Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Kublalsingh threatens another hunger strike
Leader of the Highway Re-Route Movement (HRM) Dr Wayne Kublalsingh says he intends to camp outside the office of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar until the next general election in 2015 unless she explains why his concerns about the Debe to Mon Desir section of the Point Fortin highway have not been addressed. He said it was also possible he might go on another hunger strike.
Speaking at a press conference outside the Prime Minister’s Office, St Clair, yesterday Kublalsingh said if he did go on another hunger strike the nation would not like it. He added: “That’s a possibility but I don’t want to contemplate that at the moment. The nation will not like that. It’s too ugly for everyone. It’s not a nice thing. This time, if it does happen, it will lead to an ultimate event.” Asked what that meant, Kublalsingh said he would let the Prime Minister think about the meaning of an “ultimate event.”
“It’s either she abides by the voice of vested interest or the voice of scientific rational experts,” Kublalsingh added. He said the independent review, headed by former Independent Senator Dr James Armstrong, must no longer be ignored. The result of that review was a report which showed negative effects of the construction of the section, it was stated.
Posing questions to Persad-Bissessar Kublalsingh asked: “Are you going to abide by the Armstrong report? Are you going to await the decision of the court before you do any work between Debe and Mon Desir?” Kublalsingh said for any kind of project on which the Government wanted to embark, especially a mega project, there must be transparency and sound and viable economic development.
“The Armstrong report is a significant landmark development and it calls on the Government to abide by processes. We have had this problem since the 1960s... vie-ki-vie planning,” Kublalsingh said. He said tomorrow would make it 40 days since he began camping again outside the Prime Minister’s Office. Last year he went on a 21-day hunger strike to stop construction of that section of the highway.
Rosanna Farmer, an environmentalist and supporter of Kublalsingh, who also spoke yesterday, said on Wednesday afternoon she had dropped off a letter listing the concerns of the HRM and a copy of the Armstrong report to all Cabinet ministers. A part of the letter read: “We hope you are aware this contention is now seven years old, having started in 2005.
“We are regretful to the extreme that, in view of the high degree of contention on this matter and its very long history, no genuine meeting of the minds between the State and our citizens has yet taken place.” Farmer said when she went to the Parliament’s post office to deliver the documents, which were in sealed envelopes, a clerk asked from whom they were.
When she said they were from the HRM, Farmer said, the clerk said they were “too controversial to deliver,” and she got a call yesterday, saying the HMR must come back to get the letters and post them.
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