Surinamese President Runaldo Venetiaan yesterday expressed hope that Guyana and Suriname would continue to enjoy cordial relations and said that his country will continue to embrace an accommodating approach to Guyanese immigrants.
Venetiaan told reporters that “there was a time that being a Guyanese was bad news in Suriname” but this time had passed. He said things have developed to the point where Guyanese are respected in Suriname and are seen as persons who could contribute to the economic and administrative activities of that country.
However, he pointed out that the Surinamese government had some general guidelines or concerns as it related to the immigrants. He said the authorities would wish that the new groups of persons going into Suriname do so legally; that they respect the laws of the country, and that they keep things healthy within a social context with the people of Suriname.
The Surinamese Head of State acknowledged that the issue of the free movement was one of the heatedly discussed issues during the Caricom Heads of Government meeting which ended yesterday.
Sharing his personal views on the issue, Venetiaan said that persons needed to realize that there were constraints on some countries especially the ones with smaller economies, especially against the backdrop of the deterioration in the global economic situation.
He said it was understandable that some countries were examining the fact that people from other countries were taking away some of the opportunities usually afforded to nationals. But he was confident that Caricom will move forward with the schedule.
Meanwhile, when asked if he had any concerns about the treatment of Surinamese when they were detained over here, the Surinamese President said this was not a major concern. He said that that there were occasions when things went wrong and admitted that the converse was sometimes true, in terms of how