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URSM proposes a pro-active approach to apology and reparation talks with the Dutch.

lucmercelina01022022PHILIPSBURG:---- Leader of the URSM (Unified Resilient Sint Maarten Movement) Dr. Luc Mercelina along with members of the party Chris Wever and Herbert “Prince” Martina outlined the position of the URSM during their live weekly Monday afternoon Table Talk Program.

Dr. Mercelina emphasized the importance of this historic opportunity to not only accept the Dutch Government’s apology for the manner in which the Netherlands benefitted from slavery in Sint Maarten, Curaçao, Aruba, BES Islands, and Suriname, but also to discuss, propose and agree on reparations that will actually impact the Sint Maarten society moving forward for generations to come. “I find it quite unfortunate, however not surprising that our Government is once again taking a passive and reactive approach instead of being proactive by conducting proper research and proposing sustainable ways for reparations”, stated Dr. Mercelina. Both Martina and Wever lamented that the Prime Minister chose to initiate discussions on this sensitive topic as a condition for the removal of the 12.5% Cost Cutting Measures for civil servants. The URSM candidates are of the opinion that the opportunity to hold such a discussion with the Dutch is much bigger than the 12.5%.

The leader of URSM went on to outline the party’s position on possible reparation demands for the Country. “The URSM believes that as a Country we should demand reparations that will do some level of justice to our ancestors, but more importantly to the generations to come. To do so we will have to define what actually transpired during slavery times and how this has negatively impacted our ancestors, the generations that followed, and what implications this sensitive chapter in our common history in The Kingdom had, considering the stagnation of the development of our Country. Reparation for damages should help accelerate the development of our negatively impacted Sint Maarten. Some specific reparations and initiatives could be assistance in formally establishing a National University for Sint Maarten, building a National Arts Center, the construction of a National Library for the people, construction of sports facilities in the different districts, assistance in Social Housing projects for the country, the establishment of a Social Security System as in the Netherlands to be unified with The Kingdom, after school activity centers, state of the art school establishments that adhere to the modern education concept, a modern headquarter police station with satellite stations in the districts, a modern penitentiary center that respects the human rights of the detainees, a much needed psychiatric center that meets the requirements of modern psychiatry, just to name a few.
Dr. Mercelina accentuated that this important historical development in The Kingdom must not be politicized.

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