Hendrick Chin A Sen

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Hendrick Chin A Sen

Hendrick "Henk" Rudolf Chin A Sen (born January 18, 1934 in Albina , Suriname , † August 11, 1999 in Paramaribo ) was a Surinamese internist and politician. From 1980 to 1982 he was president.


Chin A Sen studied medicine and worked as a family doctor in Paramaribo from 1959 to 1961. After further training as an internist in the Netherlands , he worked at the St. Vinzentius Hospital in Paramaribo. During this time he became a member of the Nationalist Republic (PNR) party, which sought independence from the Netherlands. Here, however, he was more of a passive member.


Chin A Sen became Prime Minister of Suriname on March 15, 1980 following the February 25, 1980 military coup that brought Desi Bouterse and his National Military Council (NMR) to power. The appointment of the inactive politician came as a big surprise. He formed a left-wing cabinet to which members of the NMR were also appointed. Shortly after taking office it became clear that he wanted to return to democracy and limit the power of the military . In May 1980, Parliament passed a law that increased the power of the government at Parliament's expense. At the time, this was considered necessary in order to be able to resolutely resolve the existing problems in Suriname. After President Johan Ferrier resigned, Chin A Sen took over that office.

Chin A Sen was able to expand his power through internal disputes in the NMR. However, after the problems within the NMR were resolved, a serious conflict broke out between Bouterse and Chin A Sen over the political course. Bouterse strove for a society on a socialist and revolutionary basis with the NMR as a strong force, while Chin A Sen wanted to reintroduce democratic rules of the game. A draft constitution submitted by Chin A Sen was rejected by the NMR in 1981, further increasing tensions between the government and the military. All of this resulted in Chin A Sen stepping down as president on February 4, 1982. In the same year he sought and found political asylum in the Netherlands .

Late years

After the murders of 15 opposition members by the military on December 8, 1982 at Fort Zeelandia in Paramaribo, Chin A Sen was elected chairman of the Council for the Liberation of Suriname in the Netherlands. In this capacity he also made contact with Ronnie Brunswijk and his jungle commando , who led an armed dispute against Bouterse. 3 people were killed in a bomb attack in Rijswijk in 1985 during a meeting of the Council for the Liberation of Suriname. This attack was probably directed against Chin A Sen, who was not present at the moment. In 1995 Chin A Sen returned to Paramaribo, where he resumed his work as an internist. Henk Chin A Sen died in Paramaribo at the age of 65.


  • Andre Haakmat: De revolutie uitgegleden , Amsterdam 1987, Uitgeverij Jan Mets, ISBN 90-70509-64-4 .

See also