Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Kublalsingh OK if PM accepts JCC plan


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Environmental activist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh will end his hunger strike if the Prime Minister agrees to the Joint Consultative Council's (JCC's) proposal.

After 15 days without food and water, Kublalsingh remained motionless for most of the day yesterday, only moving with help sometimes to and from the ambulance to his seat.

"I feel it is a very good proposal and we just have to wait and hear what the Prime Minister says about it. In the meantime we wait," Kublalsingh said.

"Once that committee is properly constituted and once I see it is independent and we have participation and she undertakes to do that significant review, I would step down from the hunger strike," he added.

While Kublalsingh's integral support team was still in attendance and there were several new faces with Re-Route T-shirts, he said it seemed the suffering had moved from Debe to outside the Prime Minister's office and after more than two weeks, it has not triggered a response from the Prime Minister.

He seemed ready to change tactics at one point and even asked his supporters for advice.

"If anyone has a suggestion as to what next, let me know," he said.

"We have transferred the suffering from up there (Debe) to here and it hasn't stopped. We have kind of reached toward the end of ideas, it is like we have reached the end of a chess game and we don't know which knob to push again," he said.

He said though he had already "gone past" the urge for food and water; he was concerned that his family and his supporters were beginning to wilt under the strained conditions of the hunger strike.

"I see you all suffering and I don't think that is fair," he said.

"We are all part of this action and when I came out of the ambulance just now I got the distinct impression that they were all suffering and the purpose of this action is to avoid suffering," he said.

He said the heat was the worst part of the hunger strike as the police had barred the group from setting up the tent they used in the first week.

"They took away our tent and that's not fair and we have to resolve that problem. This is a test of the Government to show how insensitive they are, their insensitivity is radically displayed," he said.

While several people came forward with various merits and demerits of his continued hunger strike, there were no suggestions on what to do next.

Head of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), David Abdulah, told him that the "conscience of the nation has already been awakened" by his actions.

"But what do we do now, David?" Kublalsingh asked.

"I am not going to stop and if I have to sit here by myself, I would do it," he told one family member who suggested he move from outside the Prime Minister's office and find a more comfortable place for his hunger strike.

"I have to remain here. You see if I'm out of here, I'm out of her conscience and they would say I am eating food home," he said.

Kublalsingh also apologised to Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan for cursing at him during his visit last Monday. Kublalsingh said while he was sorry for the words he used, he was not sorry for how he behaved.

"He was out of place to come and provide a Government ambulance. We have a private ambulance that is funded by my family and relatives and we don't really want the State to provide anything. I think it was a way of mamaguying me to say that the State is interested in me and interested in my health," he said.

Kublalsingh said he would try to inject a happier mood at the strike camp by bringing a few tents and some soft drinks for the supporters.

"We will bring ice and drinks and celebrate," he said.

Despite Kublalsingh's plans, police stationed nearby said he was not going to be allowed to put tents up near the Prime Minister's office.