MP Heyliger: “The Dutch keep terrorizing our little country” : Constitution Day triggers calls for independence

POSTED: 09/23/15 6:53 PM


St. Maarten – Parliament unanimously approved changes to several ordinances to establish the second Monday of October as Constitution Day, an official holiday. Under this legislation. Kingdom Day (December 15) will disappear from the local holiday-calendar. While approving the legislation was a formality, several MPs used the opportunity to express their sentiment about the country’s road towards independence.

“Moving towards the end goal – independence – it makes sense to move away from a day that celebrates that we are a part of the Kingdom,” National Alliance faction leader William Marlin said. “In June 2000 the majority voted for getting out of the Netherlands Antilles, but most thought it was not the right time yet for independence. We took a pit stop on our journey towards independence.”

Marlin referred to “the unilateral decision of the Netherlands not to dispense all the funds for debt relief to St. Maarten” while the territory needed the money more than Curacao did. “Curacao had it all to start a country – they inherited it. For St. Maarten, it was an uphill battle.”

“Independence is inevitable,” UP faction leader Franklin Meyers observed. “Let us lay the foundation for it now.”

Meyers noted that there are “no Dutch in jail here. That cannot be, they cannot always be right.”

NA-MP Christophe Emmanuel noted that he has always reckoned on “independence by 2020.”

“We have seen what the true intentions of the Dutch are during the past two years,” MP Theo Heyliger said. “They even wanted to change the color of our passport. We need to teach our young people what the Cft is all about. We have to teach them that the Dutch do not contribute to our budget.”

Heyliger said that the country “needs to start moving forward. We have given our autonomy away; the Dutch have hijacked our democracy. Foreign investors don’t want to do business here because of all the stories that are out there about St. Maarten. The Dutch keep terrorizing our little country. We even live in fear of being seen talking together.”

MP Frans Richardson joined the chorus with an initiative that found support from UP-faction leader Meyers. “We have to seriously look at renaming the Princess Juliana International airport into the Vance James Jr. International airport. People would appreciate this. Too often it is forgotten who brought us where we are today. We have to give our leaders recognition.”

Richardson expressed his support for the road towards independence. “People say that we will lose our Dutch passport, that we will lose this, and that we will lose that. But a passport is only a travel document. That’s all it is.”

MP Heyliger recalled a lunch he once shared with Vance James Jr. “He pushed for a restructured Netherlands Antilles. He said: it is better to have a restructured Netherlands Antilles than having to deal with the Dutch ourselves. And look where we are today. When I returned to the island, I noticed two Marechaussees standing behind our immigration officers, looking over their shoulders. When I went to the Netherlands, they asked me how long I was going to stay and I said, hey, I am Dutch. No you’re not, they told me. You are Antillean.”




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