Dutch apology, a call for World reconcilation



By Kelvin EsiasaThe recent apology issued by the Dutch government is a reminder to all former colonial masters that their former colonies have awakened  and  were ready to take their former masters to task.

Many former colonies have now realized that their backwards in development were not by mistake, but it was due to colonial cruelty and greediness by colonial masters.

The son and daughters of the former colonies have realized that they needed to get what belonged to them since they had been subjected to a lot of mistreatment and humiliation.

The Netherlands have apologized for mass killings carried out by its military in Indonesia’s war for independence six decades ago. The Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia, Tjeerd de Zwaan, made the apology for the massacres during a ceremony at the Dutch Embassy in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

The Dutch government had previously apologized and paid some compensation to relatives of those killed in particular cases, but it has never before offered a general apology for all summary executions.

One of the worst atrocities during the Netherlands’ operation was performed in the village of Rawagede in West Java, where Dutch troops killed up to 430 boys and young men on December 9, 1947.
Netherland is the third country this year to apologize after British and Australia governments.

Britain apologized to Kenyans, British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced the compensation payments averaging about $5,700 for each of the 5,228 claimants in Parliament, acknowledging that the victims were tortured and abused by the colonial administration.

While Australia apologized to indigenous people, the government moved a motion of Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples with specific reference to the Stolen Generations.

The Prime Minister described it as an occasion for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence in the future.

Cruelty and human degradation were very prevalent with colonial administration in Africa, Asia and South America. There are  several reports mainly in Africa that still remain unexplained on how the colonial  governments mistreated the nationals of these countries during colonial days.

One such a story is the case for Patrice Lumumba. The world up to now still wonders what really happened to Lumumba before death. In Zimbabwe,  there were  horror stories of how the British government mistreated the Zimbabweans.

There were reports that the colonial masters used to kill nationals that were against colonialism by hanging them on a tree in market places.

Other reports also records that colonial governments killed  national that were resistant  by tying them  to a moving vehicle and run the body  around the compound in order to stop other nationals from uprising. Many Africans cry when they recount the horror of colonialism.

Colonial cruelty has left a bad picture on the African continents, some countries up to now were still recovering from this cruelty. Many African countries are still leaping from colonial mistreatment.
Many African countries up to now were still struggling to find the path for national development only because of the greediness by the British government at the time they were governing Zambia.

The colonial master robbed the resources and channeled all these resources to London. Nigeria, Zimbabwean, Uganda, Kenya and Congo DR have failed to unite their countries because of the divisions that colonial masters left behind. Colonial cruelty did not only rob nations, but  it also destroyed many families. Many families were living in abject poverty because their breadwinners were murdered by colonial masters.

So, the apologies from the Dutch government to Indonesia should be welcomed by Indonesians. This apology should influence countries like Britain, France, Portugal, Belgium and all colonial masters to go back to their colonies and say sorry.

The former colonial powers should also come out in the open and renounce their wrong deeds against they committed during colonialism. They should also come out and confess that colonialism was a criminal act against the indigenous people.

A new page of reconciliation and forgiveness should be opened so that families and nations that were brutalized during colonialism could walk with a clear conscious. This would also help a number of individual applaud peace sentiments from Britain and its allies against people who were mistreating their own citizens.

In addition, they should also develop lifetime compensation packages that would help former colonies to development. These compensation packages should be different from their usual aid packages. This would help the former colonies to develop good social policies aimed at strengthening their social welfare such as education, Health and education.

Lastly, I wish to say that time has come for all former colonial masters to apologize.

Kelvin Esiasa – President for Zambia society for Public Administration and Society for Family Business.