Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 17th 2014 Contents A11
Friday, October 17, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Oropouche West MP
Stacy Roopnarine says
the 40 young people who
have embarked on a 40-
day "relay fast" in sup-
port of Dr Wayne
Kublalsingh s hunger
strike are making a
mockery of a deeply spir-
itual practice, especially
during this period of
Speaking at the fifth
annual Divali celebrations in her con-
stituency on Tuesday Roopnarine said
fasting was meant to purify the body
and not the absurd misrepresentation
occurring outside the Prime Minister s
She said the practice was observed
by all religions at different points.
"There are so many religious con-
cepts of fasting."
"Hinduism has taught us that fasting
from meat, alcohol and even salt is
done to purify the body for future
"In Christianity, it is observed during
the Lenten period; in Islam, during the
holy month of Ramadan.
"I feel very offended in this sacred
period of Divali, we have one person
using this fasting as a political strategy,"
she added, referring to Kublalsingh s
action to get the Government to rethink
the route of the Debe to Mon Desir
segment of the highway to Point Fortin.
Network technician Ravi Maharaj,
who supports the highway, has
embarked on a counter hunger strike
against Kublalsingh, also outside the
OPM. Attorney General Anand Ram-
logan has appealed to Maharaj to stop
his fast, saying it is not worth his life.
Roopnarine also took offence at the
comparison of Kublalsingh with Mahat-
ma Gandhi, saying Gandhi
fought for the freedom of
a billion people, taking
them to Independence.
She appealed to the nation
to put aside emotions and
look at the facts.
"The fact is the highway
will be skirting the
Oropouche lagoon. Fact
is, Government has not
put a single person out on
the streets. Fact is that 342
people have settled private
negotiations to sell their
property to the Government. Fact is,
the highway will not destroy the Ban-
wari Man site, which is in my own con-
stituency. I will not let that happen,"
she pledged before an audience which
included Ramlogan, Arts and Multi-
culturalism Minister Dr Lincoln Douglas
and Senator Raziah Ahmed.
The MP, who is the junior Minister
of Works and Infrastructure, said she
represented a constituency which suf-
fered rural neglect, but now stood to
benefit greatly from the construction
of the highway which a few groups
She added: "How can that be fair?
We are people too, in Debe, San Fran-
cique, Woodland, Siparia.
"Today you have one man on a
hunger strike meant to hold the Gov-
ernment to ransom. And as the AG
said, they have lost before the courts
on three occasions and are coming now
to go on a hunger strike to hold the
PM and the Government to ransom.
"We have to abide by the rule of law.
No one is above the law and the Prime
Minister said she will abide by the rule
Roopnarine acknowledged that there
was a price for progress "but as a
responsible government it is about
managing that progress."
D v y y PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
Roopnarine knocks 40-day relay fast...
Three years jail for
man held with 3 guns
A 24-year-old Diego Martin man
arrested for possession of arms,
ammunition and drugs was sen-
tenced to three years in prison when
he appeared before a Point Fortin
magistrate on Tuesday.
Nicholas Constantine, of Cameron
Road, pleaded guilty to possession of
three guns---two pistols and one shot-
gun---and three pounds of marijuana
when he appeared before Magistrate
Maria Busby-Earl Caddle in the Point
Fortin Magistrates Court.
Constantine was arrested in Point
Fortin on Monday. The court heard
that shortly before 6 pm, police from
the Point Fortin station received infor-
mation and stopped Constantine
while he was driving in La Brea.
Police searched his vehicle and dis-
covered the guns, ammunition and
drugs. The vehicle, which was initially
believed to be stolen, was traced and
found to belong to one of Constan-
tine s relative.
After the arrest, Sr Supt Richard-
son, Supt Joseph, Insp Parryman and
Sgt Victor, and members of the South
Western Task Force, searched Con-
stantine s home on Monday night.
No illegal items were found. (SP)
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