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Speech delivered to Canadian TMT investors

April 29, 2015

Speech delivered to Canadian TMT investors at the Pasadena Headquarters–

April 29, 2015–We are here in Pasadena at the TMT headquarters to support the defenders of Mauna Kea.

We ask the Canadian government to divest from this Thirty-Meter Telescope development project. The $243 million dollars that the Canadian government has allocated to TMT in the 2015 Economic Action Plan released last week, is a lynchpin, because it is going to complete the funding of the construction of the thirty-meter telescope.

Without Canada’s development funding, the future funding promised by India, China and Japan will be jeopardized.

We are also concerned that as a part of this project—Canada expects to develop “advance capabilities and products transferable to future application in the defense sector” for Canadian businesses.

This duplicitous argument of ivory tower scientific inquiry falls flat when this project goes to military or other commercial for-profit enterprises.

Also, The University of Hawaii only fulfilled part of its obligation of receiving consent for the construction and operation of the thirty-meter telescope. The UH received consent only from state agencies, but not the proper rights-holder, not the people or cultural practitioners who should have given free prior and informed consent. This has been an ongoing dispute in and for the University of Hawaii for many years and they should have known, that Mauna Kea is sacred to the people and to genealogy.

Central to this dispute, is that in order to receive consent from the State, there would have to be some kind of title obligation. There is none. There is no annexation treaty, there is no title, there is no real consent, there can be no TMT. No treaty, no title, no consent, no TMT.

At the very least the University of Hawaii, in the “Consent- Action Item” they presented to the Committee on Finance, should have disclosed this information to the international investors. Without this disclosure, would the UH not be committing fraud?

We also ask that Caltech and the UC (pdf) system to divest. With both Universities also funding the construction, each institution has a 12.3% share, totaling nearly a quarter of shareholder investment.

We know that the real equity shareholders are not going to be the students and faculty of the University, but rather global corporate shareholders.

The largest shareholders of this equity fund are Apple, Nestle, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon, Microsoft, GE, JP Morgan, Google, and BHP Billiton the world’s largest mining company headquartered in Australia—

We are not against the science or the telescope, we are against the telescope on our sacred ground. We do not want any further impact that the construction, development, and any future infrastructure plans will have on our iwi—the bones of our most sacred ancestors. Our lands and water are sacrosanct and to desacralize Mauna Kea is a Human Rights violation.

Arnie Saiki
Coordinator- Moana Nui Action Alliance

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