Lettre ouverte aux gouvernements français et néerlandais à l’occasion du St Martin’s Day, par le Drs Leopold James

Par Autre novembre 13, 2014 11:40

Lettre ouverte aux gouvernements français et néerlandais à l’occasion du St Martin’s Day, par le Drs Leopold James

To The Governments of France and The Netherlands

‘You helped remove the Berlin wall – do not erect one on St. Martin’

131114-StMartinOn Tuesday, November, 11 2014 once again, we the people of St. Martin North and South, (Officially Dutch and French St. Martin) will be celebrating our annual St. Martin Day.
The initiative to set aside this day as an island-wide holiday, was taken by the late dr. Claude Wathey and the late dr. Hubert Petit.
It was celebrated for the first time on November 11, 1959.
Both these gentlemen are considered as the legendary leaders and founding fathers of the post-colonial St. Martin nation.
In their wisdom and knowledge of their St. Martin people, they realized the importance of the unique relationship of the St. Martin People living on both sides of the island, who – over hundreds of years – have bonded as one people, despite being administered through different national and colonial governments.
Both the Dutch- and French Governments of the past have neglected the needs of the people after the abolition of slavery and only in recent years have shown renewed – albeit opportunistic interest based on their own agenda for the island.
For the record.
The St. Martin day was not meant to recognize-, nor celebrate any colonial reality, nor their authorities- and/or nationalities.
Also for the record.
As native St. Martiners, we duly respect our French and Dutch nationalities and their laws as the official laws of both sides of the island.
We are also grateful for whatever assistance we have thus far received and continue to receive from both France and from the Netherlands.
In addition, we pledge allegiance to these nations as long as we are part of their countries.
However, we as native, indigenous St. Martiners, whose ancestors survived the atrocities resulting from slavery, and who were forced to survive on their own after both the Dutch and French decided that the island was not worth their presence any longer – are very aware and conscious of our own specific, intrinsic cultural-identity and heritage as a people.
In addition, we realize that we are a people of one common history, of shared blood-lines, shared life-altering and historical experiences, shared sorrows and joys, shared succession – land on both sides of the island, shared everything defining of the native, indigenous St. Martiner.
The bond between all St. Martiners, be they Dutch and/or French citizens is INDIVISIBLE, SACRED to us and is worth making the ultimate sacrifice for.
It is what defines the native St. Martiner – EVERY St. Martiner – regardless of race and/or creed.
Recognizing- and preserving this critical and typical identity of the St. Martiner, is the reason, why both the late dr. Claude Wathey and dr. Hubert Petit came up with the idea to create the St. Martin day, back in late 1950’s.
In recent weeks, there have been reports circulating that some in the French Parliament might be considering annulling the Treaty of Concordia, which has been the official basis for our traditional freedom of movement in general for generations.
This Treaty – formulated by the then French – and Dutch authorities was aimed at creating a permanent situation of cooperation and sharing between the Dutch and French living on the island.
Without even wanting to know the details of this warped out-of-date colonial intention to cancel the Treaty – we suffice for now by advising those in charge not to go down that road – not in this day and age – it might turn out to be a very regrettable decision – not only for France, but for the region and beyond as well.
Now for the record again.
Regardless of whomever the treaty was initially designed to benefit – let the following be very clear.
For over 370 years, our native St. Martin people and our ancestors, have not only given the Treaty real CONTENT – we have surpassed it above and beyond and in fact we have become the ONLY very EMBODIMENT of the indivisible Oneness, the Freedom of movement, the USE of ALL natural- and other resources and services both sides of the island have to offer.
We have as a people, collectively been living that traditional St. Martin lifestyle for hundreds of years WITHOUT the objection or the resistance of either France and/or the Netherlands.
Not surprising naturally, because after the abolition of slavery, both the Dutch- and French had absolutely no use any more for the island, because there was nothing more to ‘pluck’.
Boy, oh boy how that lack of interest has changed in the last number of years – RE-COLONISATION is the new threat to what we built up over hundreds of years and to our very existence as a people.
As far as our traditional life-style over hundreds of years on the island is concerned, let be known that such has become COMMON LAW which can not simply be changed, nor ignored simply because France, or Holland would want to return to the old colonial days.
In November 1991 the last piece of the ‘iron curtain’ – the ‘Berlin wall fell.
Not on its own – but by the German people, who wanted to be re-united as one German people.
They were assisted by the US and most of the countries of Europe – INCLUDING France and the Netherlands.
It would therefore be in-conceivable, hypocritical and racist, if now 23 years after they helped remove the Berlin-wall, the SAME Dutch and/or France would even dare mention establishing a ‘Berlin-wall’ in the Caribbean to restore their colonial principles and reign.
Needless to emphasize that it will not go down very well to completely ignore and disrespect the traditional way of life as lived by all St. Martin people on this island for hundreds of years.
Instead, we appeal to the Governments of France and of the Netherlands to work along with the people of St. Martin in transforming our Common Law’s St. Martin Way of life into a formal St. Martin People Treaty.
That for others coming from OUTSIDE St. Martin, certain conditions might be considered for freely traveling between both sides and making use of the natural and other resources of both sides of the island – that will be another issue. .
After all, for people not from the island- they never receive papers (work- and residence papers) for both sides and thus-far have been enjoying privileges which , actually should be first given to native, indigenous St. Martiners. .
In ending, we wish all St. Martiners a very happy, conscious, empowering and inspiring St. Martin day and let us enjoy it among ourselves, while being great hosts to all those who are guests in our wonderful country.
Recommended reading; ”1963, A Landmark Year in St. Martin by Daniella Jeffrey.

Drs. Leopold James
President St. Martin Grassroots People Movement.

Copies to The UN Decolonisation-Committee, The US State-Department, The EU, The Bundes-Republic, Caricom etc.

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Par Autre novembre 13, 2014 11:40

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