TRINIDAD-Not backing out
HRM head Kublalsingh bedridden but wants to go the distance
PORT OF SPAIN – Although seemingly bedridden and too weak to move, leader of the Highway Re-Route Movement (HRM) Dr Wayne Kublalsingh remains resolute that he will not back out of a second hunger strike which began over a month ago.
The environmentalist, who has been reduced to mere skin and bones, is also adamant he is not afraid to die.
Lying on a bed facing east, Kublalsingh yesterday completed Day 36 without food or water in protest against the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the Point Fortin Highway.
“Even if you face immortality and stare it in the face you have to do it,” Kublalsingh said in a strained voice.
“In our history, many times men have faced immortality, death in fact, and have relented and I don’t intend to be afraid of immortality. I’m very calm and I’m very firm that I am prepared at any time to face the immortal.”
Barely able to lift himself from the bed, Kublalsingh said he was now unable to do the simple tasks, like taking salt water baths and going into his wife’s garden to meditate, which had brought him great peace and was the basis of his sustenance since he began the strike.
When the T&T Guardian visited his D’Abadie home around 5 pm yesterday, Kublalsingh said he had not had a bath for the day as he felt very dizzy when he stood up.
“I don’t want to stand up too much because if I do I get dizzy spells. I haven’t been to the garden today (yesterday) because my legs have become pretty weak.
“I don’t want to go out into the streets because I’m afraid that I faint and make a spectacle of myself. So I just prefer to lie down here,” Kublalsingh added.
Speaking slowly and slurred at times, he said if he did not “go the distance” he would be unhappy.
Life, he added, must have a sense of fulfilment.
“The hunger strike continues. There is too much at risk,” he said.
“Government seems intent on acquiring and destroying huge social and economic assets without doing proper accounting and following process.
“The resources that would be destroyed belong to persons that are very poor, middle class and very wealthy persons, so all classes are at risk here and if we do not fight and stop them now it’s a battle we would have to fight in the future.”
During the interview he was closely monitored by his wife, Dr Sylvia Moodie-Kublalsingh, who declined to speak to the media.
Kublalsingh also demanded that Government account for huge financial assets, including that of the Treasury.
Regarding comments posted on social media he was dying, Kublalsingh said that could be halted if Government changed its mind and decided to adhere to the recommendations in the Armstrong report.
“I think if the Government comes to its senses and meets with the civil society organisations and independent professional organisations… many of them who are lining up to talk to them on this matter… and accept the process of bringing all the parties together and finding the best way forward, that could be prevented… let’s see who wins,” Kublalsingh said.
His personal physician, Dr Asante Van West Charles Le Blanc, stopped treating him two weeks ago and advised him to go immediately to the hospital.
But Kublalsingh said yesterday having a doctor was the furthest thing from his mind.
“I have told my wife I will not be seeking any medical help… no doctors, nurses or ambulances, nothing of the sort,” he said.
Dr Wayne Kublalsingh’s apparently worsening condition has raised concern in the HRM camp outside the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in St Clair.
Yesterday he said it was difficult to say if and when he would return to the camp as he no longer had the physical strength to do so.
But a handful of his supporters who were present yesterday at the campsite yesterday remained resolute in the cause.
Bianca Bedoe, 29, who was the 11th of Project 40 group to go on a 24-hour hunger strike in support of the cause, said she made the decision because she “wanted to walk and talk the talk when it came to standing up for transparency and ethical conduct.”
Saying she felt a kind of helplessness and hopeless among people her age, Bedoe said complaining was not going to change anything. Having just returned from London she said she decided to “take the plunge” for what was right.
Speaking at the opening of the Golconda interchange yesterday, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar urged Kublalsingh to seek medical treatment. She again said Government would not yield to his demands.
The HRM will today hold a second candlelight vigil for Kublalsingh at Nelson Mandela Park, St Clair, from 5 pm.