If the school siege and train hijacking by South Moluccan extremists achieves nothing else, it has certainly once again focused world attention on the plight of the expatriate Moluccan community living in the Netherlands.
GV Old temporary housing with new flats in background, Vassen, Netherlands
GV PAN EXTERIOR New housing for South Moluccans
SV South Moluccans walking and standing around near their houses (4 shots)
SVs South Moluccan children playing (3 shots)
CU South Moluccans speaking to reporter
ALEXANDRE: "Gentlemen you are South Moluccans -- what's the main problem for South Moluccans in Holland now?"
SOUTH MOLUCCAN: "To keep out identity."
ALEXANDRE: "Yes. And the Dutch government -- what does the Dutch government do, do they put you aside or do they want to integrate you?"
SOUTH MOLUCCAN: "They want to integrate and assimilate the South Moluccan people in the Dutch, but we didn't want it. We have our own legal status..."
ALEXANDRE: "Which is what -- the status of refugees you mean?"
SOUTH MOLUCCAN: "The status of military -- that's the Royal Dutch Indian Army. So they bring all the Dutch Royal Indian Army to the Netherlands and say they will bring us back to our country, but alas this is now 27 years ago. They didn't do it and what we want and we demand from the Dutch government that's our legal status."
The idea of a separate South Moluccan nation federates to Indonesia has been fostered by the older generation of South Moluccans who have set up a government-in-exile in the Netherlands. But it is the younger generation, most of whom have never see their homeland, who have developed strong militant seal and see themselves as an underprivileged minority. According to some newspaper reports the Dutch government does now admit to mistakes in the past and is more ready to accept that the South Moluccans have legitimate grievances. A government committee has been set up to study their social problems, but this move is not seen as offering much in the way of appeasement to the militants.
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Background: If the school siege and train hijacking by South Moluccan extremists achieves nothing else, it has certainly once again focused world attention on the plight of the expatriate Moluccan community living in the Netherlands. The current terrorist activity almost a carbon copy of a double strike carried out by South Moluccan extremists in December 1975. On that occasion four people died, but the South Moluccans ended up as far as ever from realising their dream of an independent nation.
SYNOPSIS: During the Indonesian war of independence South Moluccan troops remained loyal to the Dutch colonists and not wishing to accept the authority of the new state about 12,000 of them settled in the Netherlands to form a closely-knit community which has since grown to number about 40,000. Many of them are housed on this estate at Vassen, where they resist all efforts at integration. If they leave the makeshift wooden house for permanent accommodation they forfeit government subsidies, so most of them resist re-housing too. It is from the bitterness of alleged broken promises that their extremism has sprung -- as one South Moluccan explained to Visnews reporter Noel Alexandre.