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< Current local time in Suriname – Paramaribo
PARAMARIBO–Gold miner IAMGOLD has announced that it will develop and operate a solar power project in Suriname. “The project will help meet the electricity requirements of the mine in district Brokopondo and at the same time free up power for use by other customers in Suriname, the company said in a press release.
The release said the solar installation will produce five megawatts; it will cost IAMGOLD about $14 million, including site access and preparation. It is slated to be operational from the beginning of the third quarter of 2014. “IAMGOLD is fulfilling a prior commitment to the Government of Suriname through this green project,” the release said.
Canada headquartered IAMGOLD since 2006 operates the profitable Gros Rosebel gold mine. In April this year the company signed a new agreement with Government, which cut IAMGOL’s 90 percent stake to 70, and effectively made Government a partner in Rosebel Gold Mines NV, the joint company that operates the mine in district Brokopondo, where in 2011 some 385,000 ounces of gold was produced.
AMSTERDAM–After pulling its ambassador from Suriname in April 2012 in disagreement with political developments in the country, the Netherlands has finally decided it wants proper representation in Paramaribo again. The Kingdom Council of Ministers on Friday approved the appointment of Ernst Noorman as ambassador.
Noorman, a career diplomat who previously served as ambassador in Burkini Faso, has served as charge d’affaires in Paramaribo since June this year. His appointment as ambassador will take effect after it has been accorded by Suriname’s Government. Dutch Foreign Minister Fran’s Timmermans who recommended Noorman for the ambassador’s post said he was convinced Paramaribo would react positively, as Noorman has worked n the country for some months now.
Timmermans has adopted the position of his predecessor Yuri Rosenthal, who pulled former ambassador Art Jacobi out of Suriname after the country’s National Assembly approved an amendment to its amnesty legislation that could see President Bouterse and 24 fellow suspects pardoned for the 1982 murders of 15 citizens.
AMSTERDAM–Women of Surinamese and Antillean origin are probably the hardest working women in the Netherlands, according to a report by the Dutch Bureau of Statistics CBS. The report that was released a few weeks ago also says that most employed Surinamese and Antillean work full time, even while it remains tough for women of their origin to land a job in the Netherlands.
The report says that only 27 percent of native Dutch women have a full time job, whereas 46 percent of the second generation non-western women work full time; the percentage for first generation non-western women is 36.
By Marvin Hokstam
PARAMARIBO–A website that offers Bulgarian passports for US$ 5,900 is probably nothing more than a perverse scam, but Bulgarian Vice President Margarita Popova has nonetheless instructed security services to investigate. The site was discovered by Bulgarian journalist Ivan Dimov of Trud Newspaper, investigating people who slip into his country with false passports. “I had never before heard of Suriname. When I told the Vice President about it she was shocked. They are looking into it, but the problem is that Bulgaria and Suriname have not established direct diplomatic relationships,” Dimov said.
The website makes big promises in return for the US$ 5,900. “Through our contacts in Sofia (Bulgaria) we are able to arrange legal residency in Bulgaria within 30 days. Full citizenship and passport can be arranged within 90 days,” it says, also offering entire family packages with the requirement of 30% advance pay. Payment is to be made to Filho and Carvalho Immigration Consultants, whose office is at Gompert Straat in Paramaribo.
Joint investigations by Dimov, DevSur and journalist Tom van Moll of De Ware Tijd showed though that the address is fake and the phone number is unlisted; it previously used to belong to a well-known hotel chain in the country. There was also no registration at Suriname’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Filho and Carvalho Immigration Consultants. The site itself is registered with a hosting company in Kirkland, Seattle, USA.
PARAMARIBO—The Dutch Government has given a lukewarm reaction to the petition for compensation the Surinamese Committee Reparations Slavery Past deposited at the Dutch embassy in Paramaribo. Committee chairman Armand Zunder said the letter he received says little.
“It was a diplomatic signal. It is just a confirmation of receipt of our petition and then a referral to the speech Social Affairs Minister Lodewijk Asscher gave at the slavery abolition anniversary celebrations on July 1st in the Oosterpark in Amsterdam,” Zunder told journalists. Asscher had then said that people today cannot be held responsible for what their forefathers did, and that the Dutch Government views the “stain of shame on its history with deep regret”.
Zunder had filed the first ever petition to The Netherlands for reparations to the descendants of slaves and natives in June, in which the Committee requests that the Netherlands acknowledges that people suffered.
PARAMARIBO–Government has submitted to Parliament, the draft legislation to reintroduce the military draft. “Barring other arrangements, every Surinamer who is a resident of Suriname and is between the ages of 18 and 35, is obligated to fulfill their military duty,” the first article of the legislation reads. The draft has already been approved by the Council of Ministers and also passed the Council of State.
It is accompanied by a draft legislation on “conscientious objections” that affords a waiver for those who are breadwinners, are indispensable, are studying, or are members of parliament. President Bouterse had indicated early on after his 2010 swearing in that he would push for reintroducing mandatory military service, for a minimum of 18 months. The draft was introduced in 1970 for men between 18 and 35, but the rule was shelved in 1992 in the aftermath of the internal war.
By Dr Cory Couillard
If your health isn’t enough to encourage you quit smoking, then the health of your baby should be. Smoking while pregnant increases the possibility of stillbirth, miscarriage and low birth weight – especially in teens and young adults.
Teens and young women have the highest reported smoking prevalence, and it’s only getting worse. The problem is kids experiment with tobacco and it often turns into a lifelong habit. Nearly 90 per cent of adults say they started smoking by the age of 18.
This is a reflection of aggressive tobacco industry marketing to girls. Tobacco companies advertise in magazines, market their brands through direct mail and adverts, promote their products in convenience stores and coerce youth through Internet websites and social media sites.
They fail to mention that tobacco smoke contains more than 7 000 chemicals and at least 60 cancer-causing compounds. Two compounds are especially hazardous to a mother and child: highly addictive nicotine and carbon monoxide.
From Trinidad Newsday
Last Sunday 11 delegates competed for the title of Miss Plus Size Caribbean Universe 2013 and 29-year-old Miss Suriname Cheryll Rijger emerged victorious.
The pageant, which was held at the Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s hosted delegates from various countries including Brazil, Bahamas and the USA. This was the second staging of this pageant, which was first held in Barbados last year. The new Miss Plus Size Caribbean Universe 2013 stopped by Newsday’s office earlier this week with pageant coordinator Pearl Williams, to talk about her winning experience in Trinidad and Tobago.
A well known singer in Suriname, she was understandably elated with her win. This was Rijger’s first pageant, but pageantry runs in her family as her younger sister was Miss Suriname World 2009. “She helped me with this pageant,” the new queen said smiling. “She taught me everything – how to sit, how to walk everything.”
PARAMARIBO–Readytex Art Gallery has expressed pride that Christopher Cozier, an associated artist, writer and art critic from Trinidad & Tobago is a recipient of the 2013 Prince Claus Award. Cozier, it was announced this week, is one of the 11 international winners of the prestigious award, presented by the Netherlands-based Prince Claus Fund. “We congratulate Christopher Cozier with this well-deserved award,” Readytex wrote.
In Suriname Cozier has worked as co-curator during the grand Paramaribo SPAN exhibition at the DSB Bank in 2010 and, while he also served as co-curator for the Caribbean, he was also key to Suriname’s participation in the About Change art project of the IDB which included the exhibition (Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean Interventions in Washington DC, USA (2011). “In addition, and especially with regards to the regional art scene, Mr. Cozier is also a valued supporter and advisor to various Surinamese artists and Readytex Art Gallery as well,” said Readytex.
AMSTERDAM—A working group of human right experts –lead by Jamaican university professor Verene Shepherd- has called on the Dutch Government to take the lead in the ongoing debate about a tradition many Black people in the country find offensive. The experts recommended on Tuesday that Government facilitate an “open, inclusive, non-confrontational and respectful” debate on whether Zwarte Piet, the wacky blackfaced helper of bearded gift-giver Sinterklaas should undergo a change.
This year the opposition against the portrayal has reached new heights, with for the first time a townhall hearing by the Mayor of Amsterdam, at which opponents could voice their views. Their opposition against the beloved Dutch tradition has met with resistance from conventionalist Dutch people, oftentimes accompanied by blatant racist slurs.
The working group of UN independent human rights experts had become part of the heated Zwarte Piet debate earlier this year, after receiving complaints “from individuals and civil society organizations in the Netherlands” that the portrayal of the helper of bearded do-gooder Sinterklaas “perpetuates a negative stereotype and derogatory image of Africans and people of African descent.”