Friday, December 15, 2017

Kublalsingh to media: Remind PM for me


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On day 13 of his hunger strike, environmental activist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh yesterday asked the media to send a direct message to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

While saying he would have preferred to have a "face to face" conversation with her following her statements about him in Debe on Monday night, Kublalsingh wanted to jog the Persad-Bissessar's memory on her promise to halt the work on the Debe to Mon Desir section of the highway pending the assessment studies and reports.

While he admitted the group does have a copy of a document from the Government, he said it does not contain the cost benefit analysis, the hydrological study or the social impact assessment as was expected and promised by the Prime Minister.

"I wish to reiterate for your memory and for the memory of the nation what has transpired as far as the review of the Debe to Mon Desir section of the highway. You promised to do a review and put the project on hold. Well the project was not put on hold. You agreed to halt the project and do a review and we were very happy for that, only we noticed that works continued apace," Kublalsingh said.

Kublalsingh said the cost benefit analysis, the hydrological study and the social impact assessment was not done despite what Persad-Bissessar said on the platform in Debe.

While he said he did not hear hers or Minister of National Security Jack Warner's words against him, he detailed the meetings he and his team had with the Government, which he said included one initial meeting with Persad-Bissessar in March when she agreed to halt the project, a second one with Warner as the Works Minister, which ended without completion because of the large Government contingent in that committee and then a third two weeks later, when Warner said he had completed the reports.

"They could not take two weeks to complete a cost benefit analysis. We asked for a copy of the report and we did not get it. Nevertheless, we went and presented our position again and at the end of the meeting they presented a report prepared by NIDCO (National Infrastructure Development Company Ltd), not by us, not by any independent body, but by NIDCO," he said.

Kublalsingh said that the five page report was a "rehash" of the same report NIDCO provided initially.

Kublalsingh was visited by Movement for Social Justice leader David Abdulah, Oilfields Workers' Trade Union leader Ancel Roget and chief executive officer of the Government Information Service Ltd (GISL) Andy Johnson.

Though Johnson was visiting in a personal capacity, he expressed solidarity with Kublalsingh's cause and promised to take Kublalsingh's message to the Prime Minister.

Kublalsingh repeated that he would not eat or drink anything until a review is done. He intends to continue day 14 of his hunger strike today.