Dutch government refuses damage claim

25th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

In 1947 the Dutch military conducted a massacre in the Indonesian village Rawagedeh.

THE HAGUE—The foundation Committee Dutch Debts of Honour says the Dutch government should apologise and pay damages for the 1947 massacre in the Indonesian village of Rawagedeh. After World War II, the Netherlands carried out two major military offensives in an attempt to defeat the independence movement in its then colony.

The organisation's remarks came after Development Cooperation Minister Bert Koenders offered the village several aid projects. The foundation has rejected the offer as 'arrogant'.

In December 1947, Dutch soldiers entered the village and shot most of the male villagers. The Hague refuses to pay damages because the statute of limitations has expired.

In January Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen visited members of the village at the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta. He expressed “deep regret for the actions that led to the deaths of your family members and others in your village.” The relatives spoke of the event and how their families had died, according to the Ministry.

Verhagen went on to express his “sincere sympathy” for their suffering, and said he would share information from a criminal investigation conducted in the 1990s.

In 2005 the two countries decided to “draw a line under the episode, and waive any claim to damages.”

Radio Netherlands/Expatica

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