Published On: Fri, Oct 16th, 2020

Pro Soualiga Foundation is grasping at straws with letter to Cft

PHILIPSBURG – After its defeat in the Court in First Instance on October 9, the Pro Soualiga Foundation sent a letter to the chairman of financial supervisor Cft asking that it ceases operations because the Cft “might be in violation of the international rule of law.” The claims the foundation’s secretary Renate Brison makes in this letter have already been dismissed as invalid in court, so chances that Cft-chairman Raymond Gradus will honor the request are zero.

“The Kingdom Charter was not enacted in a manner consistent with the right of peoples to self-determination,” the letter, dated October 14, states. “We know this with absolute certainty because the United Nations (….) refused to state that the people of the Netherlands Antilles exercised their right of self-determination.”

This claim was dismissed by the Court in first Instance in a ruling of October 22, 2019, against Clyde van Putten and four other members of the Island Council and Executive Council of Statia: “Statia reached a full measure of self-governance in 1954,” the court ruled. Since Statia was at the time part of the Netherlands Antilles, this judgment also applies to St. Maarten.

Furthermore, the ruling contains the following observation: “It is a fact that the population of Statia, as part of the Netherlands Antilles, has exercised its right to self-determination during the establishment of the Kingdom Charter. It has freely chosen not to become an independent state but to become part of the legal order within the kingdom, as established in the Kingdom Charter.”

The foundation’s letter also makes a reference to a written statement from the Kingdom of the Netherlands that was part of an advisory opinion about the Chagos Islands (a group of seven atolls in the Indian Ocean with a population of 3,000). In that statement, Brison writes in his letter, the Kingdom “repeatedly characterized the right to self-determination as a customary norm of international law in the same category as slavery and genocide.”

The Court in First Instance declared the foundation inadmissible on October 9 in its quest to forbid the kingdom from establishing the kingdom law Caribbean Reform Entity. The court dismissed the foundation’s argument that the above mentioned written statement was sufficient to handle its case. In other words, the advisory opinion about the Chagos Islands has nothing to do with the case at hand.

In spite of all this the foundation wrote to the Cft: “We request you to kindly refrain from exercising any authority based on the Cft as Het Statuut (the Kingdom Charter – ed.) on which in turn it is based, is clearly an invalid document. Acting contrary to this request implies acting with impunity or callous disregard for the rule of international law.”

The letter ends with a reference to an opinion of the International Court of Justice that concludes that “the decolonization of Mauritius was not conducted consistent with the right of peoples to self-determination.”

The foundation applies this rule without much ado to St. Maarten: “It implies that your continued presence on St. Maarten is also an unlawful act.”

The foundation completely ignores the court rulings that have found its claims invalid in the last sentence of its letter: “We are prepared to share with you all the original documentation in our possession which will convince you of the correctness of our stance in this matter.”


Related links:
Letter to the Editor: Rebuttal to this article
Pro Soualiga Foundation letter to CFT
Court declares lawsuit Pro Soualiga Foundation inadmissible
Foundation asks court to declare Kingdom Charter unlawful
Clyde van Putten/St. Eustatius dossier