The small South American state of Surinam gets its independence from the Netherlands on Tuesday (25 November), and there are already grave fears that there could be eruptions of racial and political strife.
GV Irrigation alongside farmland (2 shots)
CU Rice fields PAN UP TO harvesters at work
SV Rice crop being harvested (3 shots)
SV Rice heap with house in background
SV PAN FROM Farm-house TO Hindu temple
CU Flag ZOOM OUT TO GV Another temple
GV & SV Street scenes, traffic and children (4 shots)
SV ZOOM IN TO People in street-side cafe
GV Banner announcing independence on November 25
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Background: The small South American state of Surinam gets its independence from the Netherlands on Tuesday (25 November), and there are already grave fears that there could be eruptions of racial and political strife.
Celebrations are already underway in Paramaribo, Surinam's capital, and on Tuesday (25 November) there will be a grand parade and an official government reception to mark the handing-over of independence. But many of the country's residents have not waited around for independence. There has been a mass exodus to Holland over the past few months. Thousands have left the country permanently, rather than face an uncertain future.
One Surinam employer estimates that up to 60 per cent of the skilled labour force is now in Holland. A large proportion of these are people of Indian descent, who according to a Reuters report, fear their homes and businesses could be in jeopardy once the Creole-backed National Party government takes over power following the Dutch withdrawal.
Surinam's political systems draws its support from racial groups, and the opposition United Humanists Party is solidly backed by the Indian community.
Although the export of bauxite and aluminium are Surinam's big money earners, an estimated 16,000 farms also produce large crops of rice, cassava, citrus fruits, bananas and sugar cane. Indians make up 90 per cent of the country's rice farmers....and if they too decide to leave Surinam, the industry could face a crisis.