(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – The religious organizations consulted by the Commission National Holidays Suriname refuse to surrender their national holidays. “They claim that the days have been obtained through the times and that they are entitled to them. So they want to keep what they have”, says the commission’s chairman Marlon Powel. The organizations believe that the commission should rather consider looking into holidays that are not really celebrated. “With this exception, they are very sober about the issue and believe that currently there are too many holidays”. The business community has expressed the same opinion at the consultations held so far. “The 15 holidays, together with the obligatory free Saturdays and Sundays keep their employees idle nearly one-third of the year. If they let their employees work on holidays, they must pay them 300% of a usual day’s pay. So the costs are too high for the work being done”. The commission has already consulted 16 social organizations. “Some groups think that the commission has been established to file requests for holidays, but we only want to hear their opinions about the current number of holidays”. These talks are scheduled until 21 March, after which the opinions will be included in a report. The commission will present this report at a special seminar. “We hope the discussions there will lead to new insights about holidays”. After the report has been adapted, it will be presented to the President with the commission’s advice. The government itself will then decide whether to add or remove holidays.