Monday, Dec 22nd

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Second generation feels more at home

AMSTERDAM--Second-generation Antilleans in the Netherlands feel "more Dutch" than the first generation.

That was one of the conclusions reached by the 2010 Integration Monitor of the Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS). Of the Antilleans born on the islands, 40 per cent feel Dutch. That percentage is considerably higher among those born in the Netherlands: 80 per cent. Almost half the Antilleans living in the Netherlands were born there.

The Monitor further showed that Antillean girls more often continued their studies at an institute of higher education than their native Dutch peers. Second-generation Antilleans with higher education are much more likely to stay in the Netherlands. Another noteworthy conclusion was that the number of Antilleans with social welfare had dropped by half since 1999.

Less positive news was that one in three Antillean men got into trouble with the law as a criminal suspect. That is five times more often than native Dutch men.

Antilleans remain criminally active at a much older age than other groups in Dutch society. Also, Antillean women get into trouble with the law more often than women of other groups in society.

Govt establishes National Gazette

PHILIPSBURG--The Council of Ministers has established St. Maarten's first National Gazette, enabling publication of all laws, resolutions, ordinances and ministerial decrees.

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams told the press on Wednesday that the most important and relevant legislation for country St. Maarten was in place, as was the transition regulation, and the gazette would be the next step.

Government has to regulate and establish the execution of the laws and decrees, she explained. This gave rise to the gazette.

The National or Official Gazette is an official organ used in countries worldwide as a vehicle both for government public relations and public pronouncements. It is used for promulgating laws, ordinances, treaties, and other national commitments, and for releasing reports and materials compiled by various governmental organs.

It also publishes pronouncements in accordance with the provisions of laws.

Gumbs again denied access

WILLEMSTAD--The head of the Intelligence Service in Curaçao (former VNA of the Netherlands Antilles) Edsel Gumbs was denied access to the office when he returned to work again after the civil servant judge had suspended the decision from Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte to bar Gumbs and place him on active duty.

Gumbs' lawyer Melrose Bloem could not be reached for comment, so whether he will institute summary proceedings against this decision is unknown, as is whether this time a so-called Committee of Supervision was heard regarding the suspension of Gumbs.

That Gumbs was barred from the buildings of the intelligence service twice now has prompted opposition party PAR to raise the alarm once again.

Parliament faction member Glenn Sulvaran said that all three pillars of government (the legislature, the executive branch and the administration of justice) are now threatened. He referred to "the dictatorial manner of the MFK/PS/MAN coalition in Parliament, where the opposition is consciously excluded and muzzled."

There is also a disproportionate division in the composition of the various committees, while opposition leaders are either ordered to sit down or not given the opportunity to ask questions or to submit proposals.

Things are going wrong within the Schotte cabinet as well, according to Sulvaran. "The prime minister tells lies and consciously violates the law. He is also lying about the presence of contracts for oil drilling in our territorial waters. This is against values such as good governance and transparency," said Sulvaran.

That government apparently also disregarded a judgment from the court and denied Gumbs access again proves it does not respect the administration of justice. "I cannot imagine someone disregarding a judgment from the court," Sulvaran said.

James chosen as a GEBE director, but appointment remains in limbo

page1b164PHILIPSBURG--The Shareholder Foundation of GEBE made a decision to appoint former Director of Resources for St. Maarten Jean James as the second Managing Director of the company to serve with current Managing Director William Brooks.

However, while that decision was made by a majority of the foundation's board members (3 out of 5), it still has to be ratified in a meeting at which all five board members of the foundation are present, which, based on the position of Saba and Statia against additional Managing Directors, has kept James's appointment in limbo.

According the articles of incorporation of the foundation, decisions cannot be ratified unless all members of the board are present or if they give their vote by proxy. In other words, the representatives from Saba and Statia, with their veto power, simply have to stay away from meetings to render the foundation powerless.

Initially, the foundation wanted to appoint two new Managing Directors in accordance with the articles of incorporation of GEBE. However, after a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study was commissioned on the insistence of foundation members who are of the opinion that two new directors are unnecessary, it was deemed that one would be sufficient for the company.

The Supervisory Board of Directors, charged with the recruiting of candidates, submitted two names to the Shareholder Foundation to consider for the post. Saba and Statia were reportedly against both, claiming inexperience. The recruitment of the new directors called for a director with financial profile and a director with an operational management profile.

James is currently the owner and Managing Director of Capaz Consulting St. Maarten. He has an extensive background in financing, taxes, information management and reorganization processes throughout the islands that formed the Netherlands Antilles and in Holland.

The Executive Councils of Saba and Statia are not in favour of any new Managing Directors for GEBE and were against efforts to have Brooks removed as Managing Director last year. The two territories have stiffened their opposition with the announcement by Minister Theo Heyliger that he has initiated an arbitration process to fast track the division of shares of the company.

To break a possible decision-making stalemate, there is a clause that would allow the shareholder foundation to send a decision for arbitration which would allow both parties to argue their case for or against before a final decision is rendered.

If the foundation manages to appoint a new director, he or she will form a "Management Board" of two for GEBE. The supervisory board would then be tasked with appointing the President of this board who can represent the company on his or her own or with another member of the Managing Board.

Based on his contentious history with the Supervisory Board, it is highly unlikely that William Brooks will be appointed President of the Managing Board. The only way, reportedly, that Saba and Statia would accept a new director is if Brooks is appointed president.

Despite numerous attempts, Chairman of the Shareholder Foundation Ralph Richardson could not be reached to provide clarity or information on how GEBE will proceed.

Duncan introduces Central Parole Board

page3c163PHILIPSBURG--Justice Minister Roland Duncan introduced the newly appointed Central Probationary/Parole Board CCR to the public Thursday, calling the five members capable experts in criminal justice and social science.

Retired judge Wally Havertong, principal Vernon Richards, psychologists Udo Aron and Judith Arndell and lawyer G. Hartzmann will soon have to choose a chairman from among them.

The CCR will advise the Minister on requests for parole and electronic home supervision. Minister Duncan appointed these experts to the CCR on Wednesday, November 17.

Minister Duncan described Havertong as having a widespread knowledge of the judicial system. He said Richards had vast experience in dealing with people." Of Aron, he said: "As a psychologist, I'm sure he will put his training to good use." He said he had very good information about Hartzmann, who he has contributed in his three years as a lawyer here.

Of Dr. Arndell he said, "Everybody knows who the doctor is." She has been a working psychologist for more than 20 years and runs a private practice.

Havertong assured the community that the CCR will "carry out our duties to the best of our abilities."

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