Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Kublalsingh starts hunger strike in 12 days
Highway Reroute Movement (HRM) leader Dr Wayne Kublalsingh says he will begin another hunger strike in 12 days if Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar does not abide by recommendations of the Armstrong Report.
Speaking at a press conference at HRM’s camp at Gopie Trace, Penal, yesterday, Kublalsingh said the restart of work last week on the Penal Interchange “is the beast that has come to dig a dagger in our heart.” He said on Wednesday he would hold another press conference at the gates of the Office of the Prime Minister and deliver a letter to her outlining the HRM’s position and the terms of the hunger strike.
Asked if his members and family were supporting the hunger strike, Kublalsingh said, “Nobody wants it. Everybody is reluctant. I think some members will be there and some members will not be there.” He added, “When I go on the hunger strike I wish the Prime Minister to respect my body. To not come and touch it, to not arrest it, to not put it in prison, or in hospital. They must respect what we are doing and respect my body.
“I ask the nation to respect what I am doing and respect the principles we are fighting for and do not interfere with my body at all. That will take its course and I think God will take over at a certain point when he wants.” Kublalsingh said Persad-Bissessar had promised him in March 2012 to put the Mon Desir-to-Debe leg of the highway on hold and conduct a review
“That’s what she told us but what happened? It’s not the promise of a sweetie. It’s not the promise of a fancy hat, or a bottle of water. It’s a promise to protect rich ecological socially valued economic assets. What happened? “We’ve been sitting in front of the PM’s office for 175 days now between the hours of 7 am and 2 pm. They have not met with us. They have started works and they have continued works.”
Just before the start of Kublalsingh’s press conference, supporters of the Mon Desir-to-Debe leg of the $7.5 billion Solomon Hochoy Highway Extension to Point Fortin protested with placards near the camp. Kublalsingh said he held no animosity towards them as they too were citizens and had a right to express their views.