Subject: Meditation Focus #11
JARAWA TRIBE UNDER THREAT
(Web posted on July 14 for the week beginning Sunday 16)
What follows is the eleventh Meditation Focus suggested by the Global Meditation Focus Group for the week beginning Sunday July 16.
JARAWA TRIBE UNDER THREAT
2. Meditation Times
3. More information on the situation of the Jarawa tribe
The Jarawa tribe of the Andaman Islands, who are now thought to number about 250, are under threat. Since the 1970s, the Indian government, which owns the Islands, has reduced the size of their reserve, appropriating land for logging, road-building and settling Indians from the mainland. Recently, since the Jarawa made friendly contact with the Indian settlers, Indian officials are reported to believe that the Jarawa need to be 'developed' by being forcibly settled, taught agriculture, and assimilated into mainstream Indian society. Such actions, if carried out, would violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements protecting indigenous peoples. The Indian government is to finalise its policy shortly.
This focus on the Jarawa tribe is a good example of similarly threatening situations experienced by many other tribal minorities around the world as the neighboring dominant cultures keep encroaching on their lands and depriving them of the territories and resources they need for their survival.
Please hold in your heart and mind a vision, as guided by Spirit during your meditation, of inter-cultural understanding and respect for the rights, self-determination, and autonomy of the Jarawa tribe, and of the other three tribes of the Andaman Islands, for the highest good of all.
2. MEDITATION TIMES
i) Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes with a special Earth Healing Focus in the last few minutes.
ii) Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.
These times below are currently corresponding to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT: Honolulu 06:00 -- Los Angeles 09:00 -- Denver & San Salvador 10:00 -- Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 11:00 -- New York, Toronto, Montreal, Asuncion & Santiago 12:00 -- Rio de Janeiro & Montevideo 13:00 -- Reykjavik & Casablanca 16:00 -- London, Algiers & Lagos 17:00 -- Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Paris, Johannesburg & Madrid 18:00 -- Athens, Helsinki, Jerusalem, Nairobi & Istanbul 19:00 -- Moscow & Baghdad 20:00 -- Tehran 20:30 -- Islamabad 21:00 -- Calcutta & New Delhi 21:30 -- Dhaka 22:00 -- Rangoon 22:30 -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 23:00 -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur 00:00+ -- Seoul & Tokyo 01:00+ -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne 02:00+ -- Wellington 04:00+
(+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time)
3. MORE INFORMATION
The Jarawa have survived for thousands of years in their rainforest home in the Andaman Islands, which have been the focus of much Indian immigration, encouraged first by the British, then by the Indian governments. A reserve was established in 1957 to protect the Jarawas and to confine them to the bounded area. Since the 1970s, however, the Indian government has reduced the size of the reserve, appropriating land for logging, road-building and settling Indians from the mainland, forcing the Jarawa into a smaller and smaller area. There have been many violent incidents between the Jarawa and the settlers who have made incursions into the forest to poach and log timber.
The present crisis was precipitated as a result of the Jarawa leaving their forest territory to visit nearby villages and towns. A petition was filed to the High Court of Calcutta calling for extensive government intervention to settle the Jarawa under government supervision, and to provide other forms of assistance. The measures called for include no provision for Jarawa participation in planning or carrying out these measures, and seem certain to create dependency and undermine Jarawa communal autonomy. Activists believe that the approach is similar to those of the British colonial regime and earlier Post-Independence Indian governments, which produced the demographic collapse of the groups to which they were applied. Activists have been preparing petitions to the same court on behalf of the Jarawa, calling for the enforcement of the prohibition of entry by non-indigenous persons into reserve areas, the termination of dependency-inducing gifts of food and presents by the government, and the recognition of indigenous communal autonomy, including the right of the Jarawas to continue their hunting and foraging way of life.
The most serious problem being faced by all tribes of the Andaman Islands has been their sharp demographic decline following their close contact with outsiders. The worst sufferers have been the Great Andamanese. When the British first set up a colony on the Islands in 1857, they numbered more than 5,000. There are now only 28, and they are entirely dependent on the Indian local authorities for food and shelter.
For more information on the problems experienced by other tribal groups around the world please visit the website of Survival International, a worldwide organisation supporting tribal peoples, at firstname.lastname@example.org (English),
For more information, please review the material posted by the Global Meditation Focus Group (including our "Suggestions for Enhancing the Effectiveness of our Healing Focus in Meditation") at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/focusgroup.htm
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN PASSING THIS ON TO OTHERS
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