Committee of ‘Wise Men” to start work in third week of July

Former Governor Fredis Refunjol is one of the two “wise men” appointed by The Hague to the committee to investigate the troubled relation between Oranjestad and The Hague. Photo: xclusivomagazine.com

Kraledijk/Oranjestad -The communication service of the Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland (RCN) says in a press release of June 9, 2017 that in accordance with the agreements between the Island Government of St. Eustatius, and the Secretary-General of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations a Committee of Wise men, consisting of Mr. Franssen and Mr. Refunjol, will be doing research into the functioning of the Public Entity of St. Eustatius.

The Committee, according to the information supplied, will visit the island several times to hold talks with stakeholders within the public administration and beyond. The release states that first visit takes place from July 13th until July 21st. The preparation of the program is still being worked on.

The press release says that the Committee will soon issue a personal invitation to stakeholders to invite them for conversation. Nevertheless, the Committee would like to speak to any person who wants to and have the need for this. That is why the necessary flexibility will be built into the program. Within short, according to RCN, it will be made publicly known how people interested to speak to the Committee can contact them. The release states that discussions held with the Committee are ‘of course’ confidential. The press release also states that the Committee expects ultimately in September to present a report of its findings.

The appointment of members to the committee of ‘wise men’ in itself has become topic of discussion as observers expected that the committee would be comprised of one person named by The Hague and one named by local government on Statia. However, in the end it turns out that both persons, both Refunjol and VVD-politicion Franssen have been named to the committee, much to the dismay of the PLP/Merkman coalition.

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