Highway protest showdown in Fyzabad

Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh convinces a worker to stop work that was being done, at Sewlal Trace, Fyzabad early Thursday morning.
Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh convinces a worker to stop work that was being done, at Sewlal Trace, Fyzabad early Thursday morning.

THERE was drama on Thursday when Highway Re-route Movement (HRM) leader Dr Wayne Kublalsingh walked on to an active construction site near Sewlal Trace, Fyzabad.

Kublalsingh was continuing the HRM's protest against what it claims is work illicitly taking place on the Debe to Mon Desir section of the Solomon Hochoy Highway Extension project.

To the shock of some of the workers, Kublalsingh approached a bulldozer.

The driver stopped the bulldozer, and Kublalsingh climbed on to it and gave him a document outlining the HRM's claims.

He then approached a tractor driver with the same document. This driver also stopped to let Kublalsingh give him the document.

Kublalsingh approached two excavators, but their operators refused to listen to him, and moved their vehicles off the site.

Around 11.45 am, police officers arrived and tried to persuade Kublalsingh and some of his supporters to leave.

Kublalsingh sat down on a pile of dirt and asked to speak to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith.

After getting Griffith's number, Kublalsingh called him. He told Griffith about what he had done and the possibility he would be arrested. Kublalsingh said Griffith said he had two lawyers with him and would investigate the matter and get back to him.

Clearing work on the site stopped.

Nearly two hours later, the police left Kublalsingh and a handful of supporters at the site.

Kublalsingh later told Newsday that Griffith had not yet contacted him.

Dr Wayne Kublalsingh during a press conference at Sewlal Trace, Fyzabad early Thursday morning. - CHEQUANA WHEELER

Newsday tried to contact Griffith but was unsuccessful.

Kublalsingh said police took information from some of the residents who were with him, and he assumed this meant their concerns would be investigated.

While promising to "continue to agitate in different directions," Kublalsingh ruled out staging a hunger strike or any kind of sit-down protest at the site.

Speaking with reporters around 11 am before he went onto the site, Kublalsingh reiterated the HRM's claim that the Government was breaking the law

He also claimed none of the affected property owners were consulted or had received compensation for their lands.

Residents Elton Creese and Clint Priam both agreed with Kublalsingh about the lack of compensation.

Kublalsingh reiterated, "I have written to the President and have asked to be part of the commission of inquiry."

Last June, National Security Minister Stuart Young announced this inquiry into the acquisition of land for the highway extension project. Kublalsingh said he wanted to appear before the inquiry to testify that "all governments, PNM and UNC are equally at fault for malfeasance of this particular project."


"Highway protest showdown in Fyzabad"

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