Soualiga Newsday Top Stories

The Best bookmaker bet365


Soualiga Newsday Top Stories (1960)

Dutch terror threat remains ‘substantial’ despite recent wave of attacks

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The terrorist threat risk in the Netherlands remains ‘substantial’ and will not be increased despite the attacks and attempted attacks in Europe over the past few months, the Dutch counter-terrorism unit NCTV said on Friday.

The terror threat in the Netherlands is currently at level four, the second highest possible, and has been so for several years. This means that there is a real risk of an attack but no concrete indications that one is being planned.

This year so far, 45 people have been killed in 10 jihad-motivated attacks in Europe. Four took place in France and three in the UK. The NCTV also said in its latest report that the majority of Dutch jihadis have not gone over to violence but that this may change if hardened fighters return from Syria and Iraq.

Last year officials were aware of five returnees, this year just one so far. In total, 50 people have returned from abroad but most came back several years ago. Those considered dangerous are kept under supervision.

Some 190 Dutch nationals are thought to be living in Iraq and Syria, a total which has remained stable for some time. Some 45 have been killed. (DutchNews)


Minister of Justice receives copy of Pen on Paper

POND ISLAND - On Friday, June 23rd author Joseph Lake Jr presented Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman with his recently launched book: Pen on Paper (St. Martin 1970 to 2001) along with his other book "Six 4 Nine".

Mr. Lake said that the presentation is well in place as the Minister has long been involved in labor and is well aware of the labor struggles and developments of the island.

Pen on Paper serves as the highlights of journalism on St. Maarten during the 21st century.

It contains a wealth of documented information in regard to the challenges journalists faced and endured from the 1970's to 2001.

The information is backed up by articles, photos and other literature. The book serves as a great tool to pass on St. Maarten's history in regard to journalism.

The minister thanked Mr. Lake for the contribution, which he said will surely be placed among his "next to read" literature.


PM William Marlin speaks at Governor’s Symposium on “ICT Governance – Shaping Our Future”

PHILIPSBURG – Prime Minister William Marlin on Friday attended the Governor’s Symposium on Friday and addressed the audience about Information Communication Technology (ICT).

“The topic of this Forum calls for a re-thinking and re-imagining of what a future St. Maarten should be like in terms of its use and integration of Information Technology in its everyday life. We could look at this from the perspective of government’s IT Department and what the policy is with regards to harvesting the fruits of technology for the benefit of the people. I am, however, sure that there are better qualified experts who will address this point of view.

“Permit me, therefore, to take a broader view of the issue and share with you my vision of St. Maarten in the next generation.

“All over the island, from school children to senior citizens, the Smart phone has become a commonplace gadget. I understand that by last year there were over a billion of them all across the globe. This means a dramatic change not only in how we communicate with one another, but also a total restructuring of our lives and even our society with smart phones as the driving vector.

“Smart phones have become so indispensable that we do not leave home without them. We could forget our keys, forget our wrist-watch or even our glasses and still drive off to wherever we may be going, but we would turn back immediately if we should forget our smart phone. Of course, the debate still rages on whether this is so smart of us.

“But while there is no denying the fact that the smart phone has become almost as essential as the air we breathe, the question becomes, along with this smart phone, and the smart technology, do we have smart users, or smart citizens?

“I ask this in view of the fact that I envision St. Maarten as a Smart City or a Smart Island in the not-too-distant future. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, St. Maarten can become a Smart City by the next generation.

“What is a Smart City, you may ask?

“According to Andrea Caragliu and Peter Nijkamp, in a 2009 paper entitled, “Smart Cities in Europe,” “A city is defined as smart when investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (ICT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable development and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory action…”

“For Eduardo da Costa Paes, the former mayor of Rio de Janeiro, “Smart cities are those who manage their resources efficiently. Traffic, public services and disaster response should be operated intelligently in order to minimize costs, reduce carbon emissions and increase performance.”

“The ultimate purpose of a smart city, in my humble view, is indeed to marry infrastructure to the needs of the people in such a way that it facilitates fair and equal access to government services, and significantly reduces bureaucracy while greatly enhancing participation of the citizenry.

“In other words, a smart city employs digital technology to improve the lives of the people that reside in it. For this to happen, government must be able to offer strategic leadership not only by embracing technology and innovation but also by encouraging and nurturing the creativity of its citizens, especially the young and talented tech entrepreneurs.

“This brings me to the question Shakespeare posed in one of his lesser known plays, “What is the city but the people?” Or translated into our today’s language, what is a smart city without smart people?

“The investment that is required in human capital means that we should redesign our educational system in order for it to be able to produce “smart” people without whom there can be no smart city. In fact, a smart city is known by its ability to attract and keep knowledgeable citizens. Amsterdam, one of Europe’s smart cities, is also a knowledge city that boasts twenty-one universities of applied sciences with 40% of its population having higher education. 

“We will also need to invest, of course, in technology. This requires a huge financial outlay over a period of time. Needless to say government does not have that financial possibility at the moment. But we cannot shy away from ensuring that we have enough capacity and backbone as well as high-speed Internet in all corners of St. Maarten if we want to transform the island into a Smart City.

“We need to adopt an effective and efficient use of technology not only in government administration, but also in our schools, banks, businesses, health care, traffic and security services. Only an effective public-private partnership will enable us achieve such a goal.

“I am convinced, however, that we shall get there if we follow a road map using the famous PPT – People, Processes and Technology in a creative way.

“This means that we must study our people to determine their real needs, and understand their uniqueness as well as their ideals and goals in life: Then we will have to develop a Smart City Policy and design plans and strategies on how the goals will be achieved. All of this must be done through an intensive involvement of the people in a transparent and easy manner that can be strengthened through the use of technology, for example, e-government.

“Wouldn’t it be a great leap into the future for St. Maarten if our citizens could file their taxes online, and apply for government permits, shop for groceries and receive their medical reports on their smart phones? Wouldn’t it make government more responsive if people could offer suggestions and file complaints directly to the various ministries and receive responses within hours? I guess that is what the minister of VROMI, the honorable Christophe Emmanuel, had in mind when he launched the new App recently that would give the public direct access to officials in his ministry.

“What I am talking about is, of course, a paperless government serving a very wired community. It is the future our children deserve. It is the direction we have to go if we don’t want to be left behind in this 21st Century. I thank you.”


TelCell announces major fibre cable upgrade to key cell sites

POND ISLAND - TelEm Group’s mobile voice and data provider, TelCell, this week announced major upgrades of key cell sites in the areas of Middle Region, Defiance, Sucker Garden and parts of Guana Bay and Dawn Beach.

As of Friday, June 16, cell sites in the above areas were connected to the company’s fibre optic network and will no longer be connected via Microwave links.

The immediate result will be better mobile voice and data connections for TelCell mobile voice and data customers in these areas, especially during inclement weather.

According to TelEm Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Kendall Dupersoy, plans have been in the making for many months to have all cell sites connected via the more efficient fibre optic cables, however several factors, including problems with trenching works caused a great deal of delay.

“Things came to a head during the recent bad weather, when again mobile communication in these areas was very poor because of the weather conditions, leading to complaints from subscribers,” continued Mr. Dupersoy.

He said instructions were given to make the fibre connections to the cell sites a priority, especially since we are currently in the hurricane season.

“I was very pleased to learn at the weekend that Zone 1 and Zone 3 had completed their tasks of delivering the fibre cables to these cell sites, using in some cases some very ingenious means, so that the Network Core team could make the necessary connections,” said Mr. Dupersoy. He said the days of poor weather also meaning poor service should be a thing of the past, and he praised all those involved in completing this very important project.

Zone 3 Team Leader, Steve Simmons, said his team had to sub-duct fibre from the TelEm Group Sub-station in Belvedere to Middle Region and Defiance and also from Guana Bay to Sucker Garden Road.

“We had a lot of issues with trenching and getting permission to trench to get the cables where we wanted them, but in the end, we were able to use some ducts owned by St. Maarten Cable TV, and with the assistance of Cable TV staff we were able to finish the cabling part of this project very quickly,” said Mr. Simmons, who also thanked his Cable TV colleagues for their help.

Zone 1 Team Leader, Elroy Hughes, also indicated that the routing of fibre cables from the company’s Earth Station on Pond Island to the TelCell cell site in Umbrella Road, Sucker Garden, was no walk in the park either – even with the assistance of a sub-contractor.

“The same as Zone 3, we were responsible for sub-ducting, blowing, splicing and generally having the cable delivered to the site for connection,” said Mr. Hughes.

He said his part of the project began in earnest in January this year and was only recently completed, noting that since the connection to the fibre cable was made last Friday, mobile subscribers in and around the areas of Arch Road, Pond Island, Becky Hill, Sucker Garden and a part of Guana Bay Road, should be experiencing much better  mobile voice and data service.

The Leads of Zone 1 and Zone 3 credited the Network core team and team leader, Ralph Boirard, with making the final connections of the fibre cable to the cell sites - at the same time disconnecting the microwave links.

According to Ralph, his task and the task of his team was the easy part, judging by the many issues the Zones had to resolve before the new fibre cables were delivered to their sites.

He said now that these cells sites are connected to the Fibre network they will operate a lot more efficiently and will be easier to maintain and repair. They will also make the service less vulnerable to lightning strikes than the microwave equipment was.

The TelEm Group Departments overseeing the completing of the fibre to the cell sites project is Network Core and Outside Plant, headed by Managers, Elvis Lacroes and Marco London, both of whom expressed much satisfaction in having a hand in improving the mobile voice and data experience for TelCell subscribers.


“Pen on Paper” presented to Prime Minister Marlin

POND ISLAND - Author Joseph Lake Jr. presented Prime Minister William Marlin with his recently launched book “Pen on Paper” – (St. Martin 1970-2001) along with “Six 4 Nine” and “Friendly Anger”, two other books which were also authored by Mr Joseph Lake Jr.

“Pen on Paper” highlights journalism on St. Maarten during the 20th Century. It comprises of a compilation of articles, photos and other literature highlighting the challenges faced by journalists and the rippling consequences St. Maarten’s journalism platform endured as an effect.

This is a great tool for the continuous learning of our St. Maarten’s history as it invokes open discussion for greater exchange of knowledge with the St. Maarten people, visitors and all others deeming to know more about our Island’s history.


USM: First Keynote Speaker announced for 2018 International Island Conference

POND ISLAND - Preparations are well under way, for the 1st International Conference on Small Island States (SIS) and Sub National Island Jurisdictions (SNIJs) co-hosted by the University of St. Martin (USM), March 11-14th, 2018.

USM is happy to announce the first of four (4) keynote speakers for the four-day Conference, which is the Honourable Mrs. Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, Premier of Turks and Caicos Islands. Bahamian-born Cartwright Robinson, who is an attorney at law, assumed office as the first female premier of the British Overseas Territory, on 20 December 2016. 

USM’s Dean of Academics, Mrs. Genève Phillip-Durham described the Premier’s addition to the slate of keynote speakers as “symbolic and consistent with the aim of the conference, to highlight not only small island territories that are independent but to also bring to the forefront, the dynamics and jurisdictional capacity of non-independent small island territories”. As we approach the deadline for the call for papers on October 1st, we intend to announce one keynote speaker per month, beginning in June and ending in September. 

The call for papers for the Conference is now in circulation and paper, panel and poster submissions which engage critically with multiple levels of island living can be submitted for consideration by October 1st, via the conference website The co-chairs of the local organizing committee can be contacted by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for consultation on abstract submission and preparation.


Office of Disaster Management: Recent Tropical Storm Activity is a Reminder to Be Prepared

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season kicked off on June 1st, and two named storm systems formed this week, namely Bret and Cindy.

This is a stark reminder that residents and business owners should be prepared for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season which according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, will be a busy season – above-normal.

Tropical Storm Cindy is currently in the Gulf of Mexico off the U.S. northern gulf coast and forecasted to make landfall on Thursday.

Tropical Storm Bret dissipated off the coast of Venezuela on Tuesday, and was the first Central Atlantic storm to form east of the Lesser Antilles for the season.

NOAA forecasts between 11 to 17 named storms, of which five to nine could become hurricanes, including two to four major hurricanes of category 3, 4 or 5.

An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

Fire Chief and Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is calling on the community to use the time now to re-check storm preparations and to be prepared this hurricane season. Remember, it only takes one to make it a bad season.

The remaining storm names for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season are: Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney.

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) is urging residents to check hurricane shutters and the roof of your home or business, and to make sure windows and shutters close securely.

Persons living along coastal areas as well as those in flood prone areas should start looking at what measures they would take in the event of a hurricane which could cause flood challenges.

Mariners who are seeking shelter in the Simpson Bay Lagoon or Oyster Pond should also make plans to stay with friends or at a hotel once they have secured their vessel in a timely manner rather than staying on-board the vessel to ride out the passing of a storm.

The 2017 hurricane season officially runs through November 30.

The list of hurricane shelters for the season are: New Testament Baptist Church (Philipsburg), Sr. Marie Laurence School (Middle Region), Milton Peters College (South Reward), Rupert I. Maynard Youth Community Center (St. Peters), Sint Maarten Academy (Cul de Sac), National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA, Cay Hill), Leonard Connor School (Cay Bay), Christian Fellowship Church (Cole Bay), Allan C. Halley Community Centre (Simpson Bay).



PHILIPSBURG – “Last week, yet another annual report was added to the long list of reports that Parliament has in its possession. The General Audit Chamber, one of the High Councils of State, submitted for the seventh time, its annual report in both the Dutch and English languages,” Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) Wycliffe Smith said on Wednesday in a media statement.

“Hence, Members of Parliament, who are not versed in the Dutch language have no excuse about not being able to read or understand the Chamber’s annual report. I would like to commend the Chamber for producing a very good report. It’s critical, yet objective and minces no words as it lets the governor and parliament know what is going on in government as far as the areas of responsibility of the Chamber are concerned. Since the annual report is a public document, the Chamber may want to consider a more friendly layout.

“If Parliament is serious about executing its supervisory task then the Chamber has supplied Members of Parliament again with an excellent instrument to do such. Unfortunately, the previous annual reports have been blatantly ignored by parliament. SMCP truly hopes that Parliament will do something about this report. Our government and even our parliament have grave objections to the establishment of an Integrity Chamber because they believe that integrity assessments can be carried out by our High Councils of State. Yet all the annual reports of the High Councils of State thus far have been totally ignored which is an indication of great disrespect for the Councils as institutions as well as for the research and hard work carried out by the personnel of these Councils.

“In the 2016 annual report, the Chamber points out many instances where the government and specifically ministers have failed to do their jobs. The report states that when government is made aware of weaknesses and deficiencies in the organization and even draft plans to deal with these, “the implementation is found wanting”. The Chamber also reports that several ministers and ministries did not cooperate in providing the requested information, which impacted the audits that were carried out in 2016. The Chamber even wonders if lack of cooperation and failure to provide information are “becoming the standard practice in government”. If ministers and ministries are unable or unwilling to provide information to the General Audit Chamber which has the legal authority to request such, can you imagine the refusal and resistance that the High Councils of State will encounter if they are charged with integrity investigations?

“The Chamber also pointed out serious shortcomings in the way government manages its finances. Government spent money that was not available, particularly in the area of hiring personnel. This was pointed out in the previous annual reports as well but has been totally ignored by government. In addition, appointments by government-owned companies lack all form of transparency. Furthermore, according to the National Ordinance Promotion of integrity of ministers, the government must seek the advice of the General Audit Chamber when appointing new ministers. It appears that for the screening of all of the ministers in the current cabinet no advice from the Chamber was sought.

“During 2016, the Ministries of Justice, Finance and General Affairs were guilty of not cooperating and not providing the requested information to the General Audit Chamber. Even though the ministers charged with these ministries were notified of such the Chamber never received any reaction to their notification.

“The above are just some of the problems listed in the General Audit Chamber’s 2016 Annual Report concerning the functioning of government. Since the reports of the High Councils of State are meant to help parliament carry out its supervisory task, the report at hand contains enough material to enable parliament to call out government and ministers on a number issues such as: a lack of transparency regarding appointments, hiring personnel when there is no money allocated for such, the inability to present a solid and auditable financial statement, providing proper insight about how public funds are used, etc. Parliament, there is a lot of work to be done!

“I must say something here about the blatant disrespect on the part of parliament for the General Audit Chamber. During 2016, a delegation of the Dutch Parliament and a delegation from the Dutch Ministry for Interior and Kingdom Affairs visited the General Audit Chamber. Yet our own parliament did not see the need to even meet with the Chamber to discuss its 2015 annual report.

“Unfortunately, our parliament also shows a similar disregard for the other High Councils of State as well. The Advisory Council as well as the Ombudsman have, over the years, diligently submitted their annual reports but Parliament has yet to discuss these and additional interim reports in a Central Committee and follow up on these reports by calling government and ministers to parliament to give an account for the problems and failures listed in these reports. To date Parliament has received sixteen annual reports from the three High Councils of State but they have never yet been discussed in Parliament. How or when does Parliament plan to tackle all of these reports?” Wycliffe Smith, Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party concludes.


 Lions Bingo a Grand Success. Grand Prize Winner is Frederick Williams

SUCKER GARDEN - The St. Maarten Lions Club Bingo which was held at the Port St. Maarten Home Porting Terminal last Saturday was a grand success with over 700 persons playing 35 games that started at 8pm sharp.

The prizes that bingo winners won ranged from home appliances, restaurant vouchers, various electronics items, hotel stays and airline tickets.

The grand prize winner with a full bingo card of a round trip ticket to Amsterdam on Air France was Mr. Frederick Williams.

The Lions Club would like to thank the Management and employees of Port St. Maarten for accommodating the Lions Bingo at their facility and also the St. Maarten business community for supporting the bingo with their generous donation of prizes.

Proceeds for the bingo will go towards community projects that the St. Maarten Lions Club will do over 2017-2018 under its incoming President Lion Alison Busby. 


Nature Foundation Visits Schools for Shark Week to Give Information on Shark Conservation

COLE BAY - Recently, during St Maarten Nature Foundation Shark Week, Nature Foundation staff visited several Elementary schools to educate the kids about sharks, shark conservation and the Caribbean Ecosystem.

The Foundation visited six schools; the St. Maarten Montessori School, the Dr Martin Luther King School, the Sr. Borgia School, the Sr Magda School, the Sr Marie Laurence School and the Caribbean International Academy.

Through the shark outreach and education program staff presented to roughly 600 students about the importance of sharks and the conservation challenges they face. Students learned about the different shark species, the importance of sharks to reefs and tourism, depletion of sharks and why the species need to be protected.

The children were very enthusiastic about sharks and marine life and learned that people shouldn’t be afraid for sharks and that they are in no way dangerous for humans.

Humans kill about 100 million sharks every year and if this trend continues many shark species will go extinct. Oceans without sharks will have unpredictable and presumably negative impacts for marine life, fisheries and our island, as we depend on our oceans.

The school visits were part of the DCNA ‘Save our Shark’ project funded by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery.


Subscribe to this RSS feed

Soualiga Radio