Soualiga News Today


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Soualiga News Today (4010)

UP to launch UPdate Webisodes Online and Via Radio

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The United People’s (UP) party will be taking its message online (via social media) and to other mediums via a new digital party info method/program called UPdate.  

The first episode of UPdate will be launched in the coming days and will feature as first guests party Leader MP Theo Heyliger, Deputy Leader Franklin Meyers and Party President MP Sylvia Meyers.

The webisodes will provide the public, in particular those online, with vital information about the party, its plans for country Sint Maarten, its candidates contesting the upcoming Parliamentary elections, their plans and more.

While episodes of UPdate will be available via the party’s Facebook page and website, the information will also be broadcast via radio and television.

Radio stations that have signed up to participate are PJD-2 and SOS.

“The United People party is about the people and we intend to get our message and party plans to all the people via all sources of communication, traditional and new age. Social media outreach is very important to us as a progressive party and will be used effectively to extend the message of the party and its candidates,” Party leader and Member of Parliament Hon. Theo Heyliger said on Tuesday.

The launch date and schedule of shows and who will appear on the episodes will be announced shortly.   


Interest and enthusiasm high of prospect tenants for Greet, Eat & Meet weekend program at the Festival Village

POND ISLAND, Sint Maarten - The small business weekend entrepreneurship program initiated by Stichting Overheidsgebouwen (SOG) in collaboration with Strictly Business Educational Foundation (SBEF) held an informative meeting with prospective tenants in preparation for the start of the Meet, Eat and Greet weekend program scheduled to officially kick off on July 4th 2014.

The registration is going well and there is tremendous interest and enthusiasm expressed to be a part of this entrepreneurship initiative.

There will be no entrance fee to enter the Festival Village on nights being hosted by SOG & SBEF. However an entrance fee will be charged on nights when a concert or event is being hosted by private entities and promoters.

The entire population is urged to get involved by visiting & supporting the vendors. SOG & SBEF is making all final preparations to start with this weekend initiative on July 4th 2014.

The weekend program is scheduled to start with a full pack program of activities on Friday July 4th , Saturday July 5th , Sunday July 6th 2014 and will continue every weekend thereafter.

We would also like to remind the promoters and the event planners to attend the information meeting for the evening of Tuesday, June 24th 2014 at 6:00pm at the St. Maarten Festival Village.

Additional information can be obtained at the St. Maarten Festival Village between the hours of 9:00AM – 5:00PM during regular working hours or by calling SOG office at 5430507 or SBEF at 5537580.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Potential vendors who came out to the first information session to learn more about the Meet, Eat and Greet event planned for every weekend starting July 4.


Prime Minister Wescot-Williams Attends Art Saves Lives Cocktail Evening and Commends organization for using art to better community

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams attended the Art Saves Lives cocktail reception at Holland House earlier this week.

The Art Saves Lives Program (ASLP) is a cross-cultural exchange between youth in need and experienced practicing artists who seek to use their talents for positive change.

During the reception the TELEM Group of Companies, of which Prime Minister Wescot-Williams is the Government stakeholder representative, presented a donation to the Art Saves Lives Program.

This collaborative project will select renowned artists from around the world who use the arts to introduce participants to global and local traditions and empower them with the life skills necessary to effectively deal with the demands and challenges of everyday life.

The project will also provide guidance for young artists with aspirations in pursuing a career in the arts. The Prime Minister again commended ASLP for their important work, stating that she hopes to see the program be successful and fruitful in empowering the youth through art. The Prime Minister also pledged her continuous support to the program, which is set to start this coming weekend. (From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister)


A busy first year for NIA

PONDFILL, Sint Maarten—The last month has been one of the busiest ever for the National Institute of Arts (NIA), culminating in their recent end of year performances which highlighted the artistic dexterity of the organization.

The school just completed a series of guest performances for different organizations across the island, as a part of its goal to bring the arts closer to the community of St. Maarten/St. Martin.

“This has been a very busy time for us, planning for our end of year presentation, but also fulfilling requests to participate in a slew of activities around the island. At NIA we are very community oriented and so whenever we are approached to participate in events we do our utmost to bring a quality performance to those audiences,” Clara Reyes, Co-director of NIA, said.

In the past weeks NIA has performed at several programs including the Ms. Elegant Mothers of the Year pageant, the Soroptimist International Cultural Evening at the West Indies Mall, the opening of the Rotary Peace Monument at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library and the opening ceremony of the 12th annual St. Martin Book Fair at the Princess Juliana Airport.

“At each event we tailor our performances to suit the occasion, but we also try to really reach the audiences each time and open their minds more to the arts. At each performance we attempt to create a space where people can imagine their own artistry and see NIA as a vehicle with which to engage with it. It remains our aim and commitment to take the arts and the community’s perceptions of it to new levels, especially quality wise; so to promote quality trainings in artistry. We always hope that people are also curious enough to investigate their own artistry and to come to NIA in order to develop it,” Arlene Halley, Co-director of NIA, said.

After that event was the St. Martin Book Fair and Reyes said that NIA was proud to have been offered the opportunity to work with such an organization.

“This was the first time that NIA worked with the St. Martin Book Fair and we were really looking forward to it. The St. Martin Book Fair has become one of the premiere events on the island, particularly in the literary world. So it is great to expand NIA's reach. NIA intends to become an all-encompassing arts institute so it was great to broaden our range of arts excellence by participating in this year's Book Fair opening. This event, over the years, has become a prestigious event and for us it was a platform from which to reach and greet our island's intellectuals and perhaps stimulate their artistry,” Reyes said.
  The most recent presentation, prior to the end of year showcases, was a performance for Rotary Club of St. Maarten.

“NIA was invited to create something new, a special piece incorporating the multicultural aspects of our island. This piece, titled ‘Come into the Light’, was another signature show piece, and again was a collaboration between all NIA choreographers.  It included Taiko drumming, international dance segments and local aspects as well. It drew upon the different nationalities found on the island and was really an intercultural world dance,” Halley said.

NIA is the only institution which has the Taiko drums in the entire Caribbean and there are plans to offer a workshop or classes for this south Asian instrument soon.

The institution wrapped up its inaugural year with an End of Year Performance Showcase entitled “A Step Beyond” on June 12, 13, and 14. Each evening was followed up, but after parties catering to the adults and children in attendance.

“At NIA we are really working hard to foster a sense of family and a feeling of belonging. So we wanted to take the opportunity allow people to stay beyond the performances, linger and speak with each other. It must be said that everyone looked like they were really having a great time and so this is definitely something that we will do again in the future. For the after parties we were able to have great St. Maarten/St. Martin artists, Bobo Claxton joined by Norwin and Alain Boirard as our Dj, come and set the tone for the evenings. We definitely plan to repeat the Frozen after party in the new school year for our youngest students,” Reyes said.

For more information about NIA and their upcoming school year starting in August 2014, please contact the school at 543-0600 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or pass by the John Larmonie Center on Longwall Road, Philipsburg. (Contributed by NIA)


Minister Ted Richardson Congratulates 1st and 3rd Place Winners in FCCA Children’s Environmental Poster Competition

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Hon. Ted Richardson would like to congratulate first place winner 10-year-old Diya Sachdev and third place winner 15-year-old Donna Ferreira in the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Children’s Environmental Poster Competition.

Students are asked to create a poster that visually depicts at least three ways to help protect the environment and promote environmental awareness in their country.

The competition’s purpose is to promote and stimulate environmental awareness among students and to effectively educate the younger generations on the importance of environmental protection.

Each country submitted one poster per age category – junior ages 12 and younger and senior ages 13-16 – to represent its finalists.  The FCCA then judged those entries to select winners based on their creativity and messages advocating the role each destination plays in preserving the environment.  

13 destinations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America region took part.

“Congratulations to the two winners, Diya and Donna, for an artistic job well done.  You have made us all proud of both of you. The conservation of our environment is very important for tourism.

“Tourism has the potential to increase public appreciation of the environment and to spread awareness.  Tourism can also contribute to environmental protection, conservation and restoration of biological diversity and sustainable use of natural resources.

“Consumers and the business sector have a role to play in this for the long-term sustainable development of the country.  For example, the hotel and marine sectors as well as other tourism service businesses must operate in a manner that minimizes their environmental impact.

“We all must work together in an environmentally sustainable way to make a positive impact on our environment and that of our planet,” Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications Hon. Ted Richardson said on Sunday. 

The prizes entail an educational scholarship and a donation to the child’s school to purchase art supplies.


14 Coast Guard Cadets Sworn In and Many Hail from Sint Maarten

WILLEMSTAD-SINT MAARTEN – The Coast Guard of the Dutch Caribbean is 14-members stronger when a contingent of cadets took the oath on Thursday in Curacao in the presence of officials that also included Sint. Maarten’s President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell.  The officers completed their theoretical part of the training and now will carry out their 11-month training on the islands of Sint Maarten and Aruba. Many of the officers are from Sint Maarten and were scheduled to arrive back in the country on Friday evening.


Info session for Financial institutions, Insurance Companies and Casinos for financial reporters of Unusual Transactions

POND ISLAND, Sint Maarten - One of the tasks of the Meldpunt Ongebruikelijke Transacties (MOT) Sint Maarten is to register and analyze unusual transactions reported by financial and non-financial institutions. This in the light of the prevention and detection of money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the underlying criminal offences. This is based on the FATF recommendations of February 2012.

Another task of the MOT is to hold information sessions for the above mentioned reporting entities to improve the quality of reporting of unusual transactions and to keep the reporters updated on the progress made in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. The reporters are expected to implement the information received in their compliance regime.

The MOT will be holding an information session on Wednesday the 9th of July 2014 for the financial institutions and the gaming industry at the University of St. Martin at 19.00 hrs. The financial institutions are the banks, investment administrators, investment funds, providers of management services, credit card companies and credit institutions, insurers and insurance brokers, money remitting companies and the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The gaming industry consists of the providers of games of hazard, casinos, lotteries and providers of offshore (internet) gaming.

Entities should register for this event by sending an email to the MOT This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Ms. L. Tielen, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Ms. C. Sorton. Please register before the 4th of July 2014. If you have any further questions, please contact the MOT on +1(721) 542-3025/543-0826.


Island Gems donates food to Les Manteaux de St. Martin

MARIGOT, St. Martin - Island Gems Charity Foundation continued its support to Les Manteaux de St Martin in Marigot with a recent donation of non-perishable food valuing US $500. The association runs a soup kitchen and provides a safe haven for homeless people.

Island Gems Vice President/Public Relations Officer Karine Fleming and Gems member Anita Advani delivered the food to the association. They met with Les Manteaux New Director Helene Bride and other staffers to learn about the immediate needs and how Island Gems can assist in the future. 

The all women Island Gems group has donated to the association in the past. The Gems are happy to further their connection with Les Manteaux and encourage other organisations and business in the community to also assist the association.

Island Gems Charity Foundation supports social, educational and other projects on both sides of the island. The foundation does not give any cash and assesses all requests for its long term benefits to the recipients and the community in general.

The foundation hosts one big fundraiser annually in the form of a costume gala dinner. The money from the dinner and the silent auction is used throughout the year to support various projects.


UP Party Launches UPNext Youth Political Wing

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The United People (UP) Party on Thursday night launched its youth movement within the party: UPNext.  In the presence of the party board, party leadership and parents, the members of UPNext was introduced and dubbed “a creative force, a dynamic source of innovations to tackle the challenges of their times that directly and indirectly affect them.”

By establishing a youth movement within the UP one of the party objectives is to raise the political awareness of the youth, through the youth, enabling them to become the owners of a new vision, for positive change. “We are convinced that through engagement and participation that our youth will take their rightful place as builders and future leaders of St. Maarten,” the party said.

Deputy Leader of the party Franklin Meyers and President of the party board Sylvia Olivacce-Meyers both congratulated the core group of youngsters on the step they have taken. They encouraged them to speak to their peers about getting involved and stressed the importance of political engagement in a country they will one day lead.

The young members of UPNext will be actively recruiting their peers to team green with the aim to dispel certain misconceptions and instill positive realities:

       Young people, as part of this country, are being governed and will have a say.

       Stress the importance of them following current events, watch the news, read debate articles and discuss the issues with others.

       That their role and contributions are important to decision making. They will use themselves as example because their contributions, as assured by the leader of the UP, will be included in party planning and party manifestos.

       That politics can be the means to positive ends and gives them a platform to become productive citizens and ensure that the right thing is done for the country. That politics do not have to be a bad thing.

       They will be guided and educated not only in party principles, objectives and positions, but in the operations of government and country.

The group has already started planning several activities to take place over the next few weeks and plan on taking over social media with some other online initiatives.

“They will continue with community based activities even after the campaign season is over. UPNext will not be a campaign ploy. There is no quicker way to turn young people off than to make them feel or show them matter-of-factly, that they were used as a gimmick,” the party said.

“The United People party understands the challenges and difficulties of our youth. The party is also aware that the political situation of our country is guiding them to some sort of indifference in political engagement.”

“The United People party believes that in order to respond effectively to the needs of young people, their active and meaningful participation in their community and in democratic practices and processes is of crucial importance. Meaningful youth participation and leadership require that young people have opportunities, capacities and benefit from an enabling and empowering environment.”

“The United People party is extremely proud this evening to be the enabling and empowering environment for a core group of young people that will lead the charge for the Green team in raising political awareness among their peers and extending party principles and objectives to that important social group.”

“The United People Party also believes in molding our youth to be the leaders they are destined to be. UPNext will not simply be the energy of the party, but a capacity building forum for the core group of UPNext and the young people we fully expect to attract to its ranks in the coming days and weeks.”

“Like the party itself, UPNext is here for the long haul. Active and vibrant, they are most definitely, ready.”

To contact UPNext email; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


WIB contributes to Ms. Tyra Els’ journey to become a professional Ballet dancer.

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - Miss Tira Els age 16 will get a step closer to following her dance dream thanks to The Windward Islands Bank Ltd. WIB provided Tyra with a donation to assist with cost associated with her attending the Complexions Contemporary Ballet Summer School in New York.    

Tyra, who attends the St. Dominic High School, has been training diligently at the Dance Theater of St. Maarten and has the confidence, maturity and drive to become a professional dancer.  Tyra aspires to be the first dancer from St. Maarten to attend the prestigious Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and intends to give back to other young dancers on St. Maarten when she returns home.

The Windward Islands Bank is very pleased to provide the assistance and wishes Tyra all success this summer while attending the Complexions Contemporary Ballet Summer School. 

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