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Applying for a U.S. Student Visa or Canadian Study Permit” workshop scheduled for May 25, 2021.

PHILIPSBURG:--- An informative workshop entitled “Applying for a U.S. Student Visa or Canadian Study Permit” will be held on May 25, 2021, by the Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports Affairs.
This free workshop will be held online from 5:00 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. and is geared towards students who are looking to apply or who have applied to schools in the U.S.A. or Canada and their parents.
In this workshop, information will be given on the application process for obtaining a U.S. Student Visa or Canadian Study Permit. Students who have already been accepted to a school in either of these countries can attend the workshop to receive a step-by-step approach on how to complete the application process. The process can seem overwhelming and confusing, however, SSSD will help students to better understand the process.
Students or parents can register in advance by calling SSSD at 543-1235 and registrants will then receive an invitation by email. On the day of the event, participants can click the link on SSSD’s Facebook page and join the online workshop.
Students who do not possess a U.S. passport, U.S. Permanent Residence (Green Card), Canadian passport, or Canadian permanent residence are considered international students in the U.S. and Canada respectively. According to SSSD officials, “Applying for a student visa ties into immigration matters, therefore, it is essential that students are aware of the procedure and take care in preparing their application.” They also stress that improper preparation or incomplete applications can delay the process at the embassy.
“We have seen students having to wait a whole year before attending college or university because they encountered bottlenecks with for example their Canadian study permit. The global pandemic has also caused a shift in how certain things are done. So, knowing certain aspects beforehand can help students with their application process, “ SSSD officials said.

 Students are also urged to contact the career guidance counselor, Mr. Chance, at 543-1235 for more information. Students are also encouraged to log into the workshop on time.
The SSSD office is located in the Gatsby Building across from the Police Station and next to the WIB. SSSD provides many services to students. Some services include psychological services, counseling services, speech-language pathology services, social work services, educational diagnostic services, career services, and parental workshops.


Arrests during brawl in schoolyard.

On Thursday, May 6th, two 16-year-old boys, with initials K.J.J. and R.J.A.R.L., were arrested at the secondary school at Ruby Hassellweg on St. Eustatius, for violation of the BES weapons law. During the fight, he had used a brass knuckle to hit with.

KPCN Press Release.


prosoualiga05112020PHILIPSBURG:--- After 65 years, the Dutch State admitted in court versus Pro Soualiga Foundation that they CANNOT find ANY U.N. Resolution which declares that "Chapter XI of the U.N. Charter no longer applies to the former Netherlands Antilles." (This admission was also confirmed by the judge in his ruling rendered on May 7th, 2021.) The fact that the Dutch State has admitted to Pro Soualiga in court that they cannot find the aforementioned U.N. Resolution means that the former Netherlands Antilles was never decolonized. The Dutch State is now left with only two options. Firstly, the former Netherlands Antilles must be re-inscribed on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, or the Kingdom Charter must be amended by removing Articles 44, 50, 51, and the appointed Governor in order for us to be decolonized.

Pro Soualiga Foundation

St. Maarten requests follow up on loan agreement for liquidity support.

sillyjacobs08032021PHILIPSBURG:--- Prime Minister Silveria E. Jacobs questions follow-through from the Netherlands on liquidity support and requests Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte's intervention to address unnecessary delays and have the loan agreement for the liquidity support sent to St. Maarten without any further delays.

St. Maarten has largely complied with all the conditions placed by the government of the Netherlands, and thus, the current delay is inexplicable.

In March 2021, the first delay of the fifth tranche of liquidity support was due to the questions of the Kingdom Council of Ministers (RMR) surrounding the support for this trajectory from the Parliament of St. Maarten. Clarification of the meaning of the petition that was submitted to the United Nations(UN) was requested. This matter was ultimately resolved after State Secretary Knops approved the letter from the Chairman of Parliament, providing clarity on the petition; the request for liquidity support for St. Maarten was once again placed on the agenda of the RMR meeting for April 23, 2021.

During this meeting, the RMR decided that St. Maarten will receive the much-needed NAf. 39 million after signing of the implementation agenda for the execution of the country package.

The signing of the implementation agenda was the agreed condition for allocating the fifth tranche of liquidity support. Prime Minister Jacobs met and signed the implementation agenda with State Secretary Knops on Monday, April 26, 2021.

Prime Minister Jacobs stated, "Once the RMR has taken a decision to grant liquidity support, a loan agreement is a necessary step for the release of the liquidity support. So far, we’ve experienced that the loan agreement is sent right away after the decision is taken. This has been the case in the last two RMR decisions granting liquidity support. However, today Friday, May 7, will be two weeks that have passed since the RMR decided to grant St. Maarten the liquidity support and the loan agreement has not yet been received. Once the loan agreement has been received, it will be signed by the Minister of Finance for finalization.”

On both the technical and ministerial levels, contact has been made with the Ministry of BZK to receive updates on the status of the loan agreement. “Contact was made immediately, last week with BZK’s technical staff and the loan agreement was promised by the end of the week, which would have been a week away from the last RMR meeting, and to this day, we have not received the loan agreement,” Prime Minister Jacobs continued.

Prime Minister Jacobs has exhausted every effort to acquire the loan agreement, including reaching out to State Secretary Knops a few days ago. He indicated that he would follow up; however, no prospect was provided regarding when the loan agreement will be finalized and sent. Contact has even been had with the Dutch Representation office here on the island and they too are indicating that they have no information on the status of the loan agreement. So far, the only indication shared from the Ministry of BZK was that key personnel were out on vacation, leading to the delays. No timeline was given as to when the loan agreement would be sent.

Given the fact that there have been no positive responses, nor has the loan agreement been received, Prime Minister Jacobs sent a letter to the RMR addressed to Prime Minister Rutte on May 6. In the letter, Prime Minister Jacobs outlined the experience St. Maarten has had with delays and a lack of communication. She has requested that Prime Minister Rutte intervenes and implores the Ministry of BZK to move forward with the process and facilitate St. Maarten with the loan agreement by today, May 7, so that it may be finalized. This way the funds can be made available to St. Maarten by early next week.

Prime Minister Jacobs hopes for a swift resolution that would ensure the needed liquidity is sent to St. Maarten. This latest delay only puts further pressure on the relationship between St. Maarten and the Netherlands which both parties have agreed to work on.

Julian Rollocks presents publication to USM.

rollocksusm07052021PHILIPSBURG:--- Local science teacher and Political Consultant Mr. Julian Rollocks delivered a copy of his timely publication How Colonialism, Greed, and Corruption Destroyed a Beautiful Island, to USM President Dr. Antonio Carmona Báez. The book, a historical account of colonialism and the struggle for self-determination in Sint Maarten, will be housed at the USM library.

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