CARICOM heads of government have reaffirmed its support for the democratically elected Government of Suriname under the leadership of President Chandrikapersad Santokhi.
Hundreds of people protested in Suriname Friday against rising living costs, clashing with security forces in the capital Paramaribo and looting city center shops, AFP observed.
The government, in a statement, cited reports that the National Assembly had been “forcibly entered, causing destruction,” though it did not provide details.
The protesters chanted slogans against rising prices for food, petrol and electricity, and accused the government of corruption.
In a statement released by CARICOM, the Heads of Government said it took note of the unfolding situation in Suriname and strongly condemned the violent attacks on people as well as private and public facilities including the parliament.
“They recognized the right to freedom of expression, and the right to peaceful protest but expressed the view that there can be no excuse for the use of violence in any type of demonstration. They affirmed that these actions only serve to undermine the rule of law and the stability of democracies. Furthermore, they threaten the lives and livelihoods of our citizens and are inimical to the interest of our population,” the statement added.
CARICOM said it stands in solidarity with all law-abiding citizens of Suriname and urges all concerned to make every effort to maintain public safety. All efforts must be made to restore calm as a matter of urgency.