Sun | Jun 24, 2018

Scrap Good Friday, other religious holidays - Commission

Published:Tuesday | September 11, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Desi Bouterse

The National Holidays Commission is recommending that the government replace three of the 15 national holidays in a move that is likely to anger religious groups in Suriname.

The commission, established last year to evaluate all national holidays in Suriname, has recommended that Good Friday, the day on which Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ; Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday to commemorate the Festival of Sacrifice; and Diwali, the Hindu holiday to mark the Festival of Lights, be scrapped.

"People can still request days off from their employers if they wish to commemorate religious holidays that are important to them," said commission chairman, Marlon Powell.

But Paul Doth, a local pastor, has already warned that Christians would not give up Good Friday.

"No way Good Friday can be scrapped!" he said.

The Desi Bouterse government has come in for much criticism after it announced national holidays for the Maroon and Indigenous People last year.

In addition, the government also reinstated February 25 as a holiday to mark the 1980 coup that first brought Bouterse, then an army sergeant, to power.

The commission is recommending that the government declare national holidays to observe Sasi Suro, the Javanese New Year, as well as the Chinese New Year.