The Netherlands continues Suriname anti-amnesty lobby

(de Ware Tijd) THE HAGUE — Suriname should not expect a change in policy from the Dutch, despite the fall of the Dutch government. National and international efforts against Suriname in view of the adopted Amnesty Act will be continued. Lower House legislators Kathleen Ferrier (CDA) and Harry van Bommel (SP), in separate interviews, told de Ware Tijd that outgoing Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal has full support of the House. ‘All political parties in the Lower House support the Rutte/Verhage policy towards Suriname with regards to the adopted Amnesty Act,’ Ferrier told dWT. Dutch efforts to get EU and OAS support in condemning Suriname will continue as before, says van Bommel. Both Ferrier and Van Bommel, who are on the Foreign Affairs commission in the House, say that the Dutch cabinet crisis will not favor Bouterse.

In last week’s Suriname debate Rosenthal had already announced that he would address the Amnesty Act in the EU Foreign Council. He said then that many EU countries have no ties with Suriname. Van Bommel, who is expected to be the next Foreign Minister, says that Rosenthal will be at the EU meeting as scheduled. ‘If his presence there is hindered, there will still be ways to address the issue, Ferrier says. Rosenthal had asked during the debates to issue a statement with other countries for international support for the court martial judges. Van Bommel argues that an outgoing government does not have a weakened position internationally, so the policy will be continued as before.