A mass meeting was held in The Hague, Netherlands, on Friday (25 April), by members of the South Moluccan community, currently living in exile in Holland.
A mass meeting was held in The Hague, Netherlands, on Friday (25 April), by members of the South Moluccan community, currently living in exile in Holland. The meeting was to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the proclamation of their self-styled "Republic in Exile".
The meeting was attended by thousands of people, and a large force of police stood by with armoured cars, helicopters and water cannon to quell any disturbances, as the Moluccans packed a huge exhibition hall to hear speeches by their loaders demanding independence from Indonesia.
Mr. J. A. Manusama, the President of the Government-in-Exile, which claims to represent the homeland -- Moluccans Islands in north-eastern Indonesia -- told his audience that they should never give up their dream of independence. Nevertheless he had to admit that "our situation after 25 years of struggle is more gloom than ever".
Last month the Dutch police arrested 20 Moluccan extremists who were alleged to have been planning to storm the Royal Palace and hold Queen Juliana of the Netherlands hostage, as a gesture to promote their demands for independence.
All together, there are about 35,000 South Moluccans living in the Netherlands.