Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 2nd 2014 Contents A17
Monday, June 2, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Highway Re-route Movement
(HRM) leader Dr Wayne Kublalsingh
has expressed disappointment that
Mike Singh, the man who met with
them and oil spill affected Coffee Beach,
La Brea residents and vowed to get
international help for them, is not a
bona fide Greenpeace activist.
He made the comment after Green-
peace International distanced itself from
Singh last week.
In an e-mail to the T&T Guardian
last week, the Greenpeace Supporter
Services confirmed that Singh does not
represent the international environmental
watchdog in any capacity.
"We ve checked our records and Mike
Singh is not, and never has been, a
Greenpeace employee, and does not
represent Greenpeace in any capacity.
Greenpeace does not have a represen-
tative in Trinidad. Greenpeace has limited
resources and cannot be everywhere
crimes against the environment are
committed," the e-mail stated.
However, Singh, speaking with the
T&T Guardian from Guyana, dismissed
the contents of the e-mail, saying the
organisation was far too big for the sup-
porter services to keep track of all Green-
"There is no way supporter services
would know for instance everything that
is being discussed at a strategic level of
the organisation," he said.
Last week, e-mails from Greenpeace,
addressed to someone named Ravi
Maharaj, were circulated to the media
stating that Singh was not a Greenpeace
representative. Energy Minister Kevin
Ramnarine also questioned Singh s cre-
However, Singh defended his visit.
He maintained that he did not state he
was a Greenpeace representative.
However, when he was introduced to
the media as a Greenpeace representa-
tive, Singh did not correct the statement.
Singh insisted, however, he came as an
"I came to T&T strictly out of a gen-
uine concern to look at the problems
confronting the residents of the com-
munities that were affected by the oil
spill and likewise the problems faced by
the inhabitants of Mon Desir," he said.
He said he was saddened by the
attacks against him and labelled the
T&T media as "venomous."
"I find it very sad that instead of the
venomous media in Trinidad, that seems
to enjoy character assassination and
what have you for political mileage,
instead of focusing on the issue at hand,
which is the environmental damage that
has taken place there and the fact that
the clean up was not done properly, they
are going after me to verify whether I
am a member of Greenpeace," he said.
Singh s revelation now leaves the Oil-
fields Workers Trade Union (OWTU),
as well as the HRM, in somewhat
embarrassing positions, given the fact
that their releases and media invitations
to the La Brea tour announced Singh as
a Greenpeace representative.
Environmentalist Mike Singh, left, and OWTU president general Ancel
Roget during last month's tour of La Brea. PHOTO:TONY HOWELL
Activist admits he's no Greenpeace rep...
OWTU education and research
officer Ozzi Warwick, in an interview,
said Singh came to T&T on his own,
but the union assisted in his stay by
providing his accommodation and
Singh, he said, presented
communications between himself
and Kumi Naidoo, executive director
of Greenpeace International. He said
local Greenpeace activist Judith de
Verteuil made the connection with
Singh and the union.
De Verteuil, in an e-mail to the T&T
Guardian, said she invited Singh since
he was an activist just like her.
She said, "He even updated me
that Greenpeace was looking to set
up a chapter in Trinidad and Guyana
and I suggested here to service the
Warwick said the union believes
that Singh, like other environmental
activists, would prepare his dossier or
report and send it to Greenpeace.
"They will make a determination as
to should we (Greenpeace) pursue
this or not and once they have
agreed, yes, that this information
gathered by this particular activist is
worth pursing then they will act on it
accordingly," Warwick said.
He said he did not think the union
had been embarrassed, since they
maintained that Singh is an "activist,
not a representative."
Singh added that soon he, as well
as Greenpeace International, will
make public his position with the
OWTU NOT EMBARRASSED
Contacted on the matter, Kublalsingh
admitted he was very disappointed by
the fact that Singh is not an official
"I find that is amazing," Kublalsingh
said when told about the contents of
the Greenpeace e-mail.
He said, however, that the OWTU
told him they had confronted Singh on
the issue and he showed them e-mails
in which he was in communication with
someone within the Greenpeace hier-
Kublalsingh admitted he had mixed
feelings about the entire situation.
"If in fact, he is not affiliated in Green-
peace in anyway that would be really,
really, rather disappointing, rather dis-
appointing for us.
"I think it would be a big let down
for us if in fact he is not with Green-
peace. Greenpeace carries weight, a kind
of diplomatic weight. I think it is quite
disappointing not only for our group
but for us (as a nation), because we have
a lot of troubling environmental issues
in T&T," Kublalsingh said.
He added that he wished it was made
clear in the very beginning what his
(Singh s) credentials were.
"He represented our issue on the
media effectively and I thought he was
very eloquent and he understood the
position we adopted and he understood
the complexities of the issue. I thought
it was very good of him to speak out
on our behalf, as an international cit-
izen," he said.
Kublalsingh maintained that T&T
"There are troubling ecological issues
that are nipping away at our ecological
assets all over the place and we need
international support, but that support
of course has to be legitimate," he said.
Singh understood T&T issues
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