Dutch MPs refuse to meet Indonesian massacre victims

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The Dutch politicians visiting Indonesia refuse to meet family members of people massacred by Dutch soldiers in post WWII period who are now suing the Netherlands.

14 October 2008

INDONESIA -- A delegation of Dutch MPs visiting Indonesia has refused to meet family members of people massacred by Dutch soldiers during the so-called police actions in 1947. A total of 431 villagers from Rawagede in western Java were reportedly killed in the massacre. The military operations were intended to bring the Indonesia back under Dutch control after the end of the Japanese occupation.

In September, 10 family members filed a lawsuit against the Netherlands for the killing of their relatives. They want financial compensation, explanations and recognition for their suffering, as announced by their lawyer Gerrit Jan Pulles.

The MPs said they did want to meet them because the case was still before the court. The politicians added they did not want to raise false hopes.

Socialist Party MP Harry van Bommel says there is no trial yet, only a letter sent by the lawyer representing the complainants.

The United Nations condemned the massacre in 1948, calling the killings "deliberate and merciless".

Several years ago, former Dutch foreign minister Ben Bot offered his apologies on behalf of the Dutch government. He expressed his regret over the painful and violent way in which the Netherlands and Indonesia parted company as a result of Dutch military operations.
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

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