Since when did Trinidad and Tobago become the set for the “Hunger Games?”
In the past week, the two island republic’s inability to feed the minds and conscience of its citizens has made global and local news.
Let’s just say when, as Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee did yesterday, you are writing to Haiti acknowledging the impoverished nation’s offer to help feed your players; you know, as David Rudder once explained, this ent a fete in here, this is madness.
And when Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan says a weak and emaciated 55-year-old Dr Wayne Kublalsingh is in “perfect condition” and very strong; you can be sure the thing you are standing in is not toffee.
Kublalsingh’s former physician Dr Asante Van West-Charles-Le Blanc said the activist’s hunger strike, in protest of the Mon Desir to Debe portion of the Point Fortin highway, is sending him slowly and surely to his death. Le Blanc’s resigned as his physician based on her conviction of that diagnosis.
But Khan contradicted Le Blanc’s professional opinion based, according to him, on a handshake with Kublalsingh and, perhaps, one episode too many of “House.”
What else did Khan get from that handshake? Did he also see a “tall, handsome stranger” in Kublalsingh’s future? Is St Clair Medical a hotel for strong people in perfect condition?
Mr Live Wire thinks Khan’s concern for the unappointed head of the Highway Re-Route Movement is less Dr Gregory House and more Dr Hannibal Lector.
But then Trinidad and Tobago’s authority figures have always run on a deficit where empathy and affection for their people is concerned.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s response to Kublalsingh’s stance seems to be to whistle in the wind while her Health Minister tests his grip and lies about his wellbeing, her Attorney General mocks his supporters and the UNC’s rank and file try to distract from his efforts by threatening hunger strikes of their own.
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has said little of late on the People’s Parternship’s hunger games, which is just as well since Tim Kee, who is also the PNM treasurer and Port of Spain Mayor, sent over a dozen ladies—and some were just teenagers—abroad to represent their country without so much as a bottle of water or money to get to their hotel.
Only the last minute intervention of a parent and TTFA staff member, who dipped into their personal funds, meant the women footballers left with US$500 to buy dinner and pay for transport from the Dallas airport.
Tim Kee, who once boasted in a radio interview that he only ever flies first class, forced women’s coach Randy Waldrum to apologise for his appeal for help on Twitter. The TTFA president called Waldrum’s response an “emotional disturbance.”
But, internally, there was neither disturbance nor emotion. The TTFA continues as normal and there was no public rebuke for general secretary Sheldon Phillips who oversaw the trip and, according to the Ministry of Sport, only formally applied for funding when the girls were already at the Piarco International Airport.
Nary a word from Rowley too who could not have missed the furore.
Whether Khan or Tim Kee, Persad-Bissessar or Rowley; do not expect compassion from this lot.
And this brings us back to Kublalsingh, who has vowed not to eat until he has won moral justice over the Prime Minister’s failure to adhere to the Armstrong report.
Mr Live Wire believes you would quicker find morality in a whore house than in Parliament. Kublalsingh’s appeal cannot logically be to the scruples of the Prime Minister then; but to her employers. Us!
The people who took to the streets to protest Section 34 must dust their boots off again. It is the conscience of the nation that is being questioned; not just the conscience of the PP.
Kublalsingh’s death will say much about each and every one of us. For all we know, the Trinidad Express is already making plans to get his will.