Van Bommel welcomes government’s apology to Rawagedeh survivors

6 December 2011

Van Bommel welcomes government’s apology to Rawagedeh survivors

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel has welcomed the government’s promise to offer the Netherlands’ apologies to the survivors of the massacre in the Indonesian village of Rawagedeh, which occurred during Indonesia’s war of independence. In December 1947 Dutch soldiers murdered hundreds of men and boys in the village during so-called policing actions. The soldiers were involved in a manhunt for an Indonesian rebel.

Harry van BommelAmbassador De Zwaan of the Netherlands’ will, during the commemoration on the anniversary of the events of 9th December, 1947 express the apologies. Reacting to the announcement, Van Bommel said: “After years of pressure from the SP we have at last reached this point. I welcome this step from Foreign Minister Rosenthal. Following on the agreement of a settlement with the still living relatives, this decision also represents a step forward.”

It remains necessary to come to terms with the history of the policing actions and with the Netherlands’ colonial past. “This history is a heavy burden on any future cooperation with such a major country as Indonesia, so it’s good to acknowledge wrongs,” Van Bommel adds.

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