The Definition of On-sight

North Sentinel Island is one of the Andaman Islands, which includes South Sentinel Island located in the Bay of Bengal. It is home to the Sentinelese Tribe. The Sentinelese is one of the world's oldest and most isolated tribes. John Allen Chau, an American missionary, was killed last week as he attempted to spread Christianity to North Sentinel. It illegal to trespass on the island.

Indian law has stated that North Sentinel's culture is so precious and unique that its people should be left totally alone there. It also says that murderers should be punished.

On November 14, 2018,  John Allen Chau traveled to the island with a group of fishermen he paid to take him to the island. Mr. Chau told his friends he was willing to risk his life to bring Christianity to North Sentinel. For two days, he used a kayak to paddle the half-mile between the boat and North Sentinel, where he rattled off passages from Genesis to the islanders. Sometimes the islanders stared at Chau. Other times they laughed. A ten year old boy shot an arrow at Chau's Bible.

Additionally, John Allen Chau thew footballs and fish at the islanders. Chau wrote a 13-page letter. The letter was given to the fishermen. The letter stated " I don't want to die. Who will take my place if I do?"

On the morning of November 17, 2018 the fisherman saw a group of islanders dragging his body on the beach then burying it in a shallow grave in the sand.

Why is the tribe so hostile to outsiders? Maurice Vidal Portman was a British naval officer. He arrived on the island, showed an armed contingent, abducted an old couple and four children, and sailed off to Port Blair with them. The adults fell ill and died. Portman was erotically obsessed with the Andamanese and he indulged his passion for kidnapping members of various tribes and posing them in Mock-Greek homoerotic compositions. It is also said that Portman measured and cataloged every inch of his prisoner's bodies, with an obsessiveness focus on genitals. The photo above is Maurice Vidal Portman and the tribe. The photo below shows the evidence of Portman's erotic obsession. 

It is sad that Mr. Chau died and his family lost a son, friend, cousin, nephew etc. At the same time it is important to remember that is was illegal to trespass on this island. Additionally, it was offensive to come an uncharted territory to spread Christianity to the Sentinelese people. I have questions. Why did Mr. Chau go to the island knowing that it was illegal to trespass? Why did Mr. Chau bring footballs and fish? Why did he assume that the tribe lacked a religious or spiritual foundation?  What if John Allen Chau carried diseases? I have noticed that some people are saying that the tribe should have interacted with Mr. Chau. I believe it is important to understand that the tribe has endured trauma and manipulation in the past. With that being said after having family members kidnapped in the past I could understand why they remained vigilant. I have noticed some media outlets said that Mr. Chau was a tourist. Let me say this tourism does not exist on a banned territory. Yes, we are all entitled to have our own religious beliefs and practice but we must respect the fact that other people do not share our beliefs. Everyone is not required to believe what you believe or worship the way you worship.



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