01 November 2011

Bonaire protests during Dutch officials short visit


picture by Edsel Sambo

KRALENDIJK — De emoties laaiden even hoog op tijdens het bezoek van de Tweede Kamerleden aan Bonaire. Ze werden opgewacht door demonstranten, die tevens het Passangrahan met leuzen hadden besmeurd.

The demonstrators had signs with slogans, protesting against the current situation on the island. Everything has become more expensive and the situation has not improved since the island became a Public Body of The Netherlands.

The chairmen of the parliamentary parties were on the island for only a few hours. They had cut down the visit due to a debate on the Euro top, scheduled for Saturday in The Hague. Not only did the parliamentarians speak with the Board of Governors in the Administrative Office, but also with youngster’ representatives from several organizations, Radio Netherlands World Broadcast reported.

Melanie Soliana was one of the youngsters allowed to speak with the parliamentarians. “It was only this week that I heard I was allowed to speak with them. That didn’t leave us much time so we were unable to raise every issue, which is a pity. Many things have changed due to the new situation. The prices have gone up, there’s more crime and that causes stress within families.”


The chairmen of the parliamentary parties appreciated the youngsters’ meeting. “We haven’t had such a meeting on any island and the youngsters give energy,” Chamber chairperson Gerdi Verbeet stated enthusiastically. “It’s beautiful to learn what they are doing and what their plans are.” Melanie thinks the parliamentarians now have a better idea of what’s happening on Bonaire. “I believe we could have given more details if we had had more time.”

Several dozen protestors carrying signs were chanting slogan, when the chairmen of the parliamentary parties left the Administrative Office. The latter took the time to talk with the protestors. One Bonairean, who was especially concerned about the Dutch laws on euthanasia and the homo marriage, unexpectedly met a supporter, the Christian Chamber member Kees van der Staay. “It may surprise you, but we of the SGP also oppose this,” the SGP-member said. “I am not seated in the government, but I’m a delegate of the people also on your behalf, so I will convey this message when I return to The Hague.”