Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 10th 2014 Contents GEISHA KOWLESSAR
Some ten religious leaders will meet
with leader of the Highway Re-Route
Movement (HRM) Dr Wayne Kublalsingh
today in a last ditch effort to convince him
to end his hunger strike.
The meeting is expected to take place
outside the gates of the Office of the Prime
Minister, St Clair.
The leaders, including the executive of
the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO), who
were locked in hours of discussion with
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar at
her office yesterday, hoped Kublalsingh s
life could be saved through their interven-
Kublalsingh completed Day 23 of his
hunger strike yesterday in protest against
the State s decision to continue the con-
struction of the Debe to Mon Desir leg of
the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension
to Point Fortin.
Addressing the media after discussions
with the IRO yesterday, Persad-Bissessar
made it clear the meeting was not to deal
with the highway or policy decisions.
"It is to deal with what I am very con-
cerned about, which is the sanctity of human
life, and therefore I asked the religious leaders
if they could in any way assist to help save
the life of Dr Kublalsingh, who seems intent
on self-imposed depravation," Persad-
She said matters relating to the highway
were being dealt with by the line minister
and president of the National Infrastructure
Development Company of Trinidad and
Tobago (Nidco) Dr Carson Charles.
"They are the ones who have the oversight
of that entire project. Some time was spent
explaining to our religious leaders the status
of that project and some of the views that
have been exchanged over time.
"But I want to emphasise again that my
concern here was to see what can be done
from our religious heads with respect to
trying to assist Dr Kublalsingh to save his
own life, together with whatever spiritual
guidance," Persad-Bissessar said.
IRO head Brother Harrypersad Maharaj,
who also spoke, said today s meeting would
focus on an alternative to the strike.
"We will meet with Dr Kublalsingh with
the hope to speak to him and we could share
with him about the importance of alterna-
tives to what he is doing. We are also pre-
pared to continue to pray with him.
"We are all very concerned and we share
the concern of the Prime Minister," Har-
But Secretary general of the Sanatan Dhar-
ma Maha Sabha (SDMS) Sat Maharaj said
no individual or no organisation should hold
the country to ransom.
On concerns from members of the public
that the Government was allowing Kublals-
ingh to die and the possible fallout of that,
"What could be the possible fallout of
that? Should the Government and the people
allow themselves to be blackmailed by one
group, one individual or anybody else? It
cuts both ways."
He described Kublalsingh s cause as a
magnet for the Opposition and even for the
"We have three daily newspapers, 39 radio
stations, you have weeklies and you fellas
just go around inventing stories to find the
stories and Kublalsingh was just the cheap
"It didn t cost you anything to get it. He
provided the copy...look at it that way,"
The T&T Guardian understands the Peo-
ple s National Movement leader Dr Keith
Rowley also met with Persad-Bissessar on
Wednesday to discuss ways to bring a res-
olution to the impasse. Rowley will hold a
press conference today to deal with the
IRO members initially tried to visit
Kublalsingh at the Maraval home of his
sister after their meeting with the PM but
when they got there they were told he was
His family said he was too weak to see
the heads, however, and asked that they
meet him outside the OPM today.
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
POST YOUR VIEWS ON ANY OF TODAY'S STORIES @ WWW.GUARDIAN.CO.TT
Dr Asante Van West Charles Le Blanc, the doc-
tor of leader of the Highway Re-Route Movement
(HRM) Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, has withdrawn her
services with immediate effect, saying it was too
difficult to witness the environmentalist waste
She said as a doctor she was sworn to preserve
life and from her observations Kublalsingh is dying.
"After many sleepless nights, endless conversations
with my mentor and advisers, it is with a very heavy
heart that I have to suspend my professional rela-
tionship with Dr Kublalsingh.
"I have informed him that I am more than happy
to continue medical treatment once he stops this
hunger strike. I am not threatening or coercing him
but rather being honest with him and myself," she
said in a press release yesterday.
Kublalsingh yesterday completed Day 23 of his
hunger strike in protest of the disputed Debe to
Mon Desir extension of the Solomon Hochoy High-
way to Point Fortin.
Van West Charles Le Blanc, who was also Kublals-
ingh s physician during his first hunger strike in
2012, said she believed there was no doubt Kublals-
ingh s life was in grave danger.
"In my mind it is no longer stable. It is critical
and there is no stability about it. We know there
is organ damage.
"Whether it is irreparable or irreversible, that has
to be determined when we do further testing. What
I have done is I have asked permission to have myself
recused from this," Van West Charles Le Blanc said.
She said a long established common law principle
upheld the right to individual self-determination,
including the choice to refuse treatment but she
admitted it was hard for her.
"The true clinical picture is not a pretty one, there
are no smokescreens or tricks, this citizen of Trinidad
and Tobago is dying. Owing to this, I have been
forced to reflect and have advised Dr Kublalsingh
that I am forced to take a step back," she added.
She said, however, Kublalsingh s strike was a
reflection of the critical situation that was before
"As a physician, I believe in preserving life as well
as death with dignity, but I am caught in a moral
and ethical crossroad and must make this difficult
decision. Dr Kublalsingh has expressed his under-
standing and has liberated me from my obligations,"
VanWest Charles Le Blanc added.
Despite his doctor s warnings, Kublalsingh said
he had no intention of stopping the strike but he
said he understood her position.
He added: "I just want to thank her because of
all the doctors in Trinidad she was the noblest and
bravest to come and assist me and come and talk
to the media and to talk accurately about the state
of my health.
"So I sent her my deepest respect and my deepest
love and I want to say to the nation that this does
not in any way deviate from our intention, which
is to request that the Prime Minister honour her
promise and review the Debe to Mon Desir highway.
I want to wish her all the best and I still love her
very much and I respect her nobility and her decision
in this matter."
Friday, October 10, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Religious heads to meet Wayne today...
Contacted yesterday, Kublalsingh
said he welcomed the meeting and
was eager to hear what the religious
leaders had to say.
"I do not know what they are gong
to say but I will be open to hear what
they have to say.
"But the Prime Minister must
remember it was she and not the
religious leaders who made a promise
with us and that promise is reiterated
in the Armstrong Report," he added.
Doctor steps aside
from treating him
PM hopes they
can save his life
for 09TH OCTOBER, 2014
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar shakes hands with Roman Catholic Archbishop
Joseph Harris as IRO president Harrypersad Maharaj looks on after a meeting at the
Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair, yesterday. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
Links Archive October 9th 2014 October 11th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page