Published On: Mon, Nov 14th, 2016

United we stand

Dear Editor,

In the wake of the decision taken by parliament to back the decision taken by the Council of Ministers not to attend our St. Maarten Day (Not that of France nor Holland), I want to share my opinion and observation on this entire matter.

The right to fight for water rights of St. Maarten that the French might want to claim is a good fight but, the fact that it took the French side authorities to trigger the Dutch side to take such a stand is to me up until now a pity to say the least.

Standing up for the owner of Captain Oliver’s Restaurant and Marina as the Prime Minister bluntly put it after all she pays her due taxes to me is irrelevant. The matter of dispute as pertains to water right; who owns what is what I would have addressed. I am sure the owner of Captain Oliver’s Restaurant and Marina can and should fight her own battle in court.

The matter as it pertains to having or not being in the possession of building permits, which was questioned by the French authority was a good move, just merely because even our Council of Ministers had no clue and so now they can conclude that most probably this building permit in whatever form or fashion or the request for it is lacking.

But as the prime minister put it that is not the problem they are protesting Sint Maarten and Saint Martin have to realize one thing as a people of this island we are one; period. And to me when it comes to celebrating neither Sint Maarten/Saint Martin Day Holland nor France will keep us from doing so.

Both sides of the island have a government and both governments should respect this day as our day, Saint Martin/Sint Maarten Day. The water rights dispute is at national level and that is where it should have remained. It is obvious that Holland and France are taking their time to resolve this. We as a people and as a government should never be divided.

After all France and Holland came here so many years ago and claimed the land. Imagine if this was Holland move or that of France to keep us fighting each other then they would surely have succeeded in doing so. Government and parliament we should have demanded that Holland and France resolve the water rights issue rather sooner than later.

This government should realize whenever and or before one’s quest for political independence becomes a reality, the many eyes will be watching and observing. An island as unique as Sint Maarten – where two nations live in harmony and peace for so many years – the call for political independence by one side will trigger awareness on European level.

So I say to my people remember these common words: united we stand divided we fall.

Bienvenido Richardson