Soualiga News Thu, 20 Feb 2020 20:08:05 -0400 en-gb The Sint Maarten Yacht Club organizes a special Pub Quiz night at the Heineken Regatta Village on 3 March

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - On Tuesday 3 March The Sint Maarten Yacht Club is hosting a special edition of their monthly Pub Quiz at the Regatta Village, Yacht Club Port de Plaisance!

We will have live music, food stands and nice prizes. Walk-in at 6:30pm, Pub Quiz will start at 7pm

Cost is $20 per team; Minimum 3 and a maximum of 5 persons per team. We will have prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams.

Don't miss this 40th edition St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Pub Quiz special! Sign up now with Cherise:

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Wed, 19 Feb 2020 15:45:13 -0400
Descriptive detail of suspect leads to swift arrest of machete wielding robber

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - The Special Robbery Unit is currently investigating an armed robbery that took place at a Chinese restaurant located on the Union road, at approximately 08:10 pm on Tuesday February 18th, 2020, the police said on Wednesday in a statement.

The police on the scene were informed that one (1) masked male, dressed in black clothing, entered the establishment brandishing a machete and demanded the restaurant’s daily earnings.

The suspect then fled the establishment on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. On his way out of the establishment the suspect used his machete to damage a vehicle while passing.

Based on the description given to the police dispatch after the robbery had taken place, an officer in the vicinity was able to recognize the suspect and quickly apprehend him. The suspect with initials J.H was arrested and brought to the Police headquarters in Philipsburg where he will remain in custody pending further investigation.

The Sint Maarten Police Force would like to commend the caller in this case for a job well done on providing the descriptive details needed to swiftly apprehend the suspect. The police have taken the liberty to put together an infomercial on what information you can provide in an emergency situation to help the police dispatch provide enough information to quickly apprehend a suspect.

Please visit our Facebook page (Police Force of Sint Maarten - Korps Politie Sint Maarten) to view this infomercial (pinned at the top of our page for easy accessibility) that can one day be of a great assistance not only to us as law enforcers but also to help protect yourself from having one less suspect on the loose, the police statement concludes. (KPSM)

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Wed, 19 Feb 2020 15:29:17 -0400
Youth Mayor of Amsterdam pays courtesy visit to the President of Parliament of Sint Maarten

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Monday, February 17, 2020, the Youth Mayor of the City Council of Amsterdam Mrs. Avianka Aventurin-Denloye paid a courtesy visit to the President of Parliament, Mr. Rolando Brison at the Parliament building in Philipsburg.

During the meeting both parties discussed succinctly the following topics; Government’s plans for the youth, challenges being faced with the youth, preparations for the youth traveling abroad for higher education and brain-drain.

During the meeting the Honorable President of Parliament, Mr. Rolando Brison was asked to share information about the youth of Sint Maarten. Mr. Brison expressed that Sint Maarten is a very multicultural society where there are over 100 nationalities living on the island creating that melting pot. He further described the young people of Sint Maarten as open minded and highly multicultural friendly people.

Mr. Brison expressed his appreciation to the Youth Mayor of Amsterdam, Mrs. Avianka Aventurin-Denloye for the courtesy visit to the House of Parliament and encouraged Mrs. Aventurin-Denloye’s proposal in collaborating with the Government in efforts to contribute towards the development of Sint Maarten.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Wed, 19 Feb 2020 10:21:13 -0400
Jacobs Congratulates Leonald Connor Primary School on 100th Year Anniversary

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs attended the Leonald Connor Primary School 100th Year Anniversary celebration earlier this past week. The event was held at Praise Tabernacle Church in Cole Bay and was celebrated by many current and past students of the primary school.

Under the tenures of principal Camille Bally and MP William Marlin, Prime Minister Jacobs was a student in the 1st through 6th grade of the Leonald Connor primary school from 1974 until 1980.

“It was an honor for me to be at the 100th year Anniversary celebration. I wish the Leonald Connor Primary School 100 years more and that we can continue to produce some of the best and highest-ranking persons on St. Maarten,” stated Prime Minister Jacobs.

The Leonald Connor Primary School also served as a home to Prime Minister Jacobs upon her return to the island after her tertiary studies abroad. Prime Minister Jacobs, at the young age of 23, began teaching at the school in 1992 and did so for 16 years.

She then became the student Care Coordinator for 3 years before leaving her 19 years of dedication and service to the students, staff and parents of the Leonald Connor Primary School. Prime Minister Jacobs is honored to have worked under the leadership of MP William Marlin & Mrs. Glenda Mathew-White both whom served as principal of the Leonald Connor Primary School during her tenure as a teacher.

“I honor teachers such as Mrs. Patricia Scott, Mrs. Gloria Duzong, the late Mrs. Mavis Brooks-Salmon and Member of Parliament William Marlin, whom served as my most memorable teachers at the Leonald Connor Primary School. They have all unselfishly paved the way for me, my colleagues and many others and for this I am grateful.

Congratulations to all who’ve made Leonald Conner Primary School a place of nurture, education and a force for the best levels of our students. Congratulations are also in order for all students, teachers, staff and parents over the 100 years of existence,” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Tue, 18 Feb 2020 20:50:05 -0400

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - It has been some time now that on-duty police officers has been experiencing difficulties locating parking due to the lack of parking space in the Philipsburg area, a press release from the Cabinet of the Minister of Justice said on Tuesday.

“Several officers have resorted to parking their vehicles in front of the former government building at the Wathey Cyrus square.

“Minister of Justice, Mr. Egbert Doran, took note of the situation and decided to assist in alleviating the parking problem for the officers. On Monday, February 17, 2020, Minister Doran issued twenty parking passes to the Chief of Police, Mr. Carl John.

“The passes give access to the parking lot behind the former government administration building rendering ample parking spots for on-duty officers and also eliminating the traffic congestion in front of the building.”

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Tue, 18 Feb 2020 15:14:04 -0400
Entrepreneurs Reminded to Register for Thursday COCI Workshop by BIP SXM

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) is reminding its members of the business community to register for its next “Grow Your Business with COCI Workshops set for Thursday, February 20.

Vincentia Rosen Sandiford, director of the Bureau for Intellectual Property of Sint Maarten (BIP SXM), will be making a presentation about how you can protect your businesses intellectual property.

Intellectual property is the collective term for a number of specific legal areas. It relates to having a right to a non-material thing. These rights give the owner an exclusive right to manufacture or sell a product, to use the product's name or to duplicate a work. The most well-known intellectual property rights are trademark rights, patent rights and copyright.

The workshop will be about ‘trademark information and registration,’ for products and services and will take place at the COCI Conference Room from 7.00PM to 8.30PM.

Those interested in attending the workshop must register and pay a registration fee of US$20. Seating is limited and potential attendees need to register as soon as possible. You can register via email: or call 721-542-3590 for further information.

BIP SXM is an independent governing body incorporated by ‘the National Ordinance of the Bureau for Intellectual Property Sint Maarten’ and falls under the political responsibility of the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications.

Each workshop will deal with one specific topic. The last workshop in the series is: March 26 Financial Planning, by Ahmed Bell.

The workshop product series is a result of COCI’s 40th anniversary marking the Chambers establishment 40-years ago in 2019.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Mon, 17 Feb 2020 18:32:55 -0400
Second pedestrian struck by vehicle on the A.Th. Illidge road

SINT MAARTEN (DUTCH QUARTER) - The Traffic Department of KPSM is presently investigating a traffic accident that have taken place on Monday morning January 17th, 2020 about 10.45 am in the area of “Tata roundabout” in Dutch Quarter.

Personnel of the dispatch received a call that a Blue Hyundai vehicle with the number plate 4193-AAC was traveling from the direction of French Quarter towards the “Tata roundabout” struck a pedestrian from the back.

The victim who works for a local company was cleaning the road by the roundabout at the time of the accident.

At the location the Police patrol encountered the victim with the initials Z.K.L lying on the ground complaining from pain in his back.

The victim who was being attended by the paramedics suffered some minor injuries and was treated on the scene. He was later transported to the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) where he is being held for further observation. The traffic department is investigating the cause of this accident. (KPSM)

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Mon, 17 Feb 2020 17:24:18 -0400
Register for the Free Breast and Health Screenings set for this Saturday Feb.22

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Women ages 18+ across the country are being reminded to register by February 19th for the free breast and health screening taking place on Saturday, February 22nd.

The screening on Saturday will take place from 8:30am to 3:00pm. The deadline to register is three (3) days before the scheduled event, and the screenings will take place at the Vineyard Office Park Building, building #3 in Philipsburg at the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA). Those who have not participated in past AUC breast screenings are welcome to participate.

To make an appointment, WhatsApp: 1-317-640-1721 or email

The screenings are taking place with the assistance of the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine.

The health screening will be conducted by AUC medical students. They will be checking your height, weight, vision, blood sugar, blood pressure and total cholesterol while the breast exam will be performed by board-certified AUC physician, Dr. Naira Chobanyan.

AUC is conducting these screenings, with support from the Positive Foundation and Ministry VSA, to help the St. Maarten population understand the risk factors associated with breast abnormalities and breast cancers.

During this free screening opportunity, participants will also be educated and informed on: 1. What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer? 2. What can be done to decrease the risk? 3. How the risk is evaluated 4. How the risk can be calculated.

The Positive Foundation urges women to take measures to “Feel it, Find it, and Fight it” early on when it’s easiest to treat. The results from this research project may provide a basis for screening guidelines for Sint Maarten, which could lead to earlier detection for all of us on Sint Maarten.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Sun, 16 Feb 2020 21:33:53 -0400
Inspectorate VSA Advises on How to Handle Food Safety Irregularities

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Food safety division of Inspectorate VSA (Public Health, Social Development and Labour) has noted an increasing amount of complaints about food safety violations in the media.

The food safety division wants to notify the public that inspections are continuously being done at all food establishments, bars, and roadside eateries on the Dutch side of the island.

The inspectorate inspects all food establishments before an operational license is issued. All establishments have received instructions to rectify the violations within a short period of time (24 hours -7 days) in order to maintain operational status

Some of the major supermarkets on the island have been inspected and the division instructed them to make certain improvements, discard items and make the necessary corrections. Follow-up inspections have concluded that all or most of the violations that were found have been corrected.

Establishments are urged to use safe food practices when preparing, handling and storing foods that are for human consumption. All persons serving food in the industry must have their food handler’s certificates, all permits must be readily available for the inspector’s viewing.

The Inspectorate has instructed all food establishments to have a Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) system in place. Which is a systematic preventive approach to food safety from biological, chemical and physical hazards that can cause the food product to be unsafe. A HACCP plan establishes measures to reduce these risks to a safe level.

The food safety division will also be employing more tactics to engage the community that it serves, creating more awareness by releasing more information, to get the public involved and informed about food safety.

Controls are done in a more rigorous manner, inspectors will be stricter in their enforcement of the law, and the division will be visiting establishments more frequently to ensure compliance. The Inspectorate is always in contact with the FDA/ USDA/ FSIS when it comes to recalls and questionable food products from the United States.

The Inspectorate is an enforcement entity; but still need the assistance of the public to be able to do our tasks more effectively. If you find any product in a supermarket, restaurant or bar that is unfit for human consumption.

The Inspectorate ask that you please file a complaint instead of posting on social media that can create confusion. When an official complaint is filed, an investigation will be launched. Some of the images and videos that are posted on social media are a hoax.

Sometimes this is done on purpose to harm a certain person or entity. Please take pictures and/or videos as evidence for your complaint. An official complaint can be filed at our department located on the second floor of the Vineyard Building; call us at 721-520-2936 or send us an e-mail

Together more can be done.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Sat, 15 Feb 2020 13:56:19 -0400
Finn and Tryst Are Big Winners on Day 1 of Caribbean Multihull Challenge

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY - By Herb McCormick) - On a day of squally skies, flying spray, challenging tradewinds and deeply reefed mainsails, a pair of well-sailed trimarans from very different eras were the big winners on Day 1 of the second annual Caribbean Multihull Challenge (CMC).

In the CSA Multihull 1 class, Brett Trevillian’s sleek, white 53-foot tri Finn sits atop the leader board after two wire-to-wire first-place finishes. And in CSA Multihull 2, the longtime Caribbean campaigner Tryst, a Newick Trice II design, also has a comfortable lead after recording two bullets in the roiled waters off St. Maarten.

Principal race officer Marc van Dongen kept four of the fleet’s five the majority of divisions in the lee of the island, setting a pair of courses of 10- and 14-nautical miles, respectively, for the Multihull 1, 2 and 3 classes, as well as the Pirate Class for cruising multihulls.

There were several retirements over the course of the day in the challenging conditions, and a handful of entrants did not make the starts for varying reasons. The latter included the new 50-foot TS5 catamaran Addictive Sailing, recently launched in France and sailed across the Atlantic without mishap, which unfortunately was dismasted in a training session a day before the CMC started.

For the “Big Boat” class of MOCRA Multihulls—which included the MOD 70 trimarans Argo and Maserati, and the Irens-designed tri Shockwave—van Dongen sent the trio on a single 60-nautical mile race around the islands of St. Barths, Tintamerre and St. Maarten.

The idea was to establish a record for the “three-island course” that would serve as a benchmark for Grand Prix mulithulls in future editions of the CMC. The highly anticipated contest got off to a fine start but moments after reaching the first turning mark on a powerful reach, Italian skipper Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati put on the brakes, literally and figuratively, by rolling up his headsail and retiring from the race with unspecified damage.

That left a duel between Jason Carroll’s Argo and Jeff Mearing’s and Scott Klodowski’s Shockwave, with the longer Argo taking line honors and establishing the course record of 3h, 19m, 22s. But Shockwave gained a measure of revenge by winning the race on corrected time and taking the lead in the division after Day One.

CSA Multihull 3 was a class comprised of three Leopard cats; the versatile cruiser/racers built in South Africa. Local favorite Ian Martin’s 45-foot Spellbound and George Coutu’s 50-footer La Novia traded 1-2 finishes to sit atop the class in a deadlock for first, as the third member of the trio, the 47-footer Seaduction, retired from both races.

The Pirate Class victor was David Slater’s vintage Outremer 45, Delphine, an “old school” catamaran that was well sailed and looked terrific.

There was plenty of action up and down the racecourse throughout the day. Returning after a fine showing in last year’s CMC, Bernard “Appie” Stoutenbeck’s and Arthur Banting’s Tryst put on a fine display of sailing, particularly with a sweet mark rounding in the second race despite a massive header on their final approach.

Rodney William’s 52-foot cat Arawak, which dominated her class last year, had a solid day with a pair of seconds in CSA Multihull 1 to sit within striking distance of Finn. And Brit Anthony McVeigh’s 2 2 Tango, with its distinctive paint job of dancers on the hulls, coupled with more dancers on the main and jib, may have been the prettiest boat on the water today. The Schionning 51C sits in third place in CSA Multihull 1 after the first day.





2 2 Tango

2 2 Tango


]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Sat, 15 Feb 2020 04:59:58 -0400
CPS: Increase in influenza cases. Calls on community to increase preventative measures like handwashing

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The flu season is well underway, and the Collective Prevention Service (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), has observed a consistent increase in the number of influenza cases over the past four weeks, with fever and respiratory symptoms being most reported.

CPSs flu-prevention guidance is to get vaccinated which offers effective protection against influenza; adhere to proper handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and cough/sneeze etiquettes (cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing).

Influenza spreads from an infected person to others through the air by droplets (secretion) as a result of coughing and/or sneezing, or by direct contact with the virus on hard surfaces or people’s hands that have the viruses on them then touching the mouth, nose or eyes.

Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection. Unlike the common cold, influenza can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis, which often require hospitalization.

The flu poses a risk or can be especially dangerous for certain groups such as the elderly (65-years and over), pregnant women, very young children (aged six months and over) as well as for people with underlying medical conditions known as immunocompromised (such as severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity, diabetics).

The flu usually differs from a cold as symptoms develop suddenly and can lead to complications such as chest infections and pneumonia – particularly among the elderly and young children.

Flu symptoms tend to develop abruptly one to three days after infection, and can include: tiredness, high fever, chills, headache, coughing, sneezing, runny noses, poor appetite, and muscle aches.

Prevent the spread of influenza and reduce the number of cases by: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; Avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. People who have cold-like symptoms should cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and wash their hands frequently and correctly (with soap and water for at least 20 seconds).

Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with others and refrain from kissing others who have the flu and stay at home when your sick.

For more information, email:

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Fri, 14 Feb 2020 22:26:47 -0400
SLS Laboratory is now ISO 15189 & ISO/IEC 17025 Accredited by A2LA

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - St. Maarten Laboratory Services N.V. (SLS), located in St. Maarten, Dutch West Indies, is pleased to announce that our medical and environmental laboratories have been accredited for two renowned, internationally recognized standards from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA): ISO 15189 and ISO/IEC 17025.

The ISO 15189 certification is the international standard that specifies requirements for quality in medical laboratories, and the ISO/IEC 17025 certification setsstandardsfor environmental laboratories. By obtaining these two certificates, SLS reaffirms its commitment to serve the St. Maarten community and neighboring islands and to deliver accurate and reliable results by having a solid quality management system in place.

What is ISO?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develops and publishes various international standards to ensure that materials, products, processes and services that are fit for the purpose. The ISO 15189 & ISO/IEC 17025 are two important internationally accepted standards for laboratory test and measurement products.

Accreditation bodies use these standards specifically to assess relevant factors of a laboratory’s ability to produce precise and accurate results. These standards are also used to assess the competency of the laboratory’s staff, which is critical to good management and good laboratory practices, among other things.

Journey to Accreditation

The process of SLS’s accreditation started in 2014. At that time, many quality documents had to be written and put into effect, so both the medical and environmental labs could be in compliance with the two above-mentioned ISO norms. This required hard work, dedication and motivation from the entire SLS staff. Four years later, in November of 2018, SLS was ready to request its application for accreditation from A2LA.

In May of 2019, two auditors from A2LA (United States) came to St. Maarten to audit both laboratories over a three-day period. These were very intense days for SLS. On February 10, 2020, after eight months of back and forth correspondence with A2LA, SLS received the exciting news that both laboratories attained their ISO accreditation.

Moving forward with Accreditation

For SLS, this is a milestone achievement for the laboratory and for Country St. Maarten as this places SLS’s laboratory services on par with world class laboratories. This certification is the beginning of a beautiful journey for the laboratory and does not end with this achievement.

We pledge to maintain our accreditation and continue to provide the highest quality results and services to our community by working in compliance with international standards. The maintenance of the laboratory’s accreditation will be monitored by A2LA and the Inspectorate of VSA.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Sun, 16 Feb 2020 15:58:07 -0400
Sint Maarten Sea Turtles Experiencing a Decline in Nesting and Increase in Deaths

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - The sea turtle nesting season of 2019 showed the presence of all three nesting species on our beaches; leatherback, green and hawksbill nets were found, however their beach habitat and survival are severely threatened on St. Maarten.

Sea turtle nests were recorded on Gibbs Bay, Mullet Bay, Dawn Beach, Simpson Bay and Guana Bay Beach, showing a slight increase compared to recorded nests the last three years, however numbers of nests per season are worrisome and much lower than ten years ago.

Sea turtles foraging and nesting on St Maarten experience serious threats to their survival, especially previous year caused a high mortality rate among the species due to boat strikes, beach destruction and trash.

“Last year we have reported on several dead sea turtles, five of them died due to boat strikes in and around the Simpson Bay Lagoon area, two sea turtles died in our trash, ending up entangled in a chair and fishing gear, also an additional amount of sea turtles died on the French side. Sea turtles are vulnerable species, when they forage, they need to come up to the surface in order to breath and they need an undisturbed beach to produce a successful nest.

“Frequent beach driving activities causes sea turtle eggs to crush and beach constructions leaves no room for sea turtles to nest. We are seriously concerned about the survival chances of our sea turtle population and urge to increase and enforce the protection level of our precious sea turtles,” explained Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern Nature Foundation’s Manager.

The Nature Foundation is the designated authority to monitor sea turtle nests and the population on St. Maarten, since last year they increased their patrols in order to assess the nesting population trend.

“Verified sea turtle nests appear to be scarce the past years and the hatch success of our nests seem to be very low, indicating disturbances on the beach such as beach driving or habitat destruction, however extended research and funding is needed to establish significant nesting trends for St. Maarten sea turtles in the coming years,” explained Nature Foundation’s Manager. 

Last year, the Foundation received assistance from Environmental Monitoring student Saskia Werner, her report about sea turtle nesting on St. Maarten has been published on the Nature Foundation website.

The Nature Foundation is vigorously taking measurements to decrease the threats for sea turtles on St. Maarten, awareness is being created and involved stakeholders have been contacted in the last months.

The Foundation received assistance from the VROMI policy department and is working on several acts in order to ensure sea turtles for the future generations.

“Quads, cars and larger machines are often seen driving on our beaches, which could damage or even completely destroy sea turtle nests. We are actively working on blocking the access to our beaches for vehicles together with the help of the VROMI department of infrastructure, hopefully more beaches will be closed for accidental and intentionally beach driving, such as on Kimsha beach,” continued Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern.

All sea turtle’s species are protected by the SPAW Protocol and the Nature Conservation Ordinance St. Maarten Articles 16 and 17, therefore it is illegal to kill, wound, capture or pick up sea turtles. It is also illegal to directly or indirectly disturb their environment resulting in a physical threat or damage, or to commit other acts which result in disturbance of the animal. It is forbidden to disturb, damage or destroy sea turtle nests, lairs or breeding places.

Also, it is forbidden, by the same law, to pick up or to destroy the eggs of any species of sea turtle. Needless to say, that the Sint Maarten criminal code prohibits hurting animals in general. Legal action to enforce can be taken by inspectors of the Ministry of VROMI, in order to investigate and prosecute offenders disturbing or affecting sea turtles or other protected species.

Recently, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, after a meeting with the Ministry of VROMI and the Nature Foundation, has expressed interest in taking up the challenge to prosecute criminal offences regarding sea turtles and their nesting habitat.

“We have met with the prosecutor to talk about the possibility to enforce the legislation of protective species. The prosecutor is supporting this, so some preparations will be started now between the Ministry of VROMI, Nature Foundation and the Public Prosecutor’s office to get this executed,” stated Ildiko Gilders Policy Advisor Nature and Environment at Ministry of VROMI.

The sea turtles on St Maarten face serious threats regarding their survival, first of all sea turtles have lost most of their nesting habitats due to beach construction in the vegetation line, the location on the beach where they supposed to lay their nests.

On St. Maarten beaches, houses are built actually on the beach or have been in the past, as we see on Simpson Bay Beach, forcing sea turtles to lay their nests in the danger ‘over wash’ zone of the beach, leading to a lower or no hatching success. In addition, large amounts of wastewater, including sewage, are entering the ocean affecting the marine life living in it and especially vulnerable sea turtles.

Moreover, sea turtles nesting are disoriented and disturbed by beach lightening, especially hatchlings are often found ‘going the wrong way’ ending up on dangerous places, such as on the board walk or on the road, which happened three times in 2018, according to the Nature Foundation.

To conclude, single-use plastics pollution is also a serious problem on St Maarten, trash on the beaches and in the water ways affect the sea turtle population, obstructing their already tough crawls on the beach and sea turtles are found to be entangled in trash or ingest the harmful products.

In order to ensure sea turtle populations for the future, all residents, tourists and organizations on St. Maarten could assist to be alert and by preventing additional threats to sea turtles.

Leather back sea turtle coming ashore in the 2019 nesting season

Leather back sea turtle coming ashore in the 2019 nesting season.


]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:21:05 -0400
Law Enforcement Council report shows most recommendations have not been followed

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – A 2019 review inspection by the Law Enforcement Council of an earlier report titled ‘The selectivity of the investigation and prosecution policy of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Sint Maarten? An investigation into the rendering of the prosecution monopoly and the opportunity principle’ has shown that of the ten recommendations made as part of a 2014 inspection, six recommendations have not been followed, three recommendations have been followed partially, and one recommendation has been followed entirely.

Of the six recommendations that were not followed, one concerned the Public Prosecutor's Office's personnel policy and another regarded the strengthening of the effectiveness of law enforcement. The remaining four recommendations concerned the National Detectives Agency.

In its report following the 2014 inspection, the Council recommended to the Minister of Justice to promote that the Sint Maarten Public Prosecutor’s Office, in cooperation with the Public Prosecutor's Office in the Netherlands, develop a personnel policy that was specifically geared towards Sint Maarten. The Council concluded that in 2015 there were no fixed procedures concerning recruitment and selection on behalf of Sint Maarten. Although cooperation has been sought with the Public Prosecutor's Office in the Netherlands, no personnel policy has been developed.

The Minister of Justice also did not follow the Council’s recommendation to strengthen the effectiveness of law enforcement by the Public Prosecutor's Office, the National Detectives Agency and the St. Maarten Police Force (KPSM). No research was carried out into the specific possibilities within Sint Maarten and the Kingdom to bolster the law enforcement capabilities. According to the Council, the effectiveness depended on the strength of the individual organisations and of the justice chain as a whole.

The Council stated that a few of the organisations were on the right track (e.g. the KPSM), but that not all organisations (e.g. the National Detectives Agency) functioned at the desired level.

This could be achieved by following the four recommendations regarding the policy, capacity, the business process system and the improvement plan of the National Detectives Agency.

A general political-administrative policy is lacking and the National Detectives Agency does not have a business process system. Furthermore, the Council noted that the National Detectives Agency remained in a vulnerable position because the capacity of the Agency has not sufficiently grown compared to 2015. Finally, the improvement plan for the National Detectives Agency did not lead to the desired results. The follow-up of the recommendations on the National Detectives Agency should be a high priority, the Council stated.

2014 inspection

In 2014, at the request of the then Minister of Justice, the Council carried out an inspection regarding the selectivity of the investigation and prosecution policy of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Sint Maarten. The Council concluded in that report that the reasons for the selectivity were not based on the person of the accused. The cause appeared to lie in the preconditions of the investigation and being able to establish the burden of proof. This situation was of a completely different nature and related to the relatively limited effectiveness of the law enforcement apparatus on Sint Maarten.

The report was published in 2015 and contained ten recommendations addressed to the Minister of Justice regarding the Public Prosecution Service (5), the National Detectives Agency (4); and the Public Prosecutor's Office, the National Detectives Agency and the Sint Maarten Police Force jointly (1). In 2019, the Council carried out a review of this report.

Partially followed recommendations

Three recommendations were identified by the Council as having been partially followed. These concern the business process system with which the Public Prosecutor's Office works (called Priem), the turnaround time of the Public Prosecutor's Office and the communication policy of the Public Prosecutor's Office. The inspection showed that modernising of management processes system of the Public Prosecutor’s Office was initiated, but not completed. Through a so-called 'seven weeks consultation', the (re)introducing of the 'Justice as Soon as Possible' trajectory and the steering committee, decisions can be made more quickly and more visibility is created with regards to the turnaround time of cases. In order to better steer the turnaround time, the current limited registration system should be further developed. The Council also noted that the Public Prosecutor’s Office communicated more proactively and has started to develop a communication policy.

Followed recommendation

The only recommendation that was entirely followed related to the Public Prosecutor's Office. This recommendation was: ‘Promote that outgoing assistance requests within the Kingdom comply with the set requirements.’ The Public Prosecutor’s Office has drafted an assistance processes handbook that includes the requirements.

The Council is urging the Minister of Justice to give priority to the follow-up of the Council's recommendations that have not been (entirely) executed as yet. The review report and all other Council reports can be found on the Council's website: or

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Thu, 13 Feb 2020 17:55:25 -0400
25-Pupils from Oranje Primary School visit post office

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - On February 7, 2020, twenty-five pupils from the Oranje Primary School visited Postal Services Sint Maarten (PSS) as an educational trip, during which time they excitedly purchased stamps to mail letters and cards to their loved-ones in commemoration of Valentine’s day.

The Management and staff of the post office was extremely happy to host the students who were able to experience firsthand how the old-fashioned way of sending mail is executed, especially in today’s era of e-mails and other forms of digital communication.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Thu, 13 Feb 2020 16:47:47 -0400
Sarah: VSA Minister’s Decision Regarding Work Permits is Haphazard and Uncoordinated

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot Williams: “Where does this National Employment Service Center fit in the legal organization of the country? The announcement by the VSA Minister regarding her policy relative to foreign work permit applications is reason to query government’s modus operandi, as this comes across as a hasty and uncoordinated decision.”

The organization of the country St. Maarten is regulated by national ordinance. According to that ordinance the Ministry of VSA consists of amongst others, the Department of Labor, responsible for policy. In addition, the VSA Ministry has a so-called implementation agency (uitvoeringsorganisatie), that is responsible for execution, called Labor Affairs.

“Is this just the name given to that operating arm of the labor ministry or is this a new organization to be created? Is the plan to outsource the tasks of this agency as outlined in the minister’s policy announcement? The name would suggest this is something new.”

The task of this National Employment Service Center seems to be quite extensive as it is supposed to among others, participate in all employment interviews. How effective can that be?

While it is the duty of the ministry to “promote the provision of sufficient employment” for our citizens according to our Constitution, the question is exactly how? It is also the minister’s responsibility to execute the foreign labor ordinance and I want to commend the minister for her efforts in this regard. This ordinance is clear. Foreign work permits only for jobs, for which local labor is not available, MP Wescot explained.

“I have doubts however that the way the minister is proceeding with this execution to secure local employment will have the effect that the minister is envisioning.”

I draw his conclusion because 1) As I mentioned, how is this National Employment Service Center organized, within or outside of the VSA ministry? How will it be staffed?

In addition to that, what I miss from the minister’s announcement is consultation with the tripartite consultative body of labor, business and government. Especially where labor matters are concerned, if the government of St. Maarten really wants durable buy-in by the labor and business sectors, they will have to be involved.

One will recall that not too long ago, the Ministry of VSA indicated that they will be consulting stakeholders with respect to the changes to the Labor Book in the Civil Code. These changes included the amendments by members of parliament respectively Tamara Leonard and me in the areas of maternity and paternity leave as well as short-term labor contracts and transfer of business. I am still awaiting these consultations.

On the matter of the National Employment Service Center and the policy for foreign labor permits, what is also not evident from the minister’s statement is the data based on which the minister has taken the decisions that she has taken.  

“In 2018, upon my request the Ministry of VSA provided information regarding the unemployment situation on St. Maarten to Parliament. ‘In the year 2018, 472 new registrations for unemployment were registered.’ The question at this time is, how is that picture now, also taken into account the emergency training and income program as financed via the TF. Has this added to our unemployment or has this helped lower unemployment? By the minister’s own admission in January: “…. it is clear that further analysis of the labor market and the employment situation is required.” The government admitted at the time that the employment data of the Labor Department and the results of the labor survey could not be corroborated. According to the government, ‘..we have a reported 6636 unemployed according to the 2019 Labour Survey.’

These are some of the questions that officially will be submitted to the minister to receive more information regarding the Ministry’s new policy on handling requests for foreign labor.

“Finally, I query whether a policy of this nature should not have awaited the incoming minister of VSA. In any case, I look forward to the further elucidation on the National Employment Service Center.”

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Thu, 13 Feb 2020 15:59:20 -0400
COCI Calls on Entrepreneurs to Register for February 20 Grow Your Business Workshop about product protection

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) is inviting members of the business community to register for its next “Grow Your Business with COCI Workshops set for Thursday, February 20.

This is the seventh workshop and will be given by Vincentia Rosen Sandiford, director of the Bureau for Intellectual Property of Sint Maarten (BIP SXM).

BIP SXM is an independent governing body incorporated by ‘the National Ordinance of the Bureau for Intellectual Property Sint Maarten’ and falls under the political responsibility of the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications.

Intellectual property is the collective term for a number of specific legal areas. It relates to having a right to a non-material thing. These rights give the owner an exclusive right to manufacture or sell a product, to use the product's name or to duplicate a work. The most well-known intellectual property rights are trademark rights, patent rights and copyright.

The workshop will be about ‘trademark information and registration,’ for products and services and will take place at the COCI Conference Room from 7.00PM to 8.30PM.

Those interested in attending the workshop must register and pay a registration fee of US$20. Seating is limited and potential attendees need to register as soon as possible. You can register via email: or call 721-542-3590 for further information.

Each workshop will deal with one specific topic. The last workshop in the series is: March 26 Financial Planning, by Ahmed Bell.

The workshop product series is being organized in connection with COCI’s 40th anniversary marking the Chambers establishment 40-years ago in 2019.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Wed, 12 Feb 2020 17:50:41 -0400
SHTA Calls for Immediate Revocation of New Labour Permit Policy

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) calls for an immediate revocation of the new “Policy on issuance of Labor Permits, as was published last Friday February 7th in the National Gazette, the SHTA said on Wednesday in a press statement.

“The policy change is meant to decrease unemployment and underemployment of residents. SHTA fully aligns with the Ministry on this ambition but stands vehemently against the policy. The SHTA’S objections to the change in policy are supported by The Sint Maarten Timeshare Association (SMTA), the Sint Maarten Marine Trades Association (SMMTA) and the Indian Merchants Association (IMA) in this protest.

“The association stresses it will only exacerbate the challenges of the still ailing economy.  It calls for government to first consult with one of the many advisory bodies established for such purposes and the private sector associations before issuing a decree of this extent.  All would have directly pointed to the many adverse effects of this new policy. It reminds the Minister that it has the Social Economic Council (SER) and the Ministry of VSA’s own Tripartite Committee to consult on matters with great impact like Friday’s decree.

“The policy seeks to establish a “National Employment Service Center” that will provide candidates; sit in on job interviews with the candidates, and possibly compel employers to discuss reasons for rejecting a candidate. An arbitrary decision is then made on the granting of a work permit for foreign labor.

“With the new policy, government seems to sit in the chair of the employer/investor and run their HR department, without bearing any risk or responsibility, and intruding in the privacy of application talks. As per the policy, government can repeat this process if the result is not to their liking, with seemingly unending iterations. Besides not providing a clear route to a work permit, this new process puts an extremely long lead time in employer’s hiring decisions when swift action may be needed to sustain the employer’s operations, and also leaves room for graft.

“No distinction is made regarding skills or education levels, nor are policy details on the length of the added process shared.  There is no guarantee that the participant member of the National Employment Service Center would even have the knowledge to evaluate whether a person is qualified for some of the jobs that normally require foreign labor, let alone have a reasonable understanding of the company’s needs and culture for which it is interviewing.

“SHTA warns that among other things the rigidity in our labor market is pointed to repeatedly as a hindrance to growth in Sint Maarten economic reports by every international monitoring body.  It is also a point SHTA has been stressing since well before Irma as a cause of the lack of economic growth and the restriction of upward mobility amongst our labor force.  ( Instead of easing restrictions, the new policy brings additional rigidity, cost, time and bureaucracy into the process.

“The policy creates additional impediments for a private sector that has not received any assistance for recovery, unlike the wake of hurricanes Luis and Lenny; where the recovery of the private sector and thus the job market was paramount within the process.  This policy will cause employers to hire less and investors to invest less, resulting in a net loss of jobs. Reduction of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) will be another indirect effect.

“Next to an economic impact, a societal one will occur. As per the Ministry’s own numbers, 7% of last year’s permits were issued to Teachers and Nurses; 2 job categories that are in global shortage, and long known to be insufficiently available on Sint Maarten. For an overburdened educational and care system, the new policy will make it more difficult to hire qualified and experienced personnel, bringing the quality of education and care down with it. 

“Just as interesting, most work permits granted last year (25%) were for the adult entertainment sector. SHTA would like to know if this industry is going to be forced to follow the same new labor rules keeping a list of locals qualified for the job and having a government employee sitting in on the interviews. In addition, SHTA wonders if this policy applies for government when it lacks specific expertise.

“The government’s decision to further restrict the labor market is against every international advice received to stimulate the economy and increase jobs. In 2019, 12% of the permits were granted to the construction sector; just under 5% were issued in the hospitality sector, hospitality being the largest industry on St. Maarten.  This is a miniscule number compared to the number of jobs the Hospitality sector creates; and are usually reserved for specific functions or senior positions. Both sectors are likely to suffer from the impact of this policy.

“Last but not least the policy will form an additional burden for an overburdened and financially insecure government and will remain without achieving the desired effect. SHTA refers to earlier, more effective initiatives by the Labor Office in reaching the target of reducing unemployment and suggests to restart those while revoking this policy directly. Most importantly, it asks government to involve all stakeholders involved before implementing such widely impactful decisions to avoid further economic damage during the frail recovery process.  We urge the Minister of VSA to act without delay on this repeal.”

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Wed, 12 Feb 2020 15:55:36 -0400
Love is in the air. Support MHF Valentine Candle Sale

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - Valentine's day is around the corner, so give your loved one something special this year, like valentine candles or gift baskets hand made by the clients of the Mental Health Foundation (MHF), MHF said in a press statement on Wednesday!

The MHF will be selling them today and tomorrow at Kooyman Megastore between 10 am and 2 pm!

Single candles range from 2$ to 10$, and the baskets are 15$ & $20, and the proceedings will go directly to the clients!

The candles are handmade in the candle making room within the Mental Health Foundation in the job training sessions. The clients:’’ Valentine is a special time which you can share with loved ones! And for us, it’s great to help with that. We are very enthusiastic, and we hope that a lot of people will buy them’’!

Don’t want to take any chances, though? Order your gift directly through WhatsApp: +1 721 520 1317!

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Wed, 12 Feb 2020 15:52:04 -0400
Police issues warning of dangerous games being played at schools. Calls on parents and guardians

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The police have taken note a very dangerous new game taking place on and around the school premises on Sint Maarten, what students call the Skull-breaker” or “Jump”, the police announced on Tuesday.                                                                                                              

This game involves three or more students standing close together, whereby the one standing in the middle is encouraged to jump as high as possible.

The person standing on opposite sides then kicks or pushes the jumper’s legs out from under them causing them to fall. The jumper then loses control in the air and comes crashing down to the ground. This can result in this person hitting their head or other parts of their body causing them serious injury.

The Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) is very concerned about this dangerous game and encourages parents and guardians to speak to their children about this phenomenon and convince them not to participate in these challenges.

Those organizing or participating in this game should be aware that causing willful bodily harm to others can have legal consequences for all those involved. (KPSM)

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Tue, 11 Feb 2020 15:30:41 -0400
“Edification Time volume 1” book presentation to PJL by Ras Bushman

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - “Edification Time” volume 1 is a collection of “blessings, inspirations, insights, motivations, lessons, poems, deep thoughts, peace and most of all words of love” written by Roland M. Joe better known as Ras Bushman, which has been presented to the Philipsburg Jubilee Library (PJL), the PJL said in a press release on Tuesday.

The book Edification Times was realized when Dirkje de Jong inspired Roland M. Joe to create a book of his inspiration and thoughts. The book consists of twenty-five pictures depicting different places he has been whether worked, visited or traveled in the world. The content provides words that lift the spirit to inspire the readers while shedding a light on positive energy.

The author stated he felt a need to share these words of knowledge, positive energies, and vibes via his newly published book volume 1“Edification Time”. He hopes to pass on knowledge of strength, pain, love, and solutions through his writings and hopes that his words last forever

Roland Joe presented a copy to the Philipsburg Jubilee library in honor of the Black History Month with the aim of educating the nation through this writing.

The Philipsburg Jubilee Library gratefully received the copy of the Edification Time and it is now available to the community of Sint Maarten.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Tue, 11 Feb 2020 13:36:12 -0400
SMMC, SZV, and the Ministry of ECYS sign parking MOU,-szv,-and-the-ministry-of-ecys-sign-parking-mou&Itemid=518,-szv,-and-the-ministry-of-ecys-sign-parking-mou&Itemid=518

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), Social and Health Insurances SZV, and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding granting SMMC temporary usage rights for a parcel of land at the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex. The parcel of land will be used for parking by SMMC for the duration of the construction of the St. Maarten General Hospital (SMGH).

During the signing, the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Ardwell Irion said “I am pleased to be a part of the process and assisting the hospital in getting what they need to move forward. I am also taking these arrangements into consideration as we anticipate the upgrade of the sport facilities which will benefit everyone of all ages and all interests within our community”.

“The commitment from government to the work together with SMMC and SZV to designate land for SMMC’s temporary parking and the future office building of SZV is another progressive step to providing quality care close to home. The new SZV office building will support our objectives of enhancing our customers’ experience, something that is lacking in our current office building with parking limitations being one of the biggest hassles when visiting us” remarked SZV Director, Glen Carty.

“We would to thank SZV and the Council of Ministers, especially Minister Irion, for their cooperation and enthusiasm with regards to the signing of this MOU. The signing of this MOU means a safer, more permanent solution for parking for our patients, visitors, and staff. As part of our commitment to our community and as compensation for the usage of the land, we will bear the costs of upgrading the basketball court at the John Cooper Jose Lake Sr. Ball Park to a multipurpose sports field for basketball, netball, volleyball, and hockey” said SMMC’s Chief Financial Officer, Marco Meuleman.

“Since the start of the construction of SMGH, we have been temporarily using the parking lots at the Belair Community and Fitness Center and the Jehovah’s Witness. We would like to extend our gratitude to the management and staff of the Belair Community and Fitness Center, the Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses for allowing us to make use of their premises while we arranged an alternative solution. Their cooperation allowed us to proceed with the construction of SMGH with no delays” concluded Meuleman.

SMMC would like to thank all patients, visitors, and staff for their understanding and cooperation and would like to apologize for any inconveniences that this may have caused. Information about the new parking situation will follow in a subsequent press release.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Tue, 11 Feb 2020 12:27:30 -0400
Argos Cement to host five-day concrete workshops at NIPA

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - As part of the recently signed service-level agreement Argos, a multinational producer of cement, and the National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA) will be hosting another in a series of projects geared toward the socioeconomic development of country Sint Maarten.

Argos Cement will be holding a series of workshops facilitated by the NIPA with the goal of enhancing the quality of construction technology, resources and standards through effective education and networking in Sint Maarten.

The workshops will teach about general concrete properties and behavior, concrete pavement, mass concrete, curing of concrete and concrete durability.

The event will take place in the last week of February and is focused on informational sessions for specific target audiences. Industry partners and contractors are invited to workshop 1 on February 24 and 25 from 9:00am to 3:00pm.

Workshop 2, on February 26 and 27 will be held at the same times; the invitees will be VROMI, other government partners and special guests. February 28 is the closing day, which will wrap up the events of the previous days. It will run from 9:00am to 1:00pm. All participants will be asked to complete a practical exam conducted by a member of Argos. Refreshments will be provided.

Christopher C. Ferraro, Ph.D., P.E, FACI, who is an expert in the field of engineering and infrastructure, will host the sessions. Dr. Ferraro is expected to speak and share his vast knowledge with the invited guests with the added benefit of certification for having completed the course.

“Based on our company’s purpose to help build dreams that boost development and transform lives, we are constantly on the look-out for opportunities that contribute to the communities where we have operations. In this case, this workshop will be the starting point of this educational endeavor with NIPA for Argos to help Sint Maarten build back better. Through this agreement we aim to share our experience as a cement company to positively impact the construction industry on the island. It is an honor for us to be part of a program like this, that aims to the growth and empowerment of our people and the overall social and cultural development of this country,” said Edgar Martínez, Argos Antilles General Director.

“The newly penned vision of the NIPA, endorsed by our key stakeholders, highlights the core values of standards we aim to uphold; innovation, inclusiveness and excellence. Collaborative initiatives with our industry partners pave the way for the realization of these values in a very tangible way. We are pleased to be considered a valued partner with Argos Sint Maarten B.V., in the fulfillment of our mandate as the leading technical vocational institute in the North Eastern Caribbean. This workshop launches more of such initiatives, and in doing so, not only sets the standard in the Construction Industry, but also exemplifies excellence. The NIPA is proud and confident of the outcome of these workshops, with Argos Sint Maarten leading experts,” said representatives of the NIPA Supervisory Board of Directors, Management and team.

The workshops are geared to key partners, but there are ten seats available to the public for each session. For more information or to register please email Keianna Liburd at or visit the Argos Cement location at 107 Juancho Yrasquin Boulevard. Registration is US$20 and closes on February 17.

Argos Sint Maarten Team


About Dr. Christopher Ferraro, Ph.D., P.E, FACI

Dr. Ferraro is Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering in the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment (ESSIE) at the University of Florida. Dr. Ferraro is a member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and is the current chair of the Mass Concrete Committee (207). He is the secretary of the Standing Committee on Durability of Concrete (AFN 30) for the Transportation Research Board. Dr. Ferraro is also a member of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), as well as the American Ceramic Society (ACerS). He was also the Structural Materials Research Engineer, for the Florida Department of Transportation.

About Argos

Argos is a growing multinational cement company that operates in 15 countries and exports its products to 34 more countries. It consolidates its presence in high-potential markets and focuses on adding value through solutions and innovative products, logistic synergies and a business balance between developed and emergent economies. Currently, the company is the number one cement and ready-mix company in Colombia, the second in concrete and the fourth cement company in the United States and one of the most important of its sector in the Caribbean and Central America region. For more information on Argos, please visit

About NIPA

The National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA) offers advanced vocational education for students who want to further their education after secondary schools and adults already in the workforce. Our programs are tailored to the needs and interests of the labour market and the wider Sint Maarten community. NIPA is the only government-recognized institute for advanced vocational and technical education in Sint Maarten. For more information visit, follow NIPA on Facebook (@NIPASXM), or send questions directly to //">


]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Mon, 10 Feb 2020 19:59:45 -0400

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - On Friday, January 31ST, Minister of Finance, Ardwell Irion joined a small delegation of the National Recovery Project Burau (NRPB) and SXM Airport PJIAE to the Headquarters of the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg. The main purpose of this high-level visit was to cross the Ts and dot the Is on the 50 million US Dollars loan that the Government of Sint Maarten has signed with the European Investment Bank for Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA). This loan will be provided to the Airport under very favorable conditions, with a grace period of five years and a subsidized interest percentage of around 2.5 to 3%.

As one of the principal financiers for the Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project, the EIB will be an important partner for the country and the Airport in the years to come. Minister Irion thanked the EIB and especially Ms. Emma Navarro, the EIB’s Vice-President for the Caribbean for the EIB’s support: ‘I am very grateful for this unique opportunity to work with a triple-A institution like the EIB.

“Together with the 72 million US dollars grant from the Sint Maarten Trust Fund, the technical assistance of the World Bank and the release of the insurance proceeds, the EIB’s loan will allow PJIA to return the Terminal Building to its former glory and to look beyond at new horizons. The EIB is a very natural partner for the Airport, as the EIB already finances major operations in almost every major airport in Europe. Hopefully, this loan will be the first in a series of operations of the EIB with PJIA in order to finance future upgrades to our terminal facilities, including pre-clearance’.

During his visit, Minister Irion and Director Claret Connor of the NRPB discussed how the cooperation with the EIB can also become beneficial for other investment projects of the Government of Sint Maarten and its Government Companies.

‘The financing of the Airport project teaches us a very important lesson: we can and should use the Trust Fund to leverage more attractive funding for our island. The availability of over half a billion US Dollars in grant money through the Trust Fund is an asset that we should use to our advantage. We can leverage the Trust Fund to obtain more attractive public and private funding for our projects. The involvement of triple-A institutions like the World Bank and the EIB, makes it more attractive for other financiers to chip-in.

“As Minister of Finance, my goal is always to follow the numbers and to do the math: we already have half a billion, but we need and can get more. My visit to the EIB, being the first official visit of the Government of Sint Maarten to the EIB, serves this purpose as I strongly believe that the EIB can become an important partner to leverage the Trust Fund’, Minister Irion explained.

min irion eib ins1 1002



]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Mon, 10 Feb 2020 12:36:10 -0400

SINT MAARTEN (SUCKER GARDEN) - Preparations are well on the way for the Sint Maarten Lions Club’s 12th “Lion Rudy Hoeve Health & Wellness Fair” scheduled to be held on Saturday March 28th, 2020 at the Belair Community Center & Premises in Belair from: 9.00 AM to 3.00 PM.

The Lions have scheduled a meeting with all the regular Stakeholders and all other Health Care organizations and individual persons promoting good healthcare to a very important meeting to be held on Wednesday February 12th at the Lions’ Den on the Sucker Garden Road #13 starting at 2.00 PM where the Fair will be discussed in more details and participants can also bring in their ideas for a successful Health Fair.

Also during the coming weeks Lions members and in particular participants will be explaining to the general public what they will be presenting at the Fair during various Radio talk & TV shows.

Various lectures will also be held by various healthcare providers and healthcare organizations

on various healthcare matters.

The entire premises will be used as besides the regular screening, test and health information the Lions are also offering: Water Aerobics, all sorts of exercises, tennis and much more by special trainers.

All health tests, screening, demonstrations and information are FREE of charge to the public.

The general public is encouraged to make use of this great opportunity to get free health checks, information and spend a worthwhile day with the Lions.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Mon, 10 Feb 2020 12:27:22 -0400
Veuve Clicquot Champagne to toast the 40th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and Veuve Clicquot Champagne, one of the leading brands from the Louis Vitton Moet Hennesy Group, has announced a sponsorship for the 2020 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The two organizations are excited to work together to help celebrate 40 years of the event in St. Maarten.

A premier event in the Caribbean, sponsored by a premier beer brand, Heineken, only means nothing but the best Champagne would do for this celebratory year. The regatta, which takes place March 5-8, 2020, is the largest annual sailing event in the Caribbean.

Veuve Clicquot, established in 1772, carries a long history of excellence, perseverance, and innovation, characteristics that parallel the St, Maarten Heineken Regatta and its 40 years of existence. A leader in the Champagne industry, Veuve Clicquot was the first vintage champagne, created in 1810. From expansion across the globe to the creation of the first-ever Rose Champagne, Veuve Clicquot has been pushing the boundaries for hundreds of years. This advancement and strive for excellence mirror the passion and innovation in the Regatta and its desire to always do better and give its participants an experience they will never forget.

“Caribbean Liquors (CLT) is excited to partner with Heineken & SMYC by having Veuve Clicquot serve as the Official Champagne of the St Maarten Heineken Regatta.

Caribbean Liquors welcomed home Veuve Clicquot, a Moet-Hennessy family brand in January 2020 and is excited to have a such a grand opportunity to reintroduce locals and sailors from around the world to the ‘Art of Champagne’. It seemed only natural to have Veuve Clicquot serve as the Official Champagne of the St Maarten Heineken Regatta. Why you may ask? Quite simple: the Veuve Clicquot logo consists of an anchor design!

Over the years, the Regatta has been successful in attracting large numbers of visitors to the island, which stimulates business for different sectors such as restaurants, hotels and inns, taxi drivers, and more. As a local company founded in 1976, it is in our interest to participate in such an event to continue boosting the local economy. Plus, the races, concerts, and events bring both visitors and locals together to have a good time – that unity is something we can raise a glass to. Cheers!” stated Georges Greaux, Managing Director of Caribbean Liquors & Tobacco, Champagne sailing, the term used to describe perfect sailing conditions, perfectly describes this warm-wate regatta, and now it has one of the world’s leading Champagne brands to add to our list of prestigious sponsors. Distributed by Caribbean Liquors & Tobacco, Veuve Clicquot fits into the Regatta sponsor family like a glove. The addition of this world-renowned Champagne will undoubtedly add a celebratory feeling to the anniversary event.

Regatta participants will be receiving an added surprise this year as all first-place winners will be presented with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. For the rest of the sailors, party-goers and friends and family, there will be a Champagne Bar in the Regatta village so that everyone can join in on the celebration. VIP areas will now include bottle service to add to the experience.

The Event’s Production Manager John Leone stated, "It's great that Veuve Clicquot can join our team of premium sponsors. We welcome them into the family and look forward to celebrating with Veuve Clicquot Champagne and Ice-cold Heineken at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta this year.”

The entry list for the event is climbing steadily, and with less than a month to go before the start, organizers are confident it will be another stellar year. Classes range from the Island Time class to the Maxi with a range of boat types in between, including several Volvo Ocean Racers. Courses will accommodate these racing machines and will put them to the test in the Caribbean waters surrounding St. Maarten. Courses, Sailing Instructions, and Class allocations will be on the website as soon as the Race Committee has finalized the information.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Sat, 08 Feb 2020 18:20:24 -0400
New agreement WYCCF and MHF

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - On Thursday, February 6, 2020 the White Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF) and the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) signed a new agreement to formalize their continued collaboration, a press release from MHF said on Friday. 

MHF took the opportunity to introduce the new psychiatrists to the board members of the WYCCF foundation. 

MHF visits WYCCF 10 hours per week and supports the departments of the WYCCF such as the St. Martin’s Home, Sister Basilia Center, the day care centers and the District Nursing regarding the care needs and treatment plans of their clients.

Furthermore, MHF guides and supports staff in caring for their clients. Training and lectures by the psychiatrists are also part of the agreement. 

New is the fact that one of the psychologists of the WYCCF is receiving supervision and guidance from MHF in achieving her Healthcare Psychologist diploma, achieving this degree will take two and a half years.

For many years, the foundations have worked together in providing quality care to the clients of the WYCC Foundation and have even supported each other in difficult times.

wyccf soons mhf ins1

L to R: Michel Soons chairman of the Board of the WYCCF and Eileen Healy Interim Director MHF.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Fri, 07 Feb 2020 17:23:55 -0400
Net closing in on Car Thieves. Joint Dutch & French Approach to Combat Car Theft Crimes

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In an effort to combat the increase in car theft crimes on both the Dutch side and the French side of the island, the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) together with the Public Prosecutor (OM) met with the Gendarmarie on Thursday 6th February, to come up with a plan of approach to solve this growing issue, the police announced on Friday. 

The meeting, which was held at the Philipsburg police station, was a means for all parties to come up with a joint solution to help alleviate car theft and formulate a tackle plan to do so. During the meeting information was exchanged of all current cases of car theft reports on both the Dutch side and French sides of the island.

In the upcoming weeks, KPSM, the OM and the Gendarmarie will be meeting with the different key stakeholders to derive a plan on how they can better reintegrate cars into circulation. The different stakeholders that will be met with are the insurance companies on the island as well as TEATT’s (Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications) Inspection Department.

The hope is to better understand how the processes are currently done and to brainstorm on how all parties concerned can jointly come up with new and improved ways to register and insure all cars.

This will then make it next to impossible for stolen vehicles not to be detected and reported when the thieves try to reintegrate the cars into the circulation of the community. The proper authorities can then be immediately alerted, and these car thieves can be apprehended. 

“We know cars are an important part of our lives, almost as important as our homes. Instead of making yourself an easy target take a moment to inspect your vehicle. Take precautionary measures by: always taking your keys with you when you leave your vehicle; always close your windows and doors when you are not in your vehicle; make an effort to park in well lit areas at all times; never leave your vehicle unattended while running; never leave valuables in the vehicle in plain eyes view; protect your vehicle with an antitheft / immobilizer device, the police statement advises..

In the end Law Enforcement can only do so much to help prevent cars from being stolen. Prevention is always better than finding a cure, protect your property by taking the necessary precautionary measures. (KPSM) 

police meeting




]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Fri, 07 Feb 2020 17:23:27 -0400
WIB promotes “Chip 40 campaign for St. Maarten Heineken Regatta VIP passes”

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Windward Islands Bank (WIB) has launched its new Chip 40 campaign to promote the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and the WIB card products: “MasterCard Fun Miles” credit card “My Card” and Bankomatiko Smartcard, WIB announced on Friday in a press statement.  

Purchases made by Chipping or swiping $ 40 or more, or NAF equivalent with their WIB “MY card” or WIB Bankomatiko card on WIB merchant terminals during the campaign period of February 1st to February 28th, 2020 have a fun chance to win VIP Passes for the St Maarten Heineken Regatta parties! 

Card sale receipts can be dropped off in campaign marked boxes at WIB branches. On March 3, 2020 two persons will have a chance to win 2 VIP Passes each.                                             

WIB is a proud sponsor and the Official Bank of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, the world’s largest warm water regatta.  Remember you can also use your WIB cards to purchase tickets at the regatta village. 

This world-renowned sailing event offers a great combination of four days of challenging races and fantastic parties; living up to the event’s motto “Serious Fun”!

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will celebrate its 40th edition from March 5-8, 2020. WIB your Partner in Progress.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Fri, 07 Feb 2020 12:22:29 -0400
Kerai Kreative Style Celebrates 4th Anniversary

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The month of February is here, besides being the "love month", it is also a very special month for Kenty Lichtenberg, founder and owner of  Kerai Kreative Style is St.Maarten's first Plus Size Awarded Blogger.

Kerai Kreative Style was born on February 2016. "After attending an unplanned blogger's seminar by one of our very own Leslie Samuel, I decided that I had all the elements ready to start my blogging journey". Although skeptical at first, I believe that this blog would be a platform that could be used for women, not only locally but all over the world. I had no blogging experience, but this was a project that I wanted to do since 2011...however the timing was off, and I kept postponing it until that February 16th. I went Live using a picture that I took with my phone, and I just wrote from my heart.

From that day on, I have been blogging every day, and building not only the Social Media handles, but my local / regional and international network. The blog has been able to connect me to people and places that under regular circumstances would not have happened. t has challenged my inner fears and creativity so that I would be able to grow while walking through this journey.

Fast forward to 2020, I am elated for everything that I have been able to accomplish. It would be extremely unfair for me to take the full credit for this, when I know that specially the St. Maarten business community took chances in supporting an idea / concept that is not the most popular in the Caribbean. If you look at the success stories of Caribbean bloggers, they are blogging OUTSIDE of their Caribbean country. Luckily for me, I have been able to build it out of my home base. With great support from family, businesses and friends, this blog has been awarded and recognized both locally and internationally for its content, consistency and diversity.

This is why the month of February is extra special for me and I have decided to launch an anniversary campaign, supported by great Sponsors that are on bard and that have contributed great prizes towards this 4th jubilee.

As of today, February 6th, you can participate and win amazing prizes by following 3 simple steps:

  1. Like / Share the announcement post:
  2. Follow both of my social media handles:
  3. Invite 5 or more friends to like our sponsor's pages as well

Winners will be announced every Sunday, during the month of February. This would not have been possible without the unconditional support of the following sponsors:  

Purrfect Bath & Bath & Body Essentials, Holland House Beach Hotel, Jolie Duzon, The Breakfast Box, Bella Fashion Outlet, T's Closet, Neisha's Beauty products & Makeup Artistry, Inglot St.Maarten, Artistic Drive, Venus, Secrets, Olay, Crest 3D & Always.

Stay tuned and follow your favorite Plus Size Blogger, there is so much more in store for you. 

anniversary flyer 2




]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Thu, 06 Feb 2020 12:49:31 -0400
Two self-made weapons confiscated from inmates. Inmates remain silent on incident

SINT MAARTEN (POINT BLANCHE) - Following an altercation that took place at the Point Blanche prison on Saturday 1st of February, the Sint Maarten Police Force were immediately called in by the prison guards to conduct a full investigation into what took place leading up to the incident, the police said in a statement on Thursday.

The altercation involved three (3) inmates with initials F.G., J.M.G and B.F. according to the reports received by the prison guards. Inmate J.M.G sustained minor cuts; while inmate F.G was in need of medical attention at the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) from his wounds he received.

Both inmates’ injuries were said to have been caused by self-made weapons which were immediately confiscated following the altercation.

Detectives approached all parties that were said to be involved, for a statement into what took place leading up to the altercation, but all inmates were reluctant to provide any information.

A second attempt was made to gain information from the inmates on February 4th, but to no avail. No arrests were made by the Sint Maarten Police Force detectives thus far, due to this fact. (KPSM)

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Thu, 06 Feb 2020 12:45:53 -0400
Arrest made at PJIA in “Eagle” Human Smuggling Investigation

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) - On Monday, February 3rd, 2020, the Human Trafficking & Smuggling Unit of the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM), together with the help of the Alpha team, arrested a male at the Princess Juliana International Airport, who was trying to leave Sint Maarten, in connection with an ongoing case of Human smuggling named “Eagle”, police announced on Thursday.

After the arrest, the suspect J.A.P. was brought to the Police Headquarters in Philipsburg, where he was questioned by the detectives of the Human Smuggling Unit and remains in custody. Due to the preliminary investigation, the Sint Maarten Police Force will not give any further information at this moment.

This investigation is being carried out by the Human Trafficking & Smuggling Unit, which consists of members of the Sint Maarten Police Force and the Royal Dutch Marechaussees (KMar).

Combating human smuggling and human trafficking is one of the priorities of the Sint Maarten Police Force and the Prosecutor's Office.

The Unit Human Trafficking & Human Smuggling can also be reached on working days between 8 am and 4 pm to report these serious types of crime, call on 542 22 22 Ext. 604 or 614. Or call 911 for immediately assistance if you see suspicious or criminal behavior. See something? Say Something! (KPSM)

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Thu, 06 Feb 2020 12:43:35 -0400
Dauphin Telecom Communication Partner of the Caribbean Foiling Championships

SAINT-MARTIN (ORIENT BAY) - Dauphin Telecom teamed up with the Caribbean Foiling Championships as Communication Partner of the event. Communication in the broadest sense of the word: indispensable to guarantee the safety of the participants. The Dauphin Telecom Data Network will be key in live tracking all competitors during the three racing days (February 21-23, 2020).

'Foiling is an extreme sport, nowadays foilers are capable of reaching speeds of over 40 knots (74km/h). Because they are so fast and cover such great distances during races it is sometimes challenging to keep an eye on everybody.

Our number one priority is that all competitors are safe on the water and that is why we teamed up with Dauphin telecom as our Communication Partner!' says Maxim van den Pol (Organizer of the Caribbean Foiling Championships).

In order to make sure that everybody is safe the organization took several safety precautions. A helmet and a Personal Flotation Device are mandatory for example. The competitors are also bound to stay within two miles of the shore and there will be safety boats and jet skis following them.

In addition, the competitors are required to carry a tracking device. This will be in the form of an application that competitors will be able to download on their smartphone. To be able to follow the participants, a GPS signal must be sent.

Dauphin Telecom partner in Communications of the event offers the solution. All participants receive a Dauphin Telecom SIM card with the required amount of data. On top of that all competitors receive a waterproof case to keep their phone dry while racing.

‘Thanks to the reliable network of Dauphin Telecom, we now know where all racers are at all times. It is nice to see how an innovative sport embraces the use of modern technology. So, to say, we cannot do without it and we would not want that in this case either’, says Sacha van der Wouden (Organizer Caribbean Foiling Championships).

The Dauphin Telecom SIM cards, data and waterproof phone cases will be given to the participants during registration on Thursday 20 February from 9-5PM or at late registration the next morning.

'The use of a tracking app also has other advantages besides its primary safety objective. By using the tracking application, competitors can review their performance afterwards to compare speeds and sailed courses. Besides that, friends, family and foiling enthusiasts can follow the races live online!', says Maxim.

The link to the tracking page can be found on the event page (

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga News Wed, 05 Feb 2020 21:12:01 -0400