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To know St. Maarten’s Destiny, you must know its History.

Mr. Editor,
As I meditated and enjoyed God’s scenic nature of our beautiful island with my Mom and eldest son, a good friend of mines sent me a WhatsApp message if I ever read the book ‘The Making of an Island’ by Jean Glasscock.
One of the pages in the book in which my friend sent to me spoke about the history of St. Maarten when Mr. Bill Hunter opened Hunter House (now called Castle Cove Inn where he brought guests by boat to Point Blanche from the little pier in town). The article spoke about my Dad ‘Mooch’ who use to work for Mr. Hunter, and who would blow a conch shell from the little boat and pick up the guests and bring them to Hunters House. In those days they only had lanterns and candles and some large flashlights. The road was built out to Point Blanche in the fall of 1961 and in 1963 or 1964 they finally got electricity from the light company.
As I continued to read one of the pages in the book, I turned to my mom and asked her about the history in which she explained to me how my Dad ‘Mooch’ use to work, cook and even sing for the guests at Hunters House during those days. We spoke for a long time about my Dad’s contribution to St. Maarten and how he swam from Anguilla to St. Martin seven (7) times, a talented soccer player and sportsman. He was the chauffeur for three Lt. Governors of St. Maarten. My mom turns to me and says we need to document our history for generations to come to have an insight on how it used to be in the early days before modern development and the progress of society took over.
Mr. Editor, I fully agree with my mom and the point I would like to make in this letter to the editor is that we need to start documenting our history and landmarks of our beautiful island for generations to come. We have lost a lot of our seniors with so much wealth of knowledge without documenting our history.
By documenting our history, we would treasure, value and respect the foundation and principles that St. Maarten was built on by our local ancestors and seniors.
Today, we reap the fruits of St. Maarten’s past heritage but forget some of us forget the history and how St. Maarten was built and by whom. We need to get away from becoming a self- centered society and start focusing on building each other up rather than tearing each other down. It’s very sad to see how we got away from our history and principles on how we lead and build a Nation by becoming more caring and creating hope by speaking truth to our people to move forward in life. The most powerful leaders stay humble and tell people the truth and create hope for their people.
We need to get back to basics and respect, appreciate the solid foundation and principles that St. Maarten was built on for us to enjoy and make us what we are today. We need to pray more, stay humble and start caring and sharing more about our people. We need to pass on all these principles and family values to the next generation and generations to come before we lose focus to outside peer pressure and other influences of the world.
I pray that this letter to the editor will get us to appreciate and start sharing and documenting our history to build a better St. Maarten in unity for our people. A lot of us forget our history, where we came from and how St. Maarten was built for us to become the person, we have grown up to be today. We need to continue naming our buildings and streets after our local icons. I was so happy to see St. Maarteners will have the honor of carrying two street names in Amsterdam, Holland by our own national cultural/heritage expert the late Camille E. Baly.
In closing, let us continue to honor and recognize our people who have contributed to St. Maarten's development, and to create a new Destiny for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come.
Gratitude is a must.


Maurice Lake


Mr. Prosecutor, we are tired of the Watheys.

Dear Mr. Prosecutor.
We want to know. We want to know as many of the details you can offer about every single case you have against Theo Heyliger. Why? Because many of us are thankful that the part-charade that he and his wife concocted seem to be over for now. I say part because the health thing nobody wants to mess with. But the other frivolous stuff was a joke and an obvious attempt to distract us from the many charges against him. Party done! Let's get to the matter at hand.
You see, people are sheep. And especially when it comes to the Watheys. They have kept so many generations of families in a beggar state, that they can’t imagine saying anything that comes close to criticism about Heyliger. But there are those of us who remember the stealing of family land and undermining of people here to get their way. There is a trail of broken families at the hands of the Watheys.
So now with their savior facing serious jail time, we want to know! Lay it all out. We want people to understand that Heyliger is no saint. He and his ilk ride our people like mules and all most do is say hit me again Theo! Here is a person who single-handedly increased container fees which made food more expensive overnight. Why? To get his pet project causeway bridge from which he got a nice pay off….allegedly. He increased the burden of people so he can get a pay-day…allegedly.
We are tired of these Watheys! So please Mr. Prosecutor. Lay it out and lay it out well. Because if you as the prosecutor failed to make any of the charges stick and punish these people significantly, you will subject the people of SXM to decades of Wathey rule. They will feel even more emboldened and entitled. Do not let that happen to us. Do your job and do it well!


A concerned citizen.

 

In the Blink of an Eye …

By Arlene J. Schar and Dr. David Leffler

Another deadly attack, this time in Eastern Afghanistan. The target: a wedding party. The toll: 63 dead and almost 200 injured. Ironically, the invitations to the Kabul wedding read "… we celebrate … with a world of hope and desire …" And, in the blink of any eye, their hopes and desires were laid to ruin. There are no words to express the insanity of such a cowardly act. Saturday's blast was the second major attack in the capital this month and, in the words of the groom who survived: "I know that this won't be the last suffering for Afghans; the suffering will continue."
In the aftermath of such a despicable act, people become disheartened and lose all hope for the future, feeling the futility of even having hopes and desires which in the blink of an eye can be so utterly destroyed. Does this mean that there no hope for Afghanistan's future?
Fortunately, no. There is a powerful tool for change available to everyone who is tired of living in a world of unpredictable violence; a tool which anyone can access. This tool, a ground-breaking and effective means for ending conflict and violence, is Invincible Defense Technology (IDT): a proven method for defusing terrorism before it arises.

Invincible Defense Technology: A Non-Religious, Humane and Beneficial Approach

The practical components of IDT are the non-religious Transcendental Meditation (TM) and the more advanced TM-Sidhi programs. When large groups of experts practice these programs together, a powerful field effect of coherence and peace is generated that spills over into the surrounding population, thereby raising the collective consciousness to come up with more humane solutions to social problems.

Extensive peer-reviewed scientific research repeatedly confirms measurable decreases in war deaths, terrorism, and crime when IDT is utilized. A recent study published in May 2019 in Studies in Asian Social Science, 6(2), 1-45, found that IDT implementation by students was associated with a 96.2% decline in sociopolitical violence in the war-torn country of Cambodia as compared to violence in the preceding three years.

Due to the extensive research, the non-profit organization Global Union of Scientists for Peace (GUSP) advocates IDT as a simple and cost-effective approach for reducing the societal stresses thought to be the underlying cause of such social problems (see: https://www.gusp.org/global-peace-summit).

Invincible Defense Technology is Cost-Effective

Any military is capable of training and maintaining groups of experts in the advanced IDT strategy. This Prevention Wing of the Military would practice IDT programs twice a day in large groups, defusing social tensions. The collective consciousness of all populations would rise through the influences of greater harmony and peace. Those who have engaged in violence will no longer do so. Studies have shown repeatedly that this method works – and will continue to work as long as the peace-creating groups are maintained.

Implementation

IDT is not restricted to the military. Any large group of experts trained in the advanced IDT techniques can accomplish the same goals of alleviating terror and violence by practicing this approach in groups twice a day. These groups could be comprised of congregations at places of worship, prisoners, the elderly in retirement homes, even students such as documented in Studies in Asian Social Science. The important factor is for the advanced IDT techniques to be performed by trained experts consistently in groups twice a day. Simply by doing this, violence and conflict would be eradicated, according to the numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies summarized on the GUSP website.

Time To Act Now

Currently, there are militaries worldwide utilizing IDT training for their personnel, with positive societal results for their countries. Now is the time for Afghanistan to follow suit, especially as foreign support is withdrawn. A minimum of 600 trained experts practicing the IDT strategy twice a day would be enough to alleviate terrorism in Afghanistan once and for all and restore to its people hope for the future. Afghanistan cannot afford to wait any longer.

WAKING UP IN PARADISE?

When Adam woke up that first day in paradise, as his eyes, hears, nose, and all of his body senses began to be activated; that must have been an unbelievable experience. But I am sure that once he saw the birds flying and enjoying the sky’s breeze, he would have wanted to become a pilot. Yet, most of the people of the Caribbean don’t realize that they are in paradise, until they leave and come back or listen as others describe the exceptional radiance, kind people, and levels of relaxation that the Caribbean provide.

The world celebrates the Caribbean as one of the must visit vacation locations. Today we can make an estimate that over 60 percent or more of the Caribbean citizens who leave the Caribbean do not return. The literacy level of the Caribbean people is at an average of 80 percent based on the UNESCO ratings, however, that number can be evaluated by some as being a bit too high seeing that there are no way to truly measure all of the Caribbean islands’ literacy levels, and as a principled fact the majority of the people of the Caribbean would love to return home to the Caribbean but lack a proper motivation to do so. When Adam realized that the Caribbean was 70 percent reliant on airlift and that it was going to cost him a whole lot of apples to fly between the islands, he decided to relax on the veranda instead. As a region the Caribbean is a victim of multiple centuries of natural disasters, colonial practices, strategic NGO involvements, multinational and corporate international banking and oil industry approaches that have not had any true or lasting benefit for the Caribbean people. Once we consider the expressions of Caribbean regional international aid and the lack of true regional preparedness strategies and any valid structured planning and support for the return of our Caribbean diaspora; it therefore, seems finally necessary to no longer simply give word play to our joint regional and local disaster and social preparedness.

Adam had to first realize that he was alive; after that it was important to understand what and why he was made to be alive. Now that we know that we are a Caribbean people what will be our next steps forward how will we begin our journey into the future together. Some questions that can come to mind as we forge an alternative positive future are the following. Why must we continue living in a Caribbean context with mediocre airlift and inactive protection from key natural disasters? Why must we continue to live without a clue of what our next generation will inherit as a legacy? How many more geniuses are we going to trigger and set assail in the seas of our many international harbors of knowledge and development? It is time to draw in the net. We as a people are faced with a seemingly big challenge, yet we are all graced with the necessary tools to all help uncover the great masterpiece that is called the Caribbean - islands working together with each their own intrinsic qualities and character facilitating a unique blend of social expressions as they work towards a series of common goals.

We live in a time were the Caribbean is seen as a paradise and nothing more; however, interestingly enough paradise speaks to the idea of having God’s presence or being in the presence of God. Wow, if that’s true, that the Caribbean is considered to be paradise, then creativity must abound. The great Dr. Myles Monroe often said that God did not give us a table; He hid it in a tree. I believe that the Caribbean has the potential to become one of the foremost leaders for innovation and scientific breakthroughs in the twenty first century. The worlds top institutions and nations has fostered and provided a fire bath of experiences that has molded the people and young leaders of the Caribbean for this moment in history. Everyone within this region weather governments, individuals or family members can think of a brother or sister, a son or daughter that they have sent off into the world; into the stables of hope, with the one main concern being, by doing this I hope my child will have a good future and be able to provide for his or her self and their family. We have had much success, as a Caribbean people to the point where we now have top international writers, robotic specialists, aeronautical experts, architects, engineers, sports icons, film celebrities, musical geniuses, and top character individuals on all levels of society.

When we consider that God had already prepared Eden and put Adam in it, with all of its divergent facets and features, must have been a great sense of adventure. Some areas that we can frame as target goals to make sure that the Caribbean can continue to be called home by its people, a place for its people to capture the energy from its natural environment of thermal, sun, aquatic, and hurricane, and natural winds. A place that provides for a level of recreation, elite services, yachting, culinary diversity, entertainment, security, innovative passive energy airlift, and drone applications, technology, AI, robotics, holographic, nanotechnology, and satellite development, and services, bio and agricultural diversity and sophistication. What will it take for our next generation of Caribbean business leaders and entrepreneurs to get to this next level of existence; the funny thing is, it is already being done; it is time now for those individuals to expand on the business venture activities that they are already busy with and open different international, regional and local support platforms.

Forever etched in the sands of the Caribbean beaches will be the lasting words of the legendary Dr. Myles Monroe, “Your existence is evidence that this generation needs something that your life contains.” We, the people of the Caribbean, need to define a point of departure, a starting point. We need to choose a path forward or the choice will continue to be made for us. But one thing is sure, if Adam were here in the Caribbean, in the 21st century with us, he would want to take Eve on an island hopping tour in their personal drone.


ir. Damien Richardson

 

 

Subject: After 156 years of slavery-abolition-law Dutch cabinet officially recognize and regrets being accomplice but denies decolonization and right to self-determination to the descendants.

Honorable Parliamentarians,

We commend your cabinet’s recent historical declarations on July 1, 2019, in commemoration of July 1, 1863, 156 years after your government’s proclamation of the abolition law, finally a sign, a sprout, of compassion and humanity towards the descendants, the diaspora of our dehumanized ancestors, victims of your criminally inhuman economy.

The Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Mrs. Ollongren stated “that the government cannot turn back time, but deeply regrets that slavery is part of our common history” and the Minister of Social Affairs Mr. Koolmees confessed: “..that is not only the stories about the past that hurt, but that today's indifference can do that just as well”. These declarations have lit a flame of hope again in this deepest everlasting dark historical tunnel of Dutch unconsciousness about the racism part of their economy.

We all know that the abolition law of slave trade in 1814 and the1818 law that made participation a criminal offense led up to continued discussions in your parliament. For more than half a century, they debated not the humanitarian beliefs or feelings of shame about this form of commerce, but a defense of
the Dutch rationale of economic pragmatism, condemning slavery in theory, but allowing its continuation in practice up to 1863 and beyond. And up to now all your governments have kept yourselves and yours and our peoples in a state of cognitive dissonance through cultural, educational, legal, and colonial manipulation, denying the fact that your government was one of the cruelest colonizers in the world’s history.

In the light of the cabinet’s official recognition of the crimes against our ancestors and thus accepting the responsibility of being the continuation of your predecessors’ racist and economic crimes committed against us, the descendants of the victims, we would like to kindly request you the following:

As it took almost two (2) centuries for your government to recognize and regret that what you did to our ancestors was wrong, criminal and inhumane, we are afraid it may take a similar time-span, another two (2) centuries for your government to apologize, a natural logical human deed.

That as your government seems not to be in the state-of-mind to apologize due to the reasons mentioned above and we would not like to start a discussion with you on reparations as that is impossible in the current colonial occupation you hold us, we would like to ask you and your government that same simple question as your first chair of your first national assembly, during the Batavian constitutional debate, Pieter Paulus asked in 1796: “In which way all human beings can be considered equal?”.

Yes, the same question remains today 222 years later : “In which way – Are we, your so-called “Kingdom partners”, who were as recent as October 10, 2010, annexed, re-occupied, re-colonized, and embedded in your constitution under unequal rights against the our free will, - considered equal human beings?

 

We truly hope that the two honorable Ministers, same as Pieter Paulus was called “apostle of humanity”, they will be called the “apostles of decolonization” and not yet another modernized version of Piet Hein personified by colleague state-secretary and ex-military Mr. Knops who could be portraying Piet Hein, but now by terrorizing us all in the Caribbean with his WIC-VOC mentality and approach and who abuses his powers by unilateral legal actions with your approval.

We wholeheartedly feel that our wish to decolonize is not unrealistic and is as real as Mrs. Ollongren realization that time cannot be turned back as she declared. Born in the former Dutch colony Sumatra to Finnish-Swede parents, she possesses a diluted Dutch-ancestral-colonial DNA and her M.A. in history gives her all the possibilities to understand colonialism and its only cure: decolonization. The same miracle we expect from Mr. Koolmees with his doctoral degree in social and institutional economics and as researcher at The Dutch Economic Institute he surely must understand that the major part of the riches and wealth which he and his government inherited and benefit today, was acquired through the colonial-slavery-criminal-economy tainted with the blood, sweats, and tears of our ancestors. No wonder he clearly admitted that the indifference today is as cruel and painful as the past because as an expert he indeed knows.

Finally, we herewith kindly request you to cease being an accomplice to the continuation of Dutch colonialism, declared a crime against humanity by the United Nations and to follow up on your recent brave declarations. Our King Willem-Alexander, as a non-political symbol of Dutch colonial legacy, could lead the reconciliation and healing process by apologizing with humanitarian compassion and not matter-of-factly based on Dutch economic rationale. In this process, we advise you to reevaluate the role and actions of Mr. Knops. The damage he has done so far to your carefully fabricated humanitarian philanthropic world image can hardly be undone other than through a genuine declaration of remorse followed by an immediate resignation.

To summarize all the above: if you indeed recognize that colonialism is a crime and regret that your government is participating in and supporting it, then please follow up and respect our Bonerian 2015 and Sint Eustatius 2014 referenda, expressions of the voice and free will of our people that legally and democratically rejected the imposed colonial structure. And please, comply with your UN Charter obligations and resume the decolonization process by respecting and restoring our inherited and acquired sacred and fundamental human rights of self-determination and self-governance.

We thank you for your attention and look forward to your compliance, as hope is all we need, that, “one day, we shall overcome”,

Respectfully yours,
James Finies

 

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