President Chan Santokhi vehemently rejects any efforts made by anyone to incite ethnic tension and pit different communities against one another. In his greeting to the populace at the start of the new year, he declared, “That old policy no longer applies.”
“And I’ll keep working to make our society more fraternal. I also demonstrated that when I disbanded the political party I lead, proving that it runs in my family.” He emphasizes the significance of this fraternization as we commemorate the legal abolition of slavery this year, which occurred 160 years ago. “We reflect on the Hindustani immigration, which occurred 150 years ago, and the Chinese immigration, which occurred 170 years ago,” he says.
The head of state claims that we owe it to our forefathers to “connect” rather than to polarize. Some people believe they are strong on their own, but they forget that we are stronger when we work together, he continues.
He makes an appeal to society to build on the Dutch government’s move to formally apologize for the country’s history of slavery. “Some of us have already begun to concentrate on the monetary aspect of the apology. But in my opinion, that’s just one component “the president says.
“An area in which Suriname will function inside the Caricom framework in accordance with agreements made by earlier administrations. However, this one involves more than just money.” He makes the observation that he had already stated, in 2021, on his visit to the Netherlands, “that as our countries have a shared past, so also a shared future.”
That is the truth, Santokhi continued. He consequently values the Dutch government’s statement that the apologies do not contain a full stop but rather a comma. He asks the country to jointly complete the space after the comma. He claims that it is all about the colonial history of the Netherlands in relation to Suriname. “Everyone of us ought to be able to relate to that process.”