Second hunger strike
PORT OF SPAIN – Environmental activist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh is set to begin hunger strike number two outside the Office of the Prime Minister in Port of Spain today.
Kublalsingh is confident the Highway Re-Route Movement will secure an injunction to stop the Debe-to-Mon Desir segment of the San Fernando highway extension to Point Fortin when the matter is called before the Privy Council.
However, until that matter is heard, he said yesterday he would continue his struggle to convince Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar the Debe-to-Mon Desir segment of the highway should be re-routed.
“The matter is going before the Privy Council. I think we can be very successful at the Privy Council, but we have a date for late September. And in the meantime the Government is doing work on the ground, so we really can’t wait for that,” he said.
Kublalsingh said he was prepared to abide by the ruling of the Privy Council, “but that does not mean that we can’t use other means – peaceful, diplomatic means – to still try to resolve the problem”.
Kublalsingh intends going on the hunger strike although his family and supporters have expressed concerns about his health.
“I don’t think anyone really wants this. I had to help them try to understand. They don’t support it. I myself don’t support the idea of a hunger strike. My son, my wife don’t support it, but I think this is necessary,” he said, admitting he was aware his body may not survive another 21-day hunger strike, “but I will try my best to go day to day and to survive it. I think I have the ability to survive it”.
His demise, Kublalsingh said, would be at the hands of Persad-Bissessar as she is the only person who can prevent the hunger strike.
He said Persad-Bissessar needs to respond to his letter which outlines the available options for the Debe-to-Mon Desir segment.
“I sincerely believe the construction of the highway can be stopped now. The Prime Minister can resolve this issue,” he said.
In 2012, Kublalsingh embarked on a 21-day hunger strike to stop the construction of the controversial segment of the multi-million-dollar highway. And earlier this year the movement suffered two legal defeats within a three-month period.
The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from the lobby group challenging the decision of High Court Judge James Aboud, who rejected the group’s application for an injunction in early May.
Kublalsingh and his supporters will assemble today at noon, when he will begin his hunger strike. (Trinidad Express)