Wednesday, October 4, 2023

President Droupadi Murmu arrives in Suriname


Paramaribo: President Droupadi Murmu arrived in Suriname on Sunday on a three-day visit, her first since assuming office in July last year, to bolster India’s bilateral engagement with the South American country.

The visit to Suriname is part of her two-nation tour that will also take her to Serbia.

“President Droupadi Murmu arrived in Paramaribo, Suriname on her first State Visit as the President of India. In a special gesture, President @CSantokhi of Suriname received the President at the airport with full state honours,” official account of the president tweeted.

In Suriname, President Murmu will hold talks with the country’s top leaders and meet a cross-section of the Indian diaspora.

Murmu will hold bilateral talks with her Suriname counterpart Chandrikapersad Santokhi and be the chief guest at celebrations to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in the South American nation.

The president will be in Suriname till June 6 and visit places of historical and cultural importance and interact with members of the Indian community.

“President Murmu’s visit to Suriname marks her first State visit since assuming the office of the President last year,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a recent statement.

Santokhi was in India in January this year as a guest of honour for the 17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas and had met Murmu.

The first ship carrying 452 Indian labourers arrived in Suriname’s capital Paramaribo on June 5, 1873. Most of the labourers hailed from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The Indians, who arrived in Suriname as contract labourers for plantations, have maintained their connection with their roots in India.

“While fully assimilating with the local culture, they continued to cherish, uphold and pass down from one generation to another their traditions, rites and rituals, cuisine, language, and folklore and have made a significant contribution in all spheres to the sustainable development of Suriname,” said the website of the Indian embassy in Suriname.

It said Suriname also has the distinction of being the most prominent foreign country in the world in the field of promotion of the Hindi language. The World Hindi Conference 2003 was held in Paramaribo.

On the second leg of her tour, Murmu will be on a state visit to Serbia from June 7, the first-ever by a head of state from either side, the External Affairs Ministry said.

In Serbia, Murmu will have a bilateral meeting with President Aleksandar Vucic, and meet Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, and Speaker of the National Assembly Vladimir Orlic.

The president will also address a business event and interact with the Indian community.



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