Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 14th 2014 Contents A22
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, October 14, 2014
"What is life worth living?"
Ernest Hemingway said, "The
world breaks everyone...those
that will not break it kills. It
kills the very good and the very
gentle and the very brave
This quote came to my mind
as I reflected on the impending
fate of Dr Kublalsingh. He is
left to die before our very eyes
since the very premise of a
hunger strike is absent in our
A hunger strike is a form of
protest against an event and is
linked to an issue crucial to a
better life. It is not intended to
end life and is different from
suicide where the aim is to die.
The basic premise is that no
one can be indifferent to
watching another human being
die. But as we have witnessed
that is not applicable here in
our beloved country. Even some
religious leaders have demon-
strated that political calcula-
tions trump human caring.
The argument that to give in
to this action will give rise to
others going on hunger strikes
is specious. In 1920 Bernard
Shaw wrote, "scoundrels do not
hunger strike nor do ruffians...
this is why repeated surrenders
by governments have conferred
no impunity on ordinary
crime." Few men rise to this
bar of selflessness.
In the immediate case the
leaders of the present Govern-
ment were passionate initia-
tors/advocates of the resistance
to the very leg of the proposed
highway. They make clear the
dictum "politics has a morality
of its own" and that profes-
sional integrity matters less
than political considerations.
This is the context for the AG s
creation of illusions about the
court processes, the miscasting
of the HRM s objections and
the utter disregard of the Arm-
There are those among us
who would have Dr Kublalsingh
not engage in such protests,
holding the view that there are
other ways of making the
But do other means work?
Successive governments ignore
the general public and burning
tyres have proven to have no
real lasting effect. One of the
functions of this expression is
to encourage discussion. But we
do not wish to discuss any-
thing, including Ebola, when
there is Carnival in the air.
We prefer to give our govern-
ments licence to loot the treas-
ury and our children s future
than to confront the issues. We
do not recognise that once we
allow the silencing of the voice
of opposition we are on the
downward path of increasingly
repressive means that leads to
terror where we all live in fear.
We ought to contemplate the
words of Martin Luther King
"if a man has not discovered
something that he will die for,
he isn t fit to live."
We have the choice of Brave-
heart, the Scottish warrior:
"Fight and you may die. Run
and you will live at least for a
while....and dying in your bed
many years from now would
you be willing to trade all the
days from this day to that for
one chance to come back and
tell our enemies that they may
take our lives but never our
PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY MATTERS
LESS THAN POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS
The New York and Canada-based family of Dr Sylvia
Moodie-Kublalsingh would like to express our full sup-
port for her call for reason to prevail in the matter of
Wayne Kublalsingh's hunger strike.
Like good governance in general, good environmen-
tal governance is rapidly becoming a key characteristic
of First World countries. Sustainable development re-
quires us all to care for our environment and preserve
it for future generations even as we seek to advance
our economic and social goals.
When a man has to starve himself to near-death to
get the Government to do what today is considered a
matter of course (that is, to consider all possible ad-
verse environmental and social aspects of any devel-
opment project,) how can a country be considered
anywhere near developed (a stated aspiration of
And when he feels forced to do it a second time
around because the outcome of the first hunger strike
has been ignored, that is another step backward. What
does this, plus the lack of concern of the government,
show about a country's values? These matters should
not always have to be settled in the courts. Law has its
place but good planning demands forward thinking.
A smart forward-looking government would not be
so concerned about what's in or not in the courts but
rather would sit down with Dr Kublalsingh in the spirit
of compromise and modern thinking, and work out a
deal that is appropriate to all as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, we express our support.
New York and Canada
Good planning demands forward thinking
Don't stop we Carnival
There have been calls to cancel Carni-
val 2015 because of the Ebola threat.
Carnival will be on February 16 and 17. I
do not subscribe to this school of
thought. Proper precautions can help us
manage this disease.
Knowledge is power. Ebola viral dis-
ease is a severe, often fatal illness.
It is transmitted through direct con-
tact with blood, body fluids and infected
tissues. Symptoms include fever,
headache, vomiting, diarrhoea and mus-
cle pain. No vaccine is available, the fa-
tality rate is 90 per cent.
Once infected, there is a high possibil-
ity that death will be the end result.
To avoid contracting the disease, one
should wash hands regularly, avoid con-
tact with infected people and avoid con-
tact with raw wild meat.
The only light at the end of the tunnel
is Ebola cannot survive heat, direct sun-
light, detergents and disinfectants.
To quote Lord Kitchener, "We want
Cancelling Carnival 2015 will result in
a severe financial loss which we cannot
afford at this time. We are running out
of natural gas supplies.
Carnival generates revenue and pro-
vides seasonal employment for many.
The lives of the citizens of the country
With proper management we can
handle this threat. Proper screening
must be done at the airport otherwise
this virus could become epidemic.
We did it before with polio and can do
The Minister of Health says we are
Don't stop we Carnival.
Do all to prevent Ebola
In all the talk about preparations to
deal with the threat of the Ebola virus
nothing has as yet been mentioned
about the virus arriving via the legal
yachting community and the numerous
illegal small craft off loading various
drugs, guns and human traffic.
The ministers of Health and National
Security will surely have to compile a
list of all ranges of immigration, medical,
army, police and coast guard staff will-
ing to be trained as first-line defenders.
Despite their contracts of employment,
not everyone will want to come forward.
An obscene amount of money for ad-
vertising the virtues of government in
the run-up to the general elections has
Why not capitalise on the adverts
which are already in play and use that
money to pay for equipment and train-
ing abroad of essential staff at air and
sea ports in the First World.
For the present we must rely on the
outside world to prevent the infection
entering our air and sea space. This is no
excuse to drag our feet on immediate
training for essential personnel.
if Carnival is cancelled
I would like to suggest that the Gov-
ernment establish a fund from which
each bandleader can be reimbursed the
financial cost incurred if Carnival is can-
celled. They can use the money to settle
any and all liabilities to date.
These reimbursements will be con-
sidered as interest-free loans and must
be repaid to the Government at the end
of 2016 Carnival from the monies the
One Ebola case to
decimate this nation
Even if feters, artistes, masqueraders,
vendors and spectators were dropping
like chemically sprayed flies, the mass of
stupid people that comprise this nation
of T&T would demand that the 2015
Carnival sex orgy go on as scheduled.
We who are thinkers know that this
country is ill-prepared for any chronic
Thus, it would just take one Ebola-in-
fected person slipping into the country
to decimate the national population of
this sugarcane republic.
It's Your Write
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