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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (2241)

Reparations and West Papua’s Independence Movement Spark Interest at St. Martin Book Fair’s Presidents’ Forum

GREAT BAY, St. Martin — A last minute change in the program brought the issues of Reparations and the continuing struggle of West Papua for its independence from Indonesia to the forefront of the Presidents’ Forum at the 12th Annual St. Martin Book Fair, Saturday, June 7. It was a blessing in disguise, and one that remained consistent with the festival’s 2014 theme of “Crime&Punishment.”

Following an introduction of the presenters by president of the University of St. Martin, Annelies van dem Assem, rapporteur/moderator Fabian Badejo welcomed the audience and said the Presidents’ Forum is the “intellectual underpinning” of the Book Fair.

The issue of reparations for the crime against humanity that was Slavery is one that won’t go away easily, he said, invoking the adage that states, “he who does the crime, must do the time.”

However, author, playwright and member of Antigua and Barbuda’s National Reparations Committee, and of the Caribbean Reparations Commission, Dorbrene O’Marde addressed the issue from several angles, stressing that reparations was necessary to bring closure to that evil chapter in human history that still impacts the lives of Caribbean people up till today.

One by one, O’Marde debunked the main arguments against reparations, and drew a clear distinction between slavery in Africa and the chattel Slavery of the Transatlantic Slave Trade adding that he agreed with Badejo’s suggestion that the latter be spelt with a capital “S.”

He also showed that there has been no break in the struggle for reparations, especially in the Caribbean and explained that the CARICOM Reparations Commission had a 10-point plan, which was recently approved unanimously by the member states to “achieve reparatory justice for the victims of genocide, slavery, slave trading, and racial apartheid.”

The Forum however, belonged to exiled West Papua independence movement leader, Chief Benny Wenda, an ex-political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize nominee for his relentless work to drum up international support for the liberation of his people.

In a chilling presentation that began with a freedom song in his native language, Wenda recalled the racial humiliation he suffered at school and the institutionalized oppression of the people of West Papua by the Indonesian military.

A sham referendum in 1962, recognized by the UN, made West Papua part of Indonesia. However, the cry for freedom of the people has beensystematically stifled with the international community either not paying much attention or totally ignoring the plight of the West Papuans. Wenda revealed that since 1962, over 500,000 West Papuans have been killed by the Indonesian military.

He received an emotional standing ovation and many participants pledged their support for his cause and wanted to know how they could help advance this.

Wenda would later receive the Presidents’ Award at the closing ceremony of the Book Fair held at the Chamber of Commerce building in Concordia, Marigot, on the Saturday evening.

The Presidents’ Award is presented annually to a book fair guest for creating or advancing original or critical works of literature and orature. Chief Wenda, with his wife Maria, is also part of the Lani Singers. The group’s albums, Ninalik Ndawi and Ninalik Arirak, include West Papua songs that might land some in jail if interpreted as subversive folk or protest songs by the Indonesian military in West Papua.  

 

 

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UP board announces resumption of preparations for August 29 Poll, UP Express on the Move

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The board of the United People's Party (UP) hereby informs the nation that it resumes its preparations and activities in connection with the August 29 parliamentary polls for country Sint Maarten.

In the week of June 16 the UP Party will be launching a group that will raise political awareness through engagement and participation whereby they take their rightful place as builders and leaders of Sint Maarten.

Other activities to commence in the week of June 16 is ‘Green Friday’s’ and ‘Drive UP.’

The UP party suspended all activities and preparations for the national parliamentary elections on May 28 when the UP family and nation learnt about the tragic death of the party leader’s son.

The UP family and board takes this opportunity to thank all those who expressed their sympathy with respect to the passing of Curtis N. D. Heyliger, may his soul rest in eternal peace. 

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Bria, Laetitia preparing to compete regionally

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Miss St. Maarten Senior Carnival Queen Bria Sorton and reigning Junior Carnival Queen Laetitia Cozier are preparing to represent their island in two regional pageants.

Bria is preparing to compete in the 2014 Miss Caribbean Culture Queen Pageant in Nevis in early August while Laetitia will compete in the Miss Mini Model Pageant in Santo Domingo in July as part of that country’s Festival del Talento y la Belleza Nacional.

The pageant in Nevis forms part of the 40th anniversary of Culturama on that island. It brings together young ladies of diverse cultural backgrounds from across the region, ahead of the main event set for August 4. The brainchild of LIME restaurateur Randy Jeffers, the pageant has been a staple of Nevis’ summer cultural festival, Culturama, for the past seven years.

Both Bria and Laetitia are excited to get this first opportunity to represent St. Maarten. Together with the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) they are actively seeking sponsorship to assist with their preparations.

Teen Queen D’Shnay York will also represent St. Maarten in St. Kitts later this year. More information about that pageant and her preparations will be released at a later stage. (Contributed by SCDF)

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Incubator SXM - A Free Workshop on Sunday

YOGESH COMMERCIAL COMPLEX, Sint maarten - Incubator SXM, a  free workshop designed to help entrepreneurs create a business model and take their businesses to the next level, will take place on June 15, 2014 at the Yogesh Commercial Complex (room 2- second floor) from 9:00am - 3:00pm. This is an initiative to develop successful entrepreneurs. Local and international trainers will go over the business models of the entrepreneurs and focus on what steps are needed to take the businesses and business ideas to the next level.
 
The entrepreneurs will walk away with not just practical information but with a business model that works specifically for them.  To register please visit www.incubatorsxm.com and for updates visit www.facebook.con/incubatorsxm or call 523-1842 for more details. 
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Minister Patricia Lourens-Philip Father’s Day Message

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Patricia Lourens Philip would like to congratulate Sint Maarten Father’s and Grandfather’s on Father’s Day, Sunday June 15.

Father’s day is an opportunity to acknowledge and say thank you for being my dad, and to celebrate the role that father’s and grandfather’s play in the lives of their children and grandchildren on a daily basis.

Father’s serve in key roles in society such as teachers and in other professional areas, and therefore are considered role models.

Fatherhood is a lifelong commitment and a role of serious responsibility.

“I encourage all families to pay tribute on Sunday, June 15 to all men who fill the role as a father.  On Sunday, families will come together.  We must not forget the dual role that some women also play such as being a mom and dad to their child or children.

“May God bless all of our dad’s, grandfathers, and women who also serve in the role as dad this father’s day,” Minister of Education Hon. Patricia Lourens-Philip said on Friday.

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Story time with Chamber Director this Saturday at the Library

PHILPSBURG, Sint Maarten—The Philipsburg Jubilee Library will be hosting its weekly, Saturday, story time at 11:00am on Saturday, June 14.

This Saturday’s, storyteller, Executive Director for the Chamber of Commerce, Claret Connor, will be reading from one of the library’s children’s books called, “Mushroom in the Rain” by Mira Ginsburg. The story illustrates a lesson in elementary science about an ant, a butterfly, a mouse, a sparrow, and a rabbit, who all fit under the same mushroom.

“I know how important reading is to the development of every child. I feel honored to share my time reading to the children at the library”, said Connor.

Every Saturday, the library conducts story time sessions for visiting children. Both Joseanne Peterson and Lysandra William are the coordinators for the Saturday story times sessions and have been volunteering their time for this project since January.

“Since we started these sessions, we have noticed that the amount of children attending the story time has grown substantially. Another noteworthy fact is that parents are coming along with their children for story time. This is a very positive development, since our aim is to encourage parents to play an active role in developing their children’s interest in reading. Reading is a fundamental tool in the education of our youngsters”, commented story time coordinator, Joseanne Peterson.

After story time, children will be engaged in an arts and crafts activity and provided with fruit cups. The coordinators would hereby like to extend their heartfelt thank you to the sponsors of Saturday story time, namely Afoo Supermarket for fruit cups, Manrique Capriles for Juices and Office World for the crafting material.

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48-Year Old Arrested Under Suspicion of Sexual Abuse

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - Early Wednesday morning, June 11, the 48-year old man E.Y. was arrested in his home in Defiance. A house search, led by the judge of instruction and in presence of the public prosecutor took place. Several data carriers were confiscated for further investigation.

The suspect was arrested and place in pre-trail detention on suspicion of sexual abuse and rape. Several minor victims pressed charges against the suspect. As a coach of a sports team, the suspect took care of children.

The detective department of KPSM is now doing further research. In connection with the investigation no further announcements or comments will be made. (Public Prosecutors Office)

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Prime Minister Wescot-Williams Holds Courtesy Meeting with Consul General and Vice Consul of Suriname

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams received a courtesy visit from the Consul General of the Republic of Suriname for Curacao, St. Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands Delano Winston Dennis Braam and Vice Consul Nelly S. Latchmansing. During the meeting various items were discussed of interest to both countries and Surinamese residents living in Suriname. (Contributed by the Cabinet of the Prime Minister)

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Plenary Session of Parliament for Thursday about the Airport

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The public plenary session of the House of Parliament about the Princess Juliana International Airport is now scheduled for Thursday.

The plenary session for June 12 is set for 2.00pm in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is about developments at the Princess Juliana International Airport. The meeting regarding this agenda point was adjourned on May 19, 2014 and is reconvened for June 12.

This meeting was requested by Members of Parliament (MP) Hon. William Marlin, MP Hon. George Pantophlet, MP Hon. Hyacinth Richardson, and MP Hon. Louie Laveist.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg. 

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