918|
Kasongan, Katingan, Central Kalimantan
|Died||17 August 1987|
Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan
|Cause of death||Hepatitis|
|Resting place||Sanaman Lampang Palangka Raya Heroes Cemetery|
|Alma mater||Indonesian Air Force Academy|
Anakletus Tjilik Riwut (2 February 1918 – 17 August 1987), more commonly referred to simply as Tjilik Riwut, was an Indonesian journalist, military officer, and politician, who served as the second Governor of Central Kalimantan from 1958 until 1967, as an Independent. He was also a major figure in the Indonesian National Revolution, becoming one of the leaders of the Kalimantan Physical Revolution in Dutch Borneo after the end of World War II, along with Idham Chalid, Hasan Basry, Mohammad Noor, and a number of other decentralized leaders.
Born in Kasongan, Katingan, Central Kalimantan, on 2 February 1987, to a Ngaju tribe family, he completed his elementary school education in his hometown of Kasongan. Then he migrated to Java to continue his studies at the Peraaat School in Purwakarta and Bandung. He became a member of the Central Indonesian National Committee (KNIP), but he later joined the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia (ABRI) and attained the rank of Major and later First Marshal, by fighting the Dutch colonial authorities and leading the first Parachute Operation in the history of ABRI. He also succeeded in fully integrating the Dutch portion of Borneo into Indonesia.
After the recognition of Indonesian sovereignty by the Dutch on 27 December 1949, Tjilik Riwut took part in the regional government of Kalimantan. Becoming the Wedana of Sampit, the Regent of Kotawaringin, the coordinator of isolated tribal communities for the entire interior of Kalimantan, and a member of the People's Representative Council and the Supreme Advisory Council. Tjilik Riwut then became the military governor of the Central Kalimantan region in 1958. During his tenure, he negotiated and protected the region from the Darul Islam and Mandau Talawang Pancasila rebellions. He also mediated the selection of the provincial capital to avoid further conflicts between competing Dayak tribes by choosing the village of Pahandut, which is now Palangka Raya. He officially became the second governor of Central Kalimantan in 1958, but wasn't inaugurated until 23 December 1959.
Following the aftermath of the 30 September Movement, he was forced to resign in February 1967, due to his close association with president Sukarno, whom he was friends with. He died on 17 August 1987 in Banjarmasin due to complications from hepatitis and was buried in Sanaman Lampang Palangka Raya Heroes Cemetery. He was declared an Indonesian National Hero on 6 November 1998. The biggest airport in Central Kalimantan, Tjilik Riwut Airport, is named after him. In 2018, government of Palangka Raya city built a statue of him in the middle of the city.
Tjilik Riwut was born in Kasongan, Katingan, Central Kalimantan, on 2 February 1987. He was born into a Ngaju tribe family, with his father being named Piai Sulang and his mother being named Clementine Suparti. When he was born, both of his eyes were wide open, which was unusual. Leading to his parents giving him the nickname of "Silik," which means "peek." As a child, he grew up in jungles of Kalimantan, and was described as intelligent and resourceful. Once, while playing football, he wore a wooden leg under his trousers to appear taller to play, and injured several of his opponents, who had hit his leg. He often referred to himself as an "orang hutan," which literally translates to "jungle man." He also circled the island of Borneo three times, on foot, by boat, and by raft.
Tjilik attended the Sekolah Rakyat ("People's School"), in his home town of Kasongan, and was placed in the home of a European priest (possibly of Dutch, German or Swiss nationality). When he was in fifth grade, he was assigned by the principal to help teach at the Luwuk Kanan village downstream of Kasongan, with him teaching up to once every week. As a teenager, he left Kalimantan and migrated to Java, to pursue further education. While studying in Java, Tjilik became interested in journalism, eventually becoming a journalist under the guidance of Sanusi Pane at the Pemgoenan Daily. After that, he was entrusted with managing the editorship of Soeara Pakat, a newspaper belonging to the Pakat Dayak association or Sarikat Dayak. Also during this time, he began to get involved in the struggle for independence.
Following the proclamation of independence, he represented tens of thousands of Dayaks, and swore allegiance to the Indonesian government in a customary manner before President Sukarno at the Gedung Agung Yogyakarta on 17 December 1946. He was then sent by the Republican government to Kalimantan, as a member of the Entourage of Government of the Republic of Indonesia ("Rombongan Oetoesan Pemerintah RI"), which aimed to form an armed force in the form of the MN 1001 unit.
Later, when Indonesian Air Force commander Surjadi Surjadarma asked all native Kalimantan Indonesian nationalists to join the air force. Surjadarma wanted to establish a line of communication between Kalimantan and other regions in Indonesia and also to break the Dutch blockade between islands. Tjilik and around 60 other Indonesian nationalists were trained in former Japanese facilities in Maguwo and Wonocatur. However, only 12 were qualified for this mission, which would be the first airborne mission conducted by the Indonesian Air Force, which included Tjilik, who became a military officer with rank major.
The operation failed in its objective to transport native Kalimantan Indonesian nationalists without being caught, and after waging more than a month of insurgency in Kalimantan jungles, all the personnel including Tjilik were arrested and jailed in Banjarmasin. They were eventually released in the aftermath of Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference.
After the recognition of Indonesian sovereignty by the Dutch on 27 December 1949, Tjilik Riwut took part in the regional government of Kalimantan. Becoming the Wedana of Sampit, the Regent of Kotawaringin, the coordinator of isolated tribal communities for the entire interior of Kalimantan, and a member of the People's Representative Council and the Supreme Advisory Council. While being Regent of Kotawaringin, he nationalized the Bruynzeel timber operation.
Tjilik Riwut became the military governor of the Central Kalimantan region in 1958. During his tenure as military governor, he negotiated and protected the region from the Darul Islam and Mandau Talawang Pancasila rebellions, through the implementation of martial law. He also mediated the selection of the provincial capital to further conflicts between competing Dayak tribes by choosing the village of Pahandut, which is now Palangka Raya. He officially became the second governor of Central Kalimantan in 1958, but wasn't inaugurated until 23 December 1959. Becoming the first Dayak governor of Central Kalimantan.
However, following the 30 September Movement and the change of political winds, Tjilik Riwut was labeled as a "Sukarnoist," for his close association with president Sukarno, and he was forced to resign on 17 February 1967. One of his daughters, Ida Riwut, recalled that the transition was accompanied by a number of demonstrations targeting her father.
On 17 August 1987, coinciding with the Independence Day of Indonesia, at 04.55 Central Indonesian Time, Tjilik Riwut died at the age of 69, after being treated at the Suaka Insan Banjarmasin Hospital, in Banjarmasin, due to hepatitis. His body was interred at the Sanaman Lampang Palangka Raya Heroes Cemetery, Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan.
Tjilik Riwut wrote a number of books about the Dayak people from his perspective and experiences during the National Revolution. Most of his books were published by his daughter, Nila Riwut, after his death. Some of his books today are used as an introduction to Dayak culture in Indonesia. These books include :
He was married to Clementine Suparti, and together they had four children. Including Emiliana Enon Herjani, Theresia Nila Ambun Triwati, a Dayak writer, Anakletus Tarung Tjandra Utama, and A. Ratna Hawun Meiarti. He also had a uniquely close relationship with president Sukarno. With him being labeled a "Sukarnoist" during the transition to the New Order. In a 2004 documentary, former governor of North and Central Sulawesi A. A. Baramuli said of him to be "most loved by Bung Karno."