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Jakarta Post

Connecting the dots: Dutch research and court cases

PREMIUM
Rotterdam   /   Thu, February 8, 2018   /  01:09 pm
Connecting the dots: Dutch research and court cases A dark time -- Then Maj. Gen. Soeharto briefs members of the Army’s Special Forces (RPKAD, now Kopassus) prior to the removal of the bodies of the Army generals who were murdered during an alleged coup attempt on Sept. 30, 1965, which was blamed on the now defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). As the most senior military officer available at the time, Soeharto led all the operations to restore security and impose order in the aftermath of the alleged coup attempt. (JP/30 Tahun Indonesia Merdeka)

To understand why the Dutch government has decided to fund a largescale investigation into the Indonesian independence war, we need to acknowledge the political impact of the court cases against the Dutch state. It is extremely naïve to disconnect the two. This investigation may seem like an honest and brave attempt of the Dutch to finally take full responsibility for colonial atrocities. However, the Dutch government has often expressed its wish to forget about the past in order to move on. Without the ongoing pressure of the court cases, the government would have unlikely financed further investigation. Yet, instead of acknowledging the groundbreaking role of KUKB (Committee of Dutch Honorary Debt) chairman Jeffry Pondaag, the project leaders sidelined and ignored him. Why is that? I think this research is only a strategic move to convince the outside world that we, the D...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.