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Coalition Slams UH Over Maunakea Telescope

June 5, 2019, 11:41 AM HST
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The Peace For Okinawa Coalition has formally condemned the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea, according to a June 4, 2019, press release from the Honolulu-based organization.

In an email to UH President David Lassner and the Board of Regents, the Peace For Okinawa Coalition criticized the project for “violations against Native Hawaiians, environmental destruction and for failing to benefit the local people of Hawai‘i.”

“Okinawans, as well as Okinawa supporters, stand with our indigenous cousins in protecting our rights, our culture, our ancestors, and our environment,” the coalition wrote.

Robert Kajiwara, a UH alumnus and president of the Peace For Okinawa Coalition, has pledged not to give any alumni donations to the university until “all plans for construction on Maunakea are scrapped and President Lassner is removed from office.”

“It’s crucial for Okinawans and Hawaiians to work together towards our shared endeavors,” said Kajiwara. “Native Hawaiians have very strongly supported Okinawan issues. It’s time for Okinawans to return the favor.”

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However, UH stands by its decision to proceed with construction.

“The university stands firmly committed to collaboratively build a global model of harmonious and inspirational stewardship that is befitting of the amazing cultural, natural, educational and scientific traditions and resources of Maunakea,” UH Director of Communications Daniel Meisenzahl said in an email sent today to Big Island Now.
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The University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents has acknowledged receipt of the message.

The second round of public hearings is taking place this week across the state.

Click here to read the letter to President Lassner.

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The Peace For Okinawa Coalition says it is a transnational, multi-cultural think-tank and cultural organization. It promotes peace, diplomacy, justice and human rights through advancing Okinawan history, culture, language and issues.

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