Vice President (VP) Ronnie Brunswijk has promised the indigenous granman Asongo Alalapuru a speedy approach to the land rights issue. During a visit to several villages in the interior, the Vp confirmed this commitment. The VP informed the Granman and his delegation at his cabinet yesterday in detail about the advanced steps in this process. There is already a draft law on Collective Rights for Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Parliament.
This law has once again been put on the operating table by the current Land Rights Committee and is being revised. The committee is now in the process of formulating the latest recommendations for the government. The granman was accompanied by representatives of the Arowak, Caribbean and Wayana tribes. The district commissioner of Sipaliwini from the resort of Coeroeni, Merilu Sapa, was also present. Sapa, said the granman, represents the entire Surinamese indigenous community. The Granman immediately took the opportunity to discuss the current problems of the interior with the VP.
Food scarcity, electrification and poor infrastructure are some of the points that have been raised. The VP assured the different tribes that they would discuss this issue in governmental matters. He indicated that the government is facing financial and economic challenges. However, it does everything it can to bring relief to the communities, especially those who are in a disadvantaged position.
On behalf of the delegation, a representative read a document, which states, among other things, that the original inhabitants of this area would like to be included in the development. They want to be self-sufficient and do not want to keep an open hand for the government. They are always open to discussing this with the government, reports the Directorate of People’s Communication (DVC).