PHILIPSBURG--United Democrats (UD) Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams has sent a letter to Parliament requesting an urgent meeting of the Constitutional and Decolonization Committee.
Wescot-Williams’ said her letter comes after several days of email correspondence from Pro Soualiga Foundation (PSF) on different matters, particularly on the topic of decolonisation. “The most recent communication from the foundation actually advises Parliament why it cannot/should not retract its decolonisation stance,” she said.
In her letter Wescot-Williams said she has been receiving emails from Denicio Brison, sometimes in a personal capacity and other times as PSF president.
“Mr. Denicio Brison usually concludes his communication with the request for comments and/or feedback from the MPs. Several of Mr. Brison’s emails regard the matter of decolonisation. It would appear that Mr. Brison, aforementioned, is acting in some sort of advisory capacity,” she said.
Wescot-Williams asked whether this is the case and if so whether the relationship has anything to do with Parliament’s motion of November 5, 2020.
“Given point number three of this motion, the Parliament of St. Maarten endorses the initiative and legal actions of Foundation Pro Soualiga related to the decolonisation of the former Netherlands Antilles, as well as the private initiative in Curaçao with a comparable objective. Has this decision by Parliament been communicated to the foundation in any formal way? If so, how and what was exactly communicated?” she asked.
“What rights, if any, can the PSF derive from this motion? Will these exchanges and/or documentation be(come) part of Parliament’s official records? Is there any emolument (payment) to the Foundation involved, based on the motion? If so, what is/are the payment(s)? Does the Parliament foresee any other cost involved with the endorsement of the initiative and legal actions of the foundation? If so, what is/are the projected cost(s)?” she queried.
She also asked whether any payments have been made in connection with the endorsement of the foundation’s initiative and legal actions as per the motion of November 5 and if so, how much and for what.
Wescot-Williams has requested that an urgent meeting of the Constitutional and Decolonization Committee of Parliament be convened to provide answers to these questions.
“For the record, I will not be engaging with the Pro Soualiga Foundation until this matter is clear and even then not unless these discussions are part of Parliament’s routine and records, as they ought to be. I think that this matter warrants a meeting during the Christmas recess, as it will influence the negotiations for the much-needed liquidity assistance/loans from the Netherlands,” she said.
“Was it fair that [Dutch State Secretary for Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond – Ed.] Knops made the matter of decolonisation a negotiation point? It surely made me cringe to realise the position we find ourselves in. Truth be told, though, we have no firm or convincing stance on the matter. One day it is the Kingdom Charter that is the Achilles heel, the next day it is the fulfilment of the UN’s criteria for colonised territories.
“Say what you may about our Parliaments of the past, say what you may about the verbiage of our MPs (myself included), but I have never experienced a Parliament being openly led by others with total disregard for democracy and the people we serve. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the lofty expressions to create a committee to discuss the constitutional future of our country were but a smokescreen to give the Presidium of Parliament a free hand with the motion of November 5.”