On Kublalsing’s threat to go on another hunger strike:
The Chief State Solicitor has written to environmentalist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, stating that the State cannot accede to his request – that is stopping the construction of the Debe to Mon Desir section of the Golconda to Point Fortin Highway.
Dr Kublalsingh, by letter dated, September 3, 2014, called on the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC, MP, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, to abide by the recommendations of the Armstrong report, and to stop construction of the Debe to Mon Desir section of the Highway.
Dr Kublalsingh threatened to go on a hunger strike within 14 days if the Prime Minister did not accede to his requests. The Prime Minister passed the letter to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan for a response.
In a letter dated September 10, 2014, the Chief State Solicitor pointed out that the issues raised by Dr Kublalsingh and his Highway Re-Route Movement (HRM), formed part of the constitutional motion filed against the State.
The letter states, “You and the members of your movement have invoked the original jurisdiction of the High Court under section 14 of the Constitution seeking constitutional protection of the court, alleging breaches of your constitutional rights.
“The Attorney General is representing the interest of the State in this matter. Both parties are being represented by eminent Senior members of the Inner Bar. Substantial resources have been devoted by both parties.
“Having invoked the jurisdiction of the Court for the determination of whether the State has breached your rights, adherence to the rule of law and the Constitution would require that the parties to the dispute abide by the decision of the court while this matter remains pending.”
The Chief State Solicitor continued, “As you have indicated in your letter, your movement holds one view regarding the manner and route of the construction of the extension of the Highway. There are many other residents who hold an opposing view of the same facts.
“It would not be right for either party to seek to unilaterally circumvent the determination of the issues before the Court by attempting to find a solution to the issues that satisfies only one category of the persons affected by the construction of the Highway. Adopting such a course would not only be unfair and unreasonable, but may amount to a contempt of court.”
The Chief State Solicitor reminded Dr Kublalsingh that the High Court had ruled that the Highway Re-Route Movement was not entitled to injunctive relief in this matter. The finding of the High Court was affirmed by the Court of Appeal. The Movement, according to the Chief State Solicitor, intends to seek further relief from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
The Chief State Solicitor added, “your final two paragraphs of your letter express your intention to commence another hunger strike to highlight your plight. As you accurately set out in your letter, such action would lead to consequences and risks, which are unknown. However, you do so at your own peril. While you have the right to protest in a lawful manner, the State has the duty and responsibility to protect life and will not be deterred in adhering to that responsibility as it had done in the past.”
“The State is prepared to abide by the law in this matter and will not be persuaded by the actions of a man who seeks sympathy and empathy from the population in support of the cause. Should the State adopt such a cause, it would lead only to anarchy and tyranny and compromise the rule of law and the democracy, which we as a people have grown to enjoy and protect,” the Chief State Solicitor ended.