PARAMARIBO, Suriname, CMC – A Suriname based foundation is calling on the Netherlands to apologise for its role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Chairman of the Broki (Bridge) Collective said if the Dutch didn’t apologise in 2013, then the group would lodge a complaint with international organizations.
“If the Dutch don’t apologize this year, I will seek support from other countries with a slavery past to bring this matter to the attention of the European Union and the United Nations and force the Netherlands to formally apologize,” Bottse said.
Suriname and other former Dutch colonies are getting ready to mark the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, and the Afro-Surinamese foundation noted that while the Dutch played a role in the slave trade, it has never offered any apology even though the slave trade was officially abolished on July 1st 1863.
Bottse said 2013 is an opportune time for the Dutch to express more than regret and that he would raise the issue at the International Slavery Memorial Conference to be here on June 26 and addressed by speakers from the Caribbean, Cuba, Brazil and the United States.
Bottse said he had initially approached Suriname’s Foreign Ministry hoping that Paramaribo would urge the Netherlands to apologise, but was advised otherwise.
“Which is why we will raise the issue at the Slavery Conference,” he said.
Apart from the observing the 150th anniversary of the slave trade, Suriname is also marking the 140th anniversary of the Indian arrival and 160th anniversary of the arrival of people from China.