Soualiga News Today


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Soualiga News Today (4077)


MIAMI, FL-SINT MAARTEN - Emil Lee, general manager of Princess Heights Hotel, St. Maarten, takes over the reigns as president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) for the next two years, a volunteer position for which he was elected, and he will oversee one of the most successful regional hotel associations from his home base in St. Maarten.  Lee is the first person from St. Maarten to be elected to the association’s highest post.

Lee, who is also running to become a Member of Parliament in St. Maarten in the upcoming elections, had offered to resign his new CHTA post before it started, but was asked by the CHTA Executive Board to delay his resignation pending the outcome of the August elections.

CHTA elected a new slate of officers at its Annual General Meeting (AGM), held July 1, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Miami.  The officers will be led by Lee who was sworn in as president of CHTA during the AGM.  Lee and the officers will serve the membership of CHTA for the 2014-16 bienniums.

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) facilitates the full potential of the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry by serving members’ needs and building partnerships in a socially responsible and sustainable manner.  CHTA is the voice of the Caribbean hospitality industry for the development of the region in the highly competitive and sophisticated environment of international tourism. Today, tourism is widely recognized as a pivotal industry in the economy of the region – and CHTA functions as the common denominator for this industry in a region of diverse nationalities, languages and styles, identifying mutual problems and marshalling the resources of the active and allied members to devise solutions. CHTA represents all facets of the hospitality industry with more than 600 member hotels and over 300 allied members.

CHTA, including the events staged by the association, is supported by Strategic Partners MasterCard, Interval International, OBM International, HVS, Tambourine and TravelZoo.

For more information, visit  Follow CHTA on Facebook and Twitter


13 Kilos of Cocaine Seized at Airport, 21-Year Old in Custody

AIRPORT, Sint Maarten - On Tuesday, July 1st 2014, Customs Officers at Princess Juliana International Airport found almost 13 kilo of cocaine packed in one suitcase after a routine control in the luggage compartment.

According to the claim tag the suitcase belonged to a female passenger R.D.L.M. 21 years of age, who was on her way to the Dominican Republic. 

The passenger was taken off the flight and taken into custody and handed over to the police department for further investigation.

Due to the ongoing investigation, further information cannot be released at this moment.  (Contributed by the Customs Sint Maarten)


Police and stakeholders to implement new plan of approach for current crime spree

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Sint Maarten Police Force along with other partners in the Justice Chain and partners in the community will be executing numerous plans of approach that have been drafted, to combat the  amount of armed robberies, break-ins and other criminal activity on the island.

During the execution of these plans the police along with their partners such as the Immigration and naturalization Department and Customs will definitely be more visible.

The entire community is therefore advised to cooperate to the fullest during the execution of plans. They should at all times carry proper identification with them.

Drivers of motor vehicles should also make sure that all documents for their vehicle are in order to avoid inconvenience if they are stopped by the police.


The Caribserve Video X Games 2014 Registration Gets on the way with Local Champ

COLE BAY, Sint Maarten - Local Street Fighter and Injustice Champion, Emran Charles officially opened The Caribserve Video X Games 2014 tournament registration this week.

Emran was the first to register for the annual E-Sport tournament scheduled for this July 18th through 20th at the Port de Plaisance hotel facility.

As in previous years, the weekend-long event will be hosted by the VXG foundation and title partner Caribserve, and is expected to attract hundreds of e-sports champions to the island from across the world to compete in the hottest e-sports games.

On site to present Charles with his registration card was Ivy Lambert, the Marketing Representative of Caribserve. “We are happy to see that the event we have put our support behind three years ago is still growing in popularity and becoming a yearly staple event” Lambert comments.

Gamers can register for the tournament at the UTS store in Philipsburg from Monday to Friday from 1:00Pm – 4:00Pm and at Soggy Dollar Bar on Sundays from 5:00Pm – 7:00Pm.

For more scheduling and tournament information; visit or


BREAKING NEWS: Gun Found is the Murder Weapon that Killed MP Wiels

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao – The Dutch Forensics Institute has confirmed according to media reports that the firearm found on June 14 in the Curacao Waaigat, is the murder weapon that killed Curacao Member of Parliament Helmin Wiels.

It is expected that the Curacao authorities will make a formal announcement with respect to this part of the investigation and what impact it may or will have on the case.


Governor Holiday's Address on Emancipation Day, July 1, 2014

EMILIO WILSON PARK, Sint Maarten - His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday was one of the dignitaries that addressed the nation on Emancipation Day, July 1st activities that were organized at the Emilio Wilson Park by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports under the leadership of Minister Hon. Patricia Lourens-Philip.

My Fellow Sint Maarteners,

Good Afternoon and Happy Emancipation Day

We are here to celebrate the observance of the 151st emancipation day, today July 1, 2014, and together with Marie-Louise I am pleased to participate in the celebrations with you. 

As we do so I wish, considering the day’s theme: The Journey and Beyond”, to emphasize that the observation of emancipation day is one of the most important days in our history. To emphasize that I have – in keeping with the day’s theme and inspired by the Emilio Wilson Estate as the chosen place of this year’s celebration - entitled my message: Sint Maarten’s Journey from Plantation to Nation.  

My fellow Sint Maarteners, the July 1, 1863 emancipation day is one of the most important days in our history because it is, as I stated in my 2012 emancipation day address, the day that:

“…….. marked the triumph of  the indomitable will of the enslaved men and women of Sint Maarten to be free. …….. …………, it is my hope that today as every Emancipation Day hereafter will be celebrated as the day when the people of Sint Maarten officially became one people. …… because it marked the triumph of humanity on Sint Maarten ……... A triumph of humanity which must be cherished and preserved by all with the same vigor and unrelenting courage as our forefathers.” Standing on the grounds of Emilio Wilson Estate, the former Sentry plantation, in the shadows of trees that holds the accounts of over 300 years of slavery, we are reminded that the emancipation day victory embodied a profound promise from our forefathers: The promise of a free and better future for all Sint Maarteners.

My Fellow Sint Maarteners,

Emancipation day changed Sint Maarten, it redirected our journey as a people. To illustrate the change and the promise I can draw from the experiences of my own family history in this Cul-de-Sac area. I that regard I refer to the fact that just 6 years after emancipation my father’s great grandmother, Present Richardson, bought four and a half acres of the Golden Rock Retreat – part of the former Sentry Plantation – from the plantation owner for 180 guilders. With the purchase of that piece of property she made use of her newly reclaimed freedom and right to participate as a citizen in the opportunities of Sint Maarten.  As such she like her contemporaries lived through slavery, fought for and experienced emancipation and forged forward to give content to the promise. In doing so she and her contemporaries started Sint Maarten’s  journey from plantation to nation.

As such we owe it –  we have an obligation – to those courageous Sint Maarten men and women and to the perpetual sacrifices they made for our freedom to continue to forge forward on the journey from the plantation to our nation.

Over the past years since emancipation we have made great strides in forging our freedom and unity as a people. Strides as reflected in among others:

  1. First, the achievement of the general right to vote for all in 1949;
  2. Second, the expression of our unity and solidarity with the introduction of our flag on June 13, 1985; and
  3. Third, the achievement of our status as a Separate Automous Country  and nation on October 10, 2010.

My fellow Sint Maarteners,

Reflecting on these important achievements and progress I wish to note that our journey is far from complete.  As we stand on these historic grounds I would suggest that we owe it to our forefathers and has a responsibility to our children to continue the journey of progress. That is we must continue with the same unrelenting sense of determination as our forefathers.

  • That is we must continue to build our nation anchored in an education system based on our shared values and a set of common standards of excellence to ensure success;
  • That is we must continue to build our nation based on the principle of democracy, the rule of law, the principle of the separation of powers, the dignity and values of the individual, and the entitlement of all individuals to the fundamental rights and freedoms;
  • That is we must continue to build our nation to eliminate poverty eradicate crime
  • That is we must continue to build our nation by preserving and protecting our heritage – such as this area on which we stand to function as the soul and national retreat of our nation;
  • That is we must continue to build our nation grounded in a modern economy with good business and employment opportunities for all and incomes that guarantees a good standard of living.

My fellow Sint Maarteners,

Only by doing so will be meeting our obligation and complying with our responsibility to give content to the promise of emancipation day. I say this because there are many among  us who today are not living the promise. As a result we may not waiver on our journey but rather we must continue – in the spirit of our forefathers – to take action to always secure the progress embedded in freedom towards the perfecting of our nation.

In closing, it is with that sense of active direction for our concerted journey towards the perfecting of the promise of Emancipation Day, that I congratulate all of you on and wish you a most wonderful  151th Emancipation Day celebration.

Thank you, God Bless you and May God Bless Sint Maarten and Protect its coast.


Education, DigiKidz schools reps attend ISTE conference

ATLANTA-SINT MAARTEN - Representatives of the Foresee Foundation, the two DigiKidz Schools (Hillside Christian Asha Stevens Campus and Seventh Day Adventist), the Ministry of Education and Public Education attended the ISTE conference 2014 (International Society for Technology in Education) in Atlanta from June 28 until July 1.

With the recent implementation of DigiKidz and the plans of the Minister of Education Hon. Patricia Lourens to bring ICT in Sint Maarten's primary classrooms, the conference was viewed as an excellent opportunity for St. Maarten delegates to familiarize themselves with current trends in technology.

Focus was on how to implement integrated technology in the classroom, open educational resources and how to implement and manage innovations in school. This participation in this conference is part of a full comprehensive program by both the Ministry of Education and Foresee's DigiKidz projects.

Successful implementation of ICT requires professional development and good management structures next to the physical infrastructure. Providing students with laptops is not sufficient and is just part of a comprehensive plan as envisioned by Foresee/DigiKidz and Minister Lourens.

The delegation from Sint Maarten included Leandra Edwards from Hillside, Uredise Stanford from the Seventh Day Adventist School, Georgiane Henriquez representing public schools, Marcus Nicolaas of the Foresee Foundation, Alston Lourens from the Ministry of Education and Jose Sommers, President of the Foresee Foundation, initiator of the DigiKidz project.

At the conference the delegation members received four full days of  inspirational professional learning opportunities catered to help in building the skills to support digital age learning, networking opportunities with nearly 18,000 educators, education leaders and corporate representatives from around the globe, three powerful keynote addresses from ed tech leaders and experts and much more.


BearingPoint officially opens office in Sint Maarten, Plans to officially launch SmartGovernments on July 3rd

CAY HILL, Sint Maarten - Management and IT Consultancy firm BearingPoint has officially opened its office in Sint Maarten. The decision to open the office was to be closer to its clients. With this step, BearingPoint is firmly cementing its commitment to the island.

BearingPoint recently initiated the online SmartGovernments platform which is designed to initiate, implement and monitor government priorities. This platform has been made available at no cost. The platform will officially launch in Sint Maarten on July 3 during an exclusive executive discussion in the Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa.

In the presence of Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams, Minister of Finance Hon. Martin Hassink, Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Josiane Fleming-Artsen, and several other dignitaries last week Friday, the office (located in Cay Hill) was ceremoniously opened during a festive celebration. Senior Manager Consultant Shadyra Francisca will lead the branch as Country Leader: “Our slogan states that we help government perform better, faster and smarter. With our strong belief in developing long term relationships we needed to be even closer to our clients. Today we are demonstrating that we are committed and encouraged by the vision of Sint Maarten as a country.”  

Longstanding relationship

BearingPoint has been active in the Dutch Caribbean including Sint Maarten and Surinam for over 25years. Over the years the firm has built a longstanding relationship with Sint Maarten. With its team of 75+ Management and IT consultants, BearingPoint provides management and technology consulting services to (semi) government organizations.

Senior Manager Consultant Francisca says: “With our track record, best practices and latest technology, we believe that our company can contribute to the development of government organizations and therefore to the country of Sint Maarten as a whole. We want to share our knowledge and expertise to help each client with their specific needs.”

Social commitment

To celebrate the moment BearingPoint has made a contribution to the National Institute of Professional Advancement (NIPA). With this token of social commitment BearingPoint hopes that the donation will help enhance career opportunities for Sint Maarten’s population.

Francisca: “We have always believed in giving back to the community. This is one of the most important investments we can make in Sint Maarten that will help its people and its future. The impact of investment in education is profound: education results in raising income, improving health and reducing poverty.”

About BearingPoint

BearingPoint has offices located on Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire and Sint Maarten. Our team of 75+ Caribbean based highly skilled professionals deliver services to our clients through the solution center. 


UP Party First to Announce Six District Public Meetings for upcoming elections

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The board of the United People’s (UP) party hereby would like to inform the people of the country and its membership and supporters that it’s ready with respect to the district public meetings for the upcoming August 29, 2014 parliamentary elections.

“We ready,” declared the UP board.  “Our readiness is a clear indication of our preparations for this election and our ability to govern with the people’s outright mandate.

“I’m extremely pleased with the out pouring of support towards the UP Party with respect to the on-going ‘we ready’ activities of the party.  The UP party is ready for its district public meetings where the candidates will get the opportunity to profile themselves to the voting public.  The party has six meetings scheduled.

“At the same time, the district public meetings offers the UP Party the opportunity to bring forth its UP agenda to move this country forward where we continue to improve the quality of life for our people and create opportunities for all,” Leader of the UP Party Member of Parliament Hon. Theo Heyliger said on Sunday.

The first of six district public meetings will be held on Thursday, July 31 at the James Property in Sucker Garden.

The second meeting is Thursday, August 7 at the Plantz Family Property in Dutch Quarter; third meeting, Tuesday, August 12 at Simpson Bay Corner/Kim Sha Beach, Simpson Bay; fourth, meeting, Tuesday, August 19, Critchlow Property located at the entrance of St. John’s Estate, St. Peters/Cul de Sac; fifth meeting, Thursday, August 21, Causeway, Cole Bay (property on the right of the Causeway bridge when entering from the round-a-bout in Cole Bay); and the final meeting, Wednesday, August 27, Ring Road, Philipsburg.  

All district public meetings are scheduled to begin at 7.00pm and end by 1.00am.

“We have no doubt that the electorate will embrace every opportunity to listen to the UP candidates and hear directly the concerns of our party and that we are ready to address the national issues of the country with solutions from the UP Agenda. (Press Release from the UP Party)

“The UP family is inviting one and all to mark the dates in your calendars and to come and join with the UP party throughout the five weeks as the candidates and the party leader informs the electorate," the UP board concluded in a statement on Sunday.


President Arrindell receives courtesy visit from Faith-based leader Dr. Myles Munroe

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell was honoured with a visit from the illustrious faith-based lecturer Dr. Myles Munroe, President and Founder of the Bahamas Faith Ministries International and Myles Munroe International to the House of Parliament recently.

Dr. Munroe discussed and presented his work that his Ministry carries out across the globe on a daily basis.

Present were Members of Parliament (MP) Hon. George Pantophlet and MP Hon. Jules James.  The latter was instrumental for requesting the meeting which was extended to all MPs.

“I certainly enjoyed listening and heeded keenly his message to members in leadership positions. Especially when referred to the notion that a people without vision will perish, did not fall on deaf ears.

“I personally felt reenergized and inspired after those in attendance received his Blessings in Prayers,” President Arrindell said on Sunday.

A special treat and highlight of the visit was when a member of the delegation, Tenor Carlos Seise gave a classical rendition to President of Parliament Arrindell. Seise was trained among others by Placido Domingo.

"I was thrilled and consider this visit as one of the highlights of my Presidency,” President Arrindell said.

Dr. Myles Munroe signed Parliament's Guestbook. This book, which is already filled with historic visitors to the House of Parliament, will be part of Country Sint Maarten’s Constitutional history.

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