Missionary’s one man invasion resulting in his death was his own fault, says family
The family of missionary John Chau, who was killed last week by a remote island tribe, have forgiven his killers as police strengthen island security fearing a copycat explorer.
The family of John Chau, the American missionary and explorer who was killed last week on a remote island in the Indian Ocean, do not want authorities to seek justice for his death.
Chau, 27, was killed on North Sentinel Island as he attempted to make contact with the Sentinelese, an isolated Stone Age tribe.
Chau approached the island in a kayak with the intention of bringing the word of God to the world’s oldest tribe.
The Sentinelese are thought to have lived on the island for 30,000 years but have had very little contact with outsiders.
North Sentinel island is part of the far flung Andaman Islands in the vast Bay of Bengal. The region is home to five Stone Age tribes — which anthropologists believe to be the last of their kind and are dwindling in numbers.
The family of Chau posted a statement to his Instagram account saying that they forgave the tribe reportedly responsible for his death.
While the Sentinelese have been cut off from the rest of the world for decades they are a protected group under the government of India, which lies to the West of the island.
Chau seems to have been aware of the risks he was taking by visiting the tribe. He had made several attempts to reach the Sentinelese to preach Christianity — knowing it was illegal to go within five kilometres of the island.
But John and Lynda Chau, who lived in Washington State on the West Coast of the United States, do not seek retribution for the life of their son.
“He loved God, life, helping those in need, and had nothing but love for the Sentinelese people.”
“We forgive those reportedly responsible for his death. We also ask for the release of those friends he had in the Andaman Islands,” the family said in their Instagram statement.
BODY COULD BE LOST IN BATTLE TO PRESERVE TRIBE
The body of John Chau may never be recovered from the lost island where he fell in a volley of arrows fired by a reclusive tribe whose existence is threatened by the modern world, say experts.
The menace to the Sentinelese from Chau’s one-man invasion is such that tribal rights specialists say no murder charges will ever be laid and Chau’s body will have to stay hidden to protect what is probably the world’s last pre-neolithic tribe.
Indian authorities — who do not dare enforce their rule over North Sentinel island — have not even tried to send police ashore to question the tribe who have been greeting outsiders with hostility for centuries.
“Due precautions were taken by the team to ensure that this particularly vulnerable tribal group are not disturbed and distressed during this exercise,” said a police statement.
Fears that 21st century diseases as mild as the common cold could kill off the tribe, or that experiencing electricity and the internet would devastate their lifestyle, has left them in a guarded bubble that Chau sought to burst with his “Jesus loves you” message.
Pankaj Sekhsaria, a tribal rights expert and author on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said it would be “a futile exercise” to try to retrieve Chau’s body.
“I don’t think it is a good idea to go anywhere near (North Sentinel) because it will create conflict with the community there,” he told AFP.
“I don’t believe there is any safe way to retrieve the body without putting both the Sentinelese and those attempting it at risk,” added Sophie Grig, senior researcher for Survival International which campaigns for such isolated groups.
‘LET THEM BE THE WAY THEY ARE’
Anup Kapoor, an anthropology professor at the University of Delhi, said that anyone wanting to open a dialogue with the Sentinelese had to show they were “on the same level.”
“Don’t wear anything,” he recommended. “Only then you can hope to have some sort of interaction.”
Mr Kapoor once had contacts with the Onge, another Andamans tribe, adding: “It was only after I took off my clothes, except my underwear.” The lack of knowledge of the Sentinelese, believed to be the last surviving descendants of the first humans to arrive in Asia — and who 13th century adventurer Marco Polo called “brutish and savage” — is the main handicap.
“We have no clue about their communication systems, their history and culture, how can we go anywhere near them,” said Mr Kapoor.
“What we know is that they have been killed and persecuted historically by the British and the Japanese. They hate anyone in uniform. If they see someone in uniform, they will kill him on the spot.
“Let them be the way they are. Leave them in peace in the ecosystem they are in. Do not disturb them because that will only make them more aggressive,” says Mr Kapoor.
Police in the Indian Ocean paradise are now wrestling with a double dilemma: how to answer the prayers of Chau’s family and maintain the privacy around North Sentinel that is essential for the tribe’s survival.
Andamans police chief Dependra Pathak has said no timeline can be given for finding a body.
And Sekhsaria warned Indian authorities may now have to strengthen surveillance around North Sentinel to prevent a Chau copycat.
“The administration is seized of the matter, they are already thinking about the surveillance,” he said without giving detail.
Police are talking with anthropologists and tribal welfare experts about the best way to establish contact.
The Anthropological Survey of India has had previous rudimentary contact.
“When we went there, nothing happened,” said the survey’s Andaman chief C. Raghu.
“Our seniors visited the island and they came back. It is because we are experts and know the pulse of the people.
“It’s not just the risk of disease. You also have to think of how to handle yourself, what to say and what to share with them. To them, whoever gets there is from the outside, new world.”
Bryce Harper made some important decisions on Saturday morning, including one that made his allegiance to a specific sports team very clear and another sports fanbase very angry.
Before you get too excited, this actually has nothing to do with his ongoing free agency.
The six-time MLB All-Star served as the weekly guest picker on ESPN’s “College GameDay” program, which put his loyalty to Ohio State football to the ultimate test.
Spoiler alert: He passed the test.
Harper, alongside ESPN regulars Desmond Howard, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso, was tasked with picking several of the day’s biggest college football games. That included the Big Ten’s marquee matchup featuring Michigan and Ohio State. College GameDay was on location at Ohio Stadium, aka “The Horseshoe”, which meant Harper was surrounded by a raucous crowd that would not have been happy had he picked against Ohio State.
Decked out in Ohio State’s customary scarlet and grey, Harper was actually the lone panel member to pick Ohio State to win the rivalry game.
As some fans might not know, Harper actually is an avid Buckeyes fan. His wife, Kayla, starred on Ohio State’s women’s soccer team. We’re sure all of that played a part in Harper being selected as Saturday’s guest picker. That, and his name is creating plenty of buzz right about now as we await real news on his baseball future.
The Gameday visit was void of any baseball discussion, however. All Harper had for us was his picks, which aside from Ohio State included Louisiana Lafayette, Appalachian State, Minnesota, Purdue, Syracuse, Georgia, LSU, Florida, Alabama, Utah and Notre Dame.
He should definitely bat over .250 with those picks.
We must say, the biggest disappointment of the segment was ESPN’s regular panel not giving a prediction as to where Harper will end up signing. Would it have been awkward? Sure. But who didn’t want to see Lee Corso put on a Phillie Phanatic head? That would have made it all worthwhile.
Hall of Fame coach Mike Ditka hospitalized after suffering heart attack
Legendary retired NFL player and coach Mike Ditka suffered a heart attack earlier this week, according to his agent.
"Coach Ditka had a mild heart attack earlier this week. Doctors inserted a pacemaker, and he is doing much better," Ditka's agent, Steve Mandell, told ESPN. "He appreciates the outpouring of support and expects to be home soon."
Ditka suffered a heart attack in 1988 — the same year he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a player — while coaching the Chicago Bears but famously returned to work just 11 days later. He also suffered a stroke in 2012.
Ditka, a Super Bowl-winner both as a player and a coach, coached the Bears to the franchise's only championship in 1986 — a feat that made him one of the most beloved figures in Chicago sports history.
Since being fired as head coach of the New Orleans Saints in 2000, Ditka has spent time in the restaurant business and as a national TV NFL analyst.
Kendall Jenner just found out that all is fair in love and basketball.
The reality television star sat courtside as on-again off-again flame Ben Simmons tussled with her almost brother-in-law, Tristan Thompson, in a very tense NBA contest on Friday night. As People magazine noted, the 23-year-old reality star-turned-model watched as the two tussled near the end of the game.
As People noted, Kendall’s big sister has been having some troubles in her relationship with Tristan Thompson.
“Kardashian and Thompson’s relationship has been on the rocks ever since she put her move back to Cleveland on hold at the beginning of the fall. Though it’s been over six months since photos surfaced of Thompson getting close to another woman just days before Kardashian gave birth, the events are currently unfolding on Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”
And Kendall Jenner made it clear where she stood. After being romantically linked to Simmons during the summer, she apparently still harbored some feelings toward him — or against her sister’s boyfriend. During the game, Kendall was spotted playfully booing Tristan Thompson.
The booing may not have been all in jest. An insider told People magazine that the rest of Khloe’s family “can’t stand Tristan” after his cheating scandal, though they understand that Khloe wants the couple’s daughter to spend time with her father.
As for Kendall Jenner, she may not feel at home at the Wells Fargo Center anymore. In the wake of Friday’s loss, a Philadelphia fan started a Change.org petition asking that the team ban Kendall from attending any more games. So far more than 1,000 people have signed on.