Originally Posted by Dalriada
Yes business as usual. Perhaps looking forward Amalia will inject some human compassion with her Latin blood. Just putting that out there? Hopefully Amalia will state something about Indonesia and the atrocities of the Dutch empire emphatically and not just about Indonesia?
The King has expressed his excuses for the atrocities in the period 1945-1949. Not for the whole colonial period. Even these excuses has earned him irritation and criticism at home. This is the first time in his 7 years long, spotless, kingship that caused criciticism. And no, not from the Opposition, but from within the Coalition itself.
Constitutionally the King is covered by the Premier and the Minister of Foreign Affairs: both took the King's excuses for their political responsibility. But within the Coalition parties there is doubt if the King's words were indeed checked-double checked with the Premier.
Why did the King hit an open nerve? In the period 1945-1949 the KNIL (Royal Netherlands-Indies Army) had 40.000 professional military and no less than an added 200.000 (!) conscripts were sent to the East-Indies to fight the rebellion against Dutch rule.
These 200.000 had no choice. They were conscripts. 17, 18, 19 years old from Brabant, Friesland, Holland, Zealand etc and never ever been so far over sea, to the East Indies.
There were absolutely atrocities: 100.000 Indonesians were killed in these 4 years vs "only" 6.000 Dutch military. The King's excuses were felt as if the Dutch military were war criminals, which led to angered veterans in various programs: "I only served Queen and Fatherland!" or "I did not ask for anything. I became 17 and they put me a gun in the hand I was sent to the East Indies!" There were veterans demonstratively throwing away their honours.
Their main painpoint: why did the King offer his excuses but the other side remained silent? In the period 1942-1945 the East-Indies were occupied by the Japanese. This was a horror for the Dutch, whom were locked up in hellish concentration camps, many died due to torture, neglect, starvation and diseases.
When the East-Indies were liberated in 1945 and Dutch rule restored, now Indonesian rebels chased the Dutch and did the same: they locked the Dutch in former Japanese camps. Again under hellish conditions and again many died due to torture, neglect, starvation and diseases.
This "Bersiap" period led to the death of 35.000 civil Dutch, and "half Dutch" people as well of civilan locals sympathetic to Dutch rule. Indonesia has said no "sorry" for the period 1945-1949. The King did. This has enraged veterans and former East-Indies Dutch residents.