‘Civilisation’ has ruined the aboriginals the Andaman & Nicobar. The death of one interloper on phibìc Sentinel Island underlines the risk to the 55,000-yr-old sovereignty the the Islands’ last tribe standing


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Map locating north Sentinel Island (Reuters)

Commerce vs caution

Under the however, (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands are a “Restricted Area” in which foreigners through a limited area allow (RAP) deserve to stay ~ above 13 islands, and make day access time to one more 11.

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But in recent years, the Andaman room of Commerce and Industry and the Andaman association of tourism Operators have pressed to have the RAP constraints relaxed. In august 2018, the residence Ministry dropped the RAP necessity for visiting 29 lived in islands till 2022, also though “separate approvals… continue to be forced for visiting make reservation Forests, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Tribal Reserves…”Following criticism that the move jeopardized the security of the tribes and also ecology that the islands, the UT administration clarified in October that Indian nationals would continue to need a pass issued through the Deputy Commissioner because that entering a defect reserve, and also foreigners would require prior approval indigenous the primary Secretary (Tribal Welfare).

‘Tribal tourism’

North Sentinel Island, Strait Island and tiny Andaman Island, home to the Sentinelese, great Andamanese, and Onge respectively, were on the august list, together were nine Nicobar islands that are house to specifically Vulnerable Tribal groups (PVTGs). Follow to David Giles, editor of the Andaman Chronicle, the list argued a relocate to facilitate “tribal tourism”.

In 2012, British publication The Guardian and the daily Mirror reported on neighborhood touts and also policemen conducting person safaris top top NH 223 the cuts v the Jarawa reserve, v tourists “toss(ing) scraps of food come half-naked tribal people and also order(ing) them to dance”.


When NH 223 to be being built in the 1980s, the Jarawa repeatedly assaulted workers. The state power-fenced the construction site, and also several Jarawa to be electrocuted. In 2002, the supreme Court ordered that the road be closed, and the 2004 Jarawa Policy dubbed for a supplementary path to alleviate traffic ~ above the Andaman trunk Road. A sea course was to begin by march 2015, but the highway remains open. In January 2014, eight Jarawa girls were abducted by settlers, and local media quoted a Jarawa youth together naming offenders that allegedly often gotten in the reserve to lure Jarawa women. Yet the hard 1956 legislation was no invoked.

Cost of exposure

Fewer 보다 50 good Andamanese space alive today. In 2010, Boa, the critical of the Bo, a an excellent Andamanese tribe, passed away — taking with her the knowledge and also language of she people. A couple of months earlier, another ancient language, Khora, had actually passed v Boa’s neighbour Boro.In December 2008, at least 15 Onge men died after drinking from a plastic container that had washed increase on Dugong Creek. The Onge, who now number fewer than 100, have abandoned hunting-gathering and also depend completely on government help.

From 2004 onward, the 400-odd surviving Jarawa started to retreat right into the forest, closeup of the door the home window of their willing communication with the world. However the highway continues to lug the people — and also sexual exploitation, substance abuse and an illness — into their shrinking sanctuary.

The Sentinelese have been the exception — safeguarded by coral reefs that make landing on their island dangerous, and also by the tribe’s unwavering hostility towards outsiders.

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In December 2014, the A&N administration announced a adjust of plan from “hands off” come “hands off however eyes on” to defend the Sentinelese. Chau’s tragedy underlines the should re-examine security and also tighten vigil approximately North Sentinel Island. While the “island effect” may eventually wipe the end the tiny tribal populaces in the archipelago, enabling their sanctuaries to be got into by outsiders will just hasten that process. As President Pranab Mukherjee stated in 2014, the is the project of the Indian state “to defend them in their own environment and also in their own circumstances”.