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Tongans march to protect Mauna Kea sacred ground

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 25/07/2019

Many people in Tonga gathered at Nuku’alofa early this morning to show their full support to their Tongan relatives residing in Hawaii in their attempts to protect the Mauna Kea sacred place.

Mauna Kea is one of the highest volcanoes in Hawaii but the government of Governor David Ige is proposing to install a telescope on it, however this has caused a public outrage in Hawaii.

Suliana Afeaki, owner of Suliana’s Polynesian Dance Academy who has lived in Hawaii with her family for a long time, was among those at Nuku’alofa this morning.

Suliana says, Tonga is fortunate to own lands to live in BUT they feel for their families in Hawaii because Mauna Kea is a sacred place for the natives.

“Mauna Kea is actually one of the highest mountain in the world, and the Hawaiians consider Mauna Kea as their sacred ground while a company wants to put up a telescope so that they can look at the stars and the moon and whatever. But the Hawaiians feel this is desecrating a sacred ground and that is why you see them mourning and gathering up to tell their feelings because they’ve already lost their land – Hawaii of course to the United States and I think about how very blessed we are here in Tonga that we as Tongans still have our own land.”

While Tongans were in Nuku’alofa this morning, hundreds of Tongan people in Hawaii were at Mauna Kea to show their disappointment over the governor’s decision, including Suliana’s daughter – Telesia Tonga along with her children “The Tonga Sisters”, the Miss Heilala 2019-2020-Yehenara Soukop and others.

© Radio and Television Tonga New