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Mauna Kea War Crimes Complaint Filed In Canada


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OTTAWA, CANADA – A war crimes complaint was filed on Wednesday in Canada in connection with the planned Thirty Meter Telescope project on Mauna Kea.

The Hawaiian Kingdom blog reported that Kaho‘okahi Kanuha, a spokesperson for the Ku Kia’i Mauna movement that is blocking TMT from the summit of the sacred mountain, hand delivered the complaint, which was drafted by his attorney Dexter Kai’ama. Kanuha was accompanied by Dr. Keanu Sai, who drafted a detailed War Crimes Report at the request of Kai’ama.

According to the Kingdom blog:

Dexter Ka‘iama reported war crimes of unlawful confinement, deprivation of a fair trial, and destruction of public property to the Department of Justice’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes section and to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) National Division’s Sensitive and International Investigations on behalf of his client, Mr. Kaho‘okahi Kanuha. War crimes were alleged to have been committed by TMT International Observatory, LLC, (TMTIO), which has a Canadian partner, the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy. Canada’s government also recently committed $250 million dollars for the construction of the thirty-meter telescope by TMTIO on Mauna Kea.

The trip was not highly publicized. On Thursday, the secret was out, Kanuha said.

Kai’ama has been representing Kanuha in circuit court, also, as one of the Mauna Kea 31 arrested on April 2nd for allegedly blocking TMT from using the road to the summit. Kanuha was recently escorted from a Waimea court room for addressing Judge Barbara Takase only in Hawaiian, although the native language is one of the two officially recognized languages of Hawaii.

Big Island Video News interviewed Sai and Kai’ama shortly following the arrests that made global headlines.

In the War Crimes report delivered to Canadian authorities, Sai “affirmatively answers four fundamental questions that underlie Ka‘iama’s complaint”, according to the Hawaiian Kingdom blog:

first, whether the Hawaiian Kingdom existed as an independent State and a subject of international law in the nineteenth century; second, whether the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as an independent State and a subject of International Law, despite the illegal overthrow of its government by the United States on January 17, 1893; third, whether war crimes have been committed in violation of international humanitarian law; and, fourth, whether the Canadian Government is capable of investigating and prosecuting war crimes that occur outside of its territory.

The blog says the war crimes were reported in accordance with the Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000) and international humanitarian law. Ka‘iama invoked his client’s rights under the 1851 Hawaiian-British Treaty with the filing of this complaint. The treaty is perpetual and has no provisions for termination, the blog reports, and Dr. Sai says “the treaty continues to be binding on Her Britannic Majesty in right of Canada or any of its provinces.”

“I am filing this complaint, on behalf of my client, Mr. Chase Michael Kaho‘okahi Kanuha, a Hawaiian subject and protected person, for the war crime of deprivation of liberty when he, along with thirty other individuals, was unlawfully arrested and temporarily detained on April 2, 2015, in the taking of protective measures to prevent the war crime of destruction of public property during occupation to be carried out by TMT International Observatory, LLC, (TMTIO) upon the summit of Hawai‘i’s largest mountain Mauna a Wakea, also known as Mauna Kea. Additionally, my client is reporting the war crimes of destruction of public property during occupation committed in the building and erecting of the following thirteen observatories:

1. University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy’s UH telescope built in 1970; 2. NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility built in 1979; 3. CFHT Corporation’s Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope built in 1979; 4. UKIRT’s United Kingdom Infrared Telescope built in 1979; 5. East Asian Observatory’s James Clerk Maxwell Telescope built in 1987; 6. Caltech Submillimeter Observatory’s telescope (10-meter) built in 1987; 7. National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Large Baseline Array radio-telescope antennas built in 1992; 8. M. Keck Observatory’s Keck I telescope built in 1993; 9. M. Keck Observatory’s Keck II telescope built in 1996; 10. National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s Subaru Telescope built in 1999; 11. Gemini Observatory’s Gemini Northern Telescope built in 1999; 12. Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics of Taiwan’s Submillimeter Array built in 2002; 13. University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s UH Hilo Educational Telescope built in 2010.Dexter Ka‘iama

Kai’ama says that under the Geneva Conventions, Canada is obligated to institute an enquiry into the alleged violations.

This is not a conflict between culture and science, but rather on procedures that have not complied with international law and the law of occupation. If Hawai‘i is legally a part of the United States then there are no war crimes, but if Hawai‘i is not then we are forced to deal with the ramifications of this new reality and war crimes that have been committed on Mauna a Wakea. This has been a learning process for me and for many others as well. I never thought stopping the building of the thirty-meter telescope would be at the international level.


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