Soualiga News II

Soualiga News II (3116)

Cupecoy Sunset Toastmasters club Presents "Red Light Special" on Feb.13

SINT MAARTEN (CUPECOY) - With Valentine’s day fast approaching, The Cupecoy Sunset Toastmasters Club has organized a special meeting for the 13th of February 2020 under the theme “Red Light Special.” It will be in the form of a friendly competition between the all Toastmasters clubs on the island where the winner will walk away with bragging rights and tokens of love.

The general public is invited to come out as it promises to be an exciting evening where the presenters will entitle their speech after a “love/romantic song” of their choice and elaborate on it in the body of their speech.

Toastmasters is an international organization that specializes in honing the personal and professional development skills of communication and leadership for persons (young, mature and otherwise) who dare to challenge themselves to grow in a dynamic and friendly learning environment. In return, these acquired skills foster the important attributes of self-confidence and personal growth necessary for public speaking, work, leadership or interpersonal communications.

The entire population is welcome to attend meetings. The club meets twice monthly (every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month) in the Multipurpose Room at the AUC School of Medicine in Cupecoy at 5.30 PM.

Interested persons can visit the club or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. Additional information can also be found on the club's Facebook page (Cupecoy Sunset Toastmasters Club) or Instagram (cupecoysunsetters).


Second CDA minister hints at more immigration controls: Telegraaf

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Junior economic affairs minister Mona de Keijzer has become the latest high-profile politician to call for more restrictions on immigration.

De Keijzer told television show WNL op Zondag that the Netherlands is now reaching its limits in terms of the size of the population, but declined to put a figure on how many immigrants should be allowed in.

‘You could give a number, but we have signed up to international treaties and it would be complicated,’ she said. De Keijzer is the second CDA minister to hint at tighter restrictions on immigration, which is emerging as key issue in the campaign for the March 2021 general election.

In January, deputy prime minister Hugo de Jonge said he backed new limits, after figures from the national statistics agency CBS showed the population of the Netherlands had grown by 132,000 last year.

Refugees made up just 6% of the 132,000-total increase in the population last year, the CBS figures show. Most new arrivals are from Poland, followed by Germany and India.


De Keijzer’s comments came in reaction to a Telegraaf survey carried out by Kantar (formerly TNS Nipo), which showed 65% of the Dutch population back further restrictions on immigration.

And that view is shared by 48% of the Dutch with a non-western background, the Telegraaf said. Nine in 10 people said there is ‘hardly any room’ for more newcomers, a view shared by 77% of people with ethnic minority roots.

And 44% said the borders should be closed, even if this had an impact on economic growth, the Telegraaf reported. Some 33% of people with a degree shared this view.

However, while six in 10 people said refugees should remain in the region where they came from, 44% of people said there should be no restrictions on the number of asylum seekers.

The Telegraaf said 1,700 people were approached to take part in the survey, of whom just over 1,000 responded. In addition, 250 people with an ethnic minority background were questioned.



Nature Foundation and IHE Delft Institute Launch Student Competition to Protect Coral Reefs

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - This week a competition for secondary school students in order to protect the coral reefs in St Maarten has been launched by the Nature Foundation St. Maarten, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

The project aims to create a sense of ownership by the island population by generating awareness amongst students, the local government, donor organizations, businesses and the people of St. Maarten about the loss of corals and its potential consequences for the island’s economy.

This will be achieved by organizing a competition in which local students are challenged to propose a project that will positively contribute to the protection of St Maarten’s precious marine environment and primarily their coral reefs. 

“The coral reefs on Sint Maarten are deteriorating quickly and are extremely threatened due to diseases, pollution, large amounts of wastewater discharge into the ocean, Hurricane Irma, overfishing and rising ocean temperatures. It is time to be seriously concerned about the health of corals on St Maarten, as coral reefs are of great importance to our tourist industry, the health of our fish stocks, clarity of our waters, biodiversity and the protection from storms. It is time to act now in order to save our coral reefs for the future” urged Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern Manager of the Nature Foundation St. Maarten. 

The Coral Competition Team, consisting of a Nature Foundation staff member, a Marine ecologist and a specialist from the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, will be visiting secondary schools on the 9th and 10th of March 2020 in order to present the Coral Competition to the students of St. Maarten. Besides, these presentations are also focused on learning about coral reefs, their importance, their numerous threats and how students can help to ensure coral reefs for the future. “Secondary schools and schools with students within the ages from 12 until 19 years old, are urged to request a presentation appointment from the team by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., in order to provide opportunities for their students to participate in the competition and learn about coral reefs” stated the Nature Foundation St. Maarten. 

To participate in the Coral Competition, students are asked to form groups of maximum 4 students and come up with a Proposal to Save St. Maarten Coral Reefs. Students may choose to work with students from any school, however all participating students should be between 12 until 19 years old and each student is only allowed to participate in one proposal. Their proposal presentations shall have no boundaries when it comes to creativity on presenting and saving coral reefs. In addition, the proposal should be executable by the Nature Foundation with about USD $4000. Student groups can register for the project before Friday the 27th of March 2020 by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their proposal name, their names and their contact details. “In May an award day will be organized whereby student groups can present their proposal in a creative way during a science fair. A total fund of $1500 will be available for the three best student teams, whereby the winning team can win $800, in addition businesses will be asked to include prize donations for the best proposals to save St. Maarten’s coral reefs” explained Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern. 

A grant of $4000 will be donated to the Nature Foundation St. Maarten in order to implement a project from the proposal of the winning student team, whereby the winning students can potentially assist in executing the project. “It is not only about developing ideas and raising awareness. We want to see impact and therefore a grant of $4000 will be donated to the Nature Foundation St. Maarten to implement the winning project together with the winning student team” commented Erik de Ruijter van Steveninck, Aquatic and Marine Ecologist at the Water Science and Engineering Department at the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. 

The economy of St. Maarten mainly depends on marine based activities, generating approximately USD 58 million annually, through coral reef associated tourism and fisheries. The number of tourists has been increasing tremendously and is expected to continue so in the future. However, development of local tourism, on top of global impacts on coral reefs, puts enormous pressure on the vulnerable ecosystem functions (e.g. wave protection) and services (e.g. coralline beaches, fisheries and activities like snorkeling, boating and diving) provided by corals. Without adequate environmental planning and management, St. Maarten’s valuable marine resources run the risk of serious degradation. This might, in turn, make the island less attractive for tourists and thus will negatively impact the island’s vulnerable economy.

Nature Palmata.Vivid




Department of Economic Licenses holds Info Session with CPOs and Police Cadets

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Representatives of the Department of Economic Licenses held an informative session with the Community Police Officers (CPOs) and young cadets of the Sint Maarten Police force on Friday January 31, 2020.

The session was related to licensing policies and procedures, opening hours regulations and dealing with infractions encountered within the business community and within public transportation, the police announced in a statement on Monday.

The departments vowed to explore avenues towards achieving closer cooperation between the KPSM (Sint Maarten Police Force) and the Ministry of TEATT (Tourism and Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications), to operate more effectively and efficiently in carrying out their parallel tasks.

Present from the Department of Economic Licenses was Valya Pantophlet, Justine Webster, Julia Solognier and Jacqueline Peterson. The police were represented by CPOs Steven Carty and Arcella Leonard. (KPSM)



Governor calls on MPs to reflect on role of parliamentarians for the new decade

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday delivered the following speech on Monday on the occasion of the oath of office ceremony for parliamentarians.

Chairman of Parliament,

Prime Minister,

President of the Collectivite of Saint Martin,

Members of Parliament elect,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning. And welcome to this oath of office ceremony.

In particular, I herewith extend a special welcome to the fifteen (15) elected parliamentarians seated alphabetically on my left and on my right for whom this ceremony has been organized. Congratulations to each of you with your election to Parliament and to the people of Sint Maarten who you will be representing.

Members of Parliament elect,

On January 9, 2020 we the people of Sint Maarten, went to the polls and exercised our fundamental constitutional right to vote. You – individually and collectively - have as a result, been entrusted with the mandate to represent the people of Sint Maarten for the next four years.

The trust placed in you, individually and collectively, comes with high expectations. It is a trust placed in you for you to articulate the people’s concerns, champion the people’s causes and pursue the people’s interests with sincerity. In recognition thereof article 56 of our constitution requires members of Parliament to take a solemn oath or make a solemn promise prior to accepting their function as representatives of the people of Sint Maarten. Taking an oath or making a promise as a representative of the people is therefore a serious legal, but also personal and public matter.

Members of Parliament elect,

You will as a result in a few minutes take the oath or make the promise required for holding the office as a representative of the people of Sint Maarten. But before administering the oath I will share some thoughts and words of advice with you.

This year we will be commemorating the tenth (10th) anniversary of Sint Maarten’s Country status. Our country’s 10th anniversary is also an excellent moment to plan and set our country’s socio-economic agenda for the next 10 years and beyond. Standing at this 10-year mark in our country’s history, I therefore invite and advise you to reflect on the role of parliament in the past ten years and to draw lessons for the future development of our country. To draw lessons, for as the saying goes: “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it”.

  • Lessons about the importance of the role parliament plays or can play in:
  1. securing political stability;
  2. promoting good and accountable governance; and
  3. adopting legislation necessary for the effective governing of our country.
  • Lessons which I trust will guide you in the fulfillment of your mandate to protect and improve the wellbeing of the people of Sint Maarten above all else.

During your tenure, as you seek to fulfill your mandate to protect and improve the wellbeing of the people of Sint Maarten, you will face major and consequential choices and decisions. The choices you make will have far reaching consequences for the lives of our people, of our children, our grandchildren and of all of us. Choices which will affect the preparation of our people for the challenges of climate change, technological advancements, ageing and globalization. Your decisions on how to meet these challenges will, among others, affect our economic recovery, our children’s education, our jobs, our health care system, our pension system, our environment, our housing, our payment system and our public finances. One such choice currently before parliament is the handling of the penal procedural code as part of our international commitment to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism. In keeping with your mandate, I advise or rather urge you, individually and collectively, to stand up for Sint Maarten and approve the penal procedure code as your first order of business. Only you, only you can do this. This is urgent and necessary to reduce the risk of being blacklisted by the FATF. Failure to act without further delay is not acceptable.

Members of Parliament elect,

You are, in short, mandated and called upon to stand up for the people of Sint Maarten, to articulate the people’s concerns, to champion the people’s causes and to pursue the people’s interests with sincerity. The oath you are about to take is a reflection and reminder of the seriousness thereof.

In closing I therefore call your attention to the four aspects as stipulated in the oath, which you are about to take.

Accepting the function of parliamentarian through the taking of the oath is:

  • First, your solemn expression of your commitment to perform your function independently and with integrity. That is that you have not accepted anything from or given anything to anyone in connection with your election as a Member of Parliament;
  • Second, taking the oath is your pledge of allegiance to the King and the Kingdom Charter;
  • Third, taking the oath is your sincere pledge or promise to always help to uphold the Constitution of Sint Maarten;
  • And finally, by taking the oath you unconditionally swear to always dedicate yourself to foster the wellbeing of the people of Sint Maarten.

In taking this solemn oath of office this morning, you agree to accept and commit to carry out the serious responsibilities entrusted to you by the people and for the people. And that you will do so with integrity anchored on our constitutional principles.

Thus, as you take up your office, I trust that you will use the oath as a guide in the performance of your function to promote stable and effective governance towards the protection and improvement of the wellbeing of our people.

With that trust, I hereby wish you strength and wisdom in the fulfillment of your responsibilities along with God’s blessings for and protection of you and our beloved Sint Maarten.

It is with these best wishes for you and our Country that I hereby invite you to take your oath.


MHF Organizes Upcoming Family Support Meeting for Feb. 15th

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - Do you have a friend or family member who is having a hard time or could need help? The support of the people close to you can make a huge difference!

Besides the opportunity for everyone to share what is on their heart, provide support and share experiences with others, the Central topic for this meeting is: Addiction - Learn from a Social Psychiatric Nurse who is specialized in addiction. But also, get an idea of how it is to have an addiction by the hand from someone who is willing to tell you about his own story.

Are you interested in this topic or mental health in general? Or do you want to know what you can do to help someone else? Come to the next Family Support Meeting! 

When? Saturday the 15th of February, 

What time? 5 pm to 6 pm

Where? At the Mental Health Foundation: Leopard Road #1, Cay Hill (right behind Kooyman)

 As always, refreshments and snacks will be served!


Agreement signed for healthy breakfast in Statia schools

SINT EUSTATIUS - Effective Monday February 10th a Healthy School Breakfast programme will officially launch in the secondary school and elementary schools on St. Eustatius.

An agreement was signed on Friday February 7th between Utopia Catering and the Public Entity of St. Eustatius in the Vincent A. Lopes Legislative Hall. This programme will allow 65 children that have been identified by the schools to benefit from a healthy breakfast on school days.

The company Utopia Catering has won the bid to cater daily healthy meals for these students. Utopia Catering has put together a very creative healthy menu that is appealing to the appetite of young people. “Some families on Statia are vulnerable when it comes to consuming a healthy variety of nutritional foods at a reasonable price. Children need a good healthy nutritional balanced meal in order to focus and perform well at school,” says Carol Jack Roosberg, Director of the Directorate of Social Affairs.

The Directorate of Social Affairs is very pleased to work together with the Ministry of VWS, Utopia Catering, Bethel Methodist School, Gwendoline van Putten School, SDA School, Golden Rock School and Governor de Graaff School to make this programme a reality. The Health School Breakfast programme is the result of collaboration between the Public Entity of St. Eustatius and the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare & Sports (VWS). (GIS)

UtopiabCatering ins1

L to R: Signing of the Healthy School Breakfast programme on Friday February 7th.

Berlushyne van Putten of Utopia Catering, Mervin Stegers, Deputy Government Commissioner and Carol Jack-Roosberg, Director Social Affairs.



Arrest made for assault at a Casino. Suspect picked up at home

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Friday 7th February, the Sint Maarten Police Force Patrol and Ambulance Personnel’s assistance were requested at the Rouge et Noir casino on the Backstreet, at approximately 12:35 am, for an assault that had taken place.

When officers arrived on the scene, they were met by the victim with initials T.T.M who explained that he had just been assaulted by an unknown male. According to reports from T.M he was randomly approached by the suspect and with no prior confrontation, the suspect proceeded to assault him with a bottle to the head.

The victim was treated by the ambulance personnel on the scene and was later taken to the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) for further treatment.

The victim was able to provide the officers on the scene with a full detailed description and based on this, officers were able to ascertain the identity of the suspect with initials G.R.P.

Patrols were able to find the suspect at his home in the Dutch Quarter area and he was arrested. He was brought to the Philipsburg Police Station for further questioning. As of now it is unclear whether G.R.P may have been under the influence of something. (KPSM)


Attempted armed robbery at Chinese Restaurant Leaves Thieves Empty-handed

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Special Unit Robbery is currently investigating an attempted armed robbery that took place at a Chinese restaurant on the AJC Brouwers road, at approximately 9:30 pm on Wednesday February 5th 2020, the police announced on Thursday.

On the scene, the police patrol learned that two males, dressed in all black, stormed into the restaurant wearing face masks in an attempt to get the resturant’s daily earnings.

One of the suspects went to the cash register behind the bar, while the other suspect threatened the people in the establishment with a fire arm.

The robbers were unsuccessful in their attempt and therefore were unable to obtain any cash. The two suspects fled on foot in an unknow direction.

The detectives investigating this attempted armed robbery case are 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 or leave a message via our Facebook page (Police Force of Sint Maarten - Korps Politie Sint Maarten. (KPSM)


Proposal for a deposit guarantee scheme presented to the Countries Curaçao and Sint Maarten

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO – Last Friday, the Centrale Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) submitted a draft national ordinance to the countries of Curaçao and Sint Maarten for a deposit guarantee scheme, CBCS said in a statement on Thursday.

This draft will shortly be discussed with the representative organizations and thereafter be officially presented once more to the countries for approval and implementation. The scheme will guarantee deposits held with licensed banks in Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

International standards will be taken into account when determining the guaranteed amount of coverage. The banks will be paying a premium into the deposit guarantee fund.

The level of this premium will depend on the individual bank’s risk profile, thereby encouraging the prudential behavior of banks.

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