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Soualiga News II (3686)

Tax Service Sint Eustatius moving back

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - On Monday January 18th, the Belastingdienst on St. Eustatius will move back to the H.M. Queen Beatrixstreet. The renovation of the current office is completed.

As of Monday January 18th, clients can visit the office located at the H.M. Queen Beatrixstreet, from Monday to Friday, between 8 AM and 1 PM, by appointment only.

An appointment can be made by telephone via tel. 318 3325 or 318 3326.

A maximum of two people is allowed in at a time and a face mask is mandatory.

In order to serve customers even better, the Belastingdienst stays accessible via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can go to this e-mail address with any questions you would have liked to visit the counter of the Belastingdienst with, such as:

-Questions about all types of declarations;

-Requests, such as: DIGI-D, Crib number, income statements, legal aid statement, payment arrangement and deferment of payment;

-Changes, such as: reporting a change of bank account number and / or change of address;

-For all your Customs questions.

The e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will also remain available, for IT and online issues for the three islands. Documents can also safely be deposited, during and after opening hours, in the letterbox next to the main entrance of the Tax office on St. Eustatius. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Last request to claim confiscated scooters

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Over the last six months, the Police of Sint-Maarten (KPSM) have issued several notices to owners of scooters and other vehicles, which were impounded over the last year to visit the police station and collect these items, KPSM said in a Thursday evening statement. After several public requests, very few owners have shown up to retrieve their vehicles.

Through this press release the Police of Sint-Maarten, would again like to request those persons, who may own, any of these vehicles, which are impounded at the police station, to visit the station and collect their property as soon as possible.

Persons still wishing to retrieve their bike(s) can now do so until the end of January 2021. The scooters and motorbikes that are allowed to be retrieved are those that were taken out of circulation, because they were being used in a way that was against the law, for instance, used without insurance, or because they had a technical problem.

Bikes that are confiscated for further investigation will not be available for retrieval. The Prosecutor’s Office is the only entity allowed to return a bike confiscated after investigation purposes.

If you know your bike or scooter is present at the police station, you can take it home with you if you can present the following documents: a proof of your identity (a driver's license, identity card or passport) and proof that you are the rightful owner of the scooter/motorbike. You will also have to show proof of insurance and inspection for the scooter/motorbike.

If you can do so, your motorbike/scooter or car will be returned to you. (KPSM)

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Not possible to log in to the Caribisch Nederland Tax Service from Jan. 16-18

SABA/SINT EUSTATIUS - On January 19th, 2021 the online environment of the Belastingdienst Caribisch Nederland is placed with MijnCN: the online platform for official services in the Caribbean Netherlands.

From a technical perspective it is quite an operation to move the Belastingdienst to the new platform. The preparations are in full swing and the actual transition takes place in the third weekend of 2021. From January 16 up to 18 it is consequently not possible to log into the online environment of the Belastingdienst Caribisch Nederland. From January 19 users can go to www.mijncn.nl for their Inkomstenbelasting, ABB and Loonheffing.

The Belastingdienst Caribisch Nederland is the first service on the new platform. In the second quarter of 2021 Social Affairs and Employment will also join with the possibility for employers to report absenteeism for the lost pay application online. In time the portal shall be expanded to more services of the central government and local government. So that residents of the Caribbean Netherlands can organise their official matters via one portal.

To submit an IB declaration, the user must create a new account on MijnCN. To submit a declaration for ABB or Loonheffing, the user can use the login details that were used before. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Hit and run. Drivers of Scooter & Hyundai Creta leave the scene

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The personnel of the Traffic Department are investigating a serious accident which took place on Tuesday morning January 12th, 2021, around 01.30 am, on the A. Th. Illidge Road, where three vehicles were involved, the police said in a statement on Monday afternoon.

According to the preliminary investigation, it appears that a gray Hyundai Creta which was coming from the direction of the Roundabout, lost control and collided with a scooter rider, who was coming from the opposite direction.

After being struck by the Creta, the scooter collided in the back of a black pick-up truck that was parked on the side of the road.  

When the officers arrived at the scene, it appeared that the scooter rider and the driver of the gray Hyundai Creta had left the scene after the accident. Personnel of the Traffic Department are busy investigating this incident.

The Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) reminds the public that over the last few months, it has become noticeable that scooter riders and motorist leave the scene of an accident without leaving their personal information behind, which is considered a criminal offence.  

The Police Force of Sint Maarten is again cautioning motorcycle/scooter riders about their behavior in traffic. We will continue to work towards keeping Sint Maarten’s roadways safe, but it is a job that cannot be done without the help of the community. In many cases, easy safety measures can be taken to prevent unnecessary accidents. (KPSM)

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Sint Maarten Lions Club release Youth Survey Findings

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Lionistic Year July 2019-June 2020 was observed as the “Year of the Youth” under the theme “Our Children/Our Future.”

In view of the then increase in disturbing incidences of violence among the school-going population, Past President Lion President Oralie Boirard and the Sint Maarten Lions Club undertook as their Signature Project the hosting of a Youth Forum to provide the young people the platform to speak, collaborate and recommend solutions for their identified priorities.

The first phase in this initiative involved the launching of an online survey where the youth were encouraged to participate in sharing their experiences in everyday life and express general sentiments about youth issues on St Maarten.

The survey was developed around the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and served to gauge our local youth’s knowledge about their rights and whether their rights are being protected.

The Survey was conducted from Feb 24, 2020 to March 15, 2020 and targeted youth ages 11-19.  Students were allowed to complete the survey during school hours. While the 316 respondents to the survey do not represent a high percentage of our school going population, it is significant to note that youth violence and bullying were the most common responses to what the focus of the Lions Club, and by extension the public, should be.  This corresponds to the fact that 46% of students indicated they do not feel safe at school.

Due to the ongoing restrictive measures in place related to the pandemic, the Youth Forum Event, originally scheduled for May 2020 has been postponed and plans are in place to hold a Virtual Panel Discussion in the1st quarter of 2021, amongst the youth.

The Lions Club remains committed to sharing a summary of the findings of the survey with the stakeholders (schools that participated) and the general public.

For the full viewing of results of said survey, please access via link http://bit.ly/lionssxmyouthsurvey2019

The Youth and Education Committee of Sint Maarten Lions Club wishes to thank:

  • Ms. Iris Hakkens, Youth Survey developer.
  • Parents, for encouraging their children to participate
  • School boards and school managers, for allowing the students to participate in the survey at school.
  • PJD2-FM 102.7 talk show host Mr. Wendel Moore
  • Philipsburg Broadcasting
  • Teen Times for supporting the Youth to partake in the Survey. 

This project is part of the Sint Maarten Lions Club’s 50th Anniversary celebration for 2020-2021 under the them "50 Years of Dedicated Service and Commitment to our Community". The Sint Maarten Lions Club celebrated 50 years of existence on Saturday December 12th, 2020.

If you or your place of business is interested in contributing to upcoming Sint Maarten Lions Club projects you can donate via https://sxmlionsclub.org/makeadonation or make a direct deposit or wire transfer to the Lions Club of Sint Maarten WIB account USD 62710106 or NAF 62710104.

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Four Armed robbers hit Liquor Store at Juancho Yrausquin Boulevard

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Special Unit Robbery is investigating an armed robbery that took place in the area of a liquor store on Juancho Yrausquin Boulevard where a man was attacked and robbed on January 9th, 2021, at approximately 02.00 pm, the police said in a statement on Monday.

On the scene, the police patrol learned that four men, all dressed in dark black clothing, robbed the victim of his jewelry while one of the suspects threatened him with a firearm.

After robbing the victim, the suspects fled on in the direction of ‘Over the Bank’. A search was carried out in the Philipsburg area by the patrols. Officers were not able to locate the suspects.  

The detectives investigating this armed robbery case is asking anyone who has information to please contact the Sint Maarten Police Force at +1 721- 542 22 22 ext. 204 or 205 or the anonymous tip line on 9300.

You can also visit the police website at www.policesxm.sx or leave a message via the Facebook page (Police Force of Sint Maarten - Korps Politie Sint Maarten. (KPSM)

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Dutch Senator Asks for Examples of Colonization on St. Maarten

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - During the recent IPKO meetings of 2021, Dutch Senator Oomen asked for examples of Dutch colonization in St. Maarten, the Pro Soualiga Foundation said in a recent press statement. 

“Respectfully, Senator Oomen should bear in mind that when reference is made to Dutch colonization, it is imperative to do a comparative analysis with the obligations under the UN Charter because its members are bound to its principles under Article 103 which is often referred to as a (UN) supremacy clause.

“A prime example of Dutch colonization in St. Maarten would be the issuance of a Royal Decree in November of 2017 whereby the Dutch Government demanded that Prime Minister W. Marlin resign with immediate effect. At the time, State Secretary Knops stated that as long as the Honorable Prime Minister remained in office there would be no liquidity support to help expedite St. Maarten's reconstruction.

“A further example of Dutch colonization in St Maarten is Article 44 of the Kingdom Charter whereby any "country" ordinance amending the Constitution must have Dutch approval.  At the 521st Meeting of the Fourth Committee of the United Nations in November of 1955, it was declared that Article 44 "gave the Netherlands the power of veto on matters falling outside the scope of Kingdom Affairs."  Additionally, at the 526th Meeting of the Fourth Committee, Egypt and Indonesia agreed that Article 44 "gave the impression that there was no EQUAL PARTNERSHIP" between the Netherlands and the former Netherlands Antilles.

“The last examples of Dutch colonization in St. Maarten are Articles 50 and 51 (Higher Supervision Articles) of the Kingdom Charter.  The mere fact that the Kingdom Charter deems higher supervision to be a lawful act certainly connotes a high degree of colonization.  Bear in mind that during the 524th Meeting of the Fourth Committee, Ecuador asserted that Article 50 "was even more restrictive" than Article 44 of the Kingdom Charter, and at the 522nd Meeting, Lebanon opined that Article 50  gave the Netherlands the status of being "all-powerful."  Article 51 was also mentioned at the  524th Meeting where the former Soviet Union (Russia) stated unequivocally that "in any REALLY self-governing territory that function (Article 51) would be vested in the territorial parliament."

“With many of its politicians contradicting each other, the Dutch government seems to be very confused when it comes to the topic of decolonization.  On October 11th, 2016, MP Andre Bosman, former State Secretary Plasterk, and former leader of the PVV Fritsma all declared in the Tweede Kamer that the "Dutch" islands still fall under Article 73 of the United Nations Charter.  In 2019, State Secretary Knops stated in a letter addressed to MP Bosman that the views of the Netherlands regarding Article 73 had changed.  While the Dutch Government declared to the International Court of Justice in 2018 that "the right of self-determination of peoples is a permanent, continuing, universal and inalienable right with a peremptory character",  Senator Jorritsma, during this week's IPKO meetings, stated that "the decolonization process has been finished."  There is a clear sign of dissonance among the Dutch politicians, and if the Dutch government cannot agree whether St. Maarten has been decolonized, then it stands to reason that they should seek out a competent entity to decide the status of St. Maarten's decolonization process.  According to Resolution 945X,  the only competent body that can decide whether St. Maarten has been fully decolonized is the United Nations General Assembly.  (Bear in mind that varying entities in Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten have all sent correspondence to the United Nations regarding Article 73 and decolonization.)  As a founding member of the United Nations, the Netherlands, based on the continual dissonance amongst its politicians regarding decolonization, should arrange a meeting with the United Nations General Assembly to undoubtedly ascertain whether the decolonization process of St.Maarten and its sister islands has in fact been truly finalized.” 

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Chris: Coalition MPs failing by refusing to question PM

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - With the Prime Minister of St. Maarten announcing almost daily that plans and programs associated with the COHO and country packages have already commenced, Independent MP Christophe Emmanuel has questioned if the PM and her government have lost all respect for the people and Parliament of St. Maarten.

MP Emmanuel said the PM has not lived up to her word to update Parliament and the people on a regular basis at the onset of COVID. No Parliament meeting other than an emergency session to give her permission to sign for the COHO or extensive press conferences has been held to discuss the contents of the country package as negotiated by the government, the agreement signed and the major consequences thereof for the people of St. Maarten. As such, he stressed, the government has been avoiding critical questions and having to give account for its actions.

He added that the Prime Minister is now very comfortable in making broad and empty statements for the media to consume, with no care in the world about substance. “For example, and I’m quoting the Prime Minister: “We are developing our implementation strategy for the package of reforms which is to be complementary to the projects and initiatives already in place via the Trust Fund and World Bank.”

“What is this implementation strategy? What is the content of the reform packages? Which projects and initiatives already in place will they complement and how? How will these directly benefit our people? State Secretary Knops have seemingly rubbed off on the Prime Minister with her broad open statements, with no relevant content,” Emmanuel said.

Shifting directly to coalition MPs, he said they are betraying their obligation to the country and to their voters. “People did not elect you to sit idly by and say nothing. You are members of Parliament. Impossible you can sit by and allow yourselves to become rubber stamps. You are obligated to inform the people about changes coming to their lives, positive and especially negative. Has it been forgotten that ‘Only we can save we?” Emmanuel said. Or was that statement a farce?”    

Emmanuel questioned the position of all MPs supporting the government, their commitment to their individual campaign platforms, assurances to the people and, more notably, the governing program outlining their vision for St. Maarten in the current governing term. Time and effort, he said, was spent by all supporting MPs in the governing program. “It is supposed to be your vision. What is your vision now? To sit back and throw up your hands come what may?”

“None of them seem to care anymore about common courtesy with the people of St. Maarten who elected them to office. We all obviously understand that COVID-19 has dictated change in many areas. But it has not dictated that a government can leave its people or its Parliament in the dark and not explain in detail what is happening and the changes they can expect,” Emmanuel said.

Emmanuel said he will be requesting a few meetings this week and he hopes to get the support of MPs at this very crucial time for St. Maarten and its people.

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New: Hiking on St. Eustatius

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - Sint Eustatius is a Dutch island in the Caribbean. This special municipality has an enormous variation in nature and is worth putting on your bucket list. Marion Schroen has explored the island extensively and shares her passion in the newly published book Hiking on St. Eustatius.

The book is for anyone who wants to walk or run on this small island and delve into the broader context of this tropical open-air museum, where the past reveals itself with every step. Whether you are a hiker or an armchair adventurer, a lover of fortresses or nature, come for work or vacation, have an hour or a whole day, are a beginner or advanced; don't pass up the opportunity to experience this impressive beauty and diversity.

Marion Schroen is a lover of hiking and running. She knows all the nooks and crannies of the island and makes you a personal participant in the hike-lights of Statia as the island is also called.

The book Walking on St. Eustatius contains background information about St. Eustatius, describes 22 walks and gives tips about hiking and trail running in the tropical climate. Free GPS tracks of the routes are also available.

The edition Walking on St. Eustatius can be ordered via www.anoda.nl. The price is € 14.95.

The book will also be published in English early March 2021.

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SMAPP: Cuts in remunerations are further impoverishment by decree

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In reviewing 2020 the more than 13.000 households (94% of the households) in St Maarten were confronted with much more poverty, the Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform (SMAPP) said in a statement on Thursday.

“The corona virus was blamed for workers losing their job, for workers having to take salary cuts, for workers having to work and consequently receiving less pay to take care of their families, and for workers having to look for social allowance or an unemployment benefit of 1150 ANG a month!

“In cases won in court by workers, even the judges confirmed that employers, who have imposed unilateral cuts in salaries, were wrong!

“Employers who have been making money for so many years, paying the workers poverty wages, which were not enough to provide their households with a combined household income of at least 5000 ANG a month for them not to be in poverty, a lot of them used the corona virus pandemic to unlawfully dismiss or cut the worker’s salary. Workers who have guaranteed them their profits for years, could count now on business interruption insurance pay out nor on the company reserves!

“The myth that the workers in this part of the Kingdom and their households live in prosperity, this myth has to be exposed as a lie! The reality is that workers and their families in this part of the Kingdom always needed to struggle to survive and to make the ends meet.

“The reality is that workers not to be in poverty, had to work two to three jobs, to face the high cost of living here in St Maarten, the highest cost of living in the Kingdom of the Netherlands!

“In 2020 not only employers, but also our own politicians, as well as the Dutch politicians, used the corona virus as an excuse to impose so-called “solidarity cuts” on the workers in Curacao, Aruba and St Maarten in exchange for liquidity support!

“What did the Dutch government do? They imposed based on proposals of State Secretary Knops financial and non-financial, anti-social conditions on the workers and their families in St Maarten violating worker’s rights and human rights ratified by the Kingdom to be implemented equally throughout the state territory!

“The St Maarten Support and Relief Plan (SSRP) for instance was curtailed by the Dutch government. First our own government came with a Payroll support program for businesses of maximum 80%, whereas in the Netherlands and in the BES-islands, the NOW-business support program is for a maximum of 90%! This 80% maximum pay roll support was later imposed by the Dutch government brought to a maximum of 60% payroll support, forcing the workers to take a 20% salary cut!

“Then our own government came with an unemployment support program of 1150 ANG a month, which is the amount a household need per average every week not to be in poverty!

In addition to the SSRP the Dutch government provided through the Dutch Red Cross food packages.

“Did the Corona virus affect the social protection of the workers and their families in the Netherlands and in the BES-islands? Did the Dutch government impose cuts in the remunerations of the workers in the Netherlands or in the BES islands? Not at all!

“Why the workers in St Maarten could not get the same treatment as the workers in the BES-islands and in the Netherlands? As anti-poverty platform we have been advocating for equal social economic and cultural rights in the Kingdom, since we united the social organizations in St Maarten in this platform!

“Not even when the unions, in defense of worker’s rights and human rights, protested in May and June these racially discriminating Dutch conditions for liquidity support, neither our own politicians, nor the State Secretary Knops and the Dutch government and parliament corrected these violations of our human rights!

“In the press briefing of Wednesday Jan 6, 2021, the Prime Minister made it once more known, that the legislation to legalize the racial discrimination in the Kingdom is on its way to parliament, as a condition to receive the liquidity support for the second tranche!

“The Prime Minister defends the decision to implement the Dutch conditions, instead of claiming our rights to an equal social protection floor in the Kingdom, with all means possible in the State.

“The Prime Minister in so doing continues to promote the racial discrimination of her own workers and families in this country. Instead of defending our worker’s rights and human rights, the prime Minister and the Council of Ministers are arguing and defending the Dutch colonial racial discrimination and human rights violations!

“Will our parliamentarians amend these law proposals not to violate the international labor conventions and the international human rights covenants? Will they collaborate with the Dutch imposed colonial apartheid policy or will they stand up for the people of ST Maarten, as the unions and the anti-poverty platform has been doing?”

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