Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 19th 2014 Contents A26
letters on sunday
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt October 19, 2014
I have thus far kept my silence on the
issue of Dr Wayne Kublalsingh and the
highway re-route matter. I have done so
not because I am any less passionate than
many who see fit to espouse their views
of this matter but perhaps I am in fact
more passionate on the issue than many.
You see I have known Wayne for most
of my life and attended Naparima College
with him where we shared a friendship
over many years until my departure from
these shores years ago. I have followed the
history of his activism against smelters,
the Essar Steel Plant and recall Wayne's
active involvement in 2005, in a tidal
movement of community activism in the
south west peninsula. It was launched by
ordinary citizens against what was then
known as the Master Gas Plan for the
south west peninsula. The movement
defeated this plan. It defeated in a loud,
dramatic and public manner, two, possibly
three smelters, a steel mill, three industrial
estates, a chemical plant and industrial
port stretching from Cedros and Chatham
in the South to Claxton Bay and Pt Lisas
What was the logic of this movement?
It was saying if you come to take our
communities, our mangrove, our coastline,
our aquifer, our forests, our lagoon, our
mountains, our homes, schools, businesses,
our health, our soil, you may do so. You
may do so because you are the govern-
ment. But government or no government,
you must justify it. You must abide by the
fundamental principles of economics.
What is your reason? What are the costs?
What are the benefits? Consult.
Like Pontius Pilate I find no fault with
this man or his principles. What then are
the reasons for an entire article written by
a former politician who has played time
and time again on both sides of the politi-
cal field and whose motivation seems to
be to distract from the significance of the
issue that Wayne and the HRM stand for?
Why selectively quote from the detractors
whose arguments are not without error
Your wonder, Sir, at a man having gone
without food and water for three weeks
having remained "strong enough to endure
the circuitous journey to Maracas to face
its thunderous waves" is based on a factu-
al error. Wayne did not in fact endure this
journey successfully, as you claim as from
family report which I see you ignored. He
never got out of the car but instead
slipped into unconsciousness whilst
wrapped in blankets in the back seat,
upon arriving at Maracas. He did not
"collapse" as you state. From what I
understand, Wayne sought a sea bath,
against the advice of many, as a means of
fighting dehydration having done this dur-
ing his first hunger strike.
Was the vigil planned as you imply?
Well, I visited Wayne very coincidentally
for the first time on Friday last. Wayne
indicated, for the first time I am told, to a
few persons sitting there that he did not
feel that he would get past the weekend
and was unsure of his presence on the site
on Monday. Attempts were then made to
have him agree to accept IV which he
refused. It is after this statement was
relayed to others, that plans for a vigil
took place late on Friday evening. It was
planned at the Nelson Mandela Park for
symbolic and practical reasons given the
state of Wayne's health. It was therefore
no unusual coincidence as you imply, nor
part of any strategy, as we all knew that
Wayne could be hospitalised if he survived
over the weekend. Would it have made a
difference if he had slipped into uncon-
sciousness on Friday night? He, by the
way, was no part of these plans.
Who are the persons you claim have
"publicly avowed to bring down the Gov-
ernment" who stand in support of Dr
Kublalsingh? The 40 NGO groups now
calling for mediation? The T&T Trans-
parency Institute now demanding that the
Government explain its position on the
Armstrong report? The Archibishop of the
RC church? The Bishop of the Anglican
church? The Reverend Elahie of the Pres-
byterian church? Peter Minshall? Father
Harvey? The swing voters who will decide
the outcome of the next election?
Further, since you believed absolutely in
the integrity of Wayne's first hunger strike,
are you aware that Wayne's medical report
of one Dr Jose showed absolutely no visi-
ble signs of damage to his organs? Could
you explain this, Sir? Do you need to see
the report so that you may not doubt?
The doctor who was not " baffled" said to
many, "People do not understand the
power of the soul." Do you still doubt?
May none of us be part of a doubting
public that assists in crucifying this good
man even as he attempts to carry the
cross for all of us.
Dr Terrence Soodeen
I have deliberately refrained from commenting
on the latest saga of the "hunger strikes" as I
suspect many people have, because it involves a
human life, something that we all value very
highly, but "enough is enough."
The events of last Sunday have convinced me
that this whole episode is nothing more than a
fast, pun intended, and has now morphed into a
political football that every wannabe politician
and forgotten somebody has embraced. It is too
coincidental that Mr Kublalsingh passed out and
was rushed to a medical facility within a stones
throw from where a reported 200 members of 49
civil groups were gathered. (I would think that 49
bona fide groups would be able to muster many
more than 200 supporters.)
I shudder to think how many people would
turn up if a call was made for supporters of the
highway to show solidarity with the project.
Whoever orchestrated that move has seriously
damaged Mr Kublalsingh's credibility and that of
Thank our lucky stars that these bleeding hearts
weren't around when the Beetham Highway,
Audrey Jeffers Highway, Western Main Road,
Westmoorings, North South Highway, Point Lisas
Industrial Park, MovieTowne and other develop-
ments were being developed for we would still be
catching our nennen to get from point A to B
with none of the established industries.
Mr Kublalsingh wake up and smell the coffee,
this is a democratic society and there are many
more in favour of the highway than against and
your opinion is not the ONLY one that matters.
Also, do not believe for one moment that
should you die, God forbid, because of your
hunger strike, that any of your so-called support-
ers will follow your lead, they will head for the
hills as though you never existed. Check their
records, they jump from issue to issue just to
keep their names up in lights. So please let good
sense prevail and for the sake of your family,
cease your "hunger strike."
A disabled man is almost squeezed between moving and parked vehicles while making his way along Dundonald Street, Port-of-Spain,
on Wednesday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
SINGLE LANE TRAFFIC?
WAYNE CARRYING THE CROSS FOR ALL OF US
Enough is enough
People are more paranoid than cau-
tious about Ebola. Yes, we need to be
prepared in case it comes to our coun-
try but as far as I am seeing, like we
really want this disease to come here.
If doctors are asking for a raise in
salary and a $10 million insurance poli-
cy if they contract the disease or not, it
is showing that they are more interested
in making money than trying to save
This is so ludicrous and absurd to
hear doctors making these kind of
demands. I did not hear any health
workers in America making any
demands from the US government.
I believe the Government should
make sure these doctors are educated
and equipped, so they will understand
more about the virus and they will be
able to educate the nation in case this
dreaded disease comes to our land.
In my view, nobody really knows
what they are doing, everyone is run-
ning around like headless chickens and
suffering from paranoia. Paranoia
caused the Government to ban travellers
from Nigeria coming to our country.
Both the World Health Organisation
and the Centre for Disease Control have
confirmed that Nigeria has not had any
new cases. It is anticipated that the
WHO will announce Nigeria has been
cleared of Ebola.
The question was asked why Nigeria
was able to beat Ebola but not Boko
I hope the Government will apologise
to the Nigerian government.
Educate yourself on Ebola
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