President of India Draupadi Murmu explores Suriname's cultural sites during State visit

President of India Droupadi Murmu explores Suriname’s cultural sites during State visit

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New Delhi, India: President of India Droupadi Murmu, who is on an official visit to Suriname, on Tuesday said that Suriname is like a small version of India and praised the important role Indians have played in the country’s progress in areas like the economy, society.

She had a meeting with people of Indian descent living in Suriname during a community gathering, and Suriname President Chandikaprasad Santokhi was also present.

Speaking to the audience, President Droupadi Murmu expressed her pride in the fact that Indians have achieved top positions in Suriname.

“I’m visiting Suriname as my first official trip since becoming President, and it’s an honour for me to join in the celebration of 150 years since Indians arrived in Suriname. We take great pride in the fact that Indians have achieved top positions in Suriname. Indians have made substantial contributions to the economic, social, and cultural development of Suriname,” she stated.

She also mentioned that the Government of India aims to establish enduring relationships with all its friendly nations.

“Currently, India is making rapid progress in its development journey, and we have always been at the forefront of assisting our friendly countries with vaccines and medicines,” she added.

At the beginning of the community reception, a two-minute period of silence was observed to pay tribute and offer prayers for the 278 individuals who tragically lost their lives in the Balasore train accident in Odisha on June 2.

During his speech at the event, Suriname President Chandrikapersad Santoki expressed the intention to enhance the already strong 47-year relationship with India.

“We are commemorating 150 years since Indians arrived in Suriname, and we are thrilled to wholeheartedly welcome the President of India on this special occasion. We will further strengthen the 47-year bond between Suriname and India, focusing on enhancing cultural and social-religious connections. Despite the thousands of kilometres between us, Suriname can be considered a mini India. Our relationship has grown even stronger following Droupadi Murmu ji’s visit. On behalf of the people of Suriname, I extend my gratitude,” he said.

Earlier today, Droupadi Murmu and her Suriname counterpart Chandrikapersad Santokhi paid their respects to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Knuffelsgracht, the capital of Paramaribo. They offered floral tributes to honour the enduring legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, tweeted about this commemorative event.

President Droupadi Murmu then proceeded to visit the Lalla Rookh Museum in Suriname as part of her tour.

Continuing her visit to Suriname on the third day, the President also went to the Vishnu Mandir, a Hindu temple in Suriname.