Environmentalist vows to continue hunger strike

sherieholder, sherieholder@nationnews.com

Added 28 November 2012

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Nov 28, CMC – Environmentalist Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh said Wednesday he would continue his hunger strike outside the office of the prime minister even as his doctors urged him to check himself into a medical facility. The University of the West Indies (UWI) lecturer is into the 14th day of the hunger strike to force the Trinidad and Tobago government to re-route part of the multi-billion dollar highway from San Fernando to Point Fortin, south of here. Kublalsingh, 53, who heads the Highway Re-route Movement (HRM), told reporters that his doctors fear he could have multiple organ failure and that he should be admitted immediately to a hospital. But he said he would be relying on his instinct as to whether or not she should seek medical advice. “They want to do some tests to test the integrity of my organs,” he said, noting that his medical team is “nervous about organ failure...but all my blood signs are okay. “I will rely on my own instincts to determine when I leave here,” he added. Late Tuesday, Dr Asanti Charles Le Blanc told reporters that Kublalsingh is at risk for multiple organ failure and that she is detecting signs of impending kidney failure. “He has muscle wasting, he has lost a great deal of muscle as you would have noticed which is leading to further protein in the urine and further breakdown of the kidneys and also the liver,” she said, noting that his body  is “fighting” to preserve vital organs”. The HRM in a statement said that it has always been in favour of the construction of the San Fernando to Point Fortin highway. But has difficulty with the Debe to Mon Desir link to the main highway which will push through the Oropuche Lagoon. “It is this particular segment of the highway for which they recommended a substantive review including a social impact assessment, a hydrological study, and a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed construction. A review of these proposed works by an Independent body is what had been requested, and was agreed to by the Prime Minister,” the group said in a statement. It said that the Kamla Persad Bissessar administration claims to have satisfied the promise of the technical review, but has labelled the process “a farce and a public relations gimmick”. “To date no technical reports have been provided to the HRM on hydrology, environmental and social impact, or cost benefit,”  the HRM said, noting that a report waved at a public meeting by Prime Minister Persad Bissessar on Monday night “is actually part of the evidence filed by the HRM in the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago, substantiating its claim that there was no further “technical data” provided by the government, further to March 16th 2012”.  

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