Friday, February 23, 2018

UPDATE - Resolution Possible in Highway Hunger Strike

...Kublalsingh wife - "he is not going to die"


Dr Wayne Kublalsingh on Monday, day 19 of his hunger strike outside the Office of the Prime Minister at St Clair, Port of Spain - Photo by Anisto Alves

Anisto Alves

HIGHWAY Hunger striker Dr Wayne Kublalsingh has agreed to conditionally accept the draft proposal submitted by the Joint Consultative Council (JCC) and the Works and Infrastructure Ministry.

His conditions include the addition of a clarification on whether the highway construction work will stop or continue during the time the JCC undertakes the independent review, and that a cost benefit analysis, hydrological report and social impact assessment also be undertaken.

"The terms of reference (of the proposal) should include the provision that oral and written submissions be made to the committee by the HRM (Highway Re Route Movement) as well as other members of the Mon Desir to Debe communities," he said.

Kublalsingh arrived at the makeshift strike camp outside the Prime Minister's office in St Clair and was greeted by a handful of Highway Re Route Movement members just after 11 a.m today, before settling into a chair.

He read out a prepared statement by the HRM saying that the group was "grateful" for the intervention and mediation by the JCC, FITUN, Working Women for Social Progress and the TTTI but was hopeful that his own parameters would be included.

""I am optimistic once there is a good outcome which accepts our submissions, we will end this act," he said.

He said he was convinced that the meeting process between the groups would continue today and expected further communication on the final decision.

"We expect further outcome of this process before we terminate our action here," he said.

Kublalsingh is still wrapped in warm clothing and has refusal to accept even maintenance intravenous fluids until the matter is resolved. He said he was optimistic that a resolution was not far off.

"I expect within two to three days this action should be finished," he said, adding that he felt strong enough to survive till then.

But while Kublalsingh stated he was prepared to die for this cause, his wife, Dr Sylvia Moodie-Kublalsingh was adamant that he would not.

"He is not going to die," she said as she visited with him yesterday.

This is her third public visit in the past 20 days of her husband's hunger strike.

She said she has read the draft proposal between the Joint Consultative Council and the Works Ministry but was not impressed.

"The main statement we would like to have seen, we haven't seen that," she said.

- The following is the agreement reached between the JCC and other civil society organisations, and the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure.

1. Nidco undertook to make available to the JCC all the relevant documentation in its possession on the project in respect of the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the highway extension.

2. The JCC undertook to examine all the documentation on the project provided by Nidco and all other relevant documentation and to produce a report within 60 days from yesterday's date to Nidco for its consideration and its publication thereafter.

3. Work will continue on sites of the highway released to the contractor.