“A young American adventurer who was killed with arrows by a tribe of remote hunter-gatherers on an Indian Ocean island was trying to bring Christianity to the tribe, according to notes written by the would-be missionary.
North Sentinel Island, which is out of bounds for visitors, is home to the Sentinelese community, believed to be the last pre-Neolithic tribe in the world.
The American, identified as 27-year-old John Allen Chau of Alabama, was killed last week after being illegally ferried to the island by fishermen, according to Dependra Pathak, the director general of police in Andaman and Nicobar, an Indian territory.
A source with access to handwritten notes that Chau gave to the fishermen to pass on to a friend said that Chau described taking scissors, safety pins and a football as gifts to the tribe.
In his notes, the source said, Chau wrote that some members of the tribe were good to him while others were very aggressive.
“I have been so nice to them, why are they so angry and so aggressive?” the source quoted Chau as saying.
The source, who asked not to be named, said Chau wrote that he was “doing this to establish the kingdom of Jesus on the island … Do not blame the natives if I am killed.”
Chau’s social media posts identify him as an adventurer and explorer. Responding to a travel blog query about what was on the top of his adventure list, Chau said: “Going back to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India.”
Chau also said in the blog: “I definitely get my inspiration for life from Jesus.”
“A murder case has been registered against unknown persons,” said Pathak, adding that seven fishermen had been arrested.”
Source: South China Morning Post
Survival International statement on killing of American man John Allen Chau by Sentinelese tribe, Andaman Islands
An American man, reportedly a missionary, has been killed by members of the Sentinelese tribe in the Andaman Islands, India. Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry said today:
“This tragedy should never have been allowed to happen. The Indian authorities should have been enforcing the protection of the Sentinelese and their island for the safety of both the tribe, and outsiders.
“Instead, a few months ago the authorities lifted one of the restrictions that had been protecting the Sentinelese tribe’s island from foreign tourists, which sent exactly the wrong message, and may have contributed to this terrible event.
“It’s not impossible that the Sentinelese have just been infected by deadly pathogens to which they have no immunity, with the potential to wipe out the entire tribe.
” The Sentinelese have shown again and again that they want to be left alone, and their wishes should be respected. The British colonial occupation of the Andaman Islands decimated the tribes living there, wiping out thousands of tribespeople, and only a fraction of the original population now survive. So the Sentinelese fear of outsiders is very understandable.
” Uncontacted tribes must have their lands properly protected. They’re the most vulnerable peoples on the planet. Whole populations are being wiped out by violence from outsiders who steal their land and resources, and by diseases like the flu and measles to which they have no resistance.
“Tribes like the Sentinelese face catastrophe unless their land is protected. I hope this tragedy acts as a wake up call to the Indian authorities to avert another disaster and properly protect the lands of both the Sentinelese, and the other Andaman tribes, from further invaders.”
Survival’s senior researcher Sophie Grig has worked on indigenous issues in the Andaman Islands for two decades and is available for interview. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Survival International