General information: Independence was granted in 1975 (until 1975 – a colony of the Netherlands). Five years later, the civilian government was overthrown by a military regime that proclaimed a socialist republic. The military remained in power behind the veneer of a nominally civilian government until 1987, when, thanks to international pressure, the system of democratic elections was restored. In 1989, the military again overthrew the civilian government, but a democratically elected government returned to power in 1991.
Location: Northern part of South America, Atlantic coast, between French Guiana and Guyana.
Geographical coordinates: 4° 00′ N. latitude, 56° 00′ W
Reference map: South America.
Area: total: 163,270 km2; land surface area: 161,470 km2; water surface area: 1,800 km2
Comparative area: slightly larger than the state of Georgia.
Land borders: total: 1,707 km; with neighboring states: with Brazil 597 km, with French Guiana 510 km, with Guyana 600 km.
Coastline: 386 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; softened by the trade winds.
Terrain: mostly hills; narrow marshy coastal lowland.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: unnamed point on the coastal lowland -2 m; highest point: Mount Juliana 1,230 m.
Natural resources: timber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, iron ore.
Land use: arable land: 0%; cultivated land: 0%; pasture: 0%; forests and plantations: 96%; others: 4% (1993 est.); note: there are 94,927 ha of arable land, 7,195 ha of cultivated land and 15,000 ha of pasture.
Irrigated land: 600 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: no data available.
Current environmental issues: deforestation for export supplies; pollution of inland waterways by small mining operations.
International Environmental Treaties: Member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Pollution, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 1994, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”: mainly tropical dog; a great variety of flora and fauna, whose conservation is threatened by the expansion of human activity; relatively small population, a significant part of which lives on the coast.
Population: 433,998 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 33.62% (male 70,314; female 66,924); 15 to 64 years old: 62.71% (male 138,969; female 133,193); over 65: 5.67% (male 11,194; female 13,404) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.6% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 20.53 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 5.68 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -8.87 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.05 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.04 male/female; over 65: 0.84 male/female; for the general population: 1.03 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 24.27 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 71.63 years; men: 68.97 years; women: 74.42 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 2.47 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 1.26% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 3,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 210 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Surinamese; adjective: Surinamese.
Ethnic groups: Indians (also called East Indians in this region; their ancestors emigrated from North India at the end of the 19th century) 37%, Creoles (descendants of whites and blacks) 31%, Javanese 15%, Maroons (their African ancestors were brought to the country in XVII and XVIII centuries as slaves and fled from the owners in the interior of the country) 10%, Indians 2%, Chinese 2%, whites 1%, other 2%.
Believers: Hindu 27.4%, Muslim 19.6%, Catholic 22.8%, Protestant 25.2% (mostly Moravian Brethren), adherents of local beliefs 5%.
Language(s): Dutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranan Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes referred to as Taki-Taki, is the native language of the Creoles, as well as the language of the youth and the lingua franca of others), Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 93%; men: 95%; women: 91% (1995 est.).
conventional long form: Republic of Suriname;
conventional short form: Suriname; local long form: Republiek Suriname; local short form: Suriname; former: Netherlands Guiana, Dutch Guiana
State structure: constitutional democracy. See politicsezine.com to know more about Suriname Political System.
Administrative divisions: 10 districts: Brokopondo, Commeweine, Koroni, Maroweine, Nikkre-ri, Para, Paramaribo, Saramakka, Sipaliwini, Wanika.
Independence: November 25, 1975 (until 1975 – a colony of the Netherlands).
National holiday: Independence Day, November 25 (1975).
Constitution: approved September 30, 1987
Legal system: based on Dutch law with elements of French criminal law.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN (since 12 August 2000); Vice President Jules Rattankoemar AJODHIA (since August 12, 2000); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
head of government: President Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN (since 12 August 2000); Vice President Jules Rattankumar AJODHYA (since August 12, 2000); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
government: the Cabinet of Ministers is appointed by the President from among the members of the National Assembly; elections: the president and vice president are elected by the National Assembly or, if the nomination of the president or vice president, after two ballots, does not win a constitutional majority in the National Assembly, by the large People’s Assembly (869 representatives from national, local and regional councils), term of office – five years; elections last held 6 May 2000; second round 5 September 1996 (next expected in May 2005); note: violent demonstrations in the summer of 1999 led to the postponement of elections a year earlier; election results: Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN elected president with 72.5% of legislators; Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN (NF) 37 votes, PaiiJHflflOKXM(RashiedDOEKHIE) (NDP) 10 votes.
Legislature: unicameral National Assembly (51 seats; members are elected by popular vote for five years); elections: elections last held 5 May 2000 (next to be held in May 2005); election results: distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: NF 33, MC 10, DNP 2000 3, DA-91 2, PVF2, PALU 1; note: violent demonstrations in the summer of 1999 led to the postponement of elections a year earlier.
Judiciary: court (judges are appointed for life).
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Alternative-91 (DA-91) (a coalition of the Alternative Forum [AF] and the Party for Brotherhood and Unity in Politics [VER], established in January 1991) (RAMKHELAWAN [S. RAMKHELAWAN]); Democratic National Platform 2000 (DNP 2000) (coalition of the Democratic Party and 21st Century Democrats) (Jules WIJDENBOSCH); Independent Progressive Democratic Alternative (OPDA) (Joginder RAMKHI-LAWAN); Millennium Union (Coalition of the Democratic Alternative, KTPI and NDP) (leader – NA); National Democratic Party (NDP) (Desire BOUTERSE); Naya Kadam (leader – no data); Party for Renewal and Democracy (BVD) (Tjan GOBARDHAN); Party of National Unity and Solidarity (KTPI) (Willy SOEMITA); Pertjaja Luhur (Paul SOMOHARDJO); Progressive Workers’ and Rural Workers’ Union (PALU) (Ir Iwan KROLIS); New Front (NF) (coalition of the National Party of Suriname [NPS], Progressive Reform Party [VHP], Labor Party of Surinam [SPA], Perthjaja Luhur) (Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN); Progressive Development Alliance (PDA) (association of the Renewed Progressive Party [HPP], Agricultural Workers’ Federation Party [PVF], Progressive People’s Party of Suriname [PSV]) (Harry KISOENSINGH [Harry KISOENSINGH]). Perthjaja Luhur) (Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN); Progressive Development Alliance (PDA) (association of the Renewed Progressive Party [HPP], Agricultural Workers’ Federation Party [PVF], Progressive People’s Party of Suriname [PSV]) (Harry KISOENSINGH [Harry KISOENSINGH]). Perthjaja Luhur) (Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN); Progressive Development Alliance (PDA) (association of the Renewed Progressive Party [HPP], Agricultural Workers’ Federation Party [PVF], Progressive People’s Party of Suriname [PSV]) (Harry KISOENSINGH [Harry KISOENSINGH]).
Political pressure groups and leaders: General Liberation and Development Party (AVOR) (Ronnie BRUNSWIJK); Liberation Movement Mandela Bushnegro (Leendert ADAMS); Tukayana Amazonika (Alex JUBITANA, Thomas SABAJO); Union for Liberation and Democracy (Kofi AFONGPONG).
Participation in international organizations: АСР, Caricom, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDB, IFAD, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OIC, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: head of mission: position vacant; office: Suite 460, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 244-7488; fax:  (202) 244-5878; consulates general: Miami.
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Daniel A. JOHNSON; embassy: Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 129, Paramaribo; mailing address: Department of State, 3390 Paramaribo Place, Washington, DC, 20521-3390; phone:  472900; fax:  420800.
Description of the flag: five horizontal stripes of green (top, double width), white, red (quadruple width), white and green (double width); a large yellow five-pointed star in the center of the red stripe.