Focus (2)

Soualiga Newsday Focus (4198)

Now also possible to submit applications online at IND

BONAIRE (KRALENDIJK) - From now on, it is also possible for people with Dutch nationality to submit online applications to the Immigration & Naturalisation Service Caribbean Netherlands (IND CN). This relates to the following applications:

  • Declaration of Admittance by Law (VRW)
  • Declaration of Non-Applicability (NVT)
  • Limited residence permit (without provisional residence permit (MVV)) for study purposes

Online applications currently only in Dutch; other languages to follow
At this moment in time, online applications can only be submitted in Dutch. The IND will continue to develop the system so that this will also be possible in other languages in the future. 

Online applications and more information at
You can submit your online application at The website also contains frequently asked questions about submitting online applications.


Shaping Tomorrow's Shores: The Future of Coastal Habitat Restoration

SINT MAARTEN/BONAIRE - A new partnership between World Wide Fund for Nature – Netherlands (WWF-NL) , the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and Coastal Dynamics will spearhead an initiative to define future conservation and restoration projects within Dutch Caribbean coastal habitats.

Centered around mangroves and seagrass beds, this ambitious feasibility study aims to craft a portfolio of forward-looking projects. The objective is to fortify these areas against escalating threats like climate change, pollution, and unsustainable coastal development, ensuring their sustained health and resilience.

The Dutch Caribbean is home to unique island ecosystems facing challenges from overdevelopment, climate change, and other environmental pressures. Coastal ecosystems represent critically important areas, particularly in regards to their biodiversity, climate resilience, and cultural heritage. The proposed feasibility study seeks to bridge gaps in expertise, resources, and collaboration across all six of the Dutch Caribbean islands (Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius).


The primary goal of the project is to conduct an in-depth feasibility study under the DCNA's Conservation and Restoration of Key Habitats Program. Key components of the study include assessing the current status of mangroves and seagrass beds, stakeholder engagement, and conducting an overall resource assessment.

Nature-Based Solutions

The study will focus on coastal area restoration, specifically targeting mangroves and seagrass beds in collaboration with Dutch Caribbean Park Organizations. The aim is to develop a nature-inclusive approach with nature-based solutions to enhance resilience and sustainability. Overall, this project has two main objectives:

  • Feasibility Study: Assess the viability of conservation efforts, including technical, financial, and human resource requirements.
  • Knowledge Sharing & Capacity Building: Present findings, address knowledge gaps, and build capacity among Park Organizations for effective restoration initiatives.

Forward Planning

The feasibility study's success is crucial for creating a comprehensive understanding of coastal habitat conditions, fostering collaboration, and laying the groundwork for future restoration programs. By unifying efforts, the study aims to enhance communication, knowledge sharing, and resource utilization across all six islands.

Photo 2 Red mangroves and seagrass beds Photo credit Christian Konig SHAPE DCNA all rights reserved

Photo 2-Red mangroves and seagrass beds-Photo credit-Christian Konig-SHAPE-DCNA- all rights reserved



Xtratight Entertainment Presents Calypso Lounge: A Fusion of Kaiso and Comedy Extravaganza

SINT MAARTEN (MADAME ESTATE) - Get ready for the ultimate Kaiso and Comedy experience as Xtratight Entertainment presents Calypso Lounge on Saturday, December 2nd, 2023, at the ALEEZE Convention Center from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM.

Featuring an exceptional lineup of entertainers, the night will be graced by the incomparable talents of CRAZY, Trinidad's Errol Fabien, the reigning St. Maarten King Mighty Dow and Melvin Hodge.

Crazy - Calypsonian

Known as 'Crazy,' Edwin Ayoung is a Trinidadian music sensation, renowned for hits like "Dustbin Cover" and "Nani Wine." With a career spanning decade, Crazy is celebrated for blending humor and politics, advocating for inclusivity and addressing social issues.

Errol Fabian - Comedian

With 25 years of multifaceted experience, Errol Fabian is a versatile artist in the calypso arena, known for his work in over 40 plays and his contributions to Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2000 with the humorous calypso tent Yangatang.

The Reigning St. Maarten King Mighty Dow

Isidore York, the Mighty Dow, a musical treasure from St. Maarten, has captivated audiences for over 30 years. With hits like "For King" and "Soca Salsa," he is a Carnival staple and a musical legend.

Guiding the night with humor is the renowned Philosopher of Humor, Fernando. Additionally, the night will be enriched by the captivating music of Melvin Hodge, providing an unforgettable musical experience. Join us for a night of laughter, electrifying music, and cultural celebration at the Calypso Lounge. Advance Tickets: $40, Day of the Show Tickets: $50.

Available at ALEEZE Box Office, Adolphus Office Supply, Levi's in Marigot, and XT Team. For VIP reservations, contact 524-9872. Xtratight Entertainment, led by Managing Director Mr. Rude Fleming, is dedicated to promoting St. Maarten's cultural heritage. Don't miss the chance to be part of this sensational night. For media inquiries, contact at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Dauphin Telecom continues Partnership with the Caribbean Foiling Championships 2023

SAINT-MARTIN (ORIENT) - For the fourth consecutive year, Dauphin Telecom proudly joins forces with the Caribbean Foiling Championships as the official Communication Partner of the event. Leveraging Dauphin Telecom's Data Network, all competitors will be live-tracked throughout the three racing days from December 8 to 10, 2023. 

"Foiling is an extreme sport, and with foilers reaching speeds of over 40 knots (74 km/h), keeping an eye on everyone, especially during the Round the Island Race, can be challenging. Our top priority is ensuring the safety of all competitors on the water, which is why we've partnered with Dauphin Telecom. As our Communication Partner, their network plays a crucial role in tracking all competitors," explains Maxim van den Pol, Organizer of the Caribbean Foiling Championships. 

To enhance safety during the Round the Island Race, the organization has implemented various precautions, including mandatory helmets, Personal Flotation Devices, a qualification race, and a requirement for competitors to stay within 2 miles of the shore. Safety boats are strategically positioned and gates for competitors to pass through further contribute to the overall safety measures. 

Each competitor is required to carry a tracking device, in the form of a downloadable application on their smartphone. Dauphin Telecom, as the Communication Partner of the event, provides a solution by offering all participants a Dauphin Telecom SIM card with the necessary data. Additionally, competitors receive waterproof cases to protect their phones during the race. 

"Thanks to Dauphin Telecom's reliable network, we now have real-time location information for all racers. It's impressive to see how an innovative sport embraces modern technology not only for safety but also to provide valuable insights into performance," notes Sacha van der Wouden, Organizer of the Caribbean Foiling Championships. 

Beyond safety benefits, carrying a tracking device allows onshore supporters to follow their loved ones, family, and friends. Sacha adds, "Via the TrackingApp Sail Insight, competitors can track their performance, the organization can ensure competitors' safety, and onshore supporters can view live results from anywhere in the world. Besides its incredible value for safety, it is also extremely fun to share the passion for our sport in this way!" 

Dauphin Telecom SIM cards, data, and waterproof phone cases will be distributed to participants during the registration on Thursday, December 7, from 9 AM to 5 PM

foil pix




Motorworld Hosts Annual Christmas Car Show this Saturday

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - Motorworld’s Annual Christmas Car Show will be taking place this coming Saturday on December 2nd at the Motorworld showroom in Cole Bay starting from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Since the first edition in 2012, the Christmas Car Show has served as a signature event at the dealership.

This year will be no different. Motorworld is the authorized dealer of reliable quality brands including Hyundai, Changan, Volkswagen, Audi, Mazda, Honda, Ford, Isuzu and more! Every vehicle in the fleet will be discounted by at least $1,000 with the special discounts increasing up to $5,000 off on selected models.

Besides these impressive discounts on the fleet, on-the-spot bank financing will be provided at the Car Show by participating banks Windward Islands Bank, RBC Bank, PSB Bank and FCIB FirstCaribbean International Bank.

“We’re thankful for the participation of our local banks to make this event a success for our customers. We really want to encourage the public to take advantage of the special interest rates and affordable finance packages made available to them at our Christmas Car Show,” shares Tariq Amjad, Managing Director, Motorworld Group of Companies.

Customers can get pre-approved on their car loan during the Car Show by their bank of choice and should ensure to bring the required documents for a smooth process. The list of documents can be found on Motorworld’s website or on their social media pages. New car owners will also have the peace of mind that their first two monthly payments will be guaranteed, with up to 3 months’ payments covered by Motorworld and participating banks.

Additionally, customers will also receive a gift of choice with their purchase, and can choose from a 50” 4K Samsung Smart TV, Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy A54 or a 15” Laptop.

“Motorworld’s Christmas Car Show is set to be a day to remember for everyone who visits the showroom on December 2nd,” says General Marketing Manager, Earlynna George. “It’s our goal to make car shopping an enjoyable experience for everyone who attends the Christmas Car Show. Live entertainment, activities for the kids, and complimentary food and drinks will all be provided. A perfect opportunity to welcome the Christmas spirit.”

The general public is invited to stop by this Saturday at Motorworld in Cole Bay for car shopping fun starting at 8:00 AM sharp. Explore the available inventory, take advantage of the fantastic offers by participating banks and join the Motorworld team for this Christmas shopping experience.


‘Thorium’ convicts extradited to Sint Maarten

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - After a lengthy extradition proceeding in the United States, the two men convicted by the Court of Appeal in March 2022 for the 2018 fatal shooting outside adult entertainment club El Capitan in Sucker Garden were transported to Sint Maarten on Saturday and are now detained in the Pointe Blanche Prison awaiting the ruling of the Supreme Court (Hoge Raad).

The two convicts in the “Thorium” case have been arrested by United States law enforcement in September 2022. The arrests were made on the request of the Office of the Attorney General of Curacao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba. The two were arrested in Fulton County, Georgia.

The two men were released from prison in early 2020 after the Court of First Instance ruled that they acted in self-defense when they shot and killed a man and seriously injured another during an altercation at El Capitan, December 31, 2018. The Prosecutor’s Office Sint Maarten OM SXM appealed the verdict of the Court of First Instance.

The verdict of the Court of Appeal overturned the 2020 decision of the Court of First Instance. D.O. was convicted to 20 years imprisonment and S.R. to 18 years.

The arrest of the two men was ordered immediately by the Prosecutor’s Office after the verdict was rendered in March 2022, however, neither was in court at the time.

They have been sought by justice authorities ever since. The search was carried out first by the Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM with international authorities going on the alert for the fugitives. International legal cooperation led to the arrest and extradition of the fugitives.

OM SXM will oversee the execution of the sentences of the two convicts.


This 2023 Holiday Season: Shop Smart, Shop Safe

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – It’s that time of year again, and the Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (Ministry VSA), as part of its annual calendar of observances, is calling on the community to ensure safe holiday experiences for the entire family.

The 2023 holiday season is here, and CPS advises shoppers about one of the key points this holiday season is to make sure that whatever gift you buy for a child, make sure that it's safe – Shop Smart, Shop Safe. Check the safety information of toys before you purchase them.

Before purchasing or giving any gift, particularly any intended for a child, double check to make sure the gifts do not pose a hazard or put the child at risk of danger.  Carefully read the safety instructions and conditions attached to the gift and ensure that it is age appropriate.

Here are some safety tips for holiday season shopping: select toys suitable for a child's age, abilities, skills, and interest level; for infants, toddlers, and all small children, avoid toys with small parts, which could pose a fatal choking hazard.

Avoid toys with sharp edges and points, especially for children under age eight; read the labels that give age and safety recommendations and use that information as a guide in your holiday shopping.

Magnets — For children under age six, avoid building sets with small magnets. If swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur.

Small Parts — For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.

Ride-on Toys — Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should always be sized to fit and worn when operating the aforementioned.  Help instil safety discipline and road safety.

Projectile Toys — Projectile toys such as air rockets, darts and sling shots are for older children. Improper use of these toys can result in serious eye injuries.

Chargers and Adapters — Charging batteries should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to children.

One of the most important gifts of all to give a child is time spent with you as a parent/guardian this holiday season. As we prepare to celebrate the holidays, let us be mindful of how precious time is, stay close to home with immediate family and enjoy quality time from all the hustle and bustle.


New vessel from the Royal Navy the “Hydrograaf” to survey Curaçao and Aruba waters

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - The new addition of the Royal Navy, the Hydrograph/Hydrograaf has arrived in Curaçao for carrying out warm weather tests and hydrographic surveys.

Since joining the Navy last year, the Hydrograph quickly built a reputation as a state-of-the-art vessel with advanced hydrographic, navigation and communications systems.

This allows the vessel to accurately map waters, harbors, and shipping channels. This capability plays an essential role in safely navigating maritime routes and maintaining safety of the Caribbean waters.   

During the stay in the region of Curaçao and Aruba, the Hydrograph will be carrying out extensive tests and collect hydrographic data. This contributes to a better understanding of the seabed and tidal currents in this region.

Commander of the Hydrograph, lieutenant, Leon Hartenberg, emphasizes: “Due to its limited draft, the Hydrograaf is ideally suited for collecting data in shallow waters.

“This data is used to update existing nautical charts and other nautical publications and keep them up to date. Herewith Defense contributes with the safe navigation on the maritime access routes.

“A good knowledge of the maritime environment is essential to support the various tasks of the Kingdom in the Caribbean Region.’’ 

The “Hydrograph” after the tests will return to the Netherlands.


La Samanna Offers Exclusive 2-Night Stay for Fastest Foiler in Caribbean Foiling Championships' Around the Island Race

SAINT-MARTIN (ORIENT) - Get ready for an exhilarating experience at the Caribbean Foiling Championships - St. Martin edition, culminating in the thrilling Around the Island Race on December 10, 2023. 

This challenging 26 nautical mile lap around the French (St. Martin) and Dutch (St. Maarten) sides of the island promises intense competition as riders strive to break records.

In 2021, local rider Julien Quentel set a new record of 1h 12m 17s, surpassing the previous record by over 20 minutes. 

As participants aim to set a new Around the Island Record, they also have the chance to win an incredible prize from the event's loyal partner, Belmond - La Samanna. The fastest foiler of the Around the Island Race will be awarded a luxurious 2-night stay at Belmond - La Samanna, including breakfast for two—an extraordinary prize valued at $3000. 

Max van den Pol, the event organizer, emphasizes the significance of the Around the Island Race, stating, "For most athletes, this is what it is all about! The around the island race is one-of-a-kind. It is very challenging, and without getting too technical, the variable conditions around the island provide a true test of skill and endurance. Max adds: ‘Having Belmond - La Samanna part of the event embraces the challenge for the athletes and reflects the perfect reward for this unbelievably great achievement. Their generous sponsorship adds a touch of luxury to the intense competition, making the Caribbean Foiling Championships an unforgettable experience for both participants and spectators alike.’ 

The Wingfoil class, in contrast to Kite and Windfoil classes, will participate in a 13 nautical mile downwinder starting in Orient Bay and finishing in front of Belmond La Samanna. Upon reaching the beach, participants will be greeted by the hotel's team before being transported back to Orient Beach for the prize-giving ceremony. 

Francisco Sa Teixeira, Belmond Area Director of Sales & Marketing - Caribbean, expresses the hotel's excitement to sponsor the Caribbean Foiling Championships, stating, ‘La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel, is beyond excited to sponsor and welcome to the shores of Baie Longue the upcoming Caribbean Foiling Championship. Bringing all foil disciplines into one thrilling event, this race has become a milestone in the island and for its community, we couldn't therefore be happier to support such a passionate sport, talented athletes and give our contribution to a great weekend of sportsmanship and love for the ocean celebration.’ 

The Caribbean Foiling Championships will be held from December 8-10, 2023, with the Around the Island Race taking place on the final day of the competition. The foilers will set off from the starting signal at 09:30 AM, showcasing their skills and determination all around the island. Don't miss this incredible event that brings together passionate athletes and celebrates the thrill of foiling on the open water!


SYBA Does Not Allow Political Paraphernalia

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The Soualiga Youth Basketball Association (SYBA) reminds the public and political parties that politically affiliated paraphernalia is not allowed around the organization's activities, event areas and on player uniforms.

The protection of the student athletes is a top priority. Sponsoring and donating to the teams is welcomed and allowed. What is not allowed is the placement of political branding, candidate names, and any other politically affiliated graphic designs or statements on uniforms, water bottles, towels, etc.

"The president of SYBA is a political candidate and he transferred his presidential powers to me," states Jamal Newton, SYBA Vice President. "This has been done to distance his candidacy from the SYBA organization. That is the proper, professional and ethical thing to do.”

Jamal states that he wants to remind the public that on a regional and international level, political propaganda is not permitted in athletics, whether amateur or professional.

“These athletes are scholarship hopefuls for US-based schools,” Jamal continues. “Whether it's high school or collegiate level, conference officials will always make sure that student athletes have not been earning money or advertising political ideologies via their sport.”

SYBA has previously spoken out against the use of cash prizes in youth basketball, and the misuse of youth athletes for political propaganda. The organization has highlighted these two issues as being detrimental to the development and career prospects of youth athletes.

“We can't continue to pretend as though St. Maarten can make its own rules and regulations regarding youth athletes,” Jamal concluded. “Because when these kids are evaluated for a scholarship abroad, they're judged on ethical issues such as cash for play or political advertising for sponsorship. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation,” Jamal Newton, Vice President, Soualiga Youth Basketball Association said in a statement on Thursday.

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