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‘Don’t mamaguy me!’

By Newsday Staff Tuesday, November 20 2012

click on pic to zoom in
Supportive parents: Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, left, sits in the shade of an umbrella held by his mother Vilma, centre, with his father Ray, at right, outs...
Supportive parents: Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, left, sits in the shade of an umbrella held by his mother Vilma, centre, with his father Ray, at right, outs...

Environmentalist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh last evening chased away Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan refusing his help of medical attention, and chose to remain on the pavement of the Office of Prime Minister, St Clair where he is on a hunger strike to get Government to stop construction of the Point Fortin Highway through Mon Desir, Debe.

Khan arrived with an ambulance, on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s instruction, offering to take Kublalsingh, 54, to a hospital after he spent five days fasting outside the Prime Minister’s office hoping she would agree to meet with him.

On Khan’s arrival, Kublalsingh stood up and vociferously told Khan, “Leave! Get out of here! Leave please! Leave now!”

“Don’t come and mamaguy (fool) us with ambulance,” he told Khan, “Why you mamaguying us with ambulance.” When Khan replied he was not mamaguying him, Kublalsingh said, “You were treating people down there and you come to mamaguy me with ambulance.”

Shouting and gesticulating, he said, “Get out of here! Get out of here! Leave! Leave! You were treating people down there and you come to mamaguy me with ambulance. Get out of here! Get out of here! Get out of here! Don’t mamaguy me!”

Earlier in the evening, Persad-Bissessar lamented Kublalsingh’s hunger strike as unfortunate, but assured that Khan and Minister of the People Dr Glen Ramadharsingh stood ready to render aid including the provision of an ambulance on standby.

“I share a deep concern for the health and welfare of Dr Kublalsingh,” she said in a statement issued at 6 pm. “It is most unfortunate that he has chosen to pursue such an action and I regard this matter as I would anyone who puts themselves in harm’s way.” She said she had asked Ramadharsigh to have trained members of staff from Social Services visit Kublalsingh in the hope that in his own interest he could be reasoned with and given some measure of solace. She said she also asked Khan, a medical doctor, to visit Kublalsingh and to place an ambulance on standby.

On day five of his hunger strike, Kublalsingh said he was shocked that he was doing as well as he was.

Speaking to reporters, Kublalsingh, with trembling hands and a tired, but determined look, told the media he felt dehydrated, his blood pressure was a bit low, and his heart rate was up, but other than that he was fine.

Surrounded by his family and supporters from the Highway Re-route Movement, Kublalsingh raised his shirt to show reporters the loose skin on his already small torso, noting that he had lost weight over the past few days, since he had refused food or water. However, he restated his intention to eat or drink nothing, until Persad-Bissessar met with him to discuss her past promises. According to Kublalsingh, Persad-Bissessar promised to halt construction of the Debe to Mon Desir section of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension, as well as to appoint a committee to scientifically access the impact of the project on flooding and the environment. He assured those concerned about his health that he would be “okay.” He said a nurse from the San Fernando General Hospital continuously monitored his vital signs. “If my stats change radically, he will take charge of me and I have been given the assurance that they will take my living body to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital to take care of me from there,” he said.

Kublalsingh’s father, Ray, said his son was a gentle, and decent man and he had never seen a human being suffer as much as his son did. Asked how he felt about his son’s actions, he said, “if he did die because of this movement, I do not feel it will be a natural death. His mother has been crying every day. The Prime Minister has children and we are asking her to understand how we feel about this and we are hoping she comes out to save our son.” Ray also said if anything happened to Kublalsingh because of the hunger strike, he would feel that Persad-Bissessar contributed to it, even though he “knew” his son would not want him to blame her.

Kublalsingh’s mother, Vilma, noted that she delivered a letter to Persad-Bissessar’s home in Siparia yesterday morning asking her to meet with her son. “I told her the type of person he was, that I did not want anything to happen to him, and that I am relying on her judgement to meet with him,” she said.

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