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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (2293)

Prime Minister Gumbs making rounds through General Affairs Ministry

POND ISLAND - Besides devoting most of his time on extremely pressing matters such as budget 2015, Prime Minister (PM) of St. Maarten the Hon. Marcel Gumbs has still been scheduling time to meet with departments under the General Affairs Ministry for which he is responsible.

The Prime Minister is taking his “stability, civility, tranquility, prosperity” message to the public servants as well, stressing that service is what they provide and it should be practiced with the utmost professionalism. He complimented them for their hard work and perseverance even under certain circumstances that may not be ideal.

At the Civil Registry Department for example, the PM acknowledged and praised the staff as the frontline for very important government services. As such, he said, they bear a great responsibility in dealing with hundreds of people every day. Under those circumstances he said, frustrations may set in, but urged them to continue being exemplary as they have been in executing their tasks.

He also took some suggestions and ideas from the staff of Civil Registry and apprised them of the type of Prime Minister he will be (an open and approachable one) as well as how the management structure of the Ministry will be approached to allow more efficiency of work.

In the past few days the Prime Minister also received a tour of the new facilities of the Department of Communications and visited the Legal Affairs Department. (Press Secretariat Government of Sint Maarten, Council of Ministers)


MP Leona Marlin-Romeo Expresses Solidarity with French Saint Martin and the Republic

PHILIPSBURG – Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Leona Marlin-Romeo on Sunday, January 11th, 2015 spoke about the tragic events that took place in Paris, France starting with the Charlie Hebdo attack last Wednesday.

More than one million people have taken part in a unity march in Paris on Sunday, January 11th in connection with 17 people who were killed over a three day period.  

“It is imperative that our people stand in solidarity with French Saint Martin, not only as our historical neighbor but as an island where most indigenous St. Maartners share deep rooted family connections and consider ourselves as one people.

“The Republic of France is under attack, lives have been lost and we should not take what has transpired for granted and disconnect from the situation as it could occur on our soil.

“Our people are deeply connected to French Saint Martin, therefore let us keep the families of those who have lost their lives in continuous prayer and prepare our people, especially our students abroad to practice vigilance in these trying times. I pray much strength during these times for the Republic and its citizens,” Independent MP Hon. Leona Marlin-Romeo said on Sunday.


Curacao Prime Minister Asjes on official working visit to Sint Maarten starting Sunday

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO – Curacao’s Prime Minister Hon. Ivar Asjes is planning an official working visit to Sint Maarten from January 11 to 13 where he will be meeting for the first time with Prime Minister Hon. Marcel Gumbs.

Both prime ministers will be discussing issues of mutual interests.  Curacao and Sint Maarten have a monetary union and share the Central Bank.

Prime Minister Asjes will also be meeting with Sint Maarten’s President of Parliament Hon. Dr. Lloyd Richardson as well as with His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday, according to reports coming out of Curacao related to the visit.

The prime minister will be accompanied by Minister of Administration, Planning and Services Hon. Etienne van der Horst. 


Minister Fleming-Artsen attends New Year’s reception at the Governor of the Residence in The Hague

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands - Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Josianne Fleming-Artsen attended the New Year’s reception at the Governor of the Residence, Lieutenant General dr. J.A.J. Leytens and Mrs. Dr. M.G.W. den Boer in The Hague, the Netherlands on Monday, January 5th, 2015.

The Governor of the Residence is mainly responsible for the military ceremonials in The Hague.  

Minister Fleming-Artsen stated that it was a great moment to network and to meet and share information about Sint Maarten at the event where a variety of key business and political personalities were in attendance.

“It is my intention to improve the image of Sint Maarten in The Hague and throughout the Netherlands,” Minister Hon. Josianne Fleming-Artsen said.

The Minister will be having a number of introductory meetings during the month of January.  Minister Fleming-Artsen took the oath of office on December 19, 2014 along with other members of the Government of Sint Maarten led by Prime Minister Hon. Marcel Gumbs.   


Chairlady of Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations Committee Wescot-Williams Gives Update on Parliamentary Meetings in Aruba

ARUBA/SINT MAARTEN - Chairlady of the Sint Maarten Permanent Committee of Parliament for Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations Member of Parliament Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams gave an update on Wednesday at the end of the third day of the Inter-parliamentary Kingdom Consultation (IPKO) which is being hosted by Aruba. The first day, Monday, January 5th was dedicated to the three parliaments (Tripartite meet) of the Caribbean countries, Curacao, Aruba and Sint Maarten.

“In addition to reverting back to the previous Tripartite of April 2014, the three delegations approved and signed a resolution to promote sports in general amongst the three countries, but also sports for the disabled. Sports Organizations will be stimulated and encouraged to do the same. This will be done in collaboration with the respective governments of the countries.

“Furthermore, the agenda points for this IPKO were reviewed, as was the need for structural and more frequent tripartite meetings between the three parliaments. The three delegations in a presidium setting further elaborated on their position with regard to the matter of a dispute regulation. (Geschillenregeling).

“Generally with respect to providing feedback based on agreed upon points from the previous Tripartite and IPKO, Sint Maarten explained that we are not only with a new parliament and many new members since October 2014,  but also a new government of very recent.

“This was important to state, because several Sint Maarten members in IPKO committees did not return to Parliament, but also because government has not had the time to react to several "pushes" by Parliament in the past to work on resolutions of the previous IPKO.

“Tuesday was spent reviewing the work of committees, such as the ones for Youth, Education and Integrity.  A change was made to the agenda, putting the Regulation of the Governor and screening of ministers, which was schedule forThursday, on Wednesday.

“This evoked a lively discussion today (ed Wednesday), prompting the meeting to agree that the request of the Second Chamber to the Council of State regarding the instruction to the Governor of Aruba, be expanded to include the use of the Governor's regulation by the Kingdom Government in general.

“Integrity: it was accepted that this topic is discussable, yes, but with respect for the autonomy and development of the individual countries.  I thought the discussion on the contentious article 43 of the Charter was a good one. And a way forward will be addressed in the final conclusions of this IPKO.

“Not unrelated to this is the topic of a dispute mechanism for the countries in the Kingdom, which will come uptomorrow (ed Thursday). It is surely not a new topic for the IPKO, and there seems to be no difference of opinion that there should be such a mechanism. I think the discussion will be on the scope of such a regulation. But it should be independent and binding. 

“According to me, here is where the individual parliaments and their governments should close ranks to make headway, because on a kingdom parliamentary level, more than once, the governments have been urged to come with such. There are even motions to this effect.

“I am confident that Sint Maarten's government and parliament will be able to carry their weight where this matter is concerned. We have first-hand experience what the lack of such an authority can cause. Even the status of political parties in general; legislation and their internal organizations got some attention at this IPKO, but again from a positive perspective.

“Up to this point, the discussions have been fierce sometimes, yes, but open and candid. Let us see what we will be able to agree to in the end. I believe that the collaboration we have seen between the parliament and the government of Sint Maarten on the matter of the Instruction topic, with the Prime Minister coming to Parliament and providing support to the delegation should continue for the other topics of IPKO, such as the dispute or arbitration authority. We need to collectively decide on the priorities for our country and work together at achieving and where there are bottlenecks, solving them,” MP and Chairlady of Sint Maarten’s Permanent Committee of Parliament for Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations Sarah Wescot-Williams said on Wednesday from Oranjestad, Aruba.

A delegation of six Members of the Parliament of Sint Maarten are at the Inter-parliamentary Kingdom Consultation in Oranjestad, Aruba from January 6 to 9.

The parliamentary delegations from the Kingdom partners will also visit the Waste to Energy Facility as well as the new building for the Court of First Instance of Aruba.

The delegation is headed by President of Parliament Hon. Dr. Lloyd Richardson, President of Sint Maarten’s Permanent Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations Committee Hon. Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams, MP Hon. Leona Marlin-Romeo, MP Jon. Johan Leonard, MP Hon. William Marlin, MP Hon. Frans Richardson, Secretary General Nancy Joubert, Advisor Ralph Richardson, and Julien Larmonie, who all were scheduled to travel over the weekend to Aruba.

Also part of the Inter-parliamentary Kingdom Consultation is Dutch MPs from the First and Second Chamber of Parliament.  The Dutch delegation will be led by Chairman of the Second Chamber’s Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations Hon. Jeroen Recourt.  Vice Chairperson and First Chamber MP Hon. Marijke Linthorst is also part of the Dutch delegation.




43-Year Old Hughes WANTED by POLICE for Murder

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao – Police are in search of Alvine Antonio Hughes who is wanted for murder in a homicide case. 

Hughes was born in Curacao, April 9th, 1972, and who is currently registered as residing at Grote Berg RA-23.

Alvine Hughes is 1.78m high; dark brown skin; has no hair; and is well built.  He has a tattoo on his right arm and on both sides of his chest.

Anybody who has any information or knows where Hughes can be located should call the Police at 866-6221 or 866-6211. 


Rotarians Delivers Holiday Cheer to those in Need before Christmas

PHILIPSBURG - Members of the Rotary Club of St. Maarten had a very busy week spreading Christmas Cheer throughout the community leading up to the holidays.  The Rotarians started delivering Dictionaries to various 3rd grade classes in schools throughout St. Maarten.  This progressed to the delivery of over 150 Hampers of Food that were brought directly to the homes of those within the community in need so they can also have a great Christmas feast.

“It is with extra warmth in our hearts that not only during the Holiday season, but the entire year, that The Rotary Club of St. Maarten dedicates so much time and attention to those in our community that need our assistance.  By putting service to others above self, Rotarians worldwide help make the communities we live in better for all” said Club President Danny Ramchandani. “Seeing the smiles on all the children’s faces when presented a toy and food and being so much in the Christmas spirit is what makes all our hard work worth it” he continued to say.

At the Dutch Quarter Community Center, The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten in partnership with Domino’s Pizza and Divico, hosted over 100 smiling children to their annual Christmas Party.  Popular musician Christine Gordon led the children in Christmas Carols while awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus. 

A crowd favorite of Pizza and drinks, followed by Del Monte fruit cups and apples were served to the children by Rotarians acting as Santa’s helpers that day.  “This party is very special to me as this is what Christmas is all about; Showing our thanks and giving back to the community.  Seeing the smiles on all the Children’s faces as they receive their toys and goodie bags is priceless.  It really sets the tone for the Christmas Spirit” said John Caputo from Domino’s Pizza who is also a Rotarian.  Toys; mainly Balls, Dolls, and Board Games were donated from Club Members, from Learning Unlimited, and brought in to Domino’s Pizza by those in the community. 

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten looks forward to continuing serving the community of St. Maarten in 2015 and wishes everybody a Happy New Year.

About the Rotary Club of St. Maarten:

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten was chartered on March 17, 1972 as result of a September 1970 meeting to form a club on the island.  Since its formation, the Rotary Club of St. Maarten has grown in membership and has assisted in the formation of new clubs in the District, including Anguilla (1978), St. Martin Nord (1988), St. Martin Mid-Isle (1997) and St. Martin Sunrise (2004).  For more information, visit the club website at


Prime MInister Gumbs Briefs Permanent Committee of Parliament for Inter-parliamentary Affairs and Kingdom Relations on State of Affairs regarding Integrity

PHILIPSBURG - Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs and Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson met with Parliament's Permanent Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Affairs and Kingdom Relations in Parliament House on Friday morning, January 2, 2015.

The meeting was called on the request of the Prime Minister to brief the committee on the current state of affairs with the integrity issue between St. Maarten and the Kingdom Government, in preparation for the IPOK (Inter-Parliamentary Affairs Contact Meeting) in Aruba from January 6 to 9. (Press Secretariat, Government of Sint Maarten Council of Ministers) 


Minister Bourne-Gumbs: Our people have secret weapons against adversity

PHILIPSBURG - In looking to the New Year Minister of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports Rita Bourne Gumbs said that challenges and adversity are something that St. Maarten people are always well prepared for.

Acknowledging, as her colleagues has, that 2015 will be a year filled with challenges, the Minister said the people are resilient will simply deploy their “bountiful talent, creativity and determination” to overcome.  

“As always, we take this time to look back at the year behind us and the year ahead, with great anticipation as to what will come. We should carry the lessons of the past with us, as we look confidently forward with a strong sense of awareness, that we can do anything to which we set our minds,” the Minister said.

Though small, she continued, St. Maarten remains outstanding in the midst of larger countries. “We have, and still will, accomplish great things. New challenges are sure; nevertheless, we will meet those challenges with enthusiasm and determination to overcome.”

She urged the people of St. Maarten to aspire to be positive in mind, heart and sprit and to let each challenge “bring us closer together. Do not hesitate to step up to our individual responsibility, to help make the difference.”

“As we work together to lift St. Maarten to greater heights, I am certain that the experience will generate great satisfaction and splendor. I invite God’s presence to grace us into the future days of this New Year and beyond. Into his hands, we commit our families and ourselves, for blessings of bountiful virtues On behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture Youth, Sports, and the Ministry of VSA, have a Happy and prosperous New Year,” the Minister concluded. (Press Secretariat of the Government of Sint Maarten, Council of Ministers)


72-Year Old Man Succumbs to Injuries. Police seeking community’s help

UPPER PRINCESS QUARTER - In the early hours of Wednesday December 31st around 2 a.m. a witness reported that a 72-year old man was found wounded in the bedroom of his house in Upper Princess Quarter. Several police officers and paramedics immediately rushed to the scene and started CPR with the victim. Around 0400 a.m. the man was pronounced dead by the medical doctor.

Employees of the Forensic Department were called to the scene to collect evidence, and detectives started talking to the witnesses that were present in the house at the time.

At this time the investigation is ongoing and for now this is the only information that’s available. If anybody has any information about this case, even if it seems very little, please contact us on 542-2222 and ask for the detective department.

You can also come to the police station to talk in person to one of the detectives that’s handling this case. If you want to share your information anonymously, you can call our tip line on 9300. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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