The Surinam Parliament has approved the design of a new flag, so completing preparations for the country's independence from the Netherlands on Tuesday (25 November).
GV INT Member speaking from rostrum beside Surinam flag
SV Members seated
SV ZOOM IN TO CU Prime Minister Arron seated
LV Members seated
LV & CU Prime Minister speaks (2 shots)
CU Vice Prime Minister Van Genderen listens
SV Prime Minister on rostrum with Vice Prime Minister in foreground
Initials BB/17.00 DE/MR/BB
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Background: The Surinam Parliament has approved the design of a new flag, so completing preparations for the country's independence from the Netherlands on Tuesday (25 November).
The small South American state of 360,000 people has been a Netherlands colony for more than three hundred years. Its new flag will show one red and two green stripes on a white background, with a yellow five-pointed star. The colours symbolise fertility, ambition, progressiveness and sacrifice and the star represents Surinam's five ethnic groups.
But the country's Premier, Henck Arron, and his Coalition Government will face many problems when they take over. These problems include lack of skills and public services, and unbalanced economy, political in-fighting and possible racial conflict.
The population of Surinam comprises mostly people of Creole, Indian, Javanese or Chinese descent. The Indians are wary about what the future holds and more the major part of an emigrant stream to Holland. Thousands of residents, including many craftsmen and skilled labourers, have left because of their uncertain future in Surinam.
Coalitions have long been the usual expression of Surinam's political system and each party draws its support along racial lines.
Premier Arron leads the National Party ... the largest of the current four-party grouping. It is backed by the Creole community of mixed ancestry.
The Opposition Humanists are solidly backed by Indian descendants of the families brought to Surinam in the mid 19th century to replace African slaves. The party's leader is Jagernath Lachman.