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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (3058)

Audio of Council of Ministers Press Briefing with the Prime Minister on Wednesday Now Online

COUNCIL OF MINISTERS PRESS BRIEFING, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams addressed five matters on Wednesday morning during the Council of Ministers Press Briefing held at the Government Administration Building.  The audio file can be downloaded with respect to what the Prime Minister spoke about.

The issues the Prime Minister highlighted were:

- TELEM and UTS Merger Proposal (12 minutes), Prime Minister says not a done deal!

- Electoral & Campaign Reform (12 min)

- Census Office and Passport Issue (10 min)

- Prime Minister Condemns Acts of Abuse Against Children (5 min)

- Prime Minister extends condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Glinder Webster (2 min)

- Reporter questions to the Prime Minister on the aforementioned and other matters unrelated: Postal Services of St. Maarten and court case with former Managing Director Denicio Richardson, and Budget Amendment related to the Emilio Wilson Estate.


Meet, Eat & Greet to kick off in the St. Maarten Festival Village

POND ISLAND, Sint Maarten - The small business weekend entrepreneurship program initiated by Stichting Overheidsgebouwen (SOG) in collaboration with Strictly Business Educational Foundation (SBEF) is making all final preparations to kick off on July 4th 2014.

The weekend program is scheduled to start with a program of activities on Friday July 4th, Saturday July 5th, Sunday July 6th 2014 and will continue every weekend thereafter, until the end of March 2015.

This weekend program is aimed to stimulate entrepreneurship and more usage of the St. Maarten Festival Village while offering vendors the opportunity to sell their products such as drinks, foods, arts & craft etc. The vendors will be allowed to have booths, tents or table spaces for vending for a small fee.

The SOG who is charged with the management of St. Maarten Festival Village and SBEF would like to encourage persons within our community to get involved in the weekend program, by registering to become a potential vendor, or by participating on the entertainment program.

There will be no entrance fee to enter the St. Maarten Festival Village during the weekend programs hosted by SOG & SBEF collectively.

However in the event there should be a concert or any other type of event organized and hosted by a private entity or group, or an event organized by a private group or entity and this event is hosted by the private entity or in collaboration with SOG & SBEF at the St. Maarten Festival Village, an entrance fee will be charged and imposed for persons wanting to attend these concerts and other events.

The entire population is urged to get involved by visiting & supporting the vendors. The weekend program which carries the name Meet, Eat & Greet, speaks volumes, as you come to the venue, you meet people, you eat in the largest kitchen in the Caribbean and you can greet and meet many persons eventually creating a large social network. The weekend programs will consist of Fish Fry Friday’s; Downtown Saturday’s Music Extravaganza and Family Fun Sunday’s.

In preparation for this grand opening the following meetings have been organized and will be held in the conference room at the St. Maarten Festival Village:

  1. Prospective Tenants Information Session:  Thursday, June 19th 2014 from 6:30pm - 7:30pm.
  2. Promoters & Event Planning and Management entities: Tuesday June 24th 2015.

Additional information can be obtained at the St. Maarten Festival Village between the hours of 09:00AM – 5:00PM or by calling +1(721)543-0506 /07.


Deputy Leader of the NA Jacobs Issues Statement on Child Abuse

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Currently Deputy Leader of the National Alliance (NA) and former Minister of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports Silveria Jacobs, on Tuesday issued the following statement with respect to child abuse.

“I have heard and read many commentaries on the allegations of abuses against our children, and as a parent, educator and citizen I ask your indulgence to express my thoughts on the matter via this medium.

“Child abuse comes in many forms and should never be taken lightly, regardless of whom the perpetrator may be. In my twenty odd years in education I have seen and heard a lot, walked with parents and victims through the process and seen most decide against action.

“For many years many types of abuse against especially women and children has been pushed aside, hidden or not fully dealt with due to lack of sensitivity, fear of stigmatization, lack of personnel, policies and facilities or foster homes to remove the abused, and not enough professionals to assist victims and their families with the aftermath. Safe Haven must be commended for meeting this need for many years and more facilities will be needed to deal with the many unreported cases out there if our culture of silence is finally broken.

“We can only properly prepare and meet the needs we assume are out there when we know the truth and when we have accurate numbers.

“This injustice against the weak and vulnerable by predators who scar them for life can no longer be tolerated!

“Silence breeds consent, so please speak out to save your child, someone else's child, yourself or a friend from this scourge against humanity.

“Teach your child to respect him/herself and what/where the no touch zones are. Teach them that it's ok to tell, that they must tell even when the perpetrator is a family member or a trusted friend and promise always to protect and support them. Many children fear that no one will believe them, are threatened with their lives or their loved ones, or have no idea who to trust.

“St. Maarten can only deal with this problem if we know what, who and how many (victims & perps) we are dealing with.

“I speak to all types of abuses - it really does take a village of caring and loving persons to help victims through this ordeal.

“Too many cases go unsolved for lack of proof. A witness is not someone who has heard from so and so (so please stop the melee - as it hurts victims too); a witness is someone who has seen the act or experienced it (the victim); any person whom the victim tells can report the abuse.

“So if you know about it - then report it!!!!

“Stop being the victim, take away the power of all abusers, expose them - Not on FB or in the blogs - but at the Prosecutor's office or Court of Guardianship offices at the Vineyard building. Right must prevail, this is not a melee issue! Let's deal with it in a responsible manner, respecting the rights and privacy of all, especially the victims who have suffered enough,” former Minister of Education, Culture Youth & Sports Silveria Jacobs said on Tuesday.


14-Year Old Teenager Arrested with Knife

DUTCH QUARTER, Sint Maarten - On Friday June 17th at approximately 08.50 a.m. a 14-year old boy with initials I.C.S. was arrested in Dutch Quarter for the possession of a knife.

The parents and the lawyer of the suspect were informed of the incident before being questioned.

The suspect remained overnight for questioning and was released on Monday, June 16 in the custody of his parents. (Contributed by the Police Force of Sint Maarten)


Ministry VROMI announces traffic interruption on Tuesday in Simpson Bay

SIMPSON BAY, Sint Maarten – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), hereby announces there will be interruption to the traffic flow on Robert’s Drive, Simpson Bay on Tuesday.

The civil works will start on Tuesday, June 17 in the morning at 9.00am until 3.00pm.

The civil works entail repair of the road surface with hot asphalt.

Heavy equipment and trucks will be moving up and down during the aforementioned timeframe.

Motorists and pedestrians are requested to be vigilant and observant for the traffic directional signs indicating what works are underway in the respective area.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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


Bria, Laetitia preparing to compete regionally

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

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

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

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

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


Incubator SXM - A Free Workshop on Sunday

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

Minister Patricia Lourens-Philip Father’s Day Message

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

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

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

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

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

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

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