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Komst FlyAllways Naar St. Maarten

De nieuwe Surinaamse luchtvaartmaatschappij, Fly All Ways, is van plan vanaf 3 september 2016 wekelijks vanaf Suriname via Georgetown, Guyana, naar St. Maarten te vliegen met een stop in Barbados. Deze wekelijkse vlucht zal met een Fokker 70 met 80 stoelen uitgevoerd worden. Deze eerste serie vluchten zal tot en met 2 oktober 2016 duren. De tweede serie vluchten zal wekelijks vanaf 15 december 2016 tot en met 15 januari 2017 uitgevoerd worden. Indien de bezetting en vraag vanuit de markt dat verantwoordt zal nadien elke week een vlucht vanuit Suriname via Guyana naar St. Maarten rechtstreeks uitgevoerd worden.

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Gedurende de actieve vluchtcampagnes kunnen mensen vanaf St. Maarten naar Suriname en Guyana vliegen voor $680 US Dollars en naar Barbados voor slechs $450 US Dollars. Deze vluchen zal mensen die gewend zijn met LIAT, Caribbean Airlines en Inselair naar Guyana en Suriname te vliegen een goed alternattief bieden.

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De mensen die deze vluchten van Fly All Ways willen boeken kunnen vanaf heden terecht bij reisbureau Let's Travel op St. Maarten in Philipburg om te reserveren. Men kan bellen via +1-721-542-2381, emailen via info@letstravelsxm.com of online boeken. Boek hier...


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Monday, 27 October 2014 17:15

Chess not Checkers

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Chess not Checkers Cartoon courtesy of StMaartenNews.net

A lot has been debatted and written about the Kingdom government's instruction to the Governor of St. Maarten, basically compelling him to suspend the approval of the national decrees appointing the Ministers and the Prime Minister util an enhanced screening is executed. This latest instruction was recently preceded by another; in September 2013, instructing the Governor to conduct an integrity assessment (the now infamous Price Waterhouse Report). In fact, this most recent instruction is a direct result of the aforementioned report.

What prompted the first instruction? Since St. Maarten became a country on October 10, 2010, it has been entangled in numerous (political) scandals (e.g. La Ville bribe, Bada-Bing/Illidge video and the vote buying case just to mention the headliners), in addition we have had 3 cabinets in 4 years (Cabinet Wescott-Williams I, II and III).

It is therefore safe to conclude that The Hague took a keen note of these events andd decided to undertake some severe action. It should also be noted that even before St. Maarten became a seperate country within the Kingdom there were serious doubts if St. Maarten should or could become a country. They started by saying that there will be no seperate status for St. Maarten (i.e. former MInister of Kingdom Relations Johan Remkes declaring that the door for seperate status, yes, but not like Aruba and then our leaders eventually agreed to the watered down seperate status that we 'enjoy' today.

Many legal scholars will agree that the Kingdom government has no legal basis for the instruction. This has already been concluded by Mr. G.A.H. Bakhuis of the Erasmus School of Law in an article in the 'Nederlands Juristenblad' (NJB) regarding the instruction of September 2013.

Mr Bakhuis wrote: "Good governance and integrity of government officials and civil servants continue to be a problem for the country Sint Maarten. The Kingdom government relies in this instruction on its guarantee function laid down in the Kingdom Charter, but for the exercise of supervision more is required than a description in the Statute. Fulfilment of that task can only be guaranteed by legally established supervisory powers. The Governor in the execution of the instruction does not possess these powers. The exercise of the supervisory powers without legal basis is an infringement of the "legaliteitsbeginsel" (Principle of Legality), which means that powers cannot be exercised without any legal basis. This naturally also applies to the Kingdom government".

In spite of these legal opinions and St. Maarten's objections, The Hague has remained resolute. Not only was the integrity assessment carried out, now that same integrity assessment is being utilized as the basis for an even more invasive instruction. Obviously this is their new modus-operandi in terms of the relations with the Dutch Caribbean territories. Our leaders must become aware of this new reality, as long as St. Maarten remains a country within the Kingdom, which is for the foreseeable future, and act accordingly. It can no longer be business as usual. We cannot continue to disregard the rules and when we are called to order, engage in emotional diatribes about slavery and past Dutch indiscretions in Indonesia and Suriname. While these may be historically accurate and important facts they are not actually relevant and do not positively contribute to the discussion at hand.

It is a fact that there is no legal basis for the Kingdom government instructions, however it is also true that the past four years, in terms of governance, hasb een far from ideal, to put it mildly. Yes, we are a young country that is only four years old, but that cannot and should not be an excuse for the less than integer behavior of our leaders. Let us be honest, with their actions our leaders have significantly contributed in having the Dutch the proverbial stick to beat us with. The vote buying aka 'Masbangu' and the Vorst property court judgements are obvious examples of such and are scathing indictments of our leaders. In the next four years and beyond our leaders must elevate their game. Let us display that we are a country, not only by name and bravado, but moreover by our actions, policies and intellect. A stable and competent government must be formed, the notorious ship-jumping must be halted, a realistic and balanced budget must be passed consistently by Parliament, prior to the deadline, and most importantly we must start to hold our leaders accountable for better or worse.

Randolf Duggins


[Editor's note: The above opinion piece "Chess not checkers" by Randolf Duggins is taken from the Today newspaper on Monday, October 27, 2014. The cartoon is provided by StMaartenNews.net.]

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