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15 Sep, 2013

Dutch apologise 66 years after atrocities – Al Jazeera Blogs

“She is more than 100 years old.” Relatives point at the frail old lady staring blankly from a flowery sofa in her house in Bulukumba in South Sulawesi. When she sees me 93-year-old Nani I find out her real age later starts hugging me. A weird feeling for a journalist from the Netherlands to be comforted by the widow who has suffered all her life for what Dutch troops have done to her husband.

Nani is one of ten widows who have received financial compensation from the Dutch government 66 years after their husbands were executed. The Dutch have apologised for all the summary executions done in Indonesia between 1945 and 1949 in their efforts to stop an uprising against their colonial rule.Under the command of notorious captain Raymond Westerling thousands of people were executed in South Sulawesi between December 1946 and March 1947. Indonesia has claimed as much as 40,000 were killed. Nobody knows the real figure.

Read the rest: Dutch apologise 66 years after atrocities – Al Jazeera Blogs.