Ottley to young men: ‘We are becoming our own worst enemy’ | THE DAILY HERALD

PHILIPSBURG–United People’s (UP) party Member of Parliament (MP) Omar Ottley has issued a passionate plea to the young men of St. Maarten, urging them to refrain from the senseless violence that has been plaguing the island.

Ottley’s comments came in the wake of the latest fatal shooting incident, which claimed the life of another young man on Tuesday, June 11. He emphasised the devastating impact of the recent wave of violence, highlighting that the loss of life affects not only the victims but also their families and loved ones.

Reflecting on his personal experiences, Ottley said, “I have had family and friends with these devastating experiences on both sides of the coin and in each case, these destructive behaviours cost loss of lives, and every life lost is a tragedy, whether it leads to the grave or incarceration.”

He has called for a collective effort from everyone to save and support the young men of St. Maarten rather than stigmatising and marginalising them.

Some of MP Ottley’s initiatives as Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor focused on community development, including refurbishing basketball courts in the districts to provide constructive activities for the youth and reduce idle time that often leads to trouble. “These programmes provide positive outlets for our children. By investing in our youth's potential, we reduce crime rates and cultivate a generation of empowered, responsible, and engaged citizens. We must do more to protect the well-being of our young people,” said Ottley.

By investing in the youth and creating positive outlets for their energy, Ottley believes the community can come together to cultivate a nurturing environment for the next generation.

Lamenting the tragic loss of lives, Ottley encourages unity and collaboration across the Dutch and French sides of the island to build a supportive village that can effectively raise and guide the island’s children. He re-emphasised the importance of collective responsibility in shaping the future of St. Maarten and fostering a culture of care and respect for all members of the community.

Source: The Daily Herald