Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen has defended his government’s stance in the controversial case of 22 children from Greenland. In a statement that echoed the sentiments of his predecessor Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Lokke Rasmussen dismissed claims that the Danish state should make a public apology for a social experiment undertaken by authorities in 1951 which saw nearly two dozen of Greenland’s ‘elite’ children relocated to Denmark.
News source Sermitsiaq revealed that Lokke Rasmussen was challenged in a debate in the Danish parliament to make a formal apology for the experiment by Siumut MP Doris Jakobsen. Jakobsen claimed that: “A life with a damaged identity obviously cannot be restored. But an apology and a visible handshake from the country which was behind the interference of their youth would bring peace of mind to them and help to reconcile all the injustices that remain unhealed today”.
In response Lokke Rasmussen said: “I perceive it as a story we have put behind us”.
Jakobsen was disheartened by the response stating in a press release: “It is disappointing that the Prime Minister will not help to investigate this matter thoroughly and work towards a reconciliation to the people who were affected – which is what a number of other countries have done in similar cases”.
Jakobsen cited the inspirational Nelson Mandela along with the governments of Canada and Australia as examples of how the reconciliation process can provide new hope to indigenous people and go some way to righting the alleged wrongdoings of the past. Jakobsen said that the children in question had their identities stolen by the Danish government and added: “If the Danish government really does not think it should do more in this case, then it should now be up to the Greenlandic self-rule government to have the matter properly investigated. These people deserve to have their fates brought out in the open in an honest manner”.