Published On: Fri, Nov 23rd, 2012

Kublalsingh refuses to end hunger strike

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago – Environmental activist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh has refused to end his hunger strike despite the onset of renal failure yesterday. While he was unable to listen to the Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar's live broadcast speech at a media luncheon yesterday, he was told the details of it by his supporters.

Moments after that information was relayed to him, Kublalsingh would only say "the strike will continue".

"Did the Prime Minister speak the truth?" he asked the group that gathered close to him.

When they responded with a resounding "no", he asked "did she give an undertaking to do a review of the Mon Desir to Debe section of the highway?" when again the responded "no", he said "in that case the hunger strike continues and we will be meeting here tomorrow at nine o' clock, thank you".

Earlier in the day, Kublalsingh conceded to medical advice and had his blood drawn and tested.

Just hours before the Persad-Bissessars statement, Kublalsingh's brother, Hayden Kublalsingh, revealed that the blood tests were showing the onset of internal organ failure.

"The analysis shows that there has been significant deterioration in two particular areas and the numbers on the blood test show the ranges that there is a significant threat to the kidneys, there is potential renal failure, and some of the indicators have shown that there is potential risk to the heart, which can be serious," he said.

The family relayed this information to Kublalsingh and a doctor spoke with him, informing his of all the ramifications of the medical findings, but Kublalsingh refused to leave the strike camp.

"He is aware of the consequences of the report. He remains committed to staying on the hunger strike, he is not swayed by the details of the report and he will continue to be on the hunger strike," he said.

A visibly weakened Kublalsingh was bathed in water from ice coolers yesterday, and at one point needed help to remove his shirt saying quietly to his supporters that his body was heated.

He lay still for most of the day, but was able to walk slowly to a waiting vehicle to make his way home. He is expected to return today for day nine of the hunger strike.

By Renuka Singh

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