Netherlands to apologise for 1947 Indonesia massacre

5th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Dutch government will formally apologise to Indonesia for the Dutch army's 1947 executions of scores of people, the foreign ministry said Monday.

Dutch troops fighting to retain Indonesia as a colony swept into the Javan village of Rawagede and carried out the mass executions. Dutch officials say 150 people were killed, but a support group says the death toll was 431.

In September, a Hague-based court ruled in favour of seven widows and a survivor of the massacre in the village east of Jakarta, known today as Balongsari. An eighth widow in the case died earlier.

The Netherlands agreed to pay 180,000 euros ($242,000) total in compensation.

"The Dutch ambassador to Indonesia will on Friday 9 December apologise in the name of the Dutch government for what happened," foreign ministry spokesman Aad Meijer said, adding that the ambassador would address residents during a ceremony in the village.

"I hope these (apologies) will help parents close this difficult episode in their lives," Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said in a statement.

The Netherlands has previously expressed regret over the killings and their illegality, but never formally apologised.

© 2011 AFP

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