South America :: Suriname

Introduction ::Suriname

    First explored by the Spaniards in the 16th century and then settled by the English in the mid-17th century, Suriname became a Dutch colony in 1667. With the abolition of African slavery in 1863, workers were brought in from India and Java. Independence from the Netherlands was granted in 1975. Five years later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared a socialist republic. It continued to exert control through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1990, the military overthrew the civilian leadership, but a democratically elected government - a four-party coalition - returned to power in 1991. The coalition expanded to eight parties in 2005 and ruled until August 2010, when voters returned former military leader Desire BOUTERSE and his opposition coalition to power.

Geography ::Suriname

People and Society ::Suriname

    noun: Surinamer(s)
    adjective: Surinamese
    Hindustani (also known locally as "East Indians"; their ancestors emigrated from northern India in the latter part of the 19th century) 37%, Creole (mixed white and black) 31%, Javanese 15%, "Maroons" (their African ancestors were brought to the country in the 17th and 18th centuries as slaves and escaped to the interior) 10%, Amerindian 2%, Chinese 2%, white 1%, other 2%
    Dutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki, is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese
    Hindu 27.4%, Protestant 25.2% (predominantly Moravian), Roman Catholic 22.8%, Muslim 19.6%, indigenous beliefs 5%
    Suriname is a pluralistic society consisting primarily of Creoles (persons of mixed African and European heritage), the descendants of escaped African slaves known as Maroons, and the descendants of Indian and Javanese contract workers. The country overall is in full, post-industrial demographic transition, with a low fertility rate, a moderate mortality rate, and a rising life expectancy. However, the Maroon population of the rural interior lags behind because of lower educational attainment and contraceptive use, higher malnutrition, and significantly less access to electricity, potable water, sanitation, infrastructure, and health care.
    Some 350,000 people of Surinamese descent live in the Netherlands, Suriname's former colonial ruler. In the 19th century, better-educated, largely Dutch-speaking Surinamese began emigrating to the Netherlands. World War II interrupted the outflow, but it resumed after the war when Dutch labor demands grew - emigrants included all segments of the Creole population. Suriname still is strongly influenced by the Netherlands because most Surinamese have relatives living there and it is the largest supplier of development aid. Other emigration destinations include French Guiana and the United States. Suriname's immigration rules are flexible, and the country is easy to enter illegally because rainforests obscure its borders. Since the mid-1980s, Brazilians have settled in Suriname's capital, Paramaribo, or eastern Suriname, where they mine gold. This immigration is likely to slowly re-orient Suriname toward its Latin American roots.
    566,846 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    0-14 years: 26.8% (male 77,404/female 74,477)
    15-24 years: 17.5% (male 50,745/female 48,718)
    25-54 years: 43.8% (male 126,399/female 121,930)
    55-64 years: 6.2% (male 17,123/female 18,246)
    65 years and over: 5.6% (male 13,770/female 18,034) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 51.6 %
    youth dependency ratio: 41.5 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 10.1 %
    potential support ratio: 9.9 (2013)
    total: 28.2 years
    male: 27.8 years
    female: 28.5 years (2013 est.)
    1.15% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    17.1 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    6.15 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    0.57 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    urban population: 69% of total population (2010)
    rate of urbanization: 1.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    PARAMARIBO (capital) 259,000 (2009)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    130 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    total: 27.99 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 69
    male: 32.54 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 23.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 71.41 years
    country comparison to the world: 145
    male: 69.05 years
    female: 73.88 years (2013 est.)
    2.04 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    45.6% (2006)
    7% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    0.45 physicians/1,000 population (2000)
    2.6 beds/1,000 population (2009)
    urban: 97% of population
    rural: 81% of population
    total: 92% of population
    urban: 3% of population
    rural: 19% of population
    total: 8% of population (2010 est.)
    urban: 90% of population
    rural: 66% of population
    total: 83% of population
    urban: 10% of population
    rural: 34% of population
    total: 17% of population (2010 est.)
    1% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    3,700 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    fewer than 200 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: dengue fever and malaria (2013)
    25.1% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    7.5% (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 94.7%
    male: 95.4%
    female: 94% (2010 est.)
    total: 12 years (2002)
    total number: 6,094
    percentage: 6 % (2006 est.)
    total: 21.5% (2004)
    country comparison to the world: 53

Government ::Suriname

    conventional long form: Republic of Suriname
    conventional short form: Suriname
    local long form: Republiek Suriname
    local short form: Suriname
    former: Netherlands Guiana, Dutch Guiana
    constitutional democracy
    name: Paramaribo
    geographic coordinates: 5 50 N, 55 10 W
    time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    10 districts (distrikten, singular - distrikt); Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Paramaribo, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica
    25 November 1975 (from the Netherlands)
    Independence Day, 25 November (1975)
    ratified 30 September 1987; effective 30 October 1987
    civil law system influenced by Dutch civil law; note - the Commissie Nieuw Surinaamse Burgerlijk Wetboek completed drafting a new civil code in February 2009
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Desire Delano BOUTERSE (since 12 August 2010); Vice President Robert AMEERALI (since 12 August 2010); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Desire Delano BOUTERSE (since 12 August 2010); Vice President Robert AMEERALI (since 12 August 2010)
    cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly or, if no presidential or vice presidential candidate receives a two-thirds constitutional majority in the National Assembly after two votes, by a simple majority in the larger United People's Assembly (893 representatives from the national, local, and regional councils), for five-year terms (no term limits); election last held on 19 July 2010 (next to be held in 2015)
    election results: Desire Delano BOUTERSE elected president; percent of vote - Desire Delano BOUTERSE 70.6%, Chandrikapersad SATOKHI 25.5%, other 3.9%
    unicameral National Assembly or Nationale Assemblee (51 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held on 25 May 2010 (next to be held in May 2015)
    election results: percent of vote by party - Mega Combination 45.1%, New Front 27.5%, A-Com 13.7%, People's Alliance 11.8%, DOE 1.9%; seats by party - Mega Combination 23, New Front 14, A-Com 7, People's Alliance 6, DOE 1
    highest court(s): High Court of Justice of Suriname (consists of the court president, vice president, and 4 judges)
    note - Suriname can appeal beyond its High Court to the Caribbean Court of Justice, with final appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
    judge selection and term of office: court judges appointed by the national president after consultation with the High Court; judges appointed for life
    subordinate courts: cantonal courts
    A-Combination (a coalition that includes the General Liberation and Development Party ABOP [Ronnie BRUNSWIJK], and SEEKA [Paul ABENA])
    Basic Party for Renewal and Democracy or BVD [Dilip SARDJOE]
    Basic Party for Renewal and Democracy or PVF [Soedeschand JAIRAM]
    Democratic Union Suriname or DUS [Japhet DIEKO]
    Mega Combination Coalition (a coalition that joined with A-Combination and the PL to form a majority in Parliament in 2010 - includes the National Democratic Party or NDP [Desire Delano BOUTERSE] (largest party in the coalition), Progressive Worker and Farmer's Union or PALU [Jim HOK], Party for National Unity and Solidarity of the Highest Order or KTPI [Willy SOEMITA], DNP-2000 [Jules WIJDENBOSCH], Union of Brotherhood and Unity in Politics BEP [Caprino ALENDY], and New Suriname or NS [Nanan PANDAY])
    National Union or NU [P. VAN LEEUWAARDE]
    New Front for Democracy and Development or NF (a coalition made up of the National Party of Suriname or NPS [Runaldo VENETIAAN], United Reform Party or VHP [Ramdien SARDJOE], Democratic Alternative 1991 or DA-91 - an independent, business-oriented party [Winston JESSURUN], Surinamese Labor Party or SPA [Siegfried GILDS])
    Party for Democracy and Development in Unity or DOE [Carl BREEVELD]
    Party for the Permanent Prosperity Republic Suriname or PVRS
    People's Alliance, Pertjaja Luhur's or PL [Paul SOMOHARDJO](includes D-21 [Soewarta MOESTADJA] and Pendawa Lima [Raymond SAPEON], which merged with PL in 2010)
    note: BVD and PVF participated in the elections as a coalition (BVD/PVF) in the most recent elections, but separated after the election
    Association of Indigenous Village Chiefs [Ricardo PANE]
    Association of Saramaccan Authorities or Maroon [Head Captain WASE]
    Women's Parliament Forum or PVF [Iris GILLIAD]
    chief of mission: Ambassador Subhas-Chandra MUNGRA
    chancery: Suite 460, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 244-7488
    FAX: [1] (202) 244-5878
    consulate(s) general: Miami
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jay N. ANANIA
    embassy: Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 129, Paramaribo
    mailing address: US Department of State, PO Box 1821, Paramaribo
    telephone: [597] 472-900
    FAX: [597] 410-972
    five horizontal bands of green (top, double width), white, red (quadruple width), white, and green (double width); a large, yellow, five-pointed star is centered in the red band; red stands for progress and love; green symbolizes hope and fertility; white signifies peace, justice, and freedom; the star represents the unity of all ethnic groups; from its yellow light the nation draws strength to bear sacrifices patiently while working toward a golden future
    name: "God zij met ons Suriname!" (God Be With Our Suriname)
    lyrics/music: Cornelis Atses HOEKSTRA and Henry DE ZIEL/Johannes Corstianus DE PUY
    note: adopted 1959; the anthem, originally adapted from a Sunday school song written in 1893, contains lyrics in both Dutch and Sranang Tongo

Economy ::Suriname

Energy ::Suriname

Communications ::Suriname

Transportation ::Suriname

Military ::Suriname

Transnational Issues ::Suriname

    area claimed by French Guiana between Riviere Litani and Riviere Marouini (both headwaters of the Lawa); Suriname claims a triangle of land between the New and Kutari/Koetari rivers in a historic dispute over the headwaters of the Courantyne; Guyana seeks United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea arbitration to resolve the longstanding dispute with Suriname over the axis of the territorial sea boundary in potentially oil-rich waters
    current situation: Suriname is a source, destination, and transit country for women, men, and children who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; women and girls from Suriname, Guyana, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic are subjected to sex trafficking in the country, sometimes around mining camps; debt bondage and sex trafficking are reported to occur within the Chinese migrant community; migrant workers in agriculture and on fishing boats and children working in informal urban sectors and gold mines are vulnerable to forced labor
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Suriname does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government has prosecuted an increased number of sex trafficking cases and identified an increased number of child sex trafficking victims; accountability for trafficking offenses continues to be a problem as no offenders have been convicted and the complicity of local officials remains a concern; authorities do not have a formal system for referring victims to NGOs that provide services but reported doing so on an ad hoc basis; the government's interagency anti-trafficking working group drafted an anti-trafficking policy in 2012 (2013)
    growing transshipment point for South American drugs destined for Europe via the Netherlands and Brazil; transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing