Dutch Prime Minister Joop den Uyl, the future Queen of Holland Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus arrived in Surinam on Saturday (22 November) for the country's independence ceremonies on Tuesday (25 November).
GV Surinam street scene (2 shots)
SV & CU New flag, independence signs and banner (4 shots)
GV Zandery airport
SV Prime Minister in centre of picture across tarmac with Governor Ferrier
LV princess Beatrix and Prince Claus down steps and greeted
GV Royal couple inspect guard of honour
SV Royal couple look at local dancers (music)
GV Dutch Prime Minister down steps and greeted
CU Dutch P.M.
GV Local dancers welcoming Dutch P.M. and party
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Background: Dutch Prime Minister Joop den Uyl, the future Queen of Holland Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus arrived in Surinam on Saturday (22 November) for the country's independence ceremonies on Tuesday (25 November).
At midnight Surinam, Europe's last but one possession in south America will be proclaimed an independent republic ending 325 years as a colony.
Nine hours later Princess Beatrix will formally present constitutional instruments marking independence and separation from monarchy at a solemn ceremony in an old Dutch Reformed Church.
Despite the Cheerful native dancers who met Mr. Den Uyl and Princess Beatrix at the airport there are many worries underneath the surface. Mr. Den Uyl is reported to have been deeply embarrassed by an exodus to Holland of thousands of Surinamese fearing independence will bring a fight for power between the country's chief competing groups -- mainly Creole descendants of African slaves and those of Indian Indentured labourers.
One hopeful sign after Princess Beatrix's arrival was that when she joined the nation in prayer for a prosperous and peaceful future on Sunday (23 November) Surinam's Prime Minister Henck Aaron, a Creole Christian attended Service at a Hindustani temple. Meanwhile opposition leader Jaggernath Lachmon went to a Christian Church.
The celebrations being at midnight when the Dutch flag comes down for the last time and the simple Surinam tricolour with a single central golden star is unfurled. (See Visnews Production No. 11366 "Surinam: Dutch Territory of Surinam decides on her new flag as independence day draws near" also serviced today)