The Hindu – Brexit is an opportunity for Netherlands-India ties: Alphonsus Stoelinga

Amsterdam aspires to be India’s biggest partner in Europe

Kallol Bhattacherjee

New Delhi, 24 June 2017.  The Netherlands is aspiring to emerge as India’s biggest partner in Europe following the Brexit-related changes taking place in Europe.

Ambassador of the Netherlands Alphonsus Stoelinga said that during the working visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 27, both countries will conclude two deals on water and cultural relations and firm up cooperation for multilateral diplomacy.

“There were a lot of questions over the EU’s (European Union) future after Brexit. But now the EU is relatively better and the Eurosceptics are under control.

Prime Minister Modi will have a personal experience that post-Brexit Europe is good for India-Netherlands ties,” said Mr Stoelinga, explaining that India is the fastest-growing member among the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries and the Dutch remain highly interested in increasing investments into India.

“20% of India’s $ 45 billion trade with the EU passes through the Netherlands.

After Brexit, there is a good possibility that Indian investments in our country will increase and the Netherlands can possibly emerge as an alternative hub of Indian exports and capital in Europe,” said Mr. Stoelinga, speaking to a small group of journalists at his official residence.

During the visit, Prime Minister Modi will meet Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands and will have a working lunch on 27 June. The Dutch leader will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Trade and Development Cooperation and other high-level officials of his team.

PM Modi will have an audience with His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Maxima.

Mr Stoelinga also indicated that his country’s support to India’s attempts for export control regimes will continue.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/brexit-is-an-opportunity-for-netherlands-india-ties/article19136690.ece

Dawn – Kulbhushan Jadhav case: ICJ rejects India’s request for six-month time to submit response

Haseeb Bhatti

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has rejected India’s request to delay proceedings for Kubhushan Jadhav’s case until December and ordered India to submit a response by September 13, Attorney General (AG) Ashtar Ausaf Ali said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters in Islamabad, Ali said that the court’s registrar had informed Pakistan through its consulate in Netherlands of the development.

“The ICJ has written a letter to Pakistan informing us of their decision,” the attorney general said.

India had asked the ICJ to offer them time till December to file pleadings in the Jadhav case, however, “the court has dismissed their request,” the AG added.

“India had adopted the stance that the matter was one of life and death, but Pakistan had stated that the ICJ is not a court of appeals.”

The attorney general further pointed out that the world tribunal was supposed to decide on giving the convicted spy consular access. “The ICJ is supposed to conclude whether or not Jadhav can receive consular access, for which a time period of two to three months is more than enough to file a response.”

Sources privy to the information noted that Pakistan will submit its response to the ICJ in December, while the court proceedings will begin in January 2018.

In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench at The Hague restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav, who India claims is a retired naval officer.

Jadhav case

The UN’s top court had announced its ruling on May 18 regarding an urgent bid by India to stop Pakistan from executing a death sentence for Jadhav, one of its nationals convicted of spying and subversive activities in Pakistan.

Rejecting Pakistan’s argument that the court did not have jurisdiction in the matter, the court reasoned it could hear the case because it involved, on the face of it, an alleged violation of one of the clauses of the Vienna Convention, which both Pakistan and India ascribe to and whose interpretation falls under its purview.

“[Meanwhile] Pakistan should take all measures to ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed till the final decision of this court,” the court said at the time.

The court also said Pakistan should inform it of all measures taken in implementation of the order.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1339754/jadhav-case-icj-rejects-indias-request-for-six-month-time-to-submit-response

The Hindu – Dutch accused stymies efforts at justice for murdered British tourist

Doctors term De Wit mentally unwell; lawyers say he is manipulating judiciary

Peerzada Ashiq

Srinagar, 10 June 2017. The trial in the 2013 murder of 25-year-old British tourist Sarah Groves, has been stalled once again with lawyers and doctors divided on the condition of the accused, Richard De Wit from the Netherlands.

De Wit, 47, has been accused of stabbing Sarah Groves over 40 times on the intervening night of April 5- 6 in 2013 in a houseboat belonging to her boyfriend, Saeed Ahmad Shoda.

After 93 scheduled hearing the case remains inconclusive.

A team of psychiatrists, who examined De Wit on April 12 and April 15, 2013 were convinced that he was mentally unstable. The medical records, accessed by The Hindu, diagnose him with “paranoid schizophrenia with substance misuse”, “delusional disorder with substance misuse” or paranoid personality with substance misuse.

“The diagnosis is provisional and needs to be confirmed by corroborative history (from Netherlands),” the doctors said.

Courts misled

However, legal experts disagree and contend that De Wit is an extremely clever criminal who is exploiting the system to his advantage.

“De Wit is playing with the court. Many lawyers have failed to earn his confidence all these years. He bothers judges in the court. He is so particular about every detail, especially money matters. He is extraordinarily clever. He knows what he is doing,” lawyer Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, amicus curiae in the case, told The Hindu.

In his latest instance of refusal to cooperate with the courts, De Wit last week began a hunger strike and has stopped taking medicine for his psychiatric condition, seeking immediate hospitalisation at the Government Psychiatric Diseases Hospital in Srinagar.

Chequered past

According to the statement recorded by doctors after the murder, De Wit was married to a Thai woman with whom he had two children “but was unemployed and on disability benefits”. He was allegedly a member of a right-wing party in the Netherlands and elected as a councillor and served as such for three years.

“He first ran away to Switzerland then to Kenya, where he started a relationship with a Kenyan national, who after five weeks claimed that she was pregnant. But Mr Richard said he could not father a child as he was being poisoned by the Dutch government for quite some time, which had rendered him impotent,” the report said.

He later left for Tanzania and then travelled to Malawi, Mozambique, Harare, Dubai and Nepal before reaching Srinagar. His passport corroborates this time line.

Apparently delusional, he told doctors that the Dutch government “continues to monitor and follow him and engage spies from his friends and relatives to keep a watch”.

On the fourth day of his Srinagar stay, De Wit met the victim Sarah Groves for the first time on the New Beauty houseboat. “He believed she might have been a part of plot and the Dutch government might have hired her to keep an eye on him. He admitted using cannabis and heroine during the stay,” the report says.

He also insisted that he “would not be given a fair trial in his country” and would be “sentenced even if proved not guilty”.

The Dutch government has denied following him.

An online campaign for justice for the victim, run her family and friends has called into question the whole.

After the hearing on Thursday, with De Wit’s latest obstruction, the family wrote: “…there have been many occasions when the trial has been called into question and could have totally collapsed. Many times, we have said ‘Can it possibly reach a safe conclusion?’.

Along the way there have been many factors that made us think that way, Richard de Wit’s physical and mental health being one of them. Current indications, once again, must call the trial into question in its current form. The consequences for us as a family of the trial collapsing are very serious indeed.”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dutch-accused-stymies-efforts-at-justice-for-murdered-british-tourist/article18957060.ece?homepage=true

The Times of India – Pakistan’s plea for rehearing of Kulbhushan Jadhav case may cut no ice with ICJ

Sachin Parashar

New Delhi, 22 May 2017. While Pakistan is said to have sought a rehearing by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, it is unlikely that this will in any way lead to an annulment, or even dilution, of the interim relief already granted to India.

Acknowledging that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), the ICJ had stayed the execution of Jadhav until the time it delivered its final judgement in the case.

If Pakistan challenges the jurisdiction of the Court, the ICJ may want to address its petition through separate hearings before looking further into the case made by India.

This, however, in no way will affect the provisional measures already granted, including the stay on Jadhav’s execution.

According to experts though, Pakistan could invoke Article 76 of the Rules of ICJ which says that at the request of a party the Court may, at any time before the final judgment in the case, revoke or modify any decision “concerning provisional measures if, in its opinion, some change in the situation justifies such revocation or modification”.

The same rule also says though that any application proposing such a revocation or modification shall specify the relevant change in the situation and that before taking any decision, the Court shall provide both parties opportunities to present their observations.

“For the Court to revoke or modify its provisional measures, it must be satisfied that the situation that warranted the indication of provisional measures has changed and the provisional measures are no longer necessary in light of new facts or developments identified by Pakistan,” said Geneva based international lawyer Shashank Kumar, a former law clerk at ICJ.

For example, he said, Pakistan could offer a unilateral assurance to the Court, which it did not at the initial hearing, that it will not execute Jadhav until the Court issues its final judgment.

“It would be for the Court do decide whether, considering the exact scope of Pakistan’s promise, provisional measures may no longer necessary,” added Kumar. Apart from that unilateral assurance which Pakistan could contemplate giving, there really hasn’t been any development, or disclosure of any new fact, which Islamabad could use to claim a change in situation.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pakistans-plea-for-rehearing-of-kulbhushan-jadhav-case-may-cut-no-ice-with-icj/articleshow/58794155.cms

The Hindu – Big win for India and human rights: Attorney-General

Special Correspondent

New Delhi, 18 May 2017. Attorney-General of India Mukul Rohatgi on Thursday described the International Court of Justice’s stay on execution of retired naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav as a “big win for India and human rights”.

Mr Rohatgi, speaking to the media, said Mr Jadhav does not risk death penalty as the World Court would hear the case decisively on merits and reach a final decision.

No consular access

The government’s topmost law officer said the International Court of Justice assumed jurisdiction after being prima facie satisfied that India’s case about the lack of proper notification of Mr Jadhav’s arrest and denial of consular access to the detainee proved that the case came under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

The ICJ unanimously and clearly overcame the obstacle of the 2008 bilateral agreement raised by Pakistan to challenge India’s case in the ICJ and the World Court’s jurisdiction by invoking Article 36 of the Convention and how a human life was put at stake by denial of consular access.

One of the judges on the Bench, Judge Caccado Trindade called the order as a move towards the “humanisation of international law”.

Lives at risk

In his concurring opinion, Judge Trindade points to how though only states approach the World Court, these states move the ICJ because individual rights and probably lives are at stake.

The Attorney-General said the whole world knew there was no proper trial before the military court pronounced the death sentence for Mr Jadhav.

The order comes as a big relief not only for Mr Jadhav’s family but also the whole nation.

Mr Rohatgi said the order was binding on both India and Pakistan.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/big-win-for-india-and-human-rights-ag/article18492379.ece

The Times of India – Pakistan’s arguments in ICJ inconsistent, says India

Dhananjay Mahapatra

Den Haag/The Hague-The Netherlands, 17 May 2017. India said Pakistan’s arguments on Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday were “contradictory” and “inconsistent” on facts and on legal aspects, failing to meet the points raised by Harish Salve for a stay on Jadhav’s execution.

Sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court, India had rushed to the international court on May 9 and got its president to write to Pakistan not to alter the status quo till it heard both countries on the interim relief sought by New Delhi.

During the arguments, India, through Harish Salve, pointed to gross violation of the Vienna Convention by denial of consular access to Jadhav+ and the sham investigation and trial.

Sources told TOI that Pakistan’s response was muted to most of the allegations made by India.

“Harish Salve showed that Pakistan had granted conditional access to Jadhav by linking this case to an unrelated issue. But during the argument, Pakistan said the convention did not apply to spies of one country arrested by the other and this had been agreed to in a bilateral agreement.

Only one fact could be correct, either access to Jadhav could be granted, conditional or otherwise, or it was barred. Both cannot be true,” a source said.

When India expressed concern over Jadhav’s impending execution, Pakistan’s counsel argued that it was a red herring as the law provided for 150 days clemency period for any condemned prisoner in the country, the source said.

“However, Harish Salve rightly pointed out that on the one hand Pakistan was citing the legal provision prescribing the clemency period available to Jadhav, while on the other hand, it kept reiterating that the country would take stringent steps to punish spies from enemy countries,” the source further said.

Pakistan also cited non-establishment of Jadhav’s identity as an Indian national as the reason for denial of consular access to him.

However, Harish Salve showed the international court’s bench a copy of the FIR that was registered against Jadhav describing him as a former commander of the Indian Navy. “Harish Salve asked how there could be any confusion about Jadhav’s identity,” the source said.

Instead of squarely addressing the points made by India, Pakistan attempted to project before the international court that it was a victim of India-sponsored terrorism.

“But the ICJ bench rejected Pakistan’s request to play the video containing Jadhav’s alleged confessional statement,” the source said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pakistans-arguments-in-icj-inconsistent-says-india/articleshow/58707940.cms

Dawn – Pakistan tells ICJ Jadhav confessed he is an Indian spy

UN’s top court says it will publicly deliver decision on whether to grant an emergency stay of execution ‘as soon as possible’

The Hague (Den Haag), 16 May 2017. Pakistan on Monday told the UN’s top court that an Indian national arrested on its soil had confessed to having been sent by Delhi to “wage terror” on innocent civilians and its infrastructure after India attempted to save the life of Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Mohammad Faisal, from the foreign affairs ministry, said the tribunal had been shown a video of the confession which was available online “for viewers to decide for themselves whether commander Jadhav is confessing voluntarily”.

Mr Faisal also showed the International Court of Justice (ICJ) an image of a passport found in Jadhav’s possession bearing a different and Muslim name Hussein Mubarak Patel.

“India has been unable, or perhaps unwilling, to provide an explanation for this passport which is the most obvious indication of covert and illegal activity,” he said.

Mr Faisal told judges that instead of imposing emergency measures, they could schedule a hearing on the merits of the case within six weeks.

India has denied however Jadhav was a spy, and last week lodged a protest at the ICJ accusing Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna convention”.

Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan in March 2016 and in April this year, a military court sentenced him to death. Pakistan has said the conviction and sentence remain open to appeal.

“India believes that the farcical nature of the proceedings and unjust trial by a Pakistan military court… has led to a serious miscarriage of justice,” said Deepak Mittal, an official at India’s external affairs ministry.

The case is likely to take months or years to resolve, so India is asking the ICJ immediately order Pakistan to “take all measures necessary” to prevent Jadhav’s execution pending the final outcome.

The court’s president already has written to Pakistan, urging it to take no action that could affect the hearing of the Indian request to prevent the death sentence.

Pakistani counsel Khawar Qureshi informed the court that India had concealed facts during the hearing in an attempt to secure the stay order against the death sentence awarded to Jadhav for carrying out subversive acts in Pakistan.

He said the court was not apprised that Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan and that he possessed double passports and birth certificates.

He argued that every country had undeniable right to punish the terrorists and the ICJ could not intervene in criminal cases.

Mr Qureshi said the Indian application for stay order was full of errors and distorted facts, besides hiding information and proofs shared with India on Jadhav’s arrest.

He termed the Indian claim that it was denied consular access baseless.

The counsel maintained the case related to the sovereignty of Pakistan and thus did not fall in the purview of the ICJ.

Pleading the court to reject the appeal, Khawar Qureshi said under the Vienna Convention, the jurisdiction of the ICJ was limited.

India claims Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, where he was carrying on business after retiring from service.

But Khawar Qureshi shot back that Jadhav “is a terrorist” and New Delhi’s story was “far-fetched at best”.

“India invoked the jurisdiction of this court improperly,” he said. “This court exists to ensure that states engage in peaceful resolution of disputes. This court does not exist for time-wasting and political grandstanding.”

ICJ president Ronny Abraham said the tribunal would publicly deliver its decision on whether to grant an emergency stay of execution “as soon as possible”.

New Delhi ultimately wants the ICJ to order Islamabad to annul the sentence.

It also wants the ICJ to declare that the Pakistani military court had violated the Vienna Convention by imposing a death sentence on Jadhav and broke human rights laws.

Indian claims

Mr Mittal insisted Pakistan had failed to respond to Indian demands for information about the case, snubbing requests for documents including the charge sheet, and had failed to provide Jadhav with consular access.

Islamabad has also not responded to a visa application by Jadhav’s parents seeking to travel to Pakistan to visit their son.

Jadhav “has been denied the right to be defended by a legal counsel of his choice,” Mr Mittal said, alleging that a confession was forced out of him. “All that we know is what we have seen in the media in Pakistan.”

Khawar Qureshi told the court that a 2008 agreement between Islamabad and Delhi allowed either country to decide on consular access in cases involving “political or security” issues.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1333407/pakistan-tells-icj-jadhav-confessed-hes-indian-spy

The Hindu – The Hague battle for Kulbushan Jadhav on Monday

India has acknowledged that it is rare for it to turn to the international court, a break from its stated position that it will not internationalise disputes with Pakistan

Vidya Ram

The Hague, 14 May 2017. The Peace Palace, home of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, will on Monday hold public hearings on the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Indian Naval officer, who was arrested and sentenced to death by Pakistan in April over allegations of espionage and abetting terror.

The one-day hearing will involve two sessions of an hour and a half, according India and Pakistan an opportunity to make their case, starting with India in the morning. Pakistan’s session will follow in the afternoon. The court’s judgment, which could follow as early as in a few days or take several months, is binding with no appeal.

On Friday, ICJ President Ronny Abraham directed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to “act in such a way as to enable the court to enforce any decision it takes on the India plea”, effectively staying Jadhav’s execution until the court was able to hear and deliberate on the matter.

Ahead of the hearing, legal teams from India and Pakistan arrived at The Hague.

The Indian team, led by former solicitor general Harish Salve who won the stay at the ICJ last week, is expected to focus on the violations of the Vienna convention by Pakistan on the issue of consular access, and on the lack of transparency in the Pakistani military court, which India has said, in its 12-page appeal, qualifies for the trial to be pronounced “illegal”.

The Pakistani team will be led by Attorney-General Ashtar Ausaf, assisted by senior lawyer Asad Rahim.

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, who has prior experience at the UN, is also expected to fly to The Hague, where Pakistan will be presenting its case using past precedent where India has refused the ICJ jurisdiction, including in the 1999 Atlantique case of a plane that was shot down by India.

Mr Jadhav was denied 16 requests for consular access over the course of a year, while his family has not been issued visas to travel to Pakistan either, to help in any appeal process, says India.

India has sought relief in the form of immediate suspension of the death sentence, and a declaration that the sentenced handed to Mr Jadhav was in defiance of Vienna Convention rights and in defiance of elementary human rights.

It also calls for the court to restrain Pakistan from “giving effect to the sentence awarded by the military court” and to direct it to annul the decision of the military court.

“If Pakistan is unable to annul the decision, then this Court [is] to declare the decision illegal being violative of international law and treaty rights and restrain Pakistan from acting in violation of the Vienna Convention and international law by giving effect to the sentence or the conviction in any manner, and directing it to release the convicted Indian National forthwith.”

Epitomises tensions

The case of Mr Jadhav, whom Pakistan accuses of being a spy for India’s Intelligence Agency Research and Analysis Wing, but who India says is innocent and has been kidnapped by Pakistani agents from Iran, has become a proxy for tensions between the two countries.

India has acknowledged that it is rare for it to turn to the international court, a break from its stated position that it will not internationalise disputes with Pakistan.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/battleground-hague-india-pakistan-at-icj-after-18-years/article18451519.ece

Newsweek – Shattering the Myth of Dutch Tolerance

Annemarie Toebosch

19 March 2017. The Dutch elections on 15 March have received a lot of attention in the international media.

The reason for the attention is clear: A Trump lookalike populist, Geert Wilders, was rumored to win big as part of a Western populist movement that some call the “Patriotic Spring.”

His rise has the liberal West confused and concerned, because if the land of gay marriage and coffee shops falls, then where is their hope for Western liberalism?

But, as results came in, two things were clear: Election turnout was high and Wilders’ support relatively low. Projections showed Wilders’ party winning 19 seats compared to 31 seats for the Dutch-right liberal conservatives of Prime Minister Mark Rutte. What does all this tell us about the populist movement? Is our bedrock of tolerance safe again?

To understand what happened in these Dutch elections, we need to look beyond Wilders and his place in Western populism to the myth of Dutch tolerance.

Students in my race and ethnicity courses at the University of Michigan have been engaged in this very task as they examine current and historic diversity in the Netherlands.

When they read University of Amsterdam sociologist Jan Willem Duyvendak or Free University of Amsterdam Holocaust historian Dienke Hondius, a more complicated picture of Dutch tolerance emerges.

Wilders doesn’t represent a sudden movement of the Netherlands away from tolerance. Dutch tolerance does not really exist in the way the stereotype dictates. Seventy years ago, the country saw a larger percentage of its Jewish population deported and killed than any other Western European nation.

This fact does not lend itself to simple explanations but has at least in part been attributed to the lack of protection of Jews by non-Jews and to Dutch collaboration with the Nazi occupation.

Looking at modern times, CUNY political scientist John Mollenkopf reports poorer immigrant integration outcomes, such as employment rates and job retention, in Amsterdam than in New York City, and Duyvendak finds explanations for these outcomes in white majority-culture dominance.

A few weeks after the 2016 USA elections, elderly Dutch statesman Jan Terlouw made a plea to the Dutch nation.
Speaking as the Jimmy Carter-like voice of reason of the political establishment, he asked the nation to go back to a time where Dutch people trusted each other, a time where people could enter the homes of other Dutchmen freely and without suspicion.

It was a “Make the Netherlands Great Again” message of sorts, but coming from the Dutch center-left.

I grew up in the Netherlands of Jan Terlouw. The country gave me an idyllic childhood, with soccer and hopscotch in the streets, but I never stepped freely into the homes of Indonesians who lived, grouped together, on the next street.

My white Dutch friends still know little to nothing about the relationship between race and our colonial history, or about the people of color who came to live in the Netherlands through that history.

Some Americans may be surprised to learn that the Netherlands has a more than 20 percent non-majority ethnic Dutch population, 10 percent of which are Indonesians, Surinamese and Dutch Caribbeans from former or current colonies, as well as Turks and Moroccans who (or whose family) originally came as part of guest worker programs.

Terlouw’s story is a beautiful story, then, but it isn’t true, and neither is the story that the Dutch have suddenly become intolerant as part of global Western populism.

In reality, the Dutch good old days were good old days because racial minorities were sidelined and did not complain, for example, about the slaves depicted on the golden coach that carries the Dutch king to the annual “Throne Address,” or the state of union.

Wilders isn’t unique

Now Dutch intolerance in the person of Wilders is on display around the world, and it is not limited to his party.

Of the 28 parties on the Dutch ballot this year, five had anti-Islam or anti-immigrant platforms, some more openly so than others. The Party for Entrepreneurs, for example, calls for a “mosque watch.”

Another one of these five parties, the Forum for Democracy party, which has a restrictive immigration and EU-cautious platform, appears to have won two seats.

Dutch nationalism does not just live on the right.

All the big parties that are contenders to enter a coalition government after this election, from all the way left to all the way right—reference “Dutchness” in one way or another in their party platforms, as a presumed understanding of what it means to be Dutch, or in the form of shared national values and a “be like us” message to immigrants.

Dutch nationalism is ubiquitous

But one important aspect of today’s elections is overshadowed by the Wilders discussion. The Dutch citizens who voted Wednesday had the choice of voting for a party called “DENK,” with mixed Dutch-Turkish, or Dutch-minority, values that some critics call the Dutch Erdogan satellite party.

Voters could also support “Artikel 1,” a party founded by minority rights activist Sylvana Simons nine weeks ago, and just four months after the country saw its racist holiday character of Zwarte Piet (the blackfaced helper of Saint Nicholas) phased out on national television amid white nationalist screams and quieter criticisms about the end of Dutch culture and tradition.

Artikel 1, named for the equality clause in the Dutch constitution, has the slogan “All Different But Yet The Same” and calls for equal rights for all Dutch people, men, women, gay, straight and, importantly, black, white, native and immigrant.

This election was the first time we saw minority parties such as DENK and Artikel 1 with programs advocating for education about Dutch migration history, the teaching of languages beyond the traditional European ones, a registry for racist hate crimes and a national holiday to celebrate the emancipation of Dutch slaves.

Remember: The Kingdom of the Netherlands is still a colonial power over the nation states of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, and the country of the Netherlands over the three Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.

As a new Dutch government is formed in the weeks to come, we could brush the minority parties off as a reaction to Wilders’ populism and see his defeat as a return of Dutch tolerance, but we would be wiser to see these elections as the beginning of a sea change in a country that is slowly changing to meet its tolerant mythology.

Annemarie Toebosch is director of Dutch and Flemish Studies, University of Michigan.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/shattering-myth-dutch-tolerance-111002053.html?hl=1&noRedirect=1

Axel NL- Sas van Gent NL – Zelzate – Gent

Gent – Axel – Gent
Zeeuws Vlaanderen – Nederland
8 August 2016

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Axel – Evi sitting on big flowerpot

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The ‘buurtbus’ that took us to Sas van Gent

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Connexxion bus 20

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Connexxion bus 6 to Zelzate [Be]

Gent – Axel – Gent
Zelzate – België
8 August 2016

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Zelzate – Klein Rusland
Watch the clouds

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Zelzate Klein Rusland
De Lijn bus 55 to Zelzate – Connexxion bus 6 to Terneuzen

To see all my pictures:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue