The place is called Balongsari today because Rawagade is history. A history though which is not over yet. In that village an atrocity which happened in 1947 continued to haunt the lives of many. And the conscience of a nation that was a colonial power once as well.
Rawagade is a bloodstained name forever both for Indonesians and Dutchmen.
In ’47 the Dutch military, we, murdered over 400 men and boys of the village ( official Dutch documents of that day mention a different, considerably smaller number). Yet till this week the Dutch authorities denied legal responsibility. Which contributed to the fact that the mental scars and open wounds this war crime has caused, didn’t, could not, heal.
In September, after a foundation on behalf of nine surviving relatives fought a legal battle, at long last a Dutch court ordered the Dutch state to pay compensation. The government didn’t appeal fortunately, ultimately admitted responsibility and choose for a (modest) settlement of € 20.000 each.
Continue reading Rawagade, the final chapter?
To state the obvious: Corruption is one of Indonesia’s main problems.
Fortunately the House of Representatives at long last now made it’s pick. And so the most important weapon against this social disease, the KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission ), has a new chief. His name is Abraham Samad.
On the face of it it’s an advantage he to some extent is an outsider from the “system” . He is from Makassar. And, more important, a vigorous person ( mid forties) with a spotless track record. No corruption dirt on his hands. On the contrary. He can boast a history as an anti-graft activist.
Continue reading A Hardliner in Charge
I never lost the hope that some time, some place people would be immune for the ridiculous disease called “celebrities”. You know, guys and dolls whose only reason for existence is that they are famous. Being famous is their 24/7 focus.
However Indonesia in 2011 is not that Utopia of mine, I’m afraid.
Yesterday I read this in the Jakarta Post:
Beckham arrives: Activities at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten,eased momentarily with the arrival of English soccer player David Beckham on Monday morning.
Eh? ‘Ease activities’ ?
Okay a good, once even excellent English football-player, who never was on level with the real wizards Di Stefano, Pele, Matthews, Cruijff, Maradona and Messi though, visits Indonesia.
For God’s sake: so what?????????????????????????????
There was the usual pomp and circumstance. The wedding of the president’s youngest son was a big occasion. Two turtle doves in a very Javanese style whispered yes and had their lifelong bond sealed. Isn’t such an attachment between two young people wonderful?
Most people consider a marriage only a real marriage, if it’s accompanied by a lot of secular and – especially in Hindu, Islam, Jewish and Christian societies- religious rituals and hocus pocus. The overwhelming majority thinks it still is the one and only institution that allows two people to have intimate relations and eventually beget offspring . Especially in places where every second citizen is a voluntary member of the moral police any sex out of wedlock is a no-go area. Officially, publicly.
But what to do if you are male ( or female for that matter) rich, single and hungry? With a choice before you of either starving or forgetting – if only for a moment- about your socially extorted sexual diet.
Continue reading Yes, I do.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future (Niels Bohr).
What does a president do once he is no president any more?
Feeling relieved not to have to deal with the likes of creepy fellow politicians? Perhaps just being a happy, lazybones unemployed? Or do some gardening perhaps? Not to mention fishing. Hanging out with old friends maybe? Playing with the grandchildren? Well, most likely most of them will have a new career – say a singer, a crooner Java-style.
Many options, but not for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. His dream is different. He wants to be a futurologist after 2014. Even better: he would like to start a club of futurologists.
Continue reading SBY & the Future