Opinion

Letter: Dutch govt did
not colonize RI

n the article on Cendranaya (the Post, Feb. 27), it incorrectly states that Indonesia was ruled by the Dutch from 1619 to 1942.

First of all, Indonesia was not "colonized" by the Dutch government but rather it was unified by the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC).

The VOC was a multinational company that employed fortune seekers and soldiers from Western Europe, as well as soldiers from Africa.

It wasn't until the early 19th century, after the VOC went bankrupt that its possessions were taken over by an unenthusiastic Dutch government.

Then, after the Japanese surrendered in 1945, their soldiers were temporarily conscripted by the Dutch colonial army (KNIL) until reinforcements came and Dutch rule was restored.

Unfortunately, Indonesian history suffers from inexactitudes, since, in reality, Indonesia regained independence in December 1949 after the Voorlopers (or "pelopors" in Indonesian) were cornered in Yogyakarta by the KNIL.

Diederik Zwager
Jakarta

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