Construction of a 30 metre telescope on top of Mauna Kea in Hawai’i has been halted for one week.
This follows ongoing peaceful protests by Kanaka Maoli from the group Sacred Mauna Kea Hui who have kept a vigil at the mountain.
Governor David Ige announced a halt of construction on Tuesday in a press conference.
According to Hawaii News Now he said, "The president of the University (Hawaii) and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have agreed to a timeout on the project and there will be no construction activities this week,"
In a press statement the Sacred Mauna Kea Hui Facilitator, Kamahana Kealoha responded saying while his group appreciates a reprieve from the desecration of their sacred mountain summit and endangerment of their fresh water and endangered species in the area there are still major concerns.
He says, “this reprieve will also give the multi-billion dollar international TMT corporation, which has been allowed to circumvent the law, time to begin there process of identifying a new location outside of Hawaii for their TMT project. We also hope that this one week moratorium will give the State of Hawaii, as well as the University of Hawaii and the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the time needed to review the possible breaches of public trust the TMT project has caused. It will also give the DLNR time to review the possible abuses of the Conservation District Use Application process, a process that has permitted complete industrialisation and desecration of a sacred conservation district and endangered species environment.”
Kamahana says his rōpū has received donations from Native American Tribes and others in support of all efforts to protect Mauna Kea and to help with future bail needs.
He says a 75 year old woman Kupuna was among the first protestors taken away when up to 30 people were arrested at the site last week.
Progress of the events can be followed at http://sacredmaunakea.wordpress.com/ and on Twitter #AOLETMT