Trinidad & Tobago Hunger Striker Surprises Doctors

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Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh eating a fruit for the first time after a 21 day hunger strike on Wednesday evening, Dec. 5th. (High Way Reroute Movement Facebook image)
News Americas, PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Fri. Dec. 7, 2012: Despite all the talk of organ failure and impending death, Trinidad & Tobago hunger striker and protestor of the construction of the Debe to Mon Desir section of the Point Fortin Highway, Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh, was discharged from a hospital Thursday morning after miraculously showing no signs of organ damage.

Kublalsingh ended his hunger strike at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5th after 21 days without food and water. Doctors had feared the worst and he was kept overnight at the St. Clair Medical Facility where blood tests were done and he was given half a bag of drips.

On Thursday morning, the High Way Re-Route Movement founder was discharged and is now staying with his sister in San Fernando. Dr. Kublalsingh said he has gone ahead and had an extra fruit as he believes his body badly needs sugar.

“I’ve been having fruits, like mango and so on. I still feel faint but I am being rejuvenated by the soups and other food. I have disobeyed a little of the doctor’s orders and ate quite an array of food because I really feel my body wanted that. I needed some sugar yesterday evening after I ended the hunger strike and I got three spoons of honey and some water,” CTV quoted him as saying.

The 53-year University of the West Indies (UWI) lecturer agreed to call off his daily protest outside the office of Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessaron Wednesday night after holding officials from the Joint Consultative Council, its partners and the government agreed to commission a review into the highway construction. The review will include a hydrology study of the area as well as a social impact assessment and written and oral submissions from residents in the area.

Kublalsingh and the Highway Re-route Movement (HRM) had been calling for the authorities to halt the construction of the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the highway and he told television viewers that agreement had been reached “to stop all works” on that section.

“As far as that is concerned we are satisfied,” he said after calling off the hunger strike.

The Highway Re-Route Movement is a lobby group that says it is firmly against the planned construction of the Debe to Mon Desir highway segment. It said the segment alone will cost the taxpayer over TT$5 billion, and will destroy over 350 homes and 13 communities.

The group also said the project will also destroy several businesses in the area, putting more than 1500 workers on the breadline.

The Movement has proposed to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago that the Debe to Mon Desir segment be re-routed through empty Caroni lands so that no homes are destroyed and all of the negative impacts are avoided.

It has also proposed that the numerous interconnecting roads in the Debe, Penal, Siparia and Fyzabad communities be repaired, widened and added to, and then fed into the highway system to achieve proper connectivity.