UH Regent Calls for Peaceful Resolution to Maunakea Conflict

September 22, 2019, 10:33 AM HST · Updated September 22, 10:33 AM
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University of Hawai’i Board of Regents chair Benjamin Kudo is urging both sides of the controversy surrounding the Thirty Meter Telescope project to “work in the spirit of ALOHA to find solutions that move Hawai’i forward.”

In a statement released on Friday, Kudo claimed that previous attempts to reach a resolution have failed due to the unyielding reserve of both sides.

“The elements of repentance, forgiveness, gratitude and love need to be revisited,” Kudo’s statement read. “The ramifications of victory on either side of this conflict will be a larger defeat for all of us in this community we call Hawaiʻi.”

Kudo also published a statement earlier this month imploring UH president David Lassner to pursue an end to the dispute, calling the stalemate a “classic ‘no win’ situation.”

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“On the ground, the conflict at Maunakea involves people on all sides of the issue who must make individual judgements of right and wrong. Each side shares in this personal responsibility to do what they can to prevent violence which may cause injury or harm to their fellow citizens,” Kudo’s statement continued.

“There are no more words that matter as we approach the abyss. I call for courage to seek peace rather than what awaits. I call for seeing beyond the horizon to reach your goals. I call for a better Hawaiʻi, not a worse one.”

The statement comes as the protest encampment at the base of Maunakea stretches into its third month.

Proponents of the TMT project argue that the telescope would provide valuable scientific research and educational opportunities. Critics say the project would desecrate Maunakea, which is considered religiously sacred to Native Hawaiians.

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