Feature

Dutch apology is long overdue.

The week's news at a glance.

Indonesia

EditorialThe Jakarta Post

It comes 60 years late, said The Jakarta Post in an editorial, but the Dutch recognition of Indonesia’s Independence Day is welcome. A Dutch colony for centuries, Indonesia was occupied by Japan during World War II. After the Japanese surrendered, in 1945, we declared independence on Aug. 17. The Netherlands, though, refused to recognize Indonesian sovereignty and fought to resume control. Only four years later did it finally give up and relinquish all claim to our islands. So the Dutch have always considered Dec. 27, the day in 1949 they renounced sovereignty over what they called “the East Indies,” as our independence day, while we always celebrated the true date, Aug. 17. Finally this year, Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot attended our celebration and expressed “profound regret” for the violence that occurred between 1945 and ’49. While we hate to nitpick, we can’t help but notice that Bot’s apology covers only the Dutch aggression in the 1940s. What about the three and a half centuries before, when Dutch masters “ruthlessly” oppressed the people of this archipelago. “Shouldn’t they apologize for that, too?”

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