A delegation from the House of Representatives visits Fort Zealandia in Suriname

Delegatie Tweede Kamer op werkbezoek in Suriname

A delegation of nine members of the Dutch House of Representatives is currently on a working visit to Suriname. It concerns the House Interior Committee, which includes representatives from eight different political parties. The delegation will arrive in Suriname from August 13-16.

The visit is part of research into the colonial past of the Netherlands. The question of whether the Dutch government should apologize for the Dutch slavery past is central to this working visit.

The delegation consisted of MPs Kiki Hagen (Head of Delegation, D66), Salima Belhaj (D66), Inge Van Dyck (CDA), Rinsky Lijten (SP), Katy Perry (PvdA), Jesse Claver (GroenLinks), Don Ceder (CU) , Sylvana Simmons (BIJ1) and Marieki Kwikwick (Volt). They will visit Suriname, Curaçao and Bonaire on behalf of the Interior Committee.

Head of delegation Hagen notes that the commission will delve into slavery’s past, particularly in preparation for 2023 when the abolition of slavery in all of its colonies will be celebrated 150 years ago.

Through a farm visit, and discussions with the Former Slavery Commission and the National Commission for Remembrance of Slavery, the group will attempt to assess what is going on in Surinamese society in relation to the past of slavery. This research will be presented in a travel report to other committees and the Dutch Cabinet.

According to MP Hagen, an extroverted attitude is very important to be able to observe things properly. “Now we have to look forward. We have to see what is needed now for Suriname and its people,” says the head of the delegation. According to her, it is important what happens about the past of slavery in Suriname.

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Also scheduled are visits to President Chandrikapersad Santokhi and Anton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeKUS). Representatives visit different places of interest in each country.

On Sunday, August 14, 2022, the rush took place at Fort Zeelandia (photo), after which the delegation went to the memorial to the fallen heroes of 1902 in Mariënberg. Frederiksdorp farm was also visited.

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