The World

Hindu businessman Ramshewak Shankar was sworn in as the new president of Suriname, ending nearly eight years of military rule in the small South American nation with a call for improved relations with the Netherlands and the United States. Shankar, 50, the son of Indian immigrants, replaces military strongman Lt. Col. Desi Bouterse as head of government. Bouterse, who seized power in a coup in 1980, five years after the troubled nation gained independence from the Netherlands, was on hand for Shankar's inauguration. Bouterse remains head of the army and will retain an oversight role in the government.

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