Surinamese-indian community an integral part of suriname’s social, economic and spiritual environment: lok sabha speaker

Paramaribo / New Delhi: The Indian Parliamentary Delegation led by Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla which reached Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname today, on the third leg of its visit, called on President of Suriname H.E. Mr. Chandrikaparsad Santokhi at President Palace.

On this occasion, Shri Birla spoke about the close historical and cultural ties between India and Suriname and expressed hope that in future this relationship will be further strengthened and the trade, economic and cultural relations, including people-to-people contact will see expansion and momentum.

Mentioning about new and renewable energy, Shri Birla said that this is one area where there is immense potential to expand cooperation between India and Suriname. He also spoke about wider cooperation between the two countries in the fields of agriculture and food processing industries. Emphasizing on sharing of knowledge, ideas and technology, Shri Birla said that this will lead to development of both the countries.

Referring to Indian Diaspora in Suriname, Shri Birla said that it is a golden coincidence that when India is celebrating 75 years of its Independence, Suriname is celebrating 150th year of migration of Indians to Suriname. During the last 150 years, the Surinamese-Indian community has become an integral part and focal point of Suriname’s social, economic, spiritual environment while at the same time contributing to its development and enriching its culture and tradition. 

Later, during the day, the Indian Parliamentary delegation led by Shri Birla paid tributes at the ‘Baba and Mai’ statue at Paramaribo. This statue depicts the man and woman who first migrated from India to Suriname. Shri Birla also paid tributes at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Paramaribo. This statue was brought from India & was installed here as a mark of respect to him. Mahatma Gandhi had appealed to end indentured labour practices in Suriname.

On arrival in Suriname, the Indian delegation was received by the Speaker of the Surinamese Parliament, H.E. Mr. Marinus Bee and other Members of Parliament.