Dennis Lapar

November 29, 2021

In recent days, various Surinamese and Surinamese Dutch have expressed their opinion about the independence of Suriname.

Flag Suriname

Hereby my opinion on the desired cooperation between Suriname and the Netherlands.
Kingdom of the Netherlands.

From 1954 to 25 November 1975, Suriname, together with the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles, was incorporated into the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

The Netherlands was in charge and determined the policy in Suriname. Life in Suriname in that period was pleasant for most inhabitants of Suriname. 

Everyone had Dutch nationality. 

People could travel undisturbed to the Netherlands and continue to live if desired. Conversely, the Dutch could also live in Suriname. During the elections in 1973, the NPS led by Henck Arron did not say a word about the pursuit of the independence of Suriname. 

On December 24, 1973, Henck Arron became Prime Minister of Suriname. In February 1974, under pressure from Eddy Bruma (PNR), Arron declared that Suriname would become independent before the end of 1975. 

This statement hit like a bomb in Surinamese society and also within the NPS. However, the Netherlands had long been happy with Arron’s statement, as the Dutch government under Joop den Uyl had already indicated that the policy of the Netherlands is to allow Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles to become independent.

In the run-up to November 25, 1975

Surinamese party leaders are fantastic speakers. They can speak well either in the official language of Suriname – Dutch – or in a second language – including Sranan Tongo, Sarnami, Javanese, Chinese, English. Beautiful plans are presented to the people. Unfortunately, most plans do not work. Suriname has too few well-trained civil servants. This is really a big problem. The bottleneck has been seen within government for 46 years, but no government is tackling the problem.

Henck Arron was also a good speaker. He was 37 years old when he became Prime Minister of Suriname. In my opinion Henck Arron did not have the capabilities to govern Suriname. Within his team and at the government, people were no match for Henck Arron’s sweet talk. The leadership style of the political leaders of the past 46 years has not been good for Suriname.

Henck Arron made a big mistake not to listen to Lachmon, the VHP leader. Mr. Lachmon was not against the independence of Suriname. Lachmon indicated from the start that things had to be well prepared and that Suriname had to negotiate with the Netherlands in a professional manner.

More haste less speed

During the negotiations with the Netherlands, Prime Minister Den Uyl actually tricked Suriname with a small transfer fee of 3.5 billion guilders. 

During the negotiations, Henck Arron and Den Uyl did not think for a moment about the interests of the people of Suriname, who had Dutch nationality until the day of independence. 

Surinamers have been betrayed and abandoned. 

Den Uyl, the Head of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, should have stood up for the interests of the people of Suriname (the Surinamese Dutch). He should have ensured that at least 1 billion guilders should have been deposited in a fund to be set up for the elderly in Suriname. This independent fund would then have an initial capital and the annual additional payments would then have to take place. 

Management and control obviously had to be well in any case much better organized. 

That did not happen and the elderly of Suriname have become the victims. Unfortunately, the clock cannot be turned back, but the people of Suriname can learn from the mistakes made and confront their political leaders with the beautiful promises they launch during the election campaigns. Political leaders must take the lessons learned to heart.

 Suriname and the Netherlands

After 46 years of independence, we cannot keep pointing the finger at the Netherlands. The governments of Suriname should have managed the country well from 1975 onwards. 

That did not happen and today the Surinamese population knows that the culprits were our own Surinamese, who have the destruction of Suriname on their conscience. The politicians and their family and friends have benefited from Suriname’s riches for the past 46 years. The people of Suriname have had to settle for a modest income for the past 46 years. People want this to change.

The desired cooperation between Suriname and the Netherlands.

About 150,000 Surinamese Dutch people now live in the Netherlands, who were born in Suriname. The children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of these Surinamese Dutch were born in the Netherlands and are therefore real Dutch. 

They have Dutch nationality and will not give up this nationality. It’s not right

A similar cooperation can therefore take place in all sectors in Suriname and, in my opinion, should be fully promoted. 

The government of Suriname must ensure that there are incentives for the investors. The (Surinamese) Dutch are willing to help Suriname in a good way to get out of misery. In the fight against Covid 19, the Dutch government and the (Surinamese) Dutch people have made their contribution. 

It is now important to get the projects in Suriname (especially in the agricultural sector and eco-tourism) off the ground. 

Dear, dear Surinamese government, now it is your turn. 

Please tell the Surinamese population that Dutch aid is not a threat to Suriname and for the employment of the Surinamese. The cooperation will take place in a good way. 

The “Elimination of all forms of (extreme) poverty” is an important goal of the UN (see the Sustainable Development Goals). The (Surinamese) Dutch people want to contribute to ensure that poverty in Suriname is significantly reduced.

Dennis Lapar

Director of Stichting Finance Suriname



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