Suriname parliament calls for effective counseling services after suicide-murder tragedy

After an argument with his wife, 28-year old Soerinderkoemar Nibar drove his car into the Saramacca River 25 kilometers west of Paramaribo, killing himself and his children Tuchal (7), Ishaan (3) and Sheraja (1), an event that has shocked the nation.

According to two fishermen who witnessed the incident, the man parked the vehicle for some time near a bridge, reversed the car and subsequently sped into the river. The car floated for several minutes with the children screaming for help and eventually sunk. It took divers and other rescue personnel over 16 hours to locate the vehicle and bring it to shore after it went down late Friday night.

The distraught widow told police that she, her husband and children went out dining that evening and that her husband had drunk a lot. The couple had an argument and even on their way home the fight continued. Nibar suddenly ordered his wife out of the vehicle, took over the wheel and sped off with the children. When she arrived home and her family was not yet there she made a missing persons report to police. 

At approximately the same time, police received information that a car had plunged into the Saramacca River near the Uitkijk Bridge.

On Saturday afternoon the car was towed out of the water with three bodies inside while on Sunday afternoon the body of the 7-year-old child was recovered close to where the incident took place. 

Returning from his weekend visit to Venezuela, President Desi Bouterse said that the government will render every assistance necessary to the grieving family. 

“The government offers moral support, but the strength would come from the Dear Lord above,” said Bouterse.

During its session on Tuesday members of parliament called for adequate policies regarding professional mental counseling. According to MPs, the ministry of Social Welfare should play a much bigger role in the counseling of individuals that have issues of domestic violence. 

Sources indicate that Nibar’s wife made several reports of domestic violence to the police but no professional help was offered to the couple. 

Speaker of the House, Jennifer Geerlings-Simons, noted that the suicide-murder drama was unprecedented and therefore policies should be in place to prevent such incidents in the future. Several legislators argued that on a daily basis they are being confronted with cases of domestic violence and called on the government to address this issue.

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