28 Apr 2015
Every year the INS Board grants the Linggarjati Award to a person who outstandingly contributed to the relations of friendship between The Netherlands and Indonesia. Mrs. Joty ter Kulve in 2012 received the first Linggadjati Award as main representative of the Friends of Linggadjati Foundation. In 2013 en 2014 a double award was handed to former Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Bernard Bot and his Indonesian colleague Dr. Hassan Wirajuda.
In 2015 Dr. Wilem van Eekelen, chairman of the INS Board of Trustees, presented the Linggarjati Award to Dr. Arifin Siregar, who in the early nineties of the last century was as Minister of Trade instrumental in unblocking our bilateral relationship. Mr. Aljosja van Dorssen, member of the INS Board, introduced the laureate. See further for the speech of Mr. Van Dorssen.
In his acceptance speech Dr. Siregar reflected: ‘As we are all aware, the relations between the Netherlands and Indonesia date back more than four hundred years. These relations may be characterized as very close but at the same time rather fragile, and have been subjected to various ups and downs. In this unique relationship, seemingly unimportant events can lead to disrupter. It appears useful for us to draw a lesson from the developments in our mutual history in order to avoid a possible breakdown in the future and to maintain and deepen the ties and cooperation between our two nations in the years to come.’
Looking back on the political disrupter in the nineties the key question is: Do we approach each other with mutual respect and equality? One of the important lessons we should draw from the favourable and unfavourable developments in our bilateral relations is, I think, the fact that a personal approach to the relations is of crucial importance. To this end, personal contacts between our two peoples should be enhanced and deepened. See further for the speech of Dr. Arifin Siregar.