A faint and emaciated Wayne Kublalsingh had his hunger strike violently interrupted yesterday afternoon as human rights activist Ishmael Samad grabbed his forearm and tried to drag him upright to make a citizen’s arrest.
“I think he was the person who, when nine of our citizens were hanged he was passionately concerned about them,” Kublalsingh told the Trinidad Express, “and I think he is passionately concerned about me and I have no problems with what he did.”
Just about a week ago, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan visited Kublalsingh to ostensibly offer some medical advice and was sent on his way with an enhanced vocabulary. Let’s just say that the Minister will no longer presume to hear his own name when the letter “f” is closely followed by “u.”
The Samad incident further proved how difficult it is getting to differentiate friend from foe in Trinidad and Tobago.
There was another update to the Mon Desir-Debe Highway controversy yesterday as Works Minister Emmanuel George reached an agreement with several civil groups including the Joint Consultative Council (JCC) regarding the independent review of the project that Kublalsingh demanded.
The civil groups were given 60 days to review all relevant documents regarding that stretch of the proposed Point Fortin Highway and present it to the Ministry of Works “for its consideration and its publication thereafter.”
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar urged Kublalsingh to reconsider his position in light of that agreement. In the same speech, she also promised her Penal audience over $20 billion in investments in the energy industry that could supposedly bring 4,000 construction jobs and 265 permanent jobs.
All that is needed, according the Prime Minister, is “a highway that connects San Fernando to Point Fortin but also connects Debe to Mon Desir.”
Not that Persad-Bissessar is telling Minister George what cages to line the JCC’s proposal with, of course.
Kublalsingh could not possibly survive 60 more days of his hunger strike. If he stops now, there is unlikely to be a restart. Should he continue, there will be more vigour to the government’s counter-claims that he is being unreasonable.
Last week, several Ministers angrily announced that the country was being manipulated by a conman. Mr Live Wire cannot confirm that the Ministers were looking in a mirror at the time.