Statia earns support at tripartite meeting

THE HAGUE–St. Eustatius got support on Monday, to some extent, from St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba. The parliamentary delegations of all three countries acknowledged that any former colony of the Netherlands has the right to self-determination and recognised the uncompromising attitude of the Netherlands. In addition, they promised to discuss the issue with their respective Parliaments.

The tense relation between Statia and the Netherlands was the first topic during the so-called tripartite during which St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba discussed common issues and prepared for the Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultation IPKO. PLP Island Council members Clyde van Putten and Rechelline Leerdam as well as independent Councillor Reuben Merkman gave a presentation about the latest developments, the disagreements with the Netherlands and the wish to pursue the right to self-determination.

Many delegation members agreed that the Dutch government has limited patience and no confidence in allowing the Caribbean countries and islands to manage themselves. Rodolphe Samuel, chairman of the St. Maarten Parliament’s Kingdom Committee, said he understood the difficulties the current coalition of Statia is facing.

“Every time the coalition wants to approve the budget, the Acting Island Governor objects. But you can’t expect him to cooperate, since he has been part of the opposition for many years. In the end, this will always result in Statia getting an instruction by the Dutch government,” he said. “We support Statia in their pursuit not to be fully integrated in the Netherlands.”

Nevertheless, all delegations were limited in expressing their support, as only their Parliaments can decide on more concrete forms of support. In addition, for most members it was the first time they had received the information first-hand, meaning they had to think about it themselves as well. However, they promised to discuss the issue internally.

Source: The Daily Herald