by Andrew Walden (Orig. posted Dec 7, 2008)
The so-called “Highness Rita Kulamika Makekau, Royal Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government” is still occupying a section of Iolani Palace grounds. But after pleading “no-contest” October 15 to charges that she abused and tortured five Hawaiian foster children, Makekau is carrying another title: “convicted felon.” This hasn’t dissuaded the HKG group from continuing to illegally occupy State property. And they seem unfazed by the contradiction between claiming to uphold Hawaiian rights and abusing Hawaiian children.
According to the Star-Bulletin November 22: “Makekau's acts of abuse against her sister's children included hitting their heads with knives and cans of dog food, their fingers with metal and wooden spoons and their mouths with a hammer.” Prosecutors described the conditions as a “house of torture.”
Makekau’s group has support among Hawai`i’s elite. In a February 28, 2008 letter, Honorary Vice-Consul of Italy in Hawai`i, Carmen Di Amore-Siah, purported to grant the Hawai`i Kingdom Government group recognition by the Government of Italy. The letter was addressed to Makekau.
HFP contacted Di-Amore Siah, to see if her attitude changed after the court sentenced Makekau to five years imprisonment. Her response: “I am no longer Honorary Vice Consul of Italy in Honolulu, thanks to that letter and your inquiries, I would like to blame you but I take full responsibility for all that happens to me.”
Speaking to Hawai`i Free Press, May 5, 2008 Luca Ferrari, Italian Embassy spokesperson had explained: “If this letter is authentic, she is not acting within the authority of her office. These are personal opinions. To the extent that she is representing them as the opinion of the Italian government, that is certainly the big problem. To write it on official Italian stationary as representing the Italian government is unacceptable.”
Prior to its 1893 overthrow, the Hawaiian Kingdom had relations with numerous foreign countries, including a July 22, 1863 treaty with Italy.
The Hawaii Republic, which resulted from the overthrow of the monarchy, was granted diplomatic recognition by Italian King Umberto I, September 23, 1894.
As for the current policy, Mr. Ferrari explained: “The Italian government does not recognize any Kingdom of Hawaii what so ever. We have no relationship. Our relationship is with the United States. As far as we are concerned, Hawaii is one of 50 states.”
Not surprisingly, there is a UH Manoa connection. As Di Amore Siah explained last May: “The basis for my opinion and the acknowledgement letter that I wrote is based upon my knowledge and an article that I assisted in writing in law school and my understanding of international law. The article is authored by -- Jon M. Van Dyke, Carmen Di Amore-Siah, and Gerald W. Berkley-Coats, Self-Determination for Nonself-governing Peoples and for Indigenous Peoples: The Cases for Guam and Hawaii.”
Asked whether she is “still proud” she explains: “I have never met the woman I addressed the letter to…and I do not think I ever will (because) I do not run in her circles.
“I do, however, understand what history presents and what actually occurred and I have compassion and a simple understanding of the Hawaiian peoples (sic) general plight and their desires….”
Makekau is just the latest of a long list of felons--drug dealers, con-men, mortgage scammers, embezzlers, and domestic abusers--among the leadership of the various sovereignty groups. A 2006 study by UH Hilo sociologist Thom Curtis PhD shows that other native Hawaiians are intimidated by sovereignty activists.
But the HKG’s April 30 occupation of Iolani Palace and the State Archives building exposed a new problem. They were un-challenged by police for an entire day. Later in the year an unrelated sovereignty group chained the gates to the palace and attempted to break into the throne room. Police stood by even as activists assaulted a female palace employee right in front of them.
The police attitude is merely a reflection of the political leadership of Hawaii. Gov Ben Cayetano pardoned two time convicted felon Bumpy Kanahele. When David Keanu Sai was convinced of felony charges in the “Perfect Title” scam, he received only probation and a $200 fine. Senator Dan Inouye humbled himself apologizing to convicted drug dealer Ralph “Palikapu” Dedman at the Wao Kele O Puna dedication ceremony last year. The Hawai`i County Council, was led by (now ousted) councilmember Bob Jacobson to consider forcing Hawaiians off their kuleana plots at Punalu`u black sands beach and handing management over the land to Dedman’s Kau Preservation, Inc group. The Honolulu Advertiser wrote two articles in November about a mortgage scam being run buy sovereignty activists—without even mentioning the names of those involved.
Prosecutors demanded Makekau receive a 41-year sentence, but continuing the pattern of coddling sovereignty criminals, Circuit Court Judge Virginia Crandall gave her only five years and then allowed her to remain free on bail to continue spreading sovereignty propaganda. The basis for Makaekau’s appeal: she claims to not be under US jurisdiction.
Hawai`i elites failing to do their job against the sovereignty criminals is what leads to the police not doing their job. But the sovereignty activists are needed to provide an excuse for passing the Akaka Bill. And that unlocks a $9 billion Kamehameha Schools pot of gold for the elites to plunder. This is what explains the sharp contrast between the decisive action by Italian Foreign Ministry, and the calculated indecision by Hawai`i’s courts and political leadership.