Paramaribo (Suriname): President Droupadi Murmu and Suriname’s President Chandrikapersad Santokhi graced a momentous cultural celebration today, commemorating the 150th anniversary of Indians arriving in Suriname. During her address at the festival, President Murmu emphasised the striking similarities between India and Suriname, expressing her heartfelt admiration for the country’s diverse population.
In her speech, President Murmu remarked, “The beauty of your country’s lush green landscape, the remarkable variety of plants and wildlife, and the pure breeze create a wonderful ambience. However, what has truly won my heart is the diversity of the people of Suriname. Your well welcome, your love, and your enthusiasm.”
President Murmu further announced a significant decision by the Indian government to broaden the eligibility criteria for overseas citizenship in India. “Today, on this historic occasion, I am delighted to announce that my government has approved an expansion of the overseas citizenship of India eligibility criteria. The OCI card will now be available to individuals up to the sixth generation, potentially encompassing all those whose ancestors arrived in Suriname aboard the first ship,” she declared.
As an honour of President Murmu’s visit, Suriname President Santokhi bestowed upon her the esteemed Grand Order of the Chain of the Yellow Star, the highest civilian honour in Suriname. This distinction marks a significant milestone as she becomes the first Indian to receive this esteemed accolade.
Embarking on her first leg of state visits to Serbia and Suriname, President Murmu arrived in Paramaribo, Suriname, on June 4th. This visit holds particular significance as it marks her inaugural journey to Suriname and serves as her first state visit since assuming office in July 2022.