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Prime Minister Wescot-Williams Congratulates Leroy Fraser

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams congratulated St. Maarten’s very own Leroy Fraser who is currently in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, representing the Latin American and Caribbean Region as an Umpire during the 75th Anniversary of the Little League World Series; “I would like to congratulate Leroy on this very special milestone, special not only for himself personally but also important for St. Maarten, where we have one of our very own playing a key role at one of the world’s largest sporting events.

“The fact that St. Maarten, as small as it might be, is so full of talented people in all different fields is again highlighted when one of our own is chosen as an umpire for such an important sporting event. This is a clear example of Mr. Fraser and indeed our St. Maarten people ‘Getting it Right’”, commented Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams. (Contributed by the Cabinet of the Prime Minister)

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Traffic accident breaks out into fight

BUSH ROAD, Sint Maarten - On Thursday May 22nd at approximately 10.00 a.m. a police patrol was sent to Bush road in the vicinity of Furniture 4 More to investigate a traffic accident in which persons were injured and where a fight had broken out. On the scene the investigating officers encountered an accident between a white pick-up and a motorcycle. The accident was caused because the driver of the pick-up did not give the motorcyclist right of way. As a result of this accident the motorcyclist suffered a severe cut to his left leg. Parties got into a heated argument which escalated into fight. During the fight the driver of the pick-up suffered an injury to his nose and mouth. Parties did not file complaints against each other. Both parties were treated on the scene and then transported to the Sint Maarten Medical center for further treatment. (Contributed by the Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Minister Patricia Lourens-Philip throws out first pitch at Little League Tournament

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports (Ministry ECYS) Hon. Patricia Lourens Philip as part of good sportsmanship threw out the first pitch at the Little League Tournament over the weekend.  Minister Lourens-Philip commends the Lion's Club for their outstanding support that they have given the organization.  Also present during the event was Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams.

 

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Prime Minister Wescot brings U2CanMove Campaign to Cole Bay

COLE BAY, Sint Maarten - Prime Minister Wescot-Williams brought the U2CanMove campaign to the Cole Bay district with some fifty participants. The special Zumba Walk-a-Thon, accompanied by the New Status Generation Drum Band, made its way throughout the district bring movement and music to the early morning hours. The Prime Minister will be bringing movement through exercise and music to the various districts free of charge for anyone who wants to improve their health.

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Fish die-off possible, do not consume fish

ZAGERSGUT, Sint Maarten - Based on ongoing weather conditions the island has been experiencing and based on water quality sampling conducted by the St. Maarten Nature Foundation it has been decided to issue an alert concerning the medium to high potential for a Tilapia fish die off in the Great Salt Pond.

The Nature Foundation has tested the water quality in the Great Salt Pond and has measured a decrease in oxygen levels and an increase in salinity due to the ongoing weather conditions. These factors coupled with the
large amount of introduced and invasive tilapia in the Great Salt Pond have made conditions favorable for a tilapia die-off event.


The Nature Foundation has sent its recommendations to the necessary governmental departments and will continue to monitor the situation as it develops. As of Friday, May 23rd there have been some dead tilapia recorded in the Zagersgut area.The Nature Foundation will issue updates as the situation develops.

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African Poet Writes about St. Martin, arrives for Saturday Book Signing

GREAT BAY/MARIGOT, St. Martin (May 22, 2014)—Dr. Dannabang Kuwabong is in St. Martin with his brand new poetry collection, Voices from Kibuli Country, said Shujah Reiph, coordinator of the St. Martin Book Fair.

There will be a poetry reading and book signing by Dr. Kuwabong at Philipsburg Jubilee Library, on Saturday, May 24 at 7:30 PM, as a pre-Book Fair activity, said Reiph.

Voices from Kibuli Country includes poetry about St. Martin based on impressions from a previous visit by the Ghanaian poet who is also a literature professor at the University of Puerto Rico.

“The Book Fair Committee is inviting all poetry and culture lovers, all lovers of good books to come out to this free and inspiring recital. I’m also very interested in how a traveling writer and scholar at the level of Dr. Kuwabong interprets his experiences about the people, culture and land of St. Martin,” said Reiph.

Dr. Kuwabong’s “collection results from the author’s experiences in Ontario … and his travels over several Caribbean islands and in the United States as a person of multiple locations and origins: Canadian, African and Ghanaian,” according to TSAR Publications, the book’s Canadian publisher.

Dr. Kuwabong has been busy in the region and in Canada this year. He was a guest author at Hamilton’s Literary Festival in Ontario where his book signing followed what organizers called, “a fascinating reading and discussion about identity and the impact of cultural heritage on the stories we tell.”

In April, Dr. Kuwabong delivered a scholarly paper on “The Ecopoetics of St. Martin” in Aruba at the 16th Eastern Caribbean Island Cultures Conference. The author of at least five books arrived at SXM Airport on Thursday from a working visit in St. Croix.

In a few days he will be heading to Ghana. While on the Friendly Island Prof. Dannabang Kuwabong will also interview various people for a Caribbean literary project that he is working on.

 The recital on Saturday, May 24 is a pre-Book Fair activity in preparation for the 12th annual St. Martin Book Fair, June 5 – 7, 2014. Conscious Lyrics Foundation and House of Nehesi Publishers are the organizers of the upcoming book festival, in collaboration with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, University of St. Martin, LCF Foundation, and St. Martin Tourist Office. The SXM Airport and SOS Radio are also sponsors of the St. Martin Book Fair 2014.

Photo caption1:

Dr. Dannabang Kuwabong, poet, professor, literary scholar. 

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Martens presents master's thesis to library

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - Paul Martens presented his Master’s thesis, “Varend op eigen kracht: Naar een effectief scheepvaarttoezicht op Sint Maarten” (Sailing with its own power: Effective maritime surveillance on St. Maarten) on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 to Library Director, Monique Alberts. (PJL Photo)

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President of Parliament Arrindell to give opening speeches at Parlatino meeting and reception

MAHO REEF, Sint Maarten – The President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell will give the opening speech on Thursday morning at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino that starts two-days of Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) committee meetings.

Approximately 75 Members of Parliament and support staff from Parlatino will attend three committee meetings on Thursday and Friday, namely the Economic Affairs, Social Debt and Regional Development Committee; Committee of Energy & Mines; and Committee of Political Affairs, Municipal and Integration.

On Thursday evening there will be an official reception and His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday and Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams will attend.

During the evening reception speeches will be given by President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell and one by Acting Secretary General of Parlatino Roland Gonzalez Patricio. 

Parlatino, is a regional, permanent and unicameral organization, comprising the National Latin American Parliaments elected democratically upon popular vote, whose countries have subscribed to the institutional treaty of November 16, 1987, in Lima, Peru.

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Princess Beatrix Opens Kingdom Youth Parliament

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - Princess Beatrix opened on Tuesday the Kingdom Youth Parliament (Koninkrijksjeugdparlement - KJP) on Sint Maarten. After a short speech the princess gave the presidential gavel to Trumane Trotman, the Sint Maarten student of 23 who will be the chairperson of the KJP.

For three days 50 youngsters from across the Kingdom will debate with each other on issues such as education and culture, children’s rights and sustainable development. There are five teams from Sint Maarten, Curaçao, Aruba, the Netherlands and the Caribbean Netherlands, which includes youngsters from Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. The debates are bilingual, Dutch and English.

After an intensive pre-selection, in recent months the teams have been preparing for the KJP with their own coach, under the guidance of the Dutch Debate Institute (Nederlands Debatinstituut). The youngsters have been trained in properly substantiating and presenting their views, listening to each other, collaborating and drawing practical and workable conclusions. In the debates and final conclusions the youngsters will give their views on the present and the future of the Kingdom.

In her addressing Princess Beatrix said she highly appreciates being present. "Even though I am not of your generation, I still feel very involved and welcome!”

She called the KJP gathering in Sint Maarten valuable. "We can only be well aware of the significance of 200 years Kingdom, if we do involve everyone's perspective, and if the contribution of all parts of the Kingdom may come into its own. For people from the Netherlands - young and old - it can be refreshing to think about our future in this environment. The trade winds blowing over Sint Maarten have a different 'feel' atmosphere than the southwester near Hoek van Holland. And a cocoa tree at Philipsburg gives a different shade than a Dutch oak at Burgh Haamstede. This variety can be experienced as an asset."

The princess did not shy away from the (cultural) differences within the Kingdom. "Our shared history has known bitter periods and times of hope and expectation. Despite the - sometimes great - differences in experience and perception out there, we have all been connected for two centuries in one Kingdom. That is significant. Without covering the differences of opinion, it is good to have an eye for what unites us and for the positive forces at work everywhere in our Kingdom.

She also expressed the hope that the KJP debates may contribute to the mutual enrichment of shared knowledge, a broader perspective and to an exchange of experience that is stimulating. "It is good as a new generation actively joins in the debate on cooperation within our Kingdom and brings about new ideas. For people of my generation it gives confidence to see and meet so many youngsters who feel co-responsible for our collective future. Your enthusiasm is contagious! "

Trumane Trotman, who also leads the Sint Maarten team and thus is the KJP chairperson the coming days, said in her welcoming speech that the “multicultural Kingdom is unique” and more than worthwhile to invest in. “That way it will still exist in another 200 years”.

Ank Bijleveld, chairperson of the National Committee 200 years Kingdom indicated during the opening that with their debates at the KJP, the youngsters contribute in bringing together the various parts of the Kingdom. She invited everyone to not only think from the common problems, but above all focus on the own contribution to the solutions. “It would be nice if we could get that done in the Kingdom”.

Princess Beatrix will be attending several debates of the youth parliament the coming days and she will personally get acquainted with the members of the five teams. Thursday she will also receive the final conclusions of the KJP. The intention is that the youngsters continue to draw attention to the recommendations contained therein in their own country or island and realize them.

The KJP is the 3rd national event of the National Committee 200 years Kingdom in a series of six. After the start of the celebration on November 30th, 2013 and the Constitution Festival, events in Maastricht, Zwolle and the closure in September 2015 in Amsterdam will follow next.

The opening of the KJP on Sint Maarten was attended by the Governors, Presidents of the Parliaments and the Prime Ministers of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The Island Governors of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba were also present.

The full text of the speech of Princess Beatrix at KJP is available on www.koninklijkhuis.nl (English and Dutch) and www.200jaarkoninkrijk.nl.

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Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson Receives Anguillan Belonger Status

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - Tuesday May 20, 2014, Minister of Home Affairs the Honorable Jerome Roberts of Anguilla presented the Minister of Justice Honorable Dennis Richardson, with his certificate of “Belonger status of Anguilla” back in November 2013. The Parent and Grand-parents of Dennis Richardson were born Anguillans and in view of this he qualifies for the status of “Belonger of Anguilla”. The status offers the same rights as all Anguillans. 

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