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Saramaccan authorities rally against delayed implementation of verdict

The Association of Sarammacas Dignitaries (VSG, Vereniging van Saramaccaanse Gezagsdragers) organized a rally in Laduwani this week against the Suriname government and its delayed implementation of the verdict by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

(Photo left: Daan de Hulster, dWT)

As of December 2007, when the verdict was called, the Surinamese government has done very little to instate the rights of the Saramaccan community as dictated by the court. This week’s rally in Laduwani was directed at Michel Felisi, Secretary of the Department for Regional Development, whom the Saramaccan captains urged to hasten the implementation process, in order to comply with the court’s deadline of December 2010.

The protesters waited for Felisi at the airport of Ludawani, where Felisi was scheduled to arrive and proceed on to the village of Goeyaba to attend the inaugural celebration for a new primary school. Upon his departure from the airplane, the protesters raised banners and shouted.

Military men and other security personnel closely guarded the rally, which remained peaceful; no incidents were reported.

Congressman Felisi has expressed disappointment over the action. He called upon his own Maroon heritage and said he had not expect such protest from ‘his own people’.

Source: de Ware Tijd Online

Background information:

The Saramaccas Case  at the Inter-American Court for Human Rights (Judgment of 28th November 2007)

On the 27th of October 2000 the Association of Saramacca Authorities and the 12 Saramacca Captains of the Upper Suriname River lodged a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The petitioners were of opinion that the State of Suriname is violating the rights of the Saramacca people of the upper Suriname River.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights sentenced the State Suriname for violations of amongst other:

  • The right of the Saramacca people to be recognized as persons before the Law ( article 3 American Convention on Human Rights
  • The right to property of the Saramacca people ( article 21 American Convention on Human Rights)
  • The right to judicial protection ( article 25 American Convention on Human Rights)

The State Suriname was sentenced amongst other to:

  • Delimit and demarcate the territory of the Saramaccaners
  • Grant the Saramaccaners the collective titles to communal rights, in accordance with customary law and with prior effective consultations with the Saramacca people on the basis of complete information, without prejudice to other tribal and indigenous communities
  • Refrain from affecting the value, the use and enjoyment of the territory to which the Saramaccaners have the right to as long as the title to the collective rights of the Saramacca people have not been granted
  • Revise the existing concessions
  • Remove or amend the legal provisions that impede the protection of the right to property of the Saramaccaners
  • Ensure that environmental and social impact assessments are conducted, prior to awarding a concession and implement adequate safeguards and mechanism in order to minimize the damaging effects such  projects may have upon the social, economic and cultural survival of the Saramacca people.  
  • Deposit US$600,000) in an community development fund established for the benefit of the Saramacca people and there traditional territory

Source: www.Moiwana.org


This entry was posted on November 16, 2009 by in Suriname News (archived 2009-2013) and tagged , , .
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