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To Christopher M. Marquez, LTC
Commanding Officer US Army Garrison Pohakuloa Training Area
P.O. Box 4607 Hilo, Hawaii 96720-0607
Office phone 808-969-2407, cell 808-228-6598
We, the undersigned, are deeply offended by your repeated lack of good faith in responding to our Sept. 30, 2016 request, and several follow up requests, for religious access to the ahu at the base of Pu’u Ka Pele for ho’okupu and Makahiki ceremony. We are also deeply offended by your failure, and that of other PTA commanders, to respond to questions submitted in writing about Depleted Uranium (DU) radiation contamination at PTA and other community concerns dating back to 2007, questions that were also presented to you in writing on Sept. 30, 2016. Your repeated lack of good faith, and that of other PTA commanders, hurts rather than improves military/community relations.
We do not believe that you have the moral or legal right under the U.S. Constitution, and certainly not under Hawaiian Kingdom law, to prohibit religious practice and access to sacred sites at Pohakuloa. The U.S. as an occupying power, has a legal duty to uphold Hawaiian Kingdom law and the right of religious practice and access under the law — Kanawai Mamala Hoe, which is also recognized in the Hawaii State Constitution. Article 12, section 7 of the Hawaii State Constitution affirms the right of traditional religious practice. Religious practices are also protected by numerous international and human rights laws; too many to mention here and are cited in military manuals and handbooks that apply directly to military branches of the United States of America.
Therefore, please immediately cease and desist from your illegal activities of blocking our right to religious practice and access. Please also know that we consider your ongoing occupation and the bombing of Hawaii not only illegal, but the ultimate in religious desecration of our sacred ‘aina and we intend to hold you accountable.
(Statement with signers names to date will be hand delivered to Pohakuloa Main Gate, Feb. 18, 2017, Contact information for Commander Marquez is provided above for those who wish to deliver their own message. )
For reply: Malu ‘Aina P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawaii 96760