Dutch State refuses compensation for the children of executed Indonesians
The government [compensation] arrangement “The Notice” (De Bekendmaking) remains applicable only to Indonesian widows
Heemskerk, 8 July 2019, By: K.U.K.B.
Reacting to a Socialist Party motion, Minsters Stef Blok (Foreign Affairs) and Ank Bijleveld (Defense) have informed the parliament that they have decide to extend the government [compensation] arrangement (otherwise known as “The Notice”) for Indonesian widows but not to apply it to children of executed Indonesians. The Socialist Party has not brought the motion to a vote, but could do so at any time.
The inspiration for the motion was the visit to the Netherlands of two Indonesian “children” in connection with their lawsuit against the Dutch State. Mr. Andi Monji Monjong (82) and Ms. I. Talle (76) were received in the Dutch parliament by Sadet Karabulut of the Socialist Party (SP) on June 26th. Also present were Sjoerd Sjoerdsma (of the liberal D’66 Party) and Bram van Oijk (Groen Links or “Green Left” Party).
A special sitting was held on Thursday June 27th in the Court in the Hague. The fathers of Monji and Talle were summarily executed by the Special Troop Corps (Korps Speciale Troepen). They testified before the judges about what they saw and heard at the time. At the same sitting, the State appealed a judgment in a rape- and torture case for the first time. The judgment will be handed down on October 1st.
Government Arrangement “The Notice”
Since 2013 there has been another way for Indonesian war victims to get justice outside of the courts. In that year, the Dutch State enacted a special arrangement to provide widows (but not children) the possibility of submitting a claim without the involvement of a judge. If granted, they would receive damages. Children of executed fathers, such as Monji and Talle, were not included in the arrangement, and Ministers Blok and Bijleveld have now made it known that this will remain so.
Regarding the case of these “children,” the government has let it be known they will wait until the judge’s ruling on October 1st. Chairperson of the Foundation for Dutch Debts of Honor Jeffry Pondaag responded: “The state thus hides behind the ongoing legal case despite the fact that “The Notice” is in fact independent of this; the court cases and the arrangement are, as it were, two separate tracks that can lead to justice.” The government arrangement was conceived at the time precisely to circumvent the courts. In regard to this, in an interview with the Dutch news program Nieuwsuur in 2013, [Frans] Timmermans, Minister [of Foreign Affairs] at the time, said “concerning this issue, the principles of damage compensation and apologies should come first (…) I would like the cabinet to come to an arrangement on this all in one go, so that we do not end up in the middle of a complicated debate, again and again, between surviving family members and the state.”
Pondaag: “In practice the good intentions appear to be feigned. Most of the claims submitted via the government arrangement have been rejected. Should I be happy that the arrangement is extended for the widows, while the children are denied their rights? Whether you lose your father or your husband, surely both are equally bad! The state acts as if it is taking responsibility by setting aside 4.1 million euros in funding for the current large-scale research project on 1945-1949. I see no good intentions. I see hypocrisy due to fear of more claims. The Netherlands is eager to maintain an image of a just and democratic country, but it’s really just keeping up appearances.” Pondaag emphasizes that if the government had really wished to compensate the Indonesian victims it would have simply extended “The Notice” to the children.
Jeffry M. Pondaag
Foundation for Dutch Debts of Honor (K.U.K.B., Stichting Comité Nederlandsche Ereschulden)
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