Surinam becomes independent from the Netherlands on Tuesday (25 November) beset by many of the classic doubts and hazards associated with breaking colonial ties.
MV Street scenes Paramaribo (3 shots)
CU Carpenter working on new building for independence day celebrations
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MV Stand under construction
CU Flag on Government House pull out to GV
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MV & CU Street traders and purchasers (8 shots)
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Background: Surinam becomes independent from the Netherlands on Tuesday (25 November) beset by many of the classic doubts and hazards associated with breaking colonial ties.
Lack of skills and public services, an unbalanced economy ??? by foreign interests running the bauxite mines, political righting and possible racial conflict..these are among the problems which Premier Henk Arron and his coalition government will face at the end of 308 years of colonial rule.
The flags will fly and the crowds will chant at the ceremonies on independence eve, but many citizens of this multiracial territory will usher in the new era with grave doubts about the future.
Tens of thousands have already left to settle in Holland rather than face the uncertainties ahead and they are sending for their relatives as fast as they can.
The 360-thousand population of Surinam is mostly of Creole, Indian, Javanese or Chinese descent.
The Indians are wary about what the future holds and form the major part of the emigrant stream which grew to a flood once the independence date was announced.
Coalitions have long been the usual expression of the territory's political system and each party draws its support along racial lines.
Premier Arrcn, 39, leads the National Party, largest of the current four-party grouping. It is backed by the Creole community, people of African descent and of mixed ancestry.
The Opposition Humanists are solidly backed by Indian descendants of the families brought to the territory as indentured labour in the mid-19th century to replace African slaves. They are led by Jagernauth Lachman, a moderate.
But some in the Indian community have encouraged the exodus to Holland with predictions of what Creoles would do to Indian families' homes and businesses once the Dutch withdrew. They recalled bloody racial clashes along the same lines in neighbouring Guyana in 1960 and declared that it could also happen in Surinam.
Fires and demonstrations broke out in May this year in Paramaribo when a Dutch parliamentary team flew in. And more recently, there were isolated but angry racial attacks in the city streets.
It is in such a situation that Surinam faces independence, but it will be pinning much of its hopes for the future on its bauxite. The country is a member of the International Bauxite Association, an 11-nation grouping of major bauxite producer states.