The Words of the Ristie Family

Suriname Ambassadors for Peace Hold Rally

Denny Ristie
May 28, 2011
Secretary General, UPF-Suriname

Paramabiro, Suriname -- UPF-Suriname held a rally in the ballroom of the Hotel Krasnapolsky on the evening of May 28 under the leadership of the new chairman of UPF-Suriname, Hon. Walther Sandriman. The theme of the rally was, "Proclamation of an Era of Universal Peace." We expected 120 people, but more than 200 came, filling the hall.

UPF Board members were active in inviting Ambassadors for Peace and other guests to the program. Each of them received 13 invitations and ten Ambassadors for Peace handbooks to distribute. They introduced most of the new Ambassadors for Peace.

At first, different religious leaders offered a prayer or a prayer song. One prayer song was chanted by the "Chutney King" of Suriname, Mr. Kries Ramkhelawan, the best Hindu singer in the nation. He was appointed an Ambassador for Peace.

The congratulatory address was given by member of Parliament, Hon. Aziz Gajadien. Hon. Gajadien is a young parliamentarian who brought about a renewal in his political party. In Suriname we have an inter-religious council. The members of that council are all Ambassadors for Peace except one and have served as board members of UF Suriname. Hon. Gajadien mentioned in his congratulatory address that politicians and government officials should take into account the advice of the inter-religious council of Suriname. He took responsibility to inform the other parliamentarians about this new road to peace. He was appointed an Ambassador for Peace.

Suriname is like a United Nations with people of many different races and religions living side by side. Even a synagogue and mosque are standing right beside each other in the middle of the capital. A documentary about the harmony in our country would show a very good example for other nations.

The event started late because of people's interest in final match of the European Cup, but nobody left because of the late hour. Dinner was followed by some songs by Maria Arupa. Twenty-one new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed.

Hon. Sandriman is a former Minister of Education and the former Deputy of the Vice President of Suriname. He addressed a summit of the Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace in 2004. In 2009 he and his wife participated in the World Peace Blessing in Korea. His goal is for the Ambassador for Peace corps to become recognized by the government.

On June 21, a seminar is planned for Ambassadors for Peace to inform them about the importance of inter-religious cooperation and the proposal for an inter-religious council at the UN.

Hon. S. Moestadja, Minister of Home Affairs, was unable to attend but sent the following message:

It is my pleasure to address you all today not only as the Minister of Home Affairs but also as a fellow citizen and in particular as an advocate for world peace.

The challenges the world faces nowadays must lead us to reflect on the responsibilities we have to use our resources in a manner which benefits society and mankind. The worldwide suffering, hunger, disease, ongoing conflicts, the economic crisis, poverty, and injustice must lead us to reflect on the meaning of life itself and the purpose of our existence on this planet.

Good governance, in particular sustainable governance, good leadership and acting as role models are principles that, under all circumstances, must be complied with in order to create an environment in which people feel safe and secure. The feeling of insecurity must be dealt with by the leaders to develop the nation and the world and to fulfill the goals we have set to bring prosperity for the people.

Tolerance, solidarity, and non-discrimination are crucial prerequisites in achieving world peace. The establishment of world peace cannot be realized without taking into account the role that families play, for that is where the process of peace-building commences.

Hence, it is our job as leaders to uphold the crucial principles of the rule of law, good governance -- in particular sustainable governance -- and the principles of democracy to prevent arbitrariness, unnecessary violation of human rights, and anarchy.

Governments have the obligation and responsibility to create and sustain a peaceful world with sufficient opportunities for the next generations.

Bear in mind that there can be no development without removing the constraints that obstruct the development process, and there can also be no development without removing the various types of unfreedoms that leave people with few choices and therefore fewer opportunities for development and prosperity.

Along with the notion of the importance of the family in the peace-building process, we must not forget the crucial role religion plays, for it is through religion that mankind can free themselves from negativity and open a clear path towards achieving world peace.

As I stressed in the UPF conference in Seoul, South Korea, earlier this year:

"No doubt, without peace, development cannot be realized for the good of the people and in particular for the good of planet Earth."

Let us not forget that it is our duty and responsibility as governments to see to it that everything is in place to realize the lasting dream of universal peace. 

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