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Armed robbery at Supermarket located on the Arch road, Suspect Apprehended.

arrestedfillin26092014PHILIPSBURG:--- The police dispatch was notified about an armed robbery that took place in a supermarket located on Arch road.
The supermarket was robbed of cash from the cash register with the use of a firearm. After the robbery, both suspects made their escape in an awaiting vehicle.
The police tried the intercept the getaway vehicle which lead to a short pursuit that ended in the Belvedere area. During this pursuit, a male suspect was apprehended.
The other two suspects avoided being captured by fleeing through the bushes toward the French border.
A search for the fleeing suspects in the immediate area was conducted, and a weapon was discovered and confiscated. No additional arrest was made.
The French authorities were also notified.
This investigation will be conducted by the special robbery unit.


KPSM Press Release.

George Lamming (1927 – 2022) … Tribute, by Lasana M. Sekou.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Acclaimed author, and political thinker George Lamming, OCC, CHB, was born on June 8, 1927 and died on June 4, 2022, in his native Barbados. He was 94. Dr. Lamming was accorded a state funeral. On July 1, a solemn “Memorial Service” held for him at the Frank Collymore Hall, was attended by his family, President Dame Sandra Mason and Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, along with other dignitaries, colleagues, and friends from the country and abroad. The following tribute was written by Lasana M. Sekou, founder of House of Nehesi Publishers, George Lamming’s first Caribbean publisher.

lamming01072022When we lose one of our greatest writers, we are thrown into mourning but when a publisher loses an author of the renown and caliber of George Lamming, the mourning becomes much more than an expression of collective loss and turns into a very personal and disruptive bereavement. That was the special relationship House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) had with George Lamming because though it was a dream come true for us to have published him, he chose us. It was in 1993, at the Caribbean Writers Summer Institute, hosted by the University of Miami where he taught the fiction workshop in which I was a James Mitchener Fellow. At the first “office meeting,” thinking I was called to discuss my writing, Dr. Lamming handed me his manuscript for HNP to consider publishing. We remain ever thankful and became in a very vital sense part of his coming home.
The manuscript became Dr. Lamming’s first HNP title, Coming, Coming Home: Conversations II – Western Education and the Caribbean Intellectual, and his first book published in the Caribbean. The seminal collection of essays, which includes a French translation of the original English text, was launched at CARIFESTA VI in Port of Spain in 1995. Coming, Coming Home received a rush of reviews in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Martin, and throughout the region. Dr. Lamming told us a few weeks later that Coming, Coming Home was his first book to be so widely reported on by especially newspapers in the Caribbean. The book has since been reprinted and includes a Spanish translation, and was at one time a CXC social studies text for teachers.
Sovereignty of the Imagination: Conversations III – Language and the Politics of Ethnicity by George Lamming was published in St. Martin in 2009, again by the indie press HNP. The reviews, by noted journalist Rickey Singh and others, spread throughout the region in major newspapers. The last time I visited Dr. Lamming in Barbados was in 2019. He wanted to know about our progress on the new edition of his first Conversations volume, which was published in London in 1992. Dr. Lamming had approached us some years earlier about republishing the first Conversations. He wanted the three volumes published in the Caribbean. We also spoke about publishing one of his novels. He appeared somewhat surprised that HNP was serious about the matter when pressed about which one of his novels might sell better for the investment that a small press would have to put in the project: “Oh, Sekou, I don’t know which one,” said Dr. Lamming in that gravel-rich voice. Mr. Singh visited him about an hour after I had arrived and with his somewhat shy smile, he and his daughter got caught up in the light banter about “which one.” I would like to think that HNP is to date the Caribbean publisher of George Lamming, an aspect of his legacy that belongs to all of us. We would wish to continue this relationship with his estate.
George Lamming loved his Bajan people dearly. His love for Haiti and Cuba and his solidarity with the peoples of both historically revolutionary nations, their ongoing battles against the collective enterprise of empire, were clear, constructively critical, and unwavering. He was fascinated by St. Martin’s plurilingual reality, the way how its people traveled widely; and was utterly charmed by the young people of the organizing committee of the St. Martin Book Fair on the three occasions that he was a guest author of the literary festival. Dr. Lamming dearly loved his Caribbean people, across race and language zones, and embraced fully the peoples of the Caribbean diasporas that tenant what I call “George Lamming’ external frontiers.” He once told me that “being a Caribbean man made him more of a Barbadian than being a Barbadian made him more of a Caribbean man.” George Lamming, internationally acclaimed novelist, essayist, political thinker, poet, chose to be a Caribbean man, an outstanding Bajan man. His was a “spirit of generosity,” according to historian Richard Drayton, and he had long cast his lot with the masses of the people. In each country and in the yet non-independent territories of this archipelago and its region, it could be said, resolutely, that the George Lamming of nuestro caribe, him belong to we, to I and I, as we would say in St. Martin, he’z we’z own.
Farewell, Master Teacher.

Prime Minister Silveria E. Jacobs Emancipation Day Speech.

sillyjacobsemmancipation01072022Good evening honorable dignitaries invited guests, and the viewing audience,

159 years ago today, our ancestors the descendants of slaves were finally able to fully proclaim their freedom, as declared by the Emancipation Proclamation which legally abolished slavery in Dutch Sint Maarten. This after taking their freedom into their own hands some 15 years earlier when emancipation was declared in the French territories in 1848. It is reason enough to continue to celebrate and even more so to recognize the role that our ancestors played in acquiring this freedom. Even given that the enslavement of Africans was dehumanizing and brutal, our ancestors remained courageous, resolute, and resilient in their fight, which is the reason we stand today liberated.

174 years ago, it is to be noted that our counterparts in the North had already been emancipated some years ago, thereby making it economically unfeasible to maintain this type of regime in the south as many escaped to the northern side of the island for their freedom. Therefore, our ancestors on the Dutch side of the island did not wait for oppressors to hand us our freedom but rather they continued to flee and fight, and sometimes that fight came at the cost of their life. There have been countless rebellions but it was because of economic reasons, that it was accepted, that St. Maarten with its unique situation was indeed emancipated from 1848.

This reminds me of the story of Lokay, a young woman who fled the plantation of her captor. Lokay was caught, brought back to the plantation, and punished by the removing of her left breast, which is why she is knows by the name—One-Tete Lokay. I have great admiration for this young woman and her story; despite this harsh punishment, her will was not broken, she in fact became even more courageous and strong in fighting for her freedom. Even in the face of grave danger, even at the cost of going hungry, her freedom was the most important thing. Lokay is in each of us. As is Quashiba, Quamina (my own ancestor) and so many others who’s names must be properly researched, and recorded for all to know in our history books, and on the base of statues already erected in their honor at our various roundabouts. Every time we drive by these monuments, we must say their names, we must honor their spirits, we must be reminded to continuously strive for freedom in all aspects of life for all.

As we celebrate, we must foster the spirit of our ancestors, and use their example and their story as an inspiration. We must also look at our society today. Ask ourselves, how would our ancestors look at how we have used our freedom today. How have we been able to maintain the spirit of unity? And how have we kept our history alive to not repeat the same mistakes of the past?

As a nation, let us continue to work together to achieve our goals whether it be for sustainable development, economic growth, a country where no person is left behind. As we continue to pay our respect to our ancestors, it is our duty to continue their fight against social injustice.

When I think about the word freedom, I think about the late Bob Marley highlighting the words of Garvey "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind." Which tells us that our freedom is a state of mind. Freedom back then meant breaking physical chains, bonds, and ownership of life. We are no longer bonded by chains, but by ideologies, and the limitations in our own minds or ideas of what we should or should not be within society. Hundreds of years of being broken down and told that you are nothing more than something to be bought and sold, subhuman in fact, will require us to retrain our minds and how we see ourselves. We must never forget that our ancestors were the first kings and chiefs forced into slavery because it benefited the capturer. We must also channel this as we continue to live our daily life.

We are often asked why we continue to remember the period of enslavement, and other related events since it was so long ago and such a brutal and traumatic experience. I personally will never forget, especially as our fight continues. It is a part of who we are, not all of who we are, but an important part of who we are today. Every society looks back on its history and strives to grow from its experiences, we too must do so. As we continue to educate ourselves on our history, our heritage, and our culture, we can love and appreciate ourselves, be proud of who we are, embrace the many hues of our skin, and never allow that era as well as the subsequent colonial period post-emancipation to be repeated.

Happy Emancipation Day 2022.


Island Council discusses healthcare issues with State Secretary.

sabavanooijen01072022THE HAGUE/SABA:--- A delegation of the Saba Island Council and Commissioner of Public Health Rolando Wilson met with Dutch State Secretary of Public Health, Wellbeing, and Sport Maarten van Ooijen in The Hague on Thursday, June 30.

The meeting focused on the challenges that Saba as a small island faces in providing its residents the healthcare that is needed. Aside from the State Secretary and an advisor, officials of the Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands (ZJCN) Department in Bonaire attended the meeting with the Saba delegation in a virtual manner.

Island Council Member Vito Charles said it was an informative meeting where the Island Council and Commissioner Wilson were able to bring forward a number of healthcare issues and talk about the importance of the wellbeing of the Saba people. 

Island Council Member Carl Buncamper said it was “good to hear” from the State Secretary that there are ambitions to solve Saba’s issues in healthcare. “The ambition is to do better by the people on the Caribbean Netherlands islands.” Buncamper said it was important to address this, also considering the “erosion of trust” with the healthcare provider and insurer.


The Island Council Members have noted with content that a pilot will soon start whereby the medical referral process of Saba patients to St. Maarten should become less cumbersome and bureaucratic. The Island Council conveyed to the State Secretary that it wants to see this pilot implemented as soon as possible.

“I am looking forward to the pilot with referrals and also to solutions for the small plane that is now used to transport our patients,” said Councilman Heyliger. He pointed out that the small plane was not comfortable for especially senior patients and patients with physical impairments.

The mode of transport was brought up in the meeting with State Secretary Van Ooijen. In Heyliger’s opinion, Winair should be used to transport the Saba patients, because the aircrafts are more suitable. Besides, it made more sense because the Dutch government owned shares in the airline. 

Dignified way

Councilman Charles said a key matter for the Island Council was that the medical care in St. Maarten catered to the needs of the Saba people. “Care should be provided close to home in a respectful and dignified way. We emphasized that in the meeting, as we have done many times before,” said Charles.

Councilwoman Johnson said that aside from the curative care, the Island Council also pointed out that it was important to invest in preventive care. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we realized that we have many restrictions in healthcare on Saba, and that people’s health and the prevention of sickness is key,” she said. During Thursday’s meeting she and Charles mentioned the need for recreational facilities on Saba, while Buncamper said Saba was lacking a public swimming pool.

Councilman Hemmie van Xanten said he was not entirely satisfied with the meeting with Van Ooijen. “Though we were able to express our concerns about healthcare, I have a feeling that there is insufficient understanding for the things that are not going as they should and the role of the ZVK office plays in that.”

Van Xanten said he told the State Secretary that because of various incidents, the Saba people had little confidence in the service delivered by the ZVK office in Bonaire. He said the State Secretary and the ZJCN officials took note of this complaints and promised to work on restoring that trust through, among other things, an independent complaints bureau and better communication.  

Proper care

Van Xanten said that at these types of meetings, which in his opinion were of a more general nature, there was not enough opportunity to go into details. He said that he would like to have one-on-one meetings with for example a ZVK office in Bonaire to tell them in details what the problems with providing proper care for Saba patients.

According to Commissioner Wilson, quality, procedures, communication and logistics in medical referrals were all re-emphasized. “The discussion and the points that we had previously were once again made very clear. We want the best healthcare system for our people, and nothing less,” he stated. He said that the points brought forward during Thursday’s meeting will be looked into. Every two months ZVK and ZJCN will meet with the Executive Council. New policies and procedures will have to be discussed first with all stakeholders before they are implemented.

𝐓𝐫𝐢𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐟 𝐉𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐀𝐫𝐮𝐛𝐚, 𝐂𝐮𝐫𝐚ç𝐚𝐨 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐭. 𝐌𝐚𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐧 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐁𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐢𝐫𝐞.

justicetripartitie30062022Bonaire:--- On Monday, June 27, 2022, the Honorable Ministers of Justice of Aruba; Rocco Tjon, Curaçao; Shalten Hato and St. Maarten; Anna E. Richardson met in Bonaire for a Justice Tripartite meeting between the Caribbean countries of the Dutch Kingdom. The three Ministers were initially scheduled to meet with the Netherlands’ Honorable Minister of Justice and Security Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius in Bonaire for the Judicial Four-Country Consultation (JVO) meeting, however, it was unfortunately postponed to a later date due to Minister Yeşilgöz having to cancel her attendance because of an emergency situation developing in the Netherlands. Due to the postponement, the three Ministers of Justice of the Caribbean countries decided to use the opportunity to hold the first Tripartite Justice meeting between the three countries.
Though Minister Tjon, Minister Hato, and Minister Richardson remain in constant contact and have met on previous occasions for multilateral events and other forums, the initiative for a structural Tripartite meeting served as a forum for regular dialogue at the Ministerial level in the field of Justice. During the meeting chaired by Minister Richardson, possible ways in which more value can be added to strengthen the ongoing cooperation efforts between the three Ministries of Justice of the Dutch Caribbean were discussed.
Minister Richardson stated, “I am very appreciative of my esteemed colleague Ministers of Justice for the positive response to this initiative when it was presented. Historically, the three Ministries of Justice have been cooperating with each other and assisting the various departments within the respective Ministries. As such, this working visit offers the three countries the opportunity to intensify the established working relationships and expand these relationships.”
Focusing on areas of mutual interest, the topics discussed during the Tripartite meeting were; Formalizing the semi-annual Tripartite Justice meeting; a proposal to incorporate investigative psychologists into the Police forces of the countries; Rehabilitation and resocialization of prisoners; Structural training and education of Justice employees through the establishment of Law Enforcement Institutes/Justice academies in the countries; Increasing the effectiveness of the countries’ Immigration laws through closer cooperation; the introduction of St. Maarten’s new weapon policy and assistance sought in weapons training of applicants; dealing with at-risk youth on St. Maarten through successful programs that have been implemented on Aruba and Curaçao with support from the Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands and other partners.
The three Ministers of Justice expressed their contentment with the efficient conduct of the Tripartite meeting as this now marks the start of increased cooperation and productive working relationships between the three countries. “These types of forums enable us as decision-makers to directly discuss issues related to Justice and in doing so, achieve positive outcomes that benefit all three countries equally,” stated Minister Richardson.
Discussions are ongoing for the next JVO meeting with the four Ministers of Justice of the Dutch Kingdom with a target date of August 2022. The next Justice Tripartite meeting is scheduled to take place in October 2022 and will be hosted by the Ministry of Justice of St. Maarten with the Minister of Justice as chair of the meeting.

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