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Suriname

Population: 573 311

GDP: 5 273 000 000.00 $

Description

 

First explored by the Spaniards in the 16th century and then settled by the English in the mid-17th century, Suriname became a Dutch colony in 1667. With the abolition of African slavery in 1863, workers were brought in from India and Java. Independence from the Netherlands was granted in 1975. Five years later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared a socialist republic.

 

 

It continued to exert control through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1990, the military overthrew the civilian leadership, but a democratically elected government - a four-party coalition - returned to power in 1991. The coalition expanded to eight parties in 2005 and ruled until August 2010, when voters returned former military leader Desire Bouterse and his opposition coalition to power.

Population

 

Population: 573,311 (2014).

 

Nationality: noun: Surinamer(s), adjective: Surinamese.

 

Ethnic groups: Hindustani (also known locally as "East Indians"; their ancestors emigrated from northern India in the latter part of the 19th century) 37%, Creole (mixed white and black) 31%, Javanese 15%, "Maroons" (their African ancestors were brought to the country in the 17th and 18th centuries as slaves and escaped to the interior) 10%, Amerindian 2%, Chinese 2%, white 1%, other 2%.

 

Languages: Dutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki, is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese.

 

Religions: Hindu 27.4%, Protestant 25.2% (predominantly Moravian), Roman Catholic 22.8%, Muslim 19.6%, indigenous beliefs 5%.

GDP

 

GDP: $ 5 273 000 000.00 (2014).

Military Organization

 

Suriname Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Air Forces.

Conflicts and Disputes

 

Area claimed by French Guiana between Riviere Litani and Riviere Marouini (both headwaters of the Lawa); Suriname claims a triangle of land between the New and Kutari/Koetari rivers in a historic dispute over the headwaters of the Courantyne; Guyana seeks United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea arbitration to resolve the longstanding dispute with Suriname over the axis of the territorial sea boundary in potentially oil-rich waters.

 

Suriname is growing transshipment point for South American drugs destined for Europe via the Netherlands and Brazil; transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing.

Geographical Information and Map

 

Capital: Paramaribo

 

Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana and Guyana. Smallest independent country on South American continent; mostly tropical rain forest; great diversity of flora and fauna that, for the most part, is increasingly threatened by new development; relatively small population, mostly along the coast.

 

Geographic coordinates:

4 00 N, 56 00 W.

 

Area:

total: 163,820 sq km

land: 156,000 sq km

water: 7,820 sq km.

 

Land boundaries:

total: 1,907 km

border countries: Brazil 515 km, French Guiana 556 km, Guyana 836 km.

 

Coastline: 386 km.

 

Natural resources: timber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, and small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, iron ore.