King Philippe does not award the prize for Dutch literature …
King Philippe himself will not present the prize for Dutch literature to Surinamese writer Astrid Roemer this year.
The Committee of Ministers of the Dutch Language Union – with Prime Minister Jan Jambon and Minister Ben Waits as representatives on our side of the language border – in consultation with Flemish Literature and the Dutch Literature Trust, has decided not to not organize the award ceremony.
The immediate reason for the cancellation of the awards ceremony was Romer’s comments on the alleged December 1982 murders in Suriname. On July 30, she wrote on her Facebook page: “The community of Suriname has a DDB (then Prime Minister Désiré Delano Bouterse, ed.) Desperately needed to become more self-aware. Thanks dude.”
Roemer believes that “Desi” Bouterse should not be sentenced to prison after so many years, because according to her, he has done a lot for the decolonization of Suriname – in 1975 Suriname became independent from the Netherlands. Former Suriname president and dictator Bouterse was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison in 2019 for complicity in the December killings in which 15 of his political opponents were tortured and killed. The trial is still pending because he has filed an opposition. Additionally, Potters has already been convicted in Holland for his involvement in transporting Coke.
Author Astrid Roemer continues to be the winner of the Dutch Literature Prize because the personal opinions of the authors are not taken into account when evaluating their work. Although the committee misses his advice. “We find Ms. Roemer’s statements so inappropriate that it is inappropriate to continue with the awards ceremony.”
Roemer leaves a comment for the Dutch news time She always stands behind her statements. “The fact that the awards ceremony is not taking place is heartbreaking,” says Romer. There were protests during the party and I don’t want my guests to feel bad. It is also a gift that will not be given because I will feel overwhelmed in court. ”
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