Stabroek News - Guyana
(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – The European Union (EU) is closely monitoring developments in Suriname involving the upcoming amendment to the 1989 Amnesty Act, and will issue a joint statement on its official position once the amendment has been approved, Dutch Foreign Affairs minister Uri Rosenthal said after the cabinet meeting Friday.
The minister wants to await Parliament’s vote first, as he believes it would be counterproductive to react now. Due to the historic ties with Paramaribo, Rosenthal believes due caution is warranted. A statement is being drafted behind closed doors in case the Act is passed. “We’re considering at EU level whether we can make a statement about Suriname”, the minister says.
Meanwhile, France, at the government’s daily press conference in Paris, has already stated it supports independent judiciary in Suriname. The French Embassy in Paramaribo informed local media that during the briefing, a journalist asked a question about the amnesty issue. “We have been informed that a proposal has been introduced by some members of Suriname’s Parliament to grant amnesty to the suspects of the murders of 15 political opponents on 8 December 1982 while a trial is still ongoing. France wishes to remind that it attaches great importance to the principle of an independent judiciary. In any case, we believe that it is important to determine who is responsible”, Foreign Affairs spokesman Bernard Valero stated. Earlier, the US Ambassador in Paramaribo, John Nay, had already passed on Washington’s concerns about the planned amendment. Nay had even met with Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Lackin to discuss this. The United States of America have an “uneasy” feeling about this matter, he told de Ware Tijd.