History: Suriname, formerly Dutch Guyana, lies on the north east coast of South America. It became independent in 1975.
A Military Council came to power in 1982. In 1987 civilian rule was restored. Political turmoil continue, with its adverse effects on the economy.
A boundary dispute between Suriname and Guyana flared in June, 2000.
Ethnic Groups: Creole 35%; Indian 33% Javanese 16% Bush Negroes (Blacks) 10%; Amerincian 3%.
Economy: The economy is very dependent on exports and imports. Much of the land is given to rice cultivation, managed by Hindustanis. The country is rich in bauxite. Bauxite, alumina and aluminium constitute nearly 80% of the exports. Industry: Aluminium, processed foods, lumber.
History: Swaziland, formerly a British protectorate, attained independence on Sept. 6, political parties were banned in 1978. The 1990s saw moves towards a multiparty system.
The royal house of Swaziland is one of Africa’s last ruling dynasties. The population is homogenous, of Nguni Descent.
Economy: Sugar is the principal item in the economy, with citrus fruits, cotton, rice and maize, coming next. But the main wealth of the Swazis is cattle. There are considerable mineral reserves, especially, asbestos, iron and coal. Industry: Wood pulp, cotton ginning and meat processing.
History: Sweden which occupies the eastern part of the Scandinavian peninsula, is the largest of the Nordic countries and in terms of area, the fourth largest country in Europe. Mountains cover 25% of the country. A constitutional monarchy since 1434, Sweden is the world’s first widely comprehensive welfare state. Stockholm is known as “Beauty on the Sea’’.
Economy: Sweden has rich natural supplies of coniferous forest, water power, iron ore and uranium.
Highly industrialized, Sweden today exports 40% of its industrial production. Major industries: Steel, machinery, instruments, autos, shipbuilding and paper. Main crops: Grains, potatoes, sugar beets and dairy products. Forests ( half the country) yield 16% of exports.
Sweden entered the EU on Jan. 1, 1995 but decided against joining NATO.
In 2000, Sweden voted in favour of adopting euro as its currency.
Recent Events: foreign Minister Anna Lyndh was stabbed to death in Sept. 2003. Her killer mijailo Mijailovic was sentenced to life in prison in March, 2004.