Suriname decided that February 25, the day Desi Boutros seized power in the country in 1980 with a coup, was no longer a holiday. The government does not think it appropriate to give too much weight to this moment in the country’s much-discussed history.
Home Minister Bronto Somohardjo announced the decision in a conversation with Suriname newspaper. The government took the decision after consulting with several civil society organizations.
Puteres and his fellow coup plotters rejected the democratically elected government of Suriname in February 1980. After that, the country had a military regime for years, which was, among other things, responsible for the so-called December crimes.
The Potter’s government, which was elected president in 2010, decided in 2011 that February 25 would henceforth be celebrated as the nation’s day of liberation and renewal.
“Today raises a lot of discussion, it should not be celebrated.”
Minister Somohardjo Collections Suriname newspaper On February 25, 1980 political upheaval broke out in Suriname, “as innovations aimed at reversing the situation in which the country was at that time were announced.” The government also stated that “the events of this day had a major impact on the course of history.”
However, there is a “difference of opinion” about the status and character of the revolution within Suriname. The coup led to social and economic turmoil in the country and “numerous events occurred that contradict the principles of the constitutional state.”
The government said that observing this day is not appropriate for a democratic state that respects the basic rights and freedoms of the population. “A society should never celebrate a day when democratic principles are shattered,” says Somoharjo.
Potters was convicted of murders in December after 37 years
Potter was convicted in 2019 for his role in the arrest, torture, and shooting of fifteen political opponents in December 1982. The trial lasted nearly thirteen years. As president, Potter introduced an amnesty to ensure he would not be found guilty.
The former president recently issued a statement saying that opponents are being killed because “they were preparing to invade the enemy.” According to Bouters, the conviction by the military court was due to “white men plots, secret services and Mark Root.” He had no evidence for this claim.