St. Eustatius to file international protest against the Netherlands

POSTED: 10/17/11 11:39 AM

ORANJESTAD – The Commissioner of Economic Affairs in St. Eustatius Clyde van Putten will use today’s meeting between the Executive Council and visiting faction leaders from the Dutch Second Chamber to protest the “condescending, arrogant, take-it-or-leave-it” behavior of the Dutch government. St. Eustatius, along with Saba and Bonaire, became a public entity on October 10, 2010.

The chief complaints in St. Eustatius are that the islanders are not being allowed to reach a standard of living equal to their counterparts in the Netherlands, healthcare, and an attitude from the Dutch government that the people in St. Eustatius should be kept as beggars.
“The Dutch Government always stresses that the constitutional reform was in the first place aimed at improving the lives of the population on the islands. However, the hard reality one year after the transition is that those same populations feel like second-class citizens of The Netherlands who are being held to certain standards overnight when it’s convenient to the Dutch
Government, like those related to financial accountability, while being denied other equal standards like healthcare by that same Dutch Government,” van Putten wrote in a statement.
Because of the “deep dissatisfaction and disappointment” islanders feel and that is reflected in a report by the Christian Union the Government of St. Eustatius, based on a mandate from the Island Council intends to plead its case in international forums. Preliminary consultations have already been held with local and regional legal and constitutional experts to build the case that will be presented to international bodies that examine human rights, the right to self-determination, equal treatment of citizens within a nation and who monitor the implementation of treaties.
“If need be based on the outcome of this exercise, St. Eustatius will demand that the Dutch Government be held accountable for failing to live up to its colonial obligations and be sanctioned accordingly,” van Putten states.

Next to the meeting with officials like the Executive Council, the faction leaders will also meet islanders to hear their concerns directly.
“It is my hope that the visiting fraction leaders will really listen to our concerns, as they promised they would, and take a strong message back to The Netherlands that its government needs to become a fair, transparent, and reliable partner to the Dutch Public Entity of St. Eustatius and treat its population the way they deserve to be treated,” Van Putten states.

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