Formal apology for colonial era mass killings comes ahead of state visit by the Dutch prime minister to Jakarta.
The Dutch government has formally apologised for the mass killing of Indonesians during colonial occupation which ended in 1949.
The Dutch ambassador in Indonesia, Tjeerd de Zwaan, officially presented the state’s apology at a Jakarta ceremony on Thursday.
“On behalf of the Dutch government I apologise for these excesses,” De Zwaan said,
The Netherlands had already apologised and paid compensation in certain specific cases, but this was the first general apology for atrocities carried out during the colonial era.
“The Dutch government is aware that it bears a special responsibility in respect of Indonesian widows of victims of summary executions comparable to those carried out by Dutch troops in what was then Celebes (Sulawesi) and Rawa Gede (West Java),” De Zwaan added.
Representatives of the victims welcomed the apology.
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