News from Tourism Concern
Survival International: Andaman authorities ignore Indian Supreme Court ruling on Jarawa exclusion zone
Posted: Aug 2, 2012
Following international outcry and pressure from NGO's including Survival International and Tourism Concern, the Supreme Court of India has ordered a tourist and commercial exclusion zone around the Jarawa Tribal Reserve.
If enacted properly, the new buffer zone will significantly minimise the number of tourists on the road, as there will be little reason for tour operators to use the road.
However, the Andaman administration is refusing to close the volcano and cave sites on the island, having appealed for the Supreme Court to exclude them from its recent order.
The Andaman administration has now filed a plea to the Supreme Court for an eight-week suspension period so it can submit plans for a new buffer zone. It is believed that these will not include the cave and volcano.
At least 250 vehicles are still using the road through the Reserve on a daily basis, and many are tour operators, transporting visitors from the south of the islands. Officially they are travelling to see the volcano and caves, but for many their real reason for taking the trip is for the ‘human safari’ en route.
About the Jarawa and the recent Supreme Court order
The ancient Jarawa people are thought to be one of the first to migrate from Africa to Asia and have been settled on the Anadman Islands for many thousands of years.
However their unique culture has been a tourist draw with thousands flocking to the Jarawa Tribal Reserve in what has come to be described as a 'human zoo'. Earlier this year videos emerged of Jarawa women being forced by local police to dance for tourists in return for food.
Unscrupulous tourism developers and local corrupt officials have been capitalising on the tourist potential of the Jarawa in recent years, undermining their ancient culture and traditions. This is despite an orginal court order from 2007 banning anyone from entering a 5km exclusion zone around the reserve.
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