Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 30th 2013 Contents A49
June 30, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
T Invites you to join in the celebrations
What is NAIDOC week?
National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC). NAIDOC celebrations are
held around Australia in July each year to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of
Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, not only in Indigenous communities, but by
Australians from all walks of life.
This year's theme
This year's theme proudly celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the presentation of the Yirrkala Bark
Petitions by the Yolngu peoples' of Arnhem Land, Northern Territory to the Australian Federal
Parliament. The Petitions were the first Indigenous traditional documents recognized by the
Commonwealth Parliament of Australia and helped to shape the nation's acknowledgment of
Australia's Aboriginal people and their land rights.
To celebrate NAIDOC Week 2013, the Australian High Commission, Port of Spain, welcomes your
attendance at the following events:
Tuesday, 9 July 2013
8.30pm Free screening of 'The Sapphires'
Venue: IMAX Theatre, One Woodrook, St James
Seats are limited -- admission by ticket only
Tickets are available from Wednesday 2 July 2013 (8.00am -- 4.30pm) from the Australian High
Commission, 18 Herbert Street, St Clair. (limit 4 tickets per person)
9 - 10 July -- Friday 12 July 2013
3.30pm Free screening: Australian Indigenous short films/documentaries
Venue: NALIS, Audio-Visual Room, Cnr Hart and Abercrombie Streets, Port of Spain 0630072
PARAMARIBO---The compensation many
descendants of Dutch slavery feel is due
to them became official after members of
the Committee Reparations Slavery Past
Suriname deposited a claim at the Dutch
"We want to discuss the material and
immaterial damage," said committee chair-
man Armand Zunder as he presented a peti-
tion to Dutch charge d affaires Ernst Noor-
Zunder was joined at the presentation by
committee member Guno Rijssel, who
stressed "we re did not go begging. We only
demand a satisfactory settlement that is
due to us."
In its petition, the committee requests
that The Netherlands acknowledge the suf-
fering of people who were enslaved here.
"We request that the Dutch government
appoint an institute with which we could
enter into dialogue regarding the reparations
of the damage we suffered," Zunder said.
He acknowledged efforts by The Nether-
lands to give Afro-Surinamers a place in
the Dutch community---like the Slavery
Memorial statues of Amsterdam and Rot-
terdam---but said that these were but fee-
ble.The Dutch shipped an estimated one mil-
lion Africans from their continent to work
on plantations in "the new world." Slavery
was officially abolished on July 1, 1863,
Demand for slavery reparations
delivered to Dutch embassy in Suriname
which this year is 150 years ago. The Netherlands
has not offered a formal apology.
Zunder, an economist, has previously published
research results that showed that the Netherlands
earned some 125 billion euros from Suriname during
"That money was earned through the hard work
of the slaves and they were never compensated; in
contrast, the traders and the plantation owners were.
They got 100 million euros. And that has been invested
in the Dutch economy. The country still benefits
from these investments."
Charge d affaires Noorman urged the committee
to "wait and see" what message Dutch Social Affairs
Minister Lodewijck Asscher will have when he
addresses the slavery abolition memorial event at
Amsterdam s Oostpark on July 1.
"Whatever Asscher will have to say is for the wider
public. The committee expects a formal response in
writing from The Hague to our petition. The Nether-
lands only seems to want to talk about oppression
and the slavery that exists today, and disregard the
riches they earned from enslaving our ancestors."
Zunder said that he did not consider his committee
a mouthpiece of the Surinamese government, but
stressed that he was following a path that has been
laid by the government.
"Government never changed the standpoint it took
at the United Nations World Conference Against
Racism, held in Durban, South Africa, in September
2001. We simply filled in the blanks and used that
as our point of departure. Slavery was a crime against
humanity, and that has no statute of limitations."
He expected a tedious process, but said he was in
for the long haul.
"We have to set up the organisation, start the dia-
logue with our community and then be ready to
tackle whatever will be thrown at us by the institute
the Dutch government will appoint to talk to us," he
said. "Fact is that reparations are due because our
ancestors suffered material and immaterial damage."
Asked whether he thinks compensation should be
in the form of funds or in the form of projects that
help the ancestors of slaves bridge disadvantages, he
said: "Well that s what we need to start the dialogues
ST GEORGE'S---Legislators in Grenada have
approved a bill that makes it a crime to offend
people through Web sites such as Facebook and
The measure was approved as part of an electronic
crimes bill passed late Friday. The same bill also
imposes penalties on other online activities including
electronic stalking and identity theft.
"We have problems when some use the technology
to engage in mischief," said Legal Affairs Minister
Elvin Nimrod. "We have to put structures in place
to ensure that persons and, in some cases, companies
and characters are not tarnished."
According to the bill, which is the first of its kind
in the Caribbean, complaints about offensive com-
ments would be filed with police. A judge would
then decide if the message was offensive.
Those found guilty could be fined up to $37,000
or face three years in prison.
"A person will be able to take that evidence of the
posting and use it as evidence in the court," Nimrod
said. "People have to act responsibly to others."
The bill also makes it a crime to distribute child
pornography, imposing fines of up to $111,000 and
a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
Grenada to punish
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