The Thirty Meter Telescope facility scheduled, to be erected atop Mauna Kea might be staring at a protest that could snowball into an international issue. A small group of activists, had protested against the proposed facility at Mauna Kea, when construction begun 10 days ago, with the every intention of blocking the proposed facility.
The main gripe of the activists is that the $1.3 Billion project may have been approved without first obtaining proper land approvals. They contend also that the native Hawaiian groups have not been consulted before the decision to construct the telescope was taken. This is a considered a serious matter for the native Hawaiians as they consider the mountain sacred. It is a curious matter that science and spirituality have disagreed against each other in a very odd way.
In order to understand the truth of the first original creation, scientists hope to see 13 billion light years away. Conversely, the Hawaiian natives ponder the mountain a sacred site as it is considered as the cradle of their creation. But, this site is fundamental for scientists as it is an ideal location that can warrant undisturbed transmission/reception of signals because of its isolated and sheltered position.
However, after having at least 30 protesters arrested for blocking the road to the project site yesterday, their protest has assimilated in the national news. Organizers claimed that around 300 people had joined the protest. The protest has also attracted native Hawaiian leaders who had previously stayed away.
However, the opposition is not against the telescope site itself or the scientific enterprise that propels it, but rather against the choice of the site for construction of the project. Due to the sacred character of the mountains, all the highest points in the range are considered homes of different deities followed by the Hawaiians.
“It is the burial grounds of some of our most sacred and revered ancestors,” said Kealoha Pisciotta, a project opponent. “It is a place where we go for sanctuary and release from the world around us, and it is also the home of our god.”