MEDIA ALERT: Peace For Okinawa Coalition Slams University of Hawaii Over Mauna Kea Telescope
June 4, 2019 For immediate release
The Peace For Okinawa Coalition has formally condemned the controversial construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest and most sacred mountain.
In an email to University of Hawaii 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 Hawaii.
“Okinawans, as well as Okinawa supporters, stand with our indigenous cousins in protecting our rights, our culture, our ancestors, and our environment,” wrote the Coalition.
ROBERT KAJIWARA, President of the Peace For Okinawa Coalition and University of Hawaii alumnus, has pledged not to give any alumni donations to the university until all plans for construction on Mauna Kea 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.”
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents has acknowledged receipt of the message.
The Peace For Okinawa Coalition is a transnational, multi-cultural think-tank and cultural organization headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii. It promotes peace, diplomacy, justice, and human rights through advancing Okinawan history, culture, language, and issues. Circulation: 200,000.
President David Lassner
University of Hawaii
2444 Dole Street
Bachman Hall 202
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
June 4, 2019
Dear President David Lassner,
The Peace For Okinawa Coalition is writing to inform you that we strongly condemn the University of Hawaii’s construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea.
Mauna Kea is a sacred mountain to Hawaiians, and is also a rare and fragile ecosystem. Your decision to violate the rights of Hawaiians shows a blatant disrespect and lack of understanding of Hawaiian values. Okinawans, as well as Okinawa supporters, stand with our indigenous cousins in protecting our rights, our culture, our ancestors, and our environment.
Additionally, the TMT would have little-to-no benefit for the local people of Hawaii, and would primarily benefit those from elsewhere. Your decision to support malihini over kamaʻaina is a great disservice to all of the local people of Hawaii.
I, Robert Kajiwara, President of the Peace For Okinawa Coalition, am an alumnus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where I graduated summa cum laude, as well as Leeward Community College, where I graduated with honors and a 4.0 GPA. Due to your disrespect towards Hawaiians and to all of the local people of Hawaii, I am calling for your immediate resignation, and am asking the University to install a Hawaiian president who truly understands Hawaii. I pledge to withhold all alumni donations from the University of Hawaii until the plans to build the TMT on Mauna Kea are permanently abandoned and you are removed from the University of Hawaii system.
Thank you for your time.
The Peace For Okinawa Coalition