Dutch mull settlement in 1947 Indonesia executions
Dutch authorities are discussing a possible settlement with families of victims executed by Dutch colonial troops in an Indonesian village in 1947, a foreign affairs spokesman said Wednesday.
"The (Dutch) state opened discussions yesterday (Tuesday) with the lawyer representing the relatives to see if a settlement can be reached," Job Frieszo told AFP.
In September, a Hague-based court ruled in favour of seven widows and a survivor of the massacre at the village of Rawagedeh east of Jakarta, known today as Balongsari. An eighth widow in the case died earlier.
The court said the Dutch state was liable for executions during an operation to root out a suspected independence fighter during Indonesia's war of independence and ordered that the victims' relatives be compensated, but it did not set down an amount.
Asked about a possible amount Frieszo said: "No, no, the discussions are still in an early stage."
The talks was a result of the court's decision, he added.
Although the Dutch government in the past expressed "deep regret" over the conduct of some of its troops in pre-independence Indonesia, it has never formally apologised for any excesses including the massacre at Rawagedeh.
Dutch authorities say 150 people died in the atrocity while a victims' association claims 431 lost their lives.
Indonesia's former colonial masters, the Dutch colonised the Asian country from the early 17th century. Indonesia gained independence in 1949.
© 2011 AFP