Curfew in Paramaribo, shops and markets remain closed after storming parliament

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Demonstrators in front of the Assembly Building, which houses the Parliament of Suriname
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The city center of Paramaribo will remain closed until at least 10 a.m. Dutch time after yesterday’s riots. Anti-government demonstrators entered the Surinamese parliament and looting and fire broke out in other places.

The police are asking everyone to stay indoors and all public markets in Paramaribo will remain closed today by order of the government. The government has also asked shopkeepers to close their businesses. “We will do everything during this period to restore calm, but also to hold those responsible for the unrest to account,” said President Santokhi.

He calls the disturbances “far and far outside the rules of the democratic game” and “a serious breach of the democratic order”. The president has set up a task force that includes the military. It will track down people who have committed serious crimes.

‘Incidents in different districts’

According to the president, “incidents are still ongoing in various districts and neighborhoods” where police and army have been sent.

The riots started after an anti-government protest in the morning that attracted thousands of people. According to Star News, the organizers of the demonstration lost control of the crowd.

The lobby of the parliament building was destroyed and windows were broken. There would also have been a fire. Military police fired tear gas and blanks to disperse the crowd.

In other places, a gas station was looted and shop windows were smashed.

“The protest started very pleasantly this morning, there were also many young people and children,” says journalist Lena van Dijk, who works for the Surinamese Youth News in Paramaribo.

“When the truck with the organizers of the protest on it was not allowed into the city center by the police, demonstrators went to get the truck and things got a bit restless.” According to her, the atmosphere changed when protesters demanded that politicians come out and that did not happen.

View images of the riots:

Protests in Suriname against the government of Santokhi

Demonstrators believe that Santokhi and Vice President Brunswijk are not keeping their election promises and are demanding their departure.

From his predecessor Bouterse, the president inherited an empty state treasury, a sky-high debt and a deep-rooted corruption problem. In addition, there is currently high inflation and increased prices for fuel, among other things, and there is anger because Santokhi has placed family members in various important positions.

On Wednesday, the social democratic party NPS left the government coalition. The party felt that it had hardly been involved in decision-making in the last two years.

  • Chaos during riots in Suriname, demonstrators invade parliament
  • Green party NPS will immediately leave the Surinamese coalition
  • Abroad

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