RNW Press Review - Tuesday, 22 April 2008

22nd April 2008, Comments 0 comments

Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

22 April 2008

Authorities aware of 1977 hijack
Trouw reports that an investigation by two historians has shown that the Dutch authorities were aware that Moluccan activists were planning to hijack a train in 1977.

The train was eventually seized on 23 May 1977. Special forces ended the hijacking on 11 June, six hijackers and two passengers were killed during the operation. Activists agitating for independence for the South Moluccas carried out the hijacking.

The islands, like the rest of the Indonesian archipelago, were once ruled by the Dutch but came under Indonesian rule when Jakarta declared itself a single republic instead of a federal state in 1950.

The South Moluccas attempted to declare independence and Moluccan members of the Dutch armed forces in Indonesia waged a bloody 17-year civil war. Moluccans serving with the Dutch forces were brought to The Netherlands but continued to agitate for an independent republic in the South Moluccas.

The official version of the 1977 hijacking says that the internal security service and the national police investigative unit were unaware of the hijack plans.

However, historians who combed the archives revealed the police and the security agency had several telephone taps in place, had the head kidnapper under surveillance and had also managed to put two infiltrators into the Moluccan community in The Netherlands.

The historians concluded the hijackers managed to take control of the train because the police and the security services failed to co-operate or coordinate their operations.

We want smoking allowed
AD reports that a group of cafe owners are going to court in an attempt to be exempted from a Dutch law banning smoking in bars, cafes and restaurants as of 1 July.

The anti-smoking law is designed to protect personnel working in such establishments but the cafe owners say they should be exempted as they are owner-operators and do not have any personnel that need protecting.

Twenty cafes and three pro-smoking clubs have formed a coalition to fight the anti-smoking law. A member of the smoker's rights organisation said, "We call on anybody who agrees with us to come and join us".

[Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica]

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