Leaders across West Papua have demanded controversial author Jared Diamond apologizes for describing them in his new book as warlike, and strengthening the idea that indigenous people are ‘backwards’.

The West Papuan leaders attack Diamond’s central arguments that ’most small-scale societies (…) become trapped in cycles of violence and warfare’ and that ‘New Guineans appreciated the benefits of the state-guaranteed peace that they had been unable to achieve for themselves without state government.’

Mr Diamond makes no mention of the brutality and oppression suffered by the people of West Papua at the hands of the Indonesian occupation since 1963, which has led to the killing of at least 100,000 Papuan tribal people at the hands of the Indonesian military.

Benny Wenda, a Papuan tribal leader, said to Survival International, ‘What he (Jared Diamond) has written about my people is misleading (…) he is not writing about what the Indonesian military are doing (…) I saw my people being murdered by Indonesian soldiers and my own Auntie was raped in front of my eyes. Indonesia told the world that this was ’tribal war’ – they tried to pretend that it was us that was violent and not them – this book is doing the same. He should apologize.’

Markus Haluk, a senior member of the Papuan Customary Council, added, ‘The total of Dani victims from the Indonesian atrocities over the 50 year period is far greater than those from tribal war of the Dani people over hundreds of thousands of years.’

Matius Murib, Director of the Baptist Voice of Papua, condemned Diamond’s assertion that tribal peoples live in a ‘world until yesterday’. He said, ‘This book spreads prejudices about Papuan people (…) that indigenous Papuans still display a way of life from hundreds of years ago. This is not true and strengthens the idea that indigenous people are ’backwards’, ‘live in the past’ or are ‘stone age.’

Reverend Socratez Yoman, Head of the West Papuan Baptist Church, has also demanded an apology from Mr Diamond to the Papuan people.

Dominikus Surabut, currently jailed for treason for peacefully declaring West Papuan independence, described the relationship of indigenous West Papuans and the Indonesian state as political apartheid. In a statement smuggled out of his jail cell, he said, ‘This is the very nature and character of colonial occupation of indigenous peoples, where they are treated as second class citizens whose oppression is justified by painting them as backwards, archaic, warring tribes – just as suggested by Jared Diamond in his book about tribal people.’

Survival International and TAPOL received the messages of outrage following condemnation of the book by Survival last week. The book has since been the subject of heated debate during Mr Diamond’s visit to the UK.


Port Blair, Jan. 31: The ‘Annual Sports Day’ of Mahatma Gandhi International School was held today in a grand manner. The Chief Guest of the Event was Director Sports Arts and Culture Mr. Robert Luccas.

In his address on the occasion, the Chief Guest appreciated the Principal MGIS for Getting 2nd position in Republic Day parade, which was led by Master Sanjay Urvan. He said MGIS has the best infra structure and best students and said that MGIS as always will prove in academics too by getting 100% result in board in 10th and 12th . Robert further said that the Administration can use MGIS ground for the fourth coming state level events.

Events like 100 mtr, 200 Mtr, 400 Mtr, 1500 Mtr, 4 x 100 Relay, 3 leg race, long jump, shot-put etc were held. Costume, cheering were also kept as criterion for getting points.

The event started with a March Past by the four House contingents and School Contingent. In the events Unicorn House was adjudged as the Best House and the all over Championship was won by Sudip Mondal. 

Some of the Special and most awaited Prizes were General Proficiency was won By Nidhi Verma, Sense of Humor Award was won by Pankaj Das , Mother Terresa award was won by Sudip Mondal, Best Turn Out was won By Master Goutam Mondal, Best Turn Out (Girls) won by Anupama Roy. And the Most Important Award for “The Student of the Year” was won by Sudipto Biswas.

The Principal of the institute encouraged the winners and said that sporting events at the school level help a student to be physically and mentally fit besides developing professional sports person. Student of all the four houses participated in all events with complete enthusiasm and commitment. The Vote of Thanks on the occasion was proposed by Mrs. Bharti.


Port Blair, Jan. 31: A Panama flagged Merchant Tanker, Aspam Samrat whilst on voyage from Malaysia to UAE, diverted to Port Blair when two crew members reportedly died during an evolution on 22 Jan 13.  The ship’s crew managed to successfully remove one of  the dead sailors, but the body of Chief Officer, Mr Avinash Patwal, could not be removed from the ballast tank deep in the ship below her main tanks. The ship arrived Port Blair on 25th Jan 13 for assistance to recover the body.

On 26th Jan 13, the A & N Administration sought assistance from the Andaman & Nicobar Command to retrieve the body from the ship.  A team of three officers and 15 sailors and one Defence Civilian of the Indian Navy were deputed to retrieve the body. Considering the presence of toxic gases and confined space of the tank, in a challenging mission the team rose to the occasion to execute the task in an extremely professional manner.   The body was removed after nearly two days of systematic work and through selfless commitment.

Every person witnessing the evacuation operation was deeply touched by the courage, spirit and sensibility of the team. The ship’s crew and relatives of the deceased officer expressed their heartfelt gratitude towards the empathy and compassion displayed by the men in uniform.

Port Blair, Jan. 29: The first ‘GEF Chess Tournament’ concluded on 27th Jan. 2013 at 1730 at 1730 Hrs. in the premises of Hotel TSG Emerald View, Phoenix Bay, Port Blair. Altogether 57 participants took part in the tournament.

Shri P. Kannan, President & Chief Executive of Govt. Employees Federation graced the occasion as chief guest. Addressing the gathering he congratulated the prize winners and participants for taking active part in the competition. He said that the competition will be conducted every year in association with Andaman Nicobar Chess Association and assured all support & co-operation for promoting the game in the islands. He also congratulated the two Andamanese boys who took part in the competition.

Shri Dinesh, Chief Arbiter on the occasion declared the winners of trophy & prizes and expressed his gratitude to the Federation for conducting the competition.

Accordingly the 1st Prize was bagged by Shri Koteshwar Rao, 2nd - Shri P.S. Satish, 3rd - Shri Shailender Singh, 4th -Shri R. Anil, 5th - Shri Inderjeet, 6th Shri Anmol Agrawal,  7th - Shri Anugrah Nair & Km. B. Chandrakala. Two Consolation prize were also given to Andamanese Tribal Boys, Shri Buloba and Shri Olake who ranked 22nd and 24th out of 57 participants.

Shri S. K. Majumdar, General Secretary, Government Employees Federation (Director of the Tournament) proposing the vote of thanks said that the Rolling Trophy, Prizes (Medals) and certificates will be distributed in the Annual conference of GEF likely to be held soon. He thanked the prize winners, chess lovers, office bearer of GEF, ANCA, especially to Shri G.Bhasker MD, Hotel Emerald View, Shri H. Dinesh International Arbiter and Shri Sashi Kumar Arbiter.


Port Blair, Jan. 24: The Special Leave Petition bearing No. 12125 of 2010, relating to the matter of Buffer Zone had come up for hearing before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India on 21st January, 2013.

The Hon’ble Court has directed that till the next date of hearing, no tourists should use the Andaman Trunk Road till Feb. 26, 2013 when the matter will be posted for further hearing. As such the formal order of Hon’ble Court is awaited, said an official release from the A&N Administration.

The official release also said that the revised Buffer Zone Notification issued by the A&N Administration dated 17.01.2013, excluding the settlement villages from 5 km. radius of Buffer Zone was taken on record by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

However after hearing the submissions made on behalf of the A&N Administration by Shri Paras Kuhad, Addl. Solicitor General of India and other Senior Lawyers, the Hon’ble Court has directed that the Andaman Trunk Road could be used by the people residing in the settlement villages, Govt. Officials and other bonafide road users including those who transport goods and services to the settlement villages in the North and Middle Andaman District. 

The above direction of Hon’ble Supreme Court should be implemented both in letter and in spirit and guidelines are being issued to the Govt. Departments concerned separately, said the official release.

The A&N Administration has advised all tourists to abide by the court directions. Tour Operators and others have also been advised not to take any tourist through Andaman Trunk Road, failing which legal action will be taken as per Law.


Port Blair, Jan. 28: The GEF Open Chess Tournament was inaugurated by Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Patron of Government Employees Federation on 25th Jan. 2013 at 2.30 pm by lightning the traditional lamp. The inaugural function was held at Hotel  TSG  Emerald,  Phoenix Bay in the presence of Shri G. Bhasker, President, ANCA, Shri P. Kannan, President, Government Employees Federation, Shri K. Ganeshan, Advisor of GEF, office bearers of GEF and all Affiliated Associations Member.

A large number of participants are participating in the tournament. Addressing the gathering Shri S. K. Majumdar, General Secretary, Government Employees Federation said that it is our first ‘Open Chess Championship Rolling Trophy’ and we shall continue this tournament every year for motivating the young generation.

Shri G.Bhasker, Vice President All India Chess Federation in his address said that GEF has introduced the tournament for the first time in the Chess history of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and expressed his good wishes to the participants.

The Chief Guest Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma congratulated the Office bearer of Government Employees Federation for conducting the tournament and encouraged the participants to take part enthusiastically. He also requested the Federation to organize more such Competitions and serial activities for the benefit of general public.

Port Blair, Jan. 22: The Member of Parliament, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray has taken up the need for the extension of Air Services on the Sector Madurai-Kochi-Chennai-Port Blair, Madurai-Port Blair, Vizag-Port Blair with Shri Ajit Singh, Minister of Civil Aviation, GOI.

Replying to the request made by the Member of Parliament, the Minister of Civil Aviation has informed that the Govt. has laid down route dispersal guidelines to achieve better regulation of Air-Transport Services on the basis of the need for Air-Transport Service of different regions of the country and therefore the airlines are free to operate anywhere in the country.

Accordingly the airlines is to provide Air-Services to specific places depending upon traffic demand and commercial viability subject to compliance of route dispersal guidelines issued by the Govt.