Suriname's Indian-origin President was not the Chief Guest at Republic Day 2021
Suriname's Indian-Origin President was not the Chief Guest at Republic Day 2021. As per the clarification by the Ministry of External Affairs, no foreign leader was invited as a Chief Guest for Republic Day 2021.
The reports of Suriname’s Indian-origin President being the Chief Guest at the Republic Day 2021 parade were making rounds in the media, however, on January 14, 2021, the Ministry of External Affairs clarified that no foreign leader was invited as a Chief Guest for the Republic Day 2021.
The ministry announced, “There will be no foreign leader as Republic Day Chief Guest. The decision comes because of the ongoing global COVID-19 situation.” Notably, it was also the first time in 55 years that no foreign guest had attended India’s Republic Day parade.
Due to global COVID-19 situation, it was decided not to have a foreign head of state or head of government as R-Day chief guest: MEA— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) January 14, 2021
About Chandrikapersad Santokhi
Chandrikapersad Santokhi was sworn in as the 9th President of the Republic of Suriname in July 2020 after his party- Progressive Reform Party won the 2020 General Elections by claiming 20 out of the total 51 seats.
Santokhi, who is a former chief of police, was the sole nominee for Suriname's Presidency and was inaugurated as President on July 16, 2020. His win brought an end to the dictatorial rule by Dési Bouterse.
His party, the Progressive Reform Party (PRP) largely represents the Indian community and had originally been called the United Hindustani Party.
Suriname is a former Dutch colony where Indian-origin people make up the largest ethnic group, as they comprise 27.4 percent of the total population of 587,000.
India had initially invited UK PM Boris Johnson to be the Republic Day Chief Guest but the British PM later decided to cancel his visit due to the escalating COVID-19 situation in the United Kingdom.
Disclaimer: Sangeeta Nair, the author of this article, had erroneously mentioned that Suriname’s Indian-Origin President was to be the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day 2021 celebrations. A fact-check confirmed that this information was incorrect. We regret this oversight and have made the necessary correction in the article.
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