Monday, June 28, 2010

A human safari

They call themselves the Ang, which means ‘human being’, yet they are being ogled at like animals in a game reserve - Stephen Corry, Survival International

Everyone is human, but some are less human than others... No matter how much equality and human rights are promoted, it seems that capitalist society - and here I do want to say that it has a western flavour to it - continues to find ways to express their superiority complex... There was slavery, genocide, colonialsm,... and now tourism it seems...

The Jarawa, who call themselves the Ang, are a small tribe of 240 individuals who live on the Andaman islands. For 55,000 years they've lived their lives, relatively untouched by the outside - so-called "developed" - world. Now, a road runs through their forest, and they are being advertised online and offline by travel companies in safari like trips.

Survival International, an NGO dedicated to the rights of indigenous populations, has denounced the trend of companies to offer trips to look at the Jarawa. While the Jarawa and their lands are suppose to be protected by the Protection of Aboriginal Tribes Regulation, 1956, trips are supposedly transit trips to legitimate destinations, on the road tourists are given opportunity to photograph and view the Jarawa. In 2002 a supreme court ruling ordered the road in question shut, however government has ignored this. Now, tourist companies are profiting from using the lands of the Jarawa as a safari park, with the Jarawa as the wild animals to be photographed and watched.

The Jarawa are under threat of disease, as they have no little resistance to illnesses that can be brought in from the outside; isolation as not given them the necessary immunity to many common diseases. They risk to disappear together with so many other indigenous people; now used as a "tourist attraction" in the wild, soon perhaps only in musea.

I have worked as a human rights activist for some time, most time actually, of my life... The ability of mankind to degrade and use others, has left such a bad taste in my mouth, for such a long time; I can barely taste my food anymore...


Human Safari Tours Could Be fatal to the Jarawa Peoples, Intercontinental Cry (2010-6-17). Retrieved 2010-6-28

Human safaris threaten Andaman tribe, Survival International (2010-6-16). Retrieved 2010-6-28