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Ban scooters.

Dear people of SXM,

No time to sugar coat this issue. Time to ban scooters. Simple solution. I see no other option. The law cannot handle these suicides/murders, correct? So ban them! When scooters have proven to be more detrimental to society than handguns, its the simplest answer. Let us break this down, Dutch side police are only interested in the level of tint on your car them about an important issue & unless you are a friend or family, they do not respond, or they laugh at you & will taunt you for life! Personal experience...They act on a pick & choose the Fire department..they issue fire warnings YET, if you call them about a fire, i can assure you they will not respond. Again, pick & choose response only..
French side, Gibbs & care in the world. Heads in clouds, or maybe stuck in the sand? When a scooter kills one of their daughters, we will hear the cries. Until then...crickets...

When an official from the Dutch side or French side have been affected by 1 of these scooters, that is when we will see rapid change. Until such time, we are all at risk at being killed instantly by 1 of these irresponsible drivers. Russian roulette driving through FQ.

2 lives lost in one day on scooters. Are we to mourn the lives lost or thank the lord that the irresponsible drivers of those scooters did not kill innocent bystanders as they recklessly rode around, carefree. Should we feel sad for them? Personally, I don’t. I feel as though my family survived being murdered by them. Everyone reading this should also feel grateful to be alive, that you nor your family was hit by a selfish person on a scooter. If we cannot ban the scooters, let us shame them. Uneducated individuals acting in such a manor on a scooter with no helmet, driving at high speeds, cutting off every vehicle in sight.. that is a weapon. No better than a gun! You fell? You hit a truck? You died? Sorry for you...thankfully though, my family was spared from your stupidity! RIP


Subject: Minister Kasja Ollongren first introduction to the island of Bonaire.

To the Minister of Kingdom Relations and viceminister-president, Mrs Kajsa Ollongren,
PO Box 20018
2500 EA The Hague, the Netherlands.

Bonaire, April 9, 2019

Subject: Minister Kasja Ollongren first introduction to the island of Bonaire

Honorable Minister Ollongren,

As you landed in Bonaire and firsthand experienced a modernized version of a Dutch colony where the Bonaire peoples are governed in a status not of their choosing. An island where the Dutch government is blatantly continuing violating the Charter of the United Nations, international law and fundamental human, self-determination and democratic rights of the peoples. An unprecedented showoff of hypocrisy to pretend to the world that the Dutch stand in defense of human rights and democracy where your government does not respect the democratic voice and decision of the peoples that never choose to be annexed nor integrated and embedded under unequal rights as second class citizens in a colonial status and to be ruled by the Hague. A status that was overwhelming rejected with a No-vote of 66% in the last referendum of 2015 and the recent island council election where your government denied the people of St Eustatius democracy and could not vote, the people of Bonaire protested and boycotted this election as never before and continue showing their unhappiness towards a system a government which is against the wishes of the peoples.

As never before I write this letter with a lot of positivism and hope for our peoples of Bonaire that you as the new minister of Kingdom Relations with your first working visit and introduction to our island will understand our situation and our struggle contrary to all your predecessor ministers of Kingdom relations. All prior ministers and your accompanying state-secretary Mr Knops and us could never reached an understanding or consensus on the most simple fundamental aspect of humanity that we 'all are born equal in rights and dignity' and we Bonerians have the same right to be as free and as equal and as human as them the European Dutch.

I expect that you before coming to our island and as my previous letter to you in March 2018 kindly asked you to take note of my various previous letters to the Dutch government in which I am informing your Government that your dictatorial un-democratic course of actions infringes against your own agreed treaties and the international legislation.

Your visit fuels us with reborn hope to be freed from this illegal colonial status imposed on us on October 10, 2010. The reason we put our hope back in a Dutch minister, in your honorable, is because of the compelling facts that you are completely different than your predecessors and you would be able to understand and feel our pain and help us:

You studied and have an MA in history and have the capability to look into our common colonial history and understand this hidden dark truth where the Dutch being an insignificant fishing village became one of worlds richest nations through piracy, smuggling, and slave-trading. Your travel-partner Mr Knops publicly proclaimed to me during his first visit to Bonaire that he don't know nothing about our collective colonial past and treaties and human rights and this illegality does not seem to interest him either. However recently Mr. Knops admitted based on continues criticism of the Advisory Council of International Affairs (AIV) on violation of the Fundamental Human Rights in the Kingdom that your cabinet has decided to change course, and that Human Rights treaties will now apply not only in the European Netherlands but also in the Caribbean Netherlands. This good news increases our hopes. Our hope is now fully fixed at you as beside your capability to study and understand the history, what is more compelling, is that your father a Finnish-Swede was born in a Dutch colony, in Sumatra and lived and understood colonialism and that in the 21st century, anno 2019, that colonialism is a crime against humanity declared by the international community and United Nations. As all previous Dutch ministers and statesmen have shown no human-feelings towards us as they see us as-as not-equal and not-as-human as themselves and as colonized peoples this could be a deficiency either by mis-education of human values or could be transferred by Dutch-ancestral-DNA. Your ancestry that your are not Dutch but Finnish-Swedish could save us from the current course of systematic eradication, ethnic cleansing of the Bonerians.

Above arguments that you may possess human compassion towards us contrary to your predecessors, we appeal on your humanity not to be accomplice with this crime against humanity and be at the wrong side of history and according to above recent proclamation that your cabinet will change its course and respect our Human Rights to start immediately by respecting and restoring the first and most fundamental human rights of self-determination and right to self-governance of the Bonaire and Statian peoples.

Respectfully yours,

James Finies, president FoundationNos Kier Boneiru Bek (We Want Bonaire back)



Is the Chair of Parliament a dictator?

Is the Parliament of St. Maarten being run by a Dictator? Is the chairlady the only person that was elected in 2018 to the parliament of St. Maarten? This chair of parliament is hell-bent on running the parliament the way she deems is right in her own eyes; she takes the elected members of the NA and the USP Parties for granted, and she adjourns meetings that are seemingly not going the way she thinks they should go. She interprets urgently called meetings by the elected members of the NA and USP as not really urgent and schedules and adjourns them at her own convenience if ever at all.

In the meeting called to discuss the Substitute Member of Parliament to replace MP Heyliger on Friday, March 29th, after not receiving a quorum in the prior two meetings, the chair was hell-bent on doing it her way. She assigned a committee consisting of three members all from the UD/SCMP, while there were 2 other elected MPs signed in to the public meeting of parliament. The chair did it her way.

When asked at the end of that exercise if a decision was taken, the chair told parliament and the people of St. Maarten no decision could have been taken, in agreement with the comments of NA S. Jacobs and USP R. Brison as it was stated in the constitution. Yet we heard later that the dictator made a decision to send up the report and credentials to the Governor in order that he invite the substitute to be sworn in anyway.

Is this chairlady serious? Was she trying to pull something on the Governor? Then she has the brass to go on radio and create the idea that Governor is not doing what he should be doing. The governor is not there to serve MP Sarah Westcott and her dictatorial behavior. His Excellency has a role as defined in our constitution to uphold the law of the land - nothing less and nothing more.

It is time that members of parliament stand up and let the chair know that we will no longer accept the way she is running the parliament of St. Maarten as if it is her private business, and everyone else must adhere to her wishes. Let me be clear when I speak of members of parliament I am speaking about the elected members of the UD and the SMCP. The situation is bigger than Sarah Westcott - this is about St. Maarten. If this continues as is, the shame will not be on the chair only but on the other 7 members of parliament who do not have the fortitude to stand up and let the Chairlady know that enough is enough. The 7 of you like the other 7 took an oath to vote their conscience unless you don't have a conscience because something got it.

This country is heading in a very bad direction because NO ONE supporting the government is willing to stand up and be counted. So we have created a Dictator in the Chair of Parliament.

That is my 2 cents

Harold Richardson

On the Slaughter of Sharks in Anguilla and Why We Must Save Them.

Dear Editor,

 Some days ago it was my birthday. It is an event which I look forward to immensely, taking the opportunity to disconnect from the world and to focus on celebrating another trip around the sun with my loved ones. After a few days when I connected my phone back to the device soon blew up with disturbing images and video of a pregnant tiger shark being caught, cut open and having her pups ripped out while a crowd, including small children, stand by and look on. I was first quite upset, and then saddened to see my friends and colleagues from St. Maarten, St. Martin, Anguilla and around the come to grips with not the catching of a species threatened with its imminent extinction but to also watch the disrespect for life we still need to come to grips with here in the Caribbean.

I was upset and saddened at how, in 2019, with all of the information out there on how sharks are so important to our ocean’s ecosystem, that they are not the mindless killers that they were made out to be by the media, that they are one of the most endangered animals on the planet, how can us island people who have such a close connection to the sea not realize that we have now removed one of the most important animals in the oceanic food chain? I then realized that misconceptions are still a major issue regarding how we perceive sharks.

Sharks are essential to the health of our ocean: they are top-level ocean predators and their essential role in the ecosystem is to keep it in balance, ensuring that the whole food chain remains intact and functioning. If sharks are removed the population of animals that they prey on will become unbalanced and our reefs, and the fisheries which depend on them, will collapse. To also see more than a dozen near term pups, who would have grown into essential parts of the ocean food chain, also killed further highlights the level of threat faced by these creatures. The arguments that a shark was responsible in the death of an Anguilla fisherman who went missing some months ago without any corroborative evidence, or the saying that any good shark is a dead shark, without any consideration for the importance of the species, is something which needs to be addressed in the wider Caribbean Sea.

Sharks are not the mindless predators we have been led to believe by movies and books and television series. I would recommend your readers to consider this the next time they use their telephone cameras to take a picture of themselves and their friends at say, a nightclub: the act of taking a selfie has killed more people in 2019 than in three years by sharks. And New Yorkers have bitten more people than sharks ever can and ever will, often times with more deadly consequences. Think about this the next time a flight arrives from JFK. Yet we are led to believe that these animals are mindless killing machines out to consume unsuspecting bathers. All this while annually humans kill one hundred million sharks a year. 100.000.000. Annually. Some estimates say that some sharks will be extinct by 2030, followed by many other species of fish, followed by the way of life we know as Caribbean people. And some may say that the shark will be eaten. This is in itself a problem: sharks are so full of mercury that eating them may be causing us to poison ourselves.

Aside from these facts, all of them established in science, the act of cutting up a live animal, a pregnant female, and leaving its pups spill out on the beach in front of children, dragging it up the beach causing it to suffocate is just cruel. Where is our moral compass, our realization that we are part of a whole with all of the creatures of this planet? Where is the realization that we should and must show compassion for all life? I find it difficult to believe that the people who were seen dragging this animal up the beach and seeing it suffocate and die did not feel some type of remorse, did not consider that this is a living thing that had a life, an animal that has seen things in the ocean that we never will, that has evolved much earlier than us and has formed the foundation of our very existence. I find it hard to acknowledge that somewhere, deep down in their hearts, they did not feel some form of negative emotion in doing this to such a magnificent example of God’s creation.

The Nature Foundation will continue with its shark conservation program that not only involves research and protection but also has a large educational component. It seems as if we have a long way to go in changing people’s perception of sharks, which luckily, are protected in the territorial waters of St. Maarten.

These animals are some of the most misunderstood, maligned yet most important creatures in our seas. Healthy Reefs Need Sharks. And to do this we should collectively Save our Sharks. Not only for their sake but, ultimately, for ours.

Tadzio Bervoets
Manager Sint Maarten Nature Foundation
Narrow Road 48 Cole Bay
Sint Maarten.


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