Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 11th 2014 Contents GEISHA KOWLESSAR
Leader of the Highway Re-Route
Movement (HRM) Dr Wayne
Kublalsingh was yesterday
unmoved by prayers and pleas from
various members of the Inter-Reli-
gious Organisations (IRO) who
implored him to give up his hunger
Instead, Kublalsingh advised the
members to return to Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar and tell her
mediation was the only answer to
Around noon yesterday, the IRO
team, led by its president Brother
Harripersad Maharaj and including
Episcopal Archbishop Barbara Gray-
Burke, Bishop Albon Daniel Dean,
Mother Joan Isis and Pundits Surju
Mukram and Ramdeo Maharaj, vis-
ited Kublalsingh s camp outside the
Office of the Prime Minister in St
The environmentalist completed
day 24 of his hunger strike yesterday,
in protest of the controversial Debe
to Mon Desir segment of the San
Fernando to Point Fortin highway.
Clasping Kublalsingh s hand, Har-
ripersad said, "We acknowledge what
you are doing, but at the same time
we are all very concerned about the
state of your health."
He added that yesterday was an
auspicious day as it marked the
International Day of Mental Health.
While Harripersad was speaking,
however, some HRM supporters
questioned his intentions.
Earlier this week during a televi-
sion programme, the IRO head had
described Kublalsingh s cause as
Burke, who also asked God to
spare Kublalsingh s life and to take
charge of his actions, also prayed for
him to be blessed with wisdom.
"I think Lord he has made his
point very clear and help him to stop
his hunger strike," Burke urged.
As other IRO members also
prayed, however, tensions flared as
HRM members shouted, "Why
allyuh crowding the man? Give him
air. Time for that to done."
There was a brief moment of
silence when Morvant resident Eliz-
abeth Vernette rushed to Kublals-
ingh s side, warning him that if he
did not stop the strike he would die.
"I don t want you to die. You have
too much to live for," Vernette
Kublalsingh calmly took her hand
and told her he would live.
Daniel also told Kublalsingh that
God gave life and it was only Him
who could take it.
After the praying ended, IRO
members were given copies of the
Armstrong report and were urged
by Kublalsingh to tell Persad-Bisses-
sar to honour her promise and to
put the segment of the highway on
hold and to review the report.
"There are many advantages to
our system. It will save the Northern
Range, large parts of the Oropouche
Lagoon, houses and over one billion
dollars. It is basically complimenting
the work already done by the Gov-
ernment," Kublalsingh said.
His sister Judy said while the
prayers were welcomed she was dis-
appointed that the IRO did not come
with a "real plan" to put on the table.
"I thought they might have come
with a proposal in terms of a way
forward, because I think the Highway
Re-route Movement has made its
position very clear in terms of what
they are asking for," she added.
Members of te IRO agreed to meet
Kublalsingh yesterday, following a
meeting with Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar on Thursday. Dur-
ing that meeting, the PM urged the
religious leaders to try to convince
Kublalsingh to end his hunger strike.
Saturday, October 11, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Kublalsingh blanks IRO appeals
Mediation the only answer
Highway Re-route Movement leader Dr Wayne Kublalsingh dismisses Inter-Religious Organisation president
Harripersad Maharaj, after he attempted to persuade him to end his hunger strike outside the Office of the Prime
Minister in St Clair yesterday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Renowned masman Peter
Minshall, who has pledged support
to the HRM, said yesterday that a
good artist was by the same
token a priest and told the Inter-
Religious Organisation (IRO)
members to return to Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
and pray for her.
"A good priest is an artist, so I
say to my fellow priest artists
your prayers need to be directed
to the Prime Minister.
"Let the darkness that envelops
her lift from her and she sees the
light," Minshall said outside the
Office of the Prime Minister, after
IRO members failed to convince
HRM leader Dr Wayne Kublalsingh
to end his hunger strike.
HRM members clapped loudly in
approval saying, "Well said."
"My dear Dr Kublalsingh, the
masman everybody knows does
not usually play mas, but today is
a special day and I play the mas of
the lord of light...I stand here with
my lord of light opposed to the
princes of darkness," Minshall
He described Kublalsingh as a
warrior, a hero and a leader like no
Founder of the Adult Literacy
Tutors Association (ALTA), Paula
Lucie-Smith, who represented
several civil society organisations,
and an HRM supporter said
recommendations put forward for
better governance and to serve
the people better had been
Using ALTA as an example,
Lucie-Smith said the organisation
has never been consulted by the
"We are here because we as a
population need to empower
ourselves and we need to make
our voices heard.
endanger his health and put his
life at risk, it is to me my civic duty
to come out and support so that
we as a nation could go to a level
of development where
government listens," Lucie-Smith
She added that people had
reached the point where they did
not bother to comment on
anything again because they felt it
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