Sunday, February 18, 2018

Kublalsingh: Put pressure on PM


PRAYING: Highway Re-Route Movement leader Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, centre, says prayers with supporters during day three of his hunger strike near Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar's residence in Phillipine yesterday. —Photo: INNIS FRANCIS

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TAKE up your bed and revolt.

That was the advice given by Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, leader of the Highway Re-Route Movement, to the group's members yesterday.

Kublalsingh has embarked on a hunger strike in protest against work being carried out on the Debe to Mon Desir section of the San Fernando to Point Fortin Highway. The dispute over that area is before the High Court and to mark his disgust, Kublalsingh has not eaten or drank anything since Thursday morning.

Approximately 30-plus people spent the day yesterday in front of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar's private residence in Phillipine, hoping that she would contact them.

Kublalsingh said: "We don't expect to meet with her today but we at least expect her to contact us in some form or fashion and treat with the matter in some form or fashion."

The leader of the group said he will not be as vocal about the Point Fortin Highway issue in the future and encouraged the members to be persistent.

He said: "It is up to you to put pressure on the Prime Minister and if she refuses take up your bed and revolt. They (citizens) cannot be looking at Kublalsingh and a minority of people to do their work for them."

The strength residents used to build the 13 communities in the Debe to Mon Desir area should be the same strength they should use to preserve them, Kublalsingh said.

He said because Persad- Bissessar knew many of the people in the area, she should be "sensitive to the needs of the people".

He said the Prime Minister should keep her promise to the group that work would not begin until several environmental and hydrological studies were completed.

The environmentalist said he will be "sitting, watching, praying and fasting unrelentlessly until the Prime Minister does something about the issue".

Kublalsingh said the lack of food and water in the past three days did not affect him up to yesterday, but he is unsure about today and tomorrow.

"I don't know how my body will deal with dehydration. I have never done anything like this before. We have a team of competent persons around, a nurse and a pharmacist, and I think they will know what to do if I faint or lose consciousness."

Tomorrow, the group intends to set up camp again in front of the Prime Minister's Office in St Clair.

—with reporting

by Innis Francis