September 2020 \ Diaspora News \ DIPLOMATIC COLUMN—INDIAN DIASPORA

When the Prime Minister of India recently ...

By Aashna Kanhai

Racial/ ethnic ratios may not have been on the forefront of the recent elections, yes the People and the leaders of Suriname have somewhat learned to base their choices on nationalism, as was seen in the most recent elections and those of 2010 and 2015. Unity in diversity which has been proclaimed by many leaders in Suriname, is a challenge and a blessing at the same time, after all some may admit that to some extent we vote for the leader who is from the own community. With 62 % of its population aged between 15-59, and its Independence of almost 45 years, there is no shortage of energy to rethink the path towards developing Suriname, a path that had been paved after the 1980-ies. The ethnic diversity is a guarantee of conserving the legacy of the ‘roots’ and a consolidation of the multi-ethnic society. The abundance of natural resources, the recent discoveries of crude oil reserves, are increasingly part of the national agenda and is in the interest of all Surinamers, regardless where their roots are from.

—The writer is Suriname’s Ambassador to India