Minister Mahendra does not hate the Dutch
Of course in hindsight Yusril Ihza Mahendra did not say it that way. Thursday at a press conference in Jakarta the Indonesian Minister of Justice washed his hands of…
Volkskrant / October 10, 2003 / Door: Michel Maas
However, the minister only told half the truth. In reality Mahendra literally said in an interview with the NOS television: “I am not against the Netherlands. I am against injustice. Because they (the Dutch) are unjust, I hate them.”
The interview was about the atrocities committed by Dutch Captain Westerling in South Sulawesi. According to Mahendra forty thousand Indonesians have been killed. The Netherlands is always talking about human rights but never done investigation to its own misbehaviour, according to Mahendra.
Yet, Thursday he sneered again when he said the Dutch will need a visa when they want to enter Indonesia. As Indonesians also need a visa for the Netherlands.
The statements also caused a little ‘scandal’ in Indonesia. The questions raised by Wilders (VVD) – who wants to recall the ambassador for consultations – were Wednesday already interpreted by the Indonesian correspondent in The Hague as: The Netherlands wants to end the diplomatic relations.
[Dutch] Ambassador Treffers tries to appease the tensions. He sees no reason to raise the alarm. “It is quite known that Mahendra is suspicious about the Dutch intentions. But I do not think that this is the view of the Indonesian government.
To verify Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister De Hoop Scheffer called his Indonesian colleague Hassan Wirayuda. Dutch ambassador Treffers: “I do not know the content of that conversation, but you can be sure that Wirayuda will address Mahendra about what he said.” This will be the end of the discussion thinks the [Dutch] ambassador: “Nobody wants this to become an uneasy situation.”
[Originally published in Dutch. Translated by Marjolein van Pagee. Please send us an e-mail if you think you can improve the translation: email@example.com]