Dear Editor,

On October 20, 2016, I arrived at the Simpson Bay (Anguilla Dock) to pick up an employee of the Anguilla Immigration Department in order for her to visit her friend at the St. Maarten Medical Center, between 3:30pm to 4:30pm and thereafter to take her back to the pier on the French side in order for her to take the ferry back to Anguilla.

At the Anguilla dock in Simpson Bay she presented herself to the Immigration Officer with an Anguilla travel document along with her expired British passport. The Immigration Officer on duty at the Anguilla dock did not allow her to enter the country but she was, however, very polite and friendly as she really tried to assist by making several calls to her superior in connection hereof.

At that point, knowing several officers at the Anguilla Immigration I intervened and spoke with our lady Immigration Officer explaining that this person is truly employed with the Immigration Department of Anguilla who only wants to go see her friend in the hospital, and if it would help by standing as guarantor that she will return after the hospital visit that very same afternoon. The officer acknowledged that she knew me and understood and did not have a problem with it, but her superior who she called denied the entry and therefore could not do anything further but follow the command.

At this point I called several other top persons about the problem and they also tried to help, but it not being their department led to no success thus the Anguillian was then put back on the ferry to Anguilla.

Now, this wasn’t somebody that was from some unknown country that may have posed a threat or wanted to stay illegally, this was a born Anguillian (neighbour country) and an employer of the Anguilla Immigration Department as well. I felt really embarrassed about this whole situation and decided that I will have to publish this in the newspapers in order for something better to change in the future. We worry about what’s going on in the world with big nations fighting and here are we little islands having these unnecessary problems amongst ourselves.

Celeste Beauperthuy


Dear Editor,

As Director of Limelite Media with several Bus Shelters on the Dutch side of the Island, it is very disappointing to see that there are persons in our community who have absolutely no regard for other people’s or private property.

Just recently, we installed new Lexan glass panels, brand-new polycarbonate plastic in the display boxes, and re-installed benches in all of the bus shelters. We invested in making the shelters whole again and because of this investment, we have several new clients interested in advertising. The ad income is what pays for general maintenance and upkeep. The situation at the Sucker Garden shelter is just irresponsible, and shows that some person(s) have no respect for themselves or others.

It’s the second time that we replaced the glass panels in the Shelter in Sucker Garden. From the back of the shelter one can see two rocks which were thrown into the glass frame that ultimately broke both glass sheets. What goes through someone’s mind when they decide, with intent, to break glass panels just for fun? Do they realize that young and old persons in our community utilize this shelter every day?

We also have had some issues during the election campaign, where persons stuck their political material with glue on the new plastic sheets; however, we are trying to sort this out and see how we can remove the residue without further damaging the polycarbonate or replace the sheets.

I would like to ask all event promoters, whether you are promoting a concert, church event, or domino tournament, not to stick any posters, flyers and any other such material on the bus shelter’s glass or plastic sheets. It’s easy to stick up a poster, but no one realizes that someone else has to remove it and clean the area.

Who are we as people when some of us go around and vandalize or destroy other people’s property for no reason at all? Today it was the bus shelter, next week it can be your bedroom window. If anyone has any information regarding vandalism of any of the shelters, please call 721 520-1516.

Ronnie Busby

Director, Limelight Media

Dear Editor,

Parliamentarians deserve vacations just like the rest of us, which is the reason Parliament goes on recess during the month of July. However, it is expected that in the month of August parliamentarians would resume their normal duties. This year, being an election year, parliament seemingly took the liberty to unofficially extend its recess by three additional months: August, September and October.

The month of August was for postulation and campaigning. In September, parliamentarians interrupted their campaigning to attend the closing and opening of the parliamentary year. Now, in October, parliamentarians apparently need to rest because meetings have been cancelled due to the lack of a quorum.

One would have expected that all MPs would show up to work, especially after the elections, and that parliament would have been buzzing with meetings to ensure that the people’s business is taken care of prior to the swearing in of the new parliament on October 31.

But parliamentarians don’t seem to think along those lines. It is a pity that, last week, two parliament meetings had to be cancelled due to the lack of a quorum. What a shame, because the majority of these same parliamentarians were out campaigning, just a few weeks earlier, telling the people what they intend to do for them when they get re-elected.

Yet many of these same parliamentarians do not have the sense of responsibility to show up to meetings. This type of behaviour does not show respect for the people who elected them. Parliamentarians should at least have the courtesy to notify the President of Parliament ahead of time of their absence. The president should not have to be waiting and wondering if sufficient members will turn up for the meeting.

Unfortunately, discussion in Parliament on several crucial laws had to be postponed due to a lack of quorum. For example, the handling of the Timeshare ordinance, the appointment of the acting ombudsman and the amendment to the Civil Code to regulate the short-term contract could not be discussed due to a no-show of the majority of our parliamentarians.

Now mind you, during the campaign every political party and parliamentarian/politician promised to deal with the abuse of the six-month contract. But yet after the elections they are not willing to attend a parliamentary meeting to deal with this matter once and for all.

On another note, prior to the elections there were parliamentarians who called for the Minister of Justice to come to parliament to give an account of what transpired at the prison when one of the prisoners was killed by fellow inmates. Why are these MPs no longer insisting that the minister adheres to their request? Are we to conclude that MPs didn’t take their request seriously? Or was this just a campaign stunt?

In addition, several MPs also called for the Minister of Finance to appear in parliament to give more information on the Pearl of China project. Why haven’t these MPs insisted that the Minister appears in Parliament? Or was this also a campaign gimmick? Are our parliamentarians serious about the people’s business?

In the private sector this type of work ethic would never be tolerated. Four months in which hardly, if any work was done, but yet parliamentarians collected their salaries at the end of each month. The people elected these parliamentarians and I am sure that the people expect their business in parliament to be handled in an efficient and effective manner. Instead, parliamentarians take a four-month extended recess with pay, do not attend meetings and also do not follow up to ensure that the meetings, they themselves called, actually take place.

Come on parliamentarians, you have to do better than this! In Sint Maarten, chronic absenteeism should not be the order of the day. What example are you setting?

Wycliffe Smith

Leader of the SMCP

Dear Minister Plasterk, Mr. President Broekrs-Knol and members of the First Chamber,

We request your attention to the following regarding your plenary meeting on October 11, 2016.

Your Chamber has proposed on October 25 to vote to continue with the further anchoring of Bonaire (the BES islands) in your constitution. This was proposed on October 11, 2016, exactly one day after October 10, 2016, Columbus Day, which the colonization of American continent started 525 years ago and now six years after Bonaire was annexed on 10-10-10 without the consent of the Bonairean people.

On December 18, 2015, with 65 per cent no-votes, this illegal structure was clearly rejected. If you vote on October 25 in favour of, this is an infringement of our sacred self-determination and fundamental human rights and is an illegal annexation through your Dutch state system by anchoring Bonaire in your constitution.

Given your position and role as co-legislator to be independent and must take account of technical legal aspects, especially the relevance and consistency with other laws and certainly not contradicting higher laws, it is now your responsibility to definitively guarantee the rule of law and democracy. You have to respect the voice and rejection by the people of Bonaire on December 18, 2015, and not to proceed with the legislative process and to anchor Bonaire in your constitution against the wishes of the Bonairean population and international higher law.

We would like to again point out that your Chamber and the minister with this proposal intends:

* to violate your own accords in the United Nations,

* to put aside the advice of your own legal experts,

* to put aside your own appointed evaluation committee Spies opinion which stated that there is no constitutional basis to impose the anchoring of the BES islands, violating the self-determination and human rights of the humble Bonaire peoples;

* to violate the law and democratic decision of the Bonerian peoples of the clear rejection of the current structure on 18 december 2015;

* to impose your dominance;

* to infringe and breach your own commitments that you will respect the voice of the people and their acquired rights, etc., etc. ...

Your bill and intentions clearly point in the direction to legitimize the illegal annexation of Bonaire (the BES islands).

This makes the Dutch government nothing less than e.g. the paper annexation of Crimea by Russia, which was clearly rejected by the international community and the now ongoing Syria crisis and genocide with or without the consent of the international community.

The same thing happens here on Bonaire (BES Islands) where a “conquer and occupy” small paper war is going on, namely the extermination policy, genocide of the indigenous Caribbean Bonairean population with paper and laws.

Instead of this your Minister and your Chamber must stop immediately with:

* open immigration policy;

* the camouflaged euthanasia and abortion practices in the health care sector pursuing the systematic extermination of the native Bonerian;

* your cultural imperialism through imposing amoral legislation on the humble believer and Bonerian peoples,

* the invasion of European-Dutch which will neutralize the democratic right of Bonerian peoples on the short term and making the Bonerian a minority, direction cases of Russia and Crimea,

* all possible policy practices that sub-duct the economic strength and aspiration and self-reliance of indigenous Bonerian (eg closing Medical School, regulations by Authority for the Financial Markets, demotivation and segregation of indigenous Bonerian by Ducthification of the education system and policies, etc., etc.)

In summary, the chamber and the minister are planning to vote on October 25 to officially violate their self-co-signed international agreements and higher international law.

Just at this moment in time you have to show an exemplary function as board member of the security-council, but what you have in mind is the opposite; violation of rights to self-determination, human rights abuses, violation of the principles of the rule of law and democracy.

We only hope that in due time you will realize that you're violating all the above rights and that you are profiling a negative image to the world and Bonerian peoples.

It is expected that "justice for all" more or less becomes an empty slogan and that the rule of law is undermined. In this way you allow everyone to defend its own human rights and its political freedom, equality and certainly does not have to take into consideration anymore to keep or respect the law which the chamber and the Minister are knowingly violating.

Yours sincerely,

On behalf of Foundation Nos Kier Boneiru Bek

James Finies, president

Dear Editor,

In our current electoral system we vote for all 15 members of Parliament through a list system of proportional representation, for the term of four years; the so called Parliamentary Election.

So after voting the people have then voiced their opinion and through a list system of proportional representation, the 15 members “Elect” are elected to represent the people in Parliament.

If these 15 members remain with their seat and do not opt to become a Minister or Prime Minister in the formation of the government, our problem as it pertains to parliamentary democracy and Trias Politica, would still stand a chance.

After the parliamentary election parties that received the most votes can then seek through negotiations to form the government with the help of a "informateur "and "formateur" which are, by the way appointed by the Governor, most of the time the outcome of the votes cast would give room for a coalition government formation.

After the informateur or formateur is successful with a majority coalition formation (usually this person would be the proposed prime minister), it should also be noted that the proposed prime minister should be the one because he or she should not be accountable to Parliament.

Once this is realized it is then the discussions on allocation of the various ministerial and state secretary post begins, this can be quite a struggle, this because each party in the coalition will try to obtain the most important ministerial post.

The ideal situation is that ministers and or state secretary should be chosen from those that were on the party list, this most of the time is not done this way, having one to wonder why these individuals was placed on the party list in the first place period!

The coalition government then chooses their constituencies (ministers and state secretary).

So now you have a Government after the Parliamentary Election is over and the formation process and their constituent chosen.


The possible problem arising through this governmental formation process is that most Member of Parliament Elect would want to give up their seat to become the prime minister or minister or state secretary.

Once they do that is when the “conflict of interest” begins in Parliament and Government, the Trias Politica system; this by the way is because the list system of proportional representation is good for choosing your Parliament but is absolutely unsuitable for choosing a Government, especially when you have it that Members of Parliament elect will choose on their own to become ministers.

To help resolve this problem and to make sure that you get a Parliament for four years and a Government for four years, I believe that it is high time that we elect Members of Parliament and also at the same time elect who you want as prime minister.

Only then will the people get closer to elect their Members of Parliament and choose who they want as prime minister regardless of the outcome of the election.

The prime minister and the Members of Parliament will be elected to govern for a period of four years uninterrupted, the composition of coalition government if problem occur might change, but not the government (your prime minister elect and Members of Parliament elect.)

So such electoral reform and or constitutional reform should look like this:

  • Parliamentary Election and Prime Minister Election will go hand in hand, each voter would thus cast two votes, one for the prime minister and one for the Member of Parliament.
  • After the election members of parliament Elect cannot choose to become Ministers, the people choice should be considered at all times.
  • A vote of no confidence can be rendered to a minister through Parliament, but not to the Prime Minister which is elected by the people.
  • The prime minister elect will not cast a vote of no confidence to Parliament because he also was elected by the people for a term of four years.
  • Parliament and Prime Minister must sit in office for a four-year term.
  • No parties can appoint Ministers that were not on the party list.
  • Any candidate on the list of any political party can choose to be elected as prime minister and at the same time prime minister, because the outcome is up to the voters.
  • There shall be no obligation of any Parliament member to play party politics; every member can vote their conscience without being ousted by their party leader or reprimanded or threatened by their party members or leader. This way true democracy can prevail.

So that is why I am appealing to the people of this country, please let us demand that they do it right this time, we too should have a say in the direction in which this young democracy should sail.

One can add to or disagree with my proposal but one thing is for sure, we cannot continue this way! Voice your opinion.

Bienvenido Richardson

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