22.7.11 by Annaliza Borg
A Cospicua man who is on his sixth day of a hunger strike, yesterday confirmed he was a gay porn star, but said blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia got her facts about him wrong, in an article on her blog.
Emanuel Cini is insisting that the prime minister "acts as a master" and wants accountability from the government over the new public transport system. He is requesting the dismissal of Transport Minister Austin Gatt for the unreliable public transport system and the inadequacy of routes, which he says, have made him a prisoner in his own home.
"Malta must come in line with other European democracies because so far it is not, and no one is accountable for anything," he said.
In a blog post entitled 'Adults Only – Read this only if you are over 18 (I don't want to be blamed for anything by your parents)', Mrs Caruana Galizia wrote:
"Emanuel Cini, the crackpot who says he is starving himself until he dies or Austin Gatt is fired (whichever comes first) is an out-of-work performer in gay porn films ta' Londra".
She pointed out his screen name is Manu Maltes, "and his selling points include his Mediterranean Maltese hairiness and his – oh dear – proud member."
When asked, Mr Cini did not deny being Manu Maltes, saying: "Everyone knows it's me except her (Mrs Caruana Galizia). But she has her facts all wrong... I will call my lawyer..."
Clarifying matters, he pointed out that he worked in the US and not in London where the pay is much higher.
He does not support the PL, so would refuse to be a poster boy for them or anyone else. He retired when he was still "at the top of his career" two years before coming to Malta.
But going back to his intention on seeing Dr Gatt's dismissal, he said this will be a step in the right direction and a much necessary move that befits democracy at present and in the future.
Yesterday, on the fifth day of hunger strike, Mr Cini, who is disabled following a condition that affected his brain three years ago, was woken up at 5am by his terribly worried mother who, according to Mr Cini, has been crying all the time. He claims not to have eaten anything at all since last Saturday and has been constrained to his house ever since the new public transport system started operating nearly three weeks ago, on 3 July.
He used to go to St Thomas Bay or the Park of Friendship twice a day, however, the new transport system means he has to take three buses. Spending a long time in the heat or sun can trigger a fit.
Mr Cini is therefore living on liquids only. He drinks sparkling water and a glass of light cola every day.
He was feeling tired mid-morning yesterday and was also suffering from severe pain in one of his feet because he has reduced medication for a neurological condition, since it is not advisable to take it on an empty stomach.
The prime minister was in contact with Mr Cini on Wednesday, understandably to try and persuade him to stop his actions. An individual has also offered Mr Cini transportation by means of a van, but he has declined the offer explaining he does not want to be arrogant because he knew there are many other people like him.
He thinks it really does not take a lot for the government to fix the problems that occurred but noted that reducing the bus fleet was a terrible mistake.
"I had a life, but since the bus system changed I don't have it any longer," he said. "I'm scared to get on buses".
He pointed out he has always been an independent person and although he struggled a lot when he first came out of hospital three years ago, he did what it took to get better and back on his feet.
He could not talk or move and although it meant clutching to objects and walls to be able to start walking alone again, he had been managing. At the moment, even walking around in Cospicua is difficult for him because of the ongoing works. He feels his three years of work is going down the drain.
But rather than being able to walk around, he simply wants to be able to do the things he used to do.
Remarking on the comments he has been subject to on social utility sites and on YouTube, where he has been uploading short videos of himself explaining his situation and requests every so often, Mr Cini said Maltese people have a communist kind of mentality.
"If you speak against something you don't like, people jump on you," he said.
And if Dr Gatt is not dismissed, Mr Cini plans to carry on with his hunger strike. "If I am to die, I will die, even though I enjoy life".