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57-Year Old Detained at Airport, Questioned and Released

ST. EUSTATIUS - On Wednesday, June 5th, around 6.45 PM, a man with initials C.I.v.P, aged 57 was arrested at the F.D. Roosevelt Airport on St. Eustatius, for abuse with a weapon and not complying with the legal order given by an investigating officer. After interrogation at around 10 PM, the suspect was released. (Communications Dept. Police Force Caribbean Netherlands)

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Ministry VROMI Traffic Alert: Road closure on Saturday in Dutch Quarter

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), announces that there will be a traffic interruption on Saturday, June 8th along the A.T. Illidge Road (Dutch Quarter) in the proximity of Nazareth road.

The traffic flow interruption will take place on Saturday from 7.00AM to 12.00PM.

Maintenance works will be carried out of the sewage pump pit near Nazareth road.

Motorists are advised to follow the directional signs and pay close attention as workmen and equipment will be busy along this part of the road network.

The public and motorists are advised that tampering by removing barricades or any Government property is punishable by law.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Minister fined for driving under the influence and six months driving prohibition

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In accordance with the Public Prosecution Office (OM), the Court of First Instance ruled that Minister Miklos Giterson must pay fines for violating Article 5 and 6 of the Road Traffic Regulation, the OM said on Thursday morning.

Article 5 concerns the offence of dangerous driving and demands a fine of NAf. 300. Article 6 concerns the offence of driving under the influence and demands a fine of NAf. 1,500 and a conditional 6 months OBM (driving prohibition).

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Nomad, by UWI-Barbados professor Yvonne Weekes, published in time for Book Fair 2019

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Nomad by Yvonne Weekes was just published here by House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP), in time for the 17th annual St. Martin Book Fair, said HNP president Jacqueline Sample.

Nomad is a poetry collection of “stubborn grit,” said New York-based scholar George Irish. Hot off the press, Nomad—and the novel Plastered in Pretty by Vincentian Natasha Marks—is a featured book at the opening ceremony of the literary festival on Thursday, June 6, said Sample.

Dr. Weekes, one of 26 guest authors and workshop coordinators of the St. Martin Book Fair, is a theater arts lecturer at The University of the West Indies in Barbados.

St. Martin Book Fair-goers will get the first pick of Nomad, signed by the author at the festival opening “Under the Literary Big Tent” at Lazy Bay parking lot, Marigot, at 8 PM; at Friday’s international literary evening at Rancho del Sol restaurant, French Quarter; and on the main book fair day, Saturday, June 8, at the University of St. Martin, Philipsburg, from 9 AM to 3:30 PM, said Sample.

Nomad’s captivating cover encloses a range of troubling and triumphant experiences, often between family members and between immigrants and their host countries. Weekes also opens her own life in a way “which i nvva see before,” said world-renowned poet Kamau Brathwaite.

Weekes was born in the UK to Montserratian parents; she was a refugee with her young son after the Soufrière volcano explosion; and has been living in Barbados since 1996, where she is also known for developing the Associate degree in theater arts at Barbados Community College.

In an early review, Jamaican performance artist A-dziko Simba Gegele said, “Nomad is a survivors’ handbook and a travelers’ guide for anyone who has known the burden of a life bundled into bags.”

Irish takes another insightful approach: “After the explosion of the Soufrière Hills volcano … in ‘exile’ from her beloved Montserrat … choking memories of the flaming mountain follow the poet like an ominously ghostly and untamable spectre of awe and fear that awakens in her the determination to face life’s challenges with stubborn grit.” The Wadabagai journal editor and academic, Irish, reviewed the Nomad manuscript before he passed away in early 2019.

Nomad is available at www.SPDbooks.org for Internet orders, said Sample.

NMD Cover Printer041219

HNP introduces Nomad by Yvonne Weekes at the 17th edition of St. Martin Book Fair 2019.

 

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Dutch Representation Offices support EPIC’s programs

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Members from the Dutch Representation Offices of Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten picked up 460 pounds of trash on Mullet Bay Beach during a cleanup organized by Environmental Protection in The Caribbean (EPIC).

The cleanup was part of the two-day program for the annual ‘joint-meeting’ of the three offices. This annual event focuses on teambuilding between its members. Other activities included in the program were presentations about common heritage by archeologist Jay Haviser, a discussion about the current economy by SHTA and an island tour. 

EPIC’s Grant and Office Manager Tanya Power-Stevens kicked off the cleanup by talking about the current projects EPIC is involved in, such as mapping and maintenance of hiking trails, research into the economic value of the Simpson Bay Lagoon and a number of environmental education activities.

The 24 participating members of the Dutch Representation were asked to collect and sort the waste so that it could be recycled at Meadowlands. “We are always happy to show our colleagues from the other islands the beauty of Sint Maarten. However, a beach cleanup like this reminds us that there is also a lot to be done. We commend EPIC for their continued work aimed at improving the environment on our island and in the region,” said Chris Johnson, head of the Dutch Representation Office on Sint Maarten.

At the end of the cleanup Johnson presented board members of EPIC with a donation on behalf of the Dutch Representation Offices to go towards their many environmental efforts.  

"EPIC is grateful for the continued support of its programs by the Dutch Representation office on Sint Maarten. The cleanup held this past week once again underscores the importance of the environmental education and outreach programs aimed at encouraging the general public to dispose of their waste responsibly as well as the need for Sint Maarten to implement comprehensive waste management systems and strategies,” states Rueben Thompson, member of EPIC’s board.

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10th Biennial CAROA Conference and Training Bermuda 2019

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Ombudsman Gwendolien Mossel and Secretary General Randolf Duggins recently attended the 10th biennial Caribbean Ombudsman Association (CAROA) Conference which was held on the island of Bermuda from May 28th thru 29th, 2019. The theme of the conference was: “Strengthening the role and performance of the Ombudsman and Human Rights Institutions in the Caribbean and Latin America”.

This year’s conference was hosted by the Ombudsman of Bermuda, Ms. Victoria Pearman, the current President of CAROA and Director representing the Latin America and Caribbean region on the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) board.

The conference was followed by a training session on May 30th and 31st led by Dr. Victor Ayeni who is a well-known international authority on the Ombudsman and related oversight institutions. The theme of the training was advancing the Ombudsman’s impact, role, service and performance.

Former Ombudsman Dr. Nilda Arduin was also a featured speaker at the conference.

Dr. Arduin spoke on the topic of addressing the public’s needs and learning experiences following natural disasters. Other topics addressed during the conference were: ‘strengthening relationships while maintaining independence’, ‘maximizing Ombudsman effectiveness: sharing lessons of good practices’ and ‘climate change and Ombudsmanship’.

At the ending of the conference a new board was elected. The new CAROA President, effective July 1, 2019 will be the Parliamentary Commissioner /Ombudsman of St. Lucia, Mrs. Rosemary Husbands-Mathurin, who will serve during the period 2019 – 2021.

The next CAROA Conference is scheduled to be held on the island of St. Lucia in May/June 2021. To learn more about CAROA, please visit the website: www.caribbeanombudsman.com.

Caroa Conference 2019 TWO

 

 

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Statia conducts research to improve the quality of the PIVA

ST. EUSTATIUS - The Public Entity St. Eustatius continues efforts to further improve the residence administration of the Civil Registry Office (Census). This inquiry of the Personal Administration (PIVA) has started on Monday June 3rd and runs until the end of June.

The study involves a file comparison of those registered to the situation as it occurs in practice. PIVA specialists from The Netherlands, Bonaire, St. Maarten and Aruba are currently conducting field research in Oranjestad and its districts supported by residents of Statia.

The cleaning of the PIVA is led by Mr. Mel Raboen de Sanchez Pacheco. A consultation hour is set up to answer people’s questions. The overall process of the Civil Registry ‘clean-up’ started earlier this year and will intensify after this brief investigation.

The research will be carried out in two phases; one phase concerns a first data scan between the PIVA administration and the situation in practice. The second phase regards an indepth study into the accuracy, actuality a completeness of the personal administration and is scheduled to commence in September 2019.

The inquiry will be carried out by civil servants from Statia’s Civil Registry Office supported by their Census colleagues from Aruba, Bonaire, St. Maarten and The Netherlands. It is important that St. Eustatius has its personal administration in order.

The benefits include overall quality improvement, which will guarantee services sufficient trust using these data. On the basis of a short questionnaire interviewers will visit all residential addresses on St. Eustatius.

It is the objective to ensure that all adult residents are correctly registered. Persons who cannot be reached will receive a request to contact the Census Office immediately. On a daily base - between 09.00 - 10.00 am - residents can talk with, Mr. Mel Raboen de Sanchez Pacheco, at his office located at the Cottageweg 6, for all questions. (St. Eustatius GIS)

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RADEX BCMS features an Online Tourism Card module

SINT MAARTEN/ARUBA - In 2015, Aruba introduced the Online ED (Embarkation/Disembarkation) Card, which was developed by Gamma IT Solutions. The online ED card replaces the physical card that has traditionally been handed out in flights to all passengers traveling to Aruba.

The Border Control Management System, RADEX BCMS, features a module that completely links the information between the Online ED Card and RADEX BCMS. Immigration officers will no longer have to scan the traditional ED card.

The information that the tourist fills in online is automatically retrieved at immigration, resulting in shorter processing time per traveler and thus shorter waiting times for the tourists.

An additional advantage is that the travelers can fill out their information upfront at any convenient time prior to their trip and with all required papers at hand.

Besides the benefits for the travelers, the Online ED card also eliminates the task of inputting the data from handwritten cards by the Tourism Authority, thereby avoiding input errors and freeing up more time to spend on marketing the island to future visitors.

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Rio Productions Joins forces with Kalaboom Events for the Lighted Parade 2019

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Monday, May 27th Rio Productions entered into an agreement with Kalaboom Events, to incorporate the Lighted Parade 2019 to the schedule of “Oualichi Festival/ SXM Best Weekend” which is scheduled to take place from July 4th till July 7th, 2019.

Oualichi Festival/ SXM Best Weekend is a popular St. Maarten Summer Festival featuring some of the finest local & international artist effortlessly blending soca- and dancehall music, which attracts over 5,000 participants annually from Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin and neighboring islands. 

For this year’s edition participants can expect nothing less than high energetic stage performances, a massive Night Parade through the streets of Philipsburg (hosted by Rio Productions), premium parties at night clubs, and the most anticipated beach parties of the year on the Dutch & French Side of the island, featuring popular artists from the Caribbean Region.

President of Rio Productions, Mrs. Brenda Wathey stated: “adding new features and new dynamics to the lighted Parade has always been our modus operandi. As a team we are constantly looking into ways to open new avenues that will enhance the customer experience.  Our goal is to further grow the Lighted Parade, and to make it the biggest and most anticipated Night Parade in the region, and by together with Mr. Skelet – founder of Kalaboom events and architects of “Bacchanal Sunday” and “SXM Best Weekend” - I believe we’ve found a formula that is going to be beneficial to all stakeholders involved. While the success formula of the Lighted Parade keeps its’ main characteristics, it will now form integral part of Oualichi Festival/ SXM Best Weekend, whereby the revelers can benefit from great package deals for an extended summer weekend full of fete”

The lighted Parade is scheduled to take place on the second day of SXM Best Weekend - Friday, July 5th, and the T-shirts that allows participation will go on sale in the second week of June. The shirt can be purchased separate at the usual selling points, or as part of the “Oualichi Festival/ SXM Best Weekend Package” that also gives access to all other events.

For more information concerning the start of t-shirt/ package sales, participants are encouraged to follow Rio Productions and Kalaboom Events on Facebook, or visit the Rio Productions web page for more detailed formation:  www.rioproductions.sx

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Police issues stern warning about exploitation of illegal people after several cases of human exploitation comes to light

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Tuesday, May 28th, 2019, three South American men, not correctly informed, went to the Immigration and Naturalization Department (IND) located on A.Th. Illidge Road and filed a report against their employer. These men were heard by the IND personnel and referred to the Human Smuggling/Trafficking Department of KPSM (Sint Maarten Police Force). 

At the office of the Human Smuggling/Trafficking Department, the three men told their story of being exploited. After taking their statement the men were explained that this possible case of exploitation took place on the French side where KPSM has no jurisdiction. They were further explained that they would have to go to the French authorities to file an official complaint against their employer.

Contact was also made with the Prosecutor that is assigned to human trafficking cases and informed of the situation. He agreed that this matter should be handled by the French authorities. He instructed the human trafficking team to share the information with the French authorities, which was done the following morning, May 29th, 2019.

On May 29th, 2019, a ‘Good Samaritan” brought four other South American men to the Philipsburg Police Station. These men also came to file a complaint against the same employer. Members of the human trafficking team listened to their story and advised them to take contact with the French authorities. Noting the seriousness of the situation, contact was immediately made with the French authorities and they were informed about the situation and that the French Immigration authorities should assist in solving this situation.

While waiting for the members of the PAF (Ed French Immigration Service) to arrive, another South American man was transported from the PJIA airport to the Philipsburg Police Station by members of the Alpha Team. Apparently, this man missed his flight back to South America. This gentleman also complained about being exploited by the same employer on the French side. 

When the members of the PAF arrived at Police Headquarters, they listened to the stories of the men and informed them that they would have to return to the French side in order to receive the necessary assistance to resolve this matter. All of them volunteered to go back with the PAF to the French side. The members of the PAF together with the men involved were escorted by the Dutch Immigration Mobile Unit to the French side in order to resolve this matter.

KPSM is taking this opportunity to remind and warn the community and in particular contractors that the hiring of illegal persons is in violation with articles 2:239, 2:154 and 2:155 of the Code of Criminal Law and the Labor Laws.

The situation at this point in regard to these persons is becoming a problem. These persons because of their illegal status are been targeted and are becoming victims of serious criminal acts by criminal elements in the community. KPSM and in particular the Department of Human Trafficking/Smuggling will, under no circumstance tolerate the trafficking, smuggling or exploitation of any person or persons legal or illegal.  

Persons even though not having legal status on the island do have a right to file a report of any criminal act against them. Combating human trafficking and human smuggling is one of the priorities of the Police Force of Sint Maarten and the Prosecution Service. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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