Australian Politician Hails Remote Tribe’s Border Policy After Missionary’s Killing

November 30, 2018 Updated: November 30, 2018

An Australian politician known for her firm anti-immigration stance has praised a remote Indian island tribe for defending their way of life after reportedly killing an American missionary earlier this month with bows and arrows.

Sen. Pauline Hanson of Australia’s One Nation Party filed a motion on Nov. 27 calling for the Senate to “support the desire of the Sentinelese people to protect their culture and way of life,” Australia’s ABC reported.

Hanson petitioned the Australian Senate in a formal motion to “support the desire of the Sentinelese people to protect their culture and way of life through the enforcement of their strict zero-gross immigration policy.”

Culture ‘Cherished and Protected’

“I for one will not be condemning the Sentinelese as racist for keeping their borders closed, nor will I condemn them for their lack of diversity,” Hanson said.

In the motion, Hanson identified the Sentinelese as “likely the last pre-Neolithic tribe in the world” and said their unique culture and way of life “should be cherished and protected.”

‘I’ve Been Shot’

Members of the Sentinelese tribe, who live on the remote North Sentinel Island and have a history of hostility toward outsiders, reportedly killed 26-year-old John Allen Chau of Vancouver, Washington, and buried his body on the beach.

Chau tried to make contact with the indigenous people out of a desire to bring Christianity to the island dwellers.

“Well, I’ve been shot by the Sentinelese. … By a kid probably about 10 or so years old, maybe a teenager, short compared to those who looked like adults,” Chau said, reported the Daily Mail, which posted a photo of a journal the missionary kept.

A Sentinel tribal man aims with his bow and arrow at an Indian Coast Guard helicopter as it flies over the island for a survey of the damage caused by the tsunami in India’s Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, on Dec. 28, 2004. (Indian Coast Guard/Reuters Handout)

“I DON’T WANT TO DIE,” wrote Chau in his notes, CBS News reported. “Would it be wiser to leave and let someone else to continue. No, I don’t think so.”

Chau made his way onto North Sentinel Island despite a travel ban.

The Indian government has imposed stringent travel restrictions to the island and contact with the Sentinelese tribe is illegal. This is done to protect their way of life and prevent them from contracting diseases that they have no immunity to and that could easily prove fatal.

“You would be hard pressed to find a single expert who would argue against protecting the Sentinelese people’s culture and way of life through limiting migration to their island,” Hanson said, according to the ABC.

Cloud over North Sentinel Island
Clouds hang over the North Sentinel Island, in India’s southeastern Andaman and Nicobar Islands. An American is believed to have been killed by an isolated Indian island tribe known to fire at outsiders with bows and arrows, Indian police said on Nov. 21, 2018. (Gautam Singh/AP)

But Hanson’s fellow politicians didn’t support the senator’s motion. Some argued that her apparent support of indigenous rights was a hypocritical “attempt to exploit” the tribe “for her own base political purposes,” according to the ABC.

Hanson had previously sought to drastically reduce the number of Asian and then Muslim immigrants coming to Australia, criticised the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) for the lack of accountability and effectiveness in welfare programs for indigenous peoples, and publicly challenged a 9-year-old school girl who refused to stand for the national anthem.

Pauline Hanson rejects 9 year old who refuses to stand for National anthem

9 YEAR OLD REFUSES TO STAND FOR NATIONAL ANTHEMYour responses to this story this morning say it all.It's disgraceful that any parent would suggest to their child that our National anthem doesn't represent the whole of our nation.We spend over $30 billion dollars each year on Aboriginal programs, health, housing, and education in order to 'Close the Gap', but it's this type of brainwashing from do-gooder parents that actually keep the divide alive and well.If it's good enough for Cathy Freeman, Johnathon Thurston, and Warren Mundine to stand for the National anthem, it should be good enough for this 9-year-old brat.#Auspol #CloseTheGap #PaulineHanson #OneNation #Brat #Kenmore

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Pauline Hanson's Please Explain‎‏ في الثلاثاء، ١١ سبتمبر ٢٠١٨

Recovery Troubles

Officials have recently said they are struggling with the retrieval of Chau’s body.

“It’s a difficult proposition,” said Dependera Pathak, who is the director-general of police on India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands, AP reported. “We have to see what is possible, taking utmost care of the sensitivity of the group and the legal requirements.”

Tribal rights groups have urged the Indian government to leave Chau’s body on the island out of fear its recovery could lead to further danger.

P.C. Joshi, an anthropology professor at Delhi University, said the islanders are at risk of contracting infectious diseases. “They are not immune to anything,” he said. “A simple thing like flu can kill them.”

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