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Plenary Session of Parliament on National Ordinance administrative enforcement

PHILIPSBURG – The House of Parliament will sit in a plenary public meeting on Thursday, December 7 at 16.00 hrs in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg. The Minister of Justice will be present for this meeting.

This meeting was scheduled to take place on Monday, December 4, 2017 at 10.00 hrs and then at 14.00 hrs. There was no quorum for neither meeting.

The agenda points are:

  1. Incoming documents
  2. Approval Decision Lists Public meetings Parliamentary Year 2017-2018 no. 1, 3, 4, 6 and 9
  3. Draft National Ordinance containing general regulations concerning administrative enforcement of legal stipulations (National Ordinance administrative enforcement)

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.


Central Committee reconvenes on Government’s position and decision on USM

PHILIPSBURG – The meeting of the Central Committee will reconvene on Thursday, December 7.

The Central Committee meeting has been set at 14.00 hrs. in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg. The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Affairs will be present for this meeting.

The agenda point is:

Discussion on Government’s general position and decision on the University of St. Maarten

This meeting was requested by MP T.E. Leonard, MP F.A. Meyers, MP S.M. Bijlani, MP T.E. Heyliger and MP C.M.M. Connor.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.


Book launch Thriller Chella and the Weird Woman

PHILIPSBURG - The latest book by author Loekie Morales, beautifully illustrated by the realistic artist-painter Penka Petkova, named ‘Chella and the Weird Woman/’Chella en het Vreemde Vrouwtje’, is being baptized on Friday coming, December 8th during its book launch at OBA OBA, La Palapa Center, Simson Bay from 6.00 to 7.00 pm.

Rita Aikman, the treasurer of Beyond Kultura Events Foundation (BKE) stated: ‘It is with great pride, that Beyond Kultura is announcing that the book launch of this bilingual (Dutch and English), full colored thriller for eight years and older is published, thanks to the donations of the Windward Island Bank, Henderson Insurance Risk-Management Investment Consultants, the Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund and the Representative of Holland in Philipsburg.

“We are so happy to be able to donate a box of 27 books to each elementary school on Sint Maarten, to be used as comprehensive reading material. Reading is fundamental and is part of BKE’s Reading and Storytelling program. Because of using hard cover, the books can be used in our education system for at least the coming 8 years. In this manner, thousands of children can enjoy the reading of such full colored books, with the Caribbean oriented stories. Especially now, post hurricane Irma, we are happy to be able contribute to our society in this way,’” a press release from the author said.

The story is about a little girl of 7, Chella, who is spending her Christmas Holidays with her Grandmother. Granny loves to prepare all kinds of snacks and tasty drinks, especially during Christmas. She sends Chella to her aunt, who lives in the next neighborhood, to get olives and plums. When dusk falls and Chela has not returned home as yet, the whole family is in panic. Where is Chella? Will she ever return safely back home? And what rumors are there about a weird woman doing strange things in her scary house?

Penka Petkova, the realistic artist, stated:  ‘For me it is the first time illustrating a book. I feel much honored to contribute to a story that teaches children to distinguish the good and bad in people. It took me some time to get into the painting of the story, but Loekie Morales served as a good guide to push me through it. Once I got it and while painting, I felt the emotions of the little brave heroine, Chella, rushing from the brush to the paper,’ Penka says.

For Morales, ‘Chella and the Weird Woman’ is the 9th book in her writing career to be published. ‘This story is a particular one. To teach children the distinction between what feels right and what is not, is an art in itself’.  Morales stated.

Morales has published several books like: ‘Zonnesproetje’s, ‘Overseas Blood line’ (translated in English and Papiamento), ‘Papito and the Story Telling Tree’, ‘Bonte Boel’, ‘Tropisch Nestje (Tropical Nest)’, ‘Mina Marina (A Clean Sea)’, ‘The Magic Wedding Cake’/’La Tarta Magica Nupcial’ and ‘Freedom Salsa’.

The general public is hereby being invited to be at the horror scene of the Weird Woman to celebrate with us!’ Ms. Aikman stated. When? Friday coming 8th December, Time: from 6.00-7-00 pm, Where? @ OBA OBA in the La Palapa Center at Simson Bay. Snacks will be available and the books at a nice price of $15,00.


Explosion in Rotterdam shisha lounge, building badly damaged

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – An explosion and fire at a shisha lounge and restaurant in central Rotterdam has caused major damage to the front of the building in the city’s Wijnhaven district.

One eyewitness told reporters that a car had stopped in front of the cafe and someone threw something into the building before the car drove off. Police are now investigating what happened.

Several people were slightly injured and one person was taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke.

People living on the four floors above the Comptoir cafe were evacuated and although most have been allowed to return, eight homes were damaged by smoke and water and their residents need to be rehoused.

The blast did not damage a neighbouring 33 storey residential building. (DutchNews)


Man seriously injured during altercation dies in hospital

DUTCH QUARTER - On Wednesday, December 5th at approximately 1.15 p.m. several police patrols, detectives, forensic department and paramedics were sent to Madrid Drive in Dutch Quarter where according to incoming reports a shooting had taken place.

On the scene the investigating officers encountered the victim who was bleeding from several stab wounds he had suffered. The victim was treated on the scene by paramedics and rushed to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for further medical treatment.

The scene was immediately closed off for the detectives to question potential witnesses and for the forensic department to collect evidence. As the investigation continued a male suspect whop was in the vicinity was arrested in taken into custody for questioning and further investigation.

Also two house searches were done during which one spent bullet cartridge was found. Two motor vehicles were confiscated for further investigation. The reason why this incident happened is still unclear. 

Later in the afternoon the police department learnt that the victim had passed away due to the wounds he had suffered.

More details in connection with this investigation are still unclear and as soon as more information becomes available the media will be informed. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


UPDATE: Urgent Central Committee meeting of Parliament about PJIA Reconstruction Status Postponed

UPDATED, PHILIPSBURG – The urgent Central Committee meeting to be held today Wednesday, 06 December 2017 at 17:00 hrs with agenda point PJIA reconstruction Status, will be postponed until further notice upon the request of the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication, a press release from the House of Parliament stated on Wednesday morning.

ARCHIVE, Tuesday, December 4, PHILIPSBURG – The House of Parliament will sit in an urgent Central Committee meeting on Wednesday, December 6. The Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication will be present for this meeting.

The urgent Central Committee meeting was scheduled for Friday December 1, 2017 but was postponed upon request of the Minister. This meeting will now take place on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 17.00 hrs in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is:

PJIA reconstruction Status

(This meeting was requested by MP C.E. Brownbill, MP F.A. Meyers and MP S.M. Bijlani)

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.


Plenary Session of Parliament on Tuesday about amending the civil code

PHILIPSBURG – The House of Parliament will sit in a plenary public session on December 5. The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor will be present.

The plenary public meeting which was originally scheduled for Thursday, November 9, 2017 has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 14.00 hrs in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda points are:

  1. Ontwerp van Landsverordening tot wijziging van het Burgerlijk Wetboek en enkele andere landsverordeningen in verband met de vervanging van de zevende titel A van Boek 7A door een nieuwe titel 10 van Boek 7 regelende voorschriften voor arbeidsovereenkomsten. (Draft of National Ordinance amending the Civil Code and some other national ordinances in connection with the replacement of the seventh title A of Book 7A with a new title 10 of Book 7 regulations for employment contracts).
  2. Amendment of article 69 and addition several new articles to the Rules of Order

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.


Government successfully takes action against illegal trade in animals

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - Various government agencies found dead and living protected animals and plants, and products derived from them (such as skulls, medicines, meat) in suitcases of passengers, in cargo, in postal packages and at shows.

In all cases it concerned animals and plants which are protected by the CITES treaty. Between September 1st and November 5th, 2017 the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority [Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit, NVWA], the Netherlands Enterprise Agency [Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, RVO], Customs, the Public Prosecution Service and the Dutch National Police joined forces in fighting illegal trade in protected plants and animals.

The action primarily focused on inspections and education. The activities took place in the port of Rotterdam, at Schiphol Airport, in the Caribbean Netherlands, at the homes of private individuals, in shops and at shows.

The illegal transport of plants and animals is addressed internationally. Over 180 countries have concluded agreements on trading, transporting, collecting or keeping protected plants and animals. These agreements have been laid down in the CITES treaty.

CITES stands for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and its objective is to prevent that a species becomes extinct or declines strongly in abundance. For this reason the European Union has launched the Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking 2016-2010, to which the Netherlands has also committed itself.

The concerted action (Operation Pangolin) is additional to the regular actions which will continue throughout the year. Targeted actions are also planned for the coming years.

Feet of an elephant

The inspections resulted in a total of 59 cases, where products have been confiscated. Several postal packages containing scales of the critically endangered African Pangolin were detected, which were on their way from Africa via the Netherlands to Asia (a total 77 kilos). At Schiphol Airport 14,000 dead seahorses were found in the suitcase of a passenger on his way to China. This passenger has been sentenced to six months in prison, with a suspended sentence of three months and a two-year probationary period.

The authorities have also confiscated various orchids, several products of protected timber species and 40 kilos of snakewood powder. Inspectors also found medicines containing ingredients of bears, a polar bear skin, a number of living birds and 120 arapaima fish.

Furthermore, they detected taxidermied animals, which included owls and a cobra. The inspectors also discovered skulls of monkeys and crocodiles, seven animal skins or parts thereof, of a leopard among others, ten shipments of life corals, a shell of a green sea turtle, three feet of an African elephant and six butterflies. All items were imported and transited illegally and have been confiscated.


Customs on Bonaire confiscated 267 kilos of conch meat during the action period. The meat was on its way from Venezuela to Bonaire. In addition, several pieces of coral and shells were confiscated from the luggage of tourists on the airport.

Bird show

At a bird show in the city of Zwolle, the Netherlands, various bird sellers had birds whose paper work was not in order or whose leg bands were incorrect. The birds, including a vinaceous-breasted amazon and a number of hoopoes, have been confiscated. The two suspects paid a fine of EUR 5000.00

All living animals which have been confiscated will be housed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

Flash poll

In order to establish whether CITES is known among the citizens of the Netherlands, a representative poll was conducted. The majority of the respondents (94%) indicate that they know that it is not permitted to trade, transport, collect or keep internationally protected plants and animals. About 63% knows what the rules are and 1% mentions CITES spontaneously. 30% of the people aged 70 and over knows the CITES treaty by name and among 15 to 25 years olds this is 16%. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

CITES fotokoralen


Inspectorate to carry out routine Control of vendors at new venues

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – On November 14, 2017, Minister of TEATT Melissa-Arrindell Doncher via press release detailed her three-part vision to revamp and enhance the cruise visitor experience in Philipsburg while giving St. Maarten’s capitol a much needed face-lift which in turn enhances the tourism product. 

Part of this vision entailed relocating, re-organization and improving of the aesthetics of the Philipsburg vendors’ market which was damaged due to the passing of hurricanes Irma and Maria. 

Alternate locations to place the vendors were identified which are in the vicinity of Walter Plantz Square and Passanggrahan Hotel. The first phase of the project has been finalized and some of the vendors will be moved to the new locations before Monday, December 4, 2017, which is the first scheduled visit of a cruise ship. 

The remaining vendors will remain in the original location until the second phase has been finalized. All vendors and their registered helper (only one is permitted) should have their permit and valid government identification on their person at all times while engaging in vending.

Controls will be carried out routinely by the Inspectorate of TEATT to come to ensure law and order is maintained.

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