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Old 23rd November 2018, 12:07 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
One person who is up on vaccines does not carry much risk of disease transmission.

The risk of course will increase if more people visit, and if those visits are uncontrolled, if people who are not immunized and not getting regular medical care get in.

But unless he has measles when he is went to the island, he won't give it to them. Unless he has diphtheria when he visited, he won't pass that on either, and so on with all the other pathogens.

I mean, he might have been ill with something when they killed him, but probably not.
True, but I was mostly thinking of influenza where someone can be infectious without being sick and where people up to date on other vaccines don't always get flu shots.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 12:07 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Bouncing Bettys View Post
While the anthropological aspect is interesting on its own, it is difficult to avoid social commentary given the story involves someone attempting to spread western religion to an unwelcoming and isolated population. The analogies to modern sovereignty, nationalism, border enforcement, etc. came quite naturally.
These analogies are quite a stretch and I really worry about people who see them.

This is a tiny group of people living on an island that is part of India. The analogy that is obvious is to a religious cult - of roughly equivalent numbers - that isolates itself within a country. One could also think of a tiny, remote village where the locals are hostile to strangers.

Most people live in nations that consist of millions of strangers. There will be countless groups (like eq cults or isolated, rural communities) that belong to the same nation. But most people live in cities and will have a much more complicated social life.

Also: By all appearances, this guy wanted to leave again. I am not aware that tourists (or even foreign missionaries) are an issue anywhere in the west.

If you think that a tiny group of people killing outsiders compares to a nation you have issues.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 12:12 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
One person who is up on vaccines does not carry much risk of disease transmission.

The risk of course will increase if more people visit, and if those visits are uncontrolled, if people who are not immunized and not getting regular medical care get in.

But unless he has measles when he is went to the island, he won't give it to them. Unless he has diphtheria when he visited, he won't pass that on either, and so on with all the other pathogens.
Maybe it would help if you think of them as immune-compromised. Because that's really the case.

We teem with bacteria and viruses all the time, but we don't get ill from them because we have built-up immunities. They don't. They're like AIDS patients or transplant patients who can die of infections from common bacteria that live all around us.

They have immunities to anything that's endemic to the island, of course, but extended lack of contact means that doesn't include most illnesses that plague us, or even the ones we've vanquished. They could be killed by the common cold.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 12:17 PM   #124
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The relevant government (India's) has apparently decided to respect the islander's wish to be left alone. The wisdom of this decision might be discussed, but that is how it stands. So this fellow decided to ignore it and come there to preach his own religion to them.

Now, I don't think anybody deserves to be killed, but I can't pity him (I can pity the people who loved him, but that is another story). His decision to go and foist his personal religion on them was arrogant and stupid.

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Old 23rd November 2018, 12:18 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
........They could be killed by the common cold.

Just the common one?
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Old 23rd November 2018, 12:54 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post
There's a lot of irrelevant information there re: that guy's interactions with other Andaman tribes that the Sentinelese could never have known about; but besides that I find there's a glaring hole in his logic.

He begins with the premise that the Sentinelese were likely made hostile because of this single visit in the 1880's. He then proceeds to point out that the very next visit by outsiders, 80 years later, was the only nominally "peaceful" contact with the Sentinelese - in which strangers' landing was tolerated non-violently for at least a few minutes before the islanders began making it clear with increasing aggression that it was time for the visitors to leave. And of course he acknowledges that every contact after that point has been deadly violent.

If it was the 19th-century incident, or stories passed down about it, that made the Sentinelese so aggressive, then why was their next contact with visitors 80 years later non-aggressive? Why did they only become exclusively, violently inhospitable after that visit? It makes more logical sense that something happened during the 1960's visit to provoke them, not the 1880's visit.

Although as I've pointed out earlier, I think contextual clues like their isolate language and disconnection with other Andaman tribes suggest it's likely they have been violently inhospitable for a much much longer period of history and these visits did not have any appreciable effect on that.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 01:03 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
They have immunities to anything that's endemic to the island, of course, but extended lack of contact means that doesn't include most illnesses that plague us, or even the ones we've vanquished. They could be killed by the common cold.
I'm not disagreeing with you but want to clarify.

An endemic pathogen or disease would be one found only at North Sentinel Island and nowhere else on earth. If such a thing exists then they ought to have some immunity to it but maybe not and it depends on various factors.

But putting that aside, we would expect immunities to diseases which are not endemic and are instead regional or even worldwide. A quick example would be ocean shellfish and the pathogens that they carry. Those same pathogens would be at their island, all of the Andamans and Nicobar, the entire Indian Ocean and even worldwide.

Over the past few days I have read that they have no fire and also that they may have no fire. It might be an unanswered question - I don't know. If true, then they are especially unique among uncontacted tribes. Nothing that they eat could be cooked and therefore could not be sterilized by fire.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 01:12 PM   #128
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Are we sure they are savages? Sounds quite sophisticated, having 'sex on the beach'. And here was me thinking that was a Finsbury Square fad.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 01:18 PM   #129
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Doesn't anyone consider that they could be carriers of a disease that they alone are immune to? Wouldn't it be ironic if some visitor to the island (that returns) became Patient Zero for a pandemic that wipes out the rest of the world?
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Old 23rd November 2018, 01:21 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Doesn't anyone consider that they could be carriers of a disease that they alone are immune to? Wouldn't it be ironic if some visitor to the island (that returns) became Patient Zero for a pandemic that wipes out the rest of the world?
Or maybe they're like the Wakandans and they have some amazing technology they want to hide from the rest of the world.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 01:37 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Doesn't anyone consider that they could be carriers of a disease that they alone are immune to? Wouldn't it be ironic if some visitor to the island (that returns) became Patient Zero for a pandemic that wipes out the rest of the world?
Look at post #7.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 01:40 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by Silly Green Monkey View Post
Filling the planes and drones with spears and arrows probably doesn't have as deep of roots in history as doing the same to people.
They might think that airplanes and drones are living creatures that they have never seen up close and in person. Shoot it first and ask questions later.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 02:12 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Doesn't anyone consider that they could be carriers of a disease that they alone are immune to? Wouldn't it be ironic if some visitor to the island (that returns) became Patient Zero for a pandemic that wipes out the rest of the world?
It would be ironic, but it's also extremely unlikely. Both their population and the population of any native animals that might serve as incubators is so low compared to the world as a whole that it's extremely unlikely that a civilization-ending disease would pop up there instead of somewhere else.

It is quite possible, however, that you would get very sick drinking local water that they can drink safely.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 02:31 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
There's a lot of irrelevant information there re: that guy's interactions with other Andaman tribes that the Sentinelese could never have known about; but besides that I find there's a glaring hole in his logic.

He begins with the premise that the Sentinelese were likely made hostile because of this single visit in the 1880's. He then proceeds to point out that the very next visit by outsiders, 80 years later, was the only nominally "peaceful" contact with the Sentinelese - in which strangers' landing was tolerated non-violently for at least a few minutes before the islanders began making it clear with increasing aggression that it was time for the visitors to leave. And of course he acknowledges that every contact after that point has been deadly violent.

If it was the 19th-century incident, or stories passed down about it, that made the Sentinelese so aggressive, then why was their next contact with visitors 80 years later non-aggressive? Why did they only become exclusively, violently inhospitable after that visit? It makes more logical sense that something happened during the 1960's visit to provoke them, not the 1880's visit.

Although as I've pointed out earlier, I think contextual clues like their isolate language and disconnection with other Andaman tribes suggest it's likely they have been violently inhospitable for a much much longer period of history and these visits did not have any appreciable effect on that.

Of course there is every chance that they have had other, undocumented and much less "official" visits, during which anything might have happened.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 02:35 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Both their population and the population of any native animals that might serve as incubators is so low compared to the world as a whole...
The animal species there are likely to be about the same as other nearby islands. There is the possibility that they have none of or few of the introduced species that are so common to inhabited islands. To my knowledge, no modern biodiversity survey has ever been done.

We probably can't talk about population numbers for animals. A particular species might be super rare or super abundant as compared to the nearby Andaman Islands. There still could be some truly endemic terrestrial species.

It's fascinating to me and I want to see a biodiversity survey for the land fauna but I don't want a scientific expedition. So I don't get my wish.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 02:48 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Although as I've pointed out earlier, I think contextual clues like their isolate language and disconnection with other Andaman tribes suggest it's likely they have been violently inhospitable for a much much longer period of history and these visits did not have any appreciable effect on that.
Source?
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Old 23rd November 2018, 02:55 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
We probably can't talk about population numbers for animals. A particular species might be super rare or super abundant as compared to the nearby Andaman Islands. There still could be some truly endemic terrestrial species.
Sure, we don't know what species are living there, but that's beside the point. Regardless of which species are there, there simply cannot be a lot of any species (meaning the number of actual animals, not the number of species) simply on account of the small area. Not a lot of animals means not a lot of breading ground among potential hosts for crossover diseases.

Quote:
It's fascinating to me and I want to see a biodiversity survey for the land fauna but I don't want a scientific expedition. So I don't get my wish.
Stealth drones.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 03:12 PM   #138
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Stealth?

To avoid their radar?
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Old 23rd November 2018, 03:19 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Regardless of which species are there, there simply cannot be a lot of any species (meaning the number of actual animals, not the number of species) simply on account of the small area.
That is absolutely not true. We already have small islands which contain a bazillion land crabs. Superabundance of a particular species can happen on islands of any size, so it seems.

Read about the Christmas Island red crab.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 03:26 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
That is absolutely not true. We already have small islands which contain a bazillion land crabs.
1) Crabs are not good candidates for crossover diseases.
2) You're actually making my point: high densities of small animals happen all over the world. Now matter how dense the animal population is on this island, it's still going to be a vanishingly small fraction of the globe.

Quote:
Superabundance of a particular species can happen on islands of any size, so it seems.

Read about the Christmas Island red crab.
Unless Christmas Island red crabs are somehow uniquely capable of harboring diseases with deadly cross-species potential, that's completely irrelevant. And the odds of this specific island harboring such a hypothetically dangerous species is vanishingly small for the same reason: if such a species exists anywhere on earth, it's almost certainly not on that one island.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 03:27 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
1) Crabs are not good candidates for crossover diseases.
Maybe they have crabs. Reason enough to stay away.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 03:30 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
Stealth?

To avoid their radar?
To avoid being seen. Or heard.

Note: I'm not actually suggesting we should do this. But it might be possible some day.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 04:40 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
1) Crabs are not good candidates for crossover diseases.
2) You're actually making my point: high densities of small animals happen all over the world. Now matter how dense the animal population is on this island, it's still going to be a vanishingly small fraction of the globe.

Unless Christmas Island red crabs are somehow uniquely capable of harboring diseases with deadly cross-species potential, that's completely irrelevant. And the odds of this specific island harboring such a hypothetically dangerous species is vanishingly small for the same reason: if such a species exists anywhere on earth, it's almost certainly not on that one island.
These islands contain monkeys, civets and bats. I believe that those can be disease vectors or reservoirs. Their presence or relative abundance on this island seems unknown.

These islands can also have pigs and shrews.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 05:24 PM   #144
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Rats or mice may have been introduced as well as domestic pigs and other such animals. The region already has a native wild pig.

Bats can be a disease trouble. I remember reading about bats and Ebola virus in a small area of Africa even though bats are nearly everywhere on earth. Bats around the Guam-Saipan islands have a disease which wrecks your brain before you die. But again bats are everywhere.

I doubt that there are such diseases at Sentinel but still a stage has been set whereby it is possible that those people have an immunity to something bad that nobody else does.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 07:49 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
These islands contain monkeys, civets and bats. I believe that those can be disease vectors or reservoirs. Their presence or relative abundance on this island seems unknown.

These islands can also have pigs and shrews.
Sure, but it cannot possibly have them in numbers large compared to the rest of the world, even if the densities are high.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 07:53 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Sure, but it cannot possibly have them in numbers large compared to the rest of the world, even if the densities are high.
Is your point that the entire rest of the world will always have more monkeys than are on this one island?
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Old 23rd November 2018, 08:29 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Rats or mice may have been introduced as well as domestic pigs and other such animals. The region already has a native wild pig.

Bats can be a disease trouble. I remember reading about bats and Ebola virus in a small area of Africa even though bats are nearly everywhere on earth. Bats around the Guam-Saipan islands have a disease which wrecks your brain before you die. But again bats are everywhere.

I doubt that there are such diseases at Sentinel but still a stage has been set whereby it is possible that those people have an immunity to something bad that nobody else does.
Yes bats carry a lot of viruses (but the there are a lot of bats), rabies, nipah, ebola. Rodents are also a trouble, hanta, plague, again just because there a lot of them so they carry a lot of viruses.

They are probably exposed to mosquito carried infections.

There is a minimum population size to maintain most infections, so it is likely their population is too small to maintain infections like measles or mumps. Herpes viruses and viruses with vertical (mother to baby) transmission and prolonged carriage could occur.
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Old 24th November 2018, 05:42 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Is your point that the entire rest of the world will always have more monkeys than are on this one island?
Yes. And every other animal as well. And therefore the rest of the wild is a far more likely source for a world ending plague than this one island.
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Old 24th November 2018, 08:30 AM   #149
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I think we can rule out dangerous diseases carried by any kind of flying animals. North Sentinel Island is only about 20 miles west of the rest of the Andamans. Storms, migration patterns, and regular airborne travel would have brought over pretty much any deadly bat, avian, or flying insect based disease to the rest of the Andamans or vice versa.
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Old 24th November 2018, 08:57 AM   #150
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Does India have any rules about child welfare or education? If so,is this tribe violating it?
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Old 24th November 2018, 09:06 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Does India have any rules about child welfare or education? If so,is this tribe violating it?
I think the rules on uncontacted indigenous tribes trump the rules on child welfare and education in this type of scenario.
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Old 24th November 2018, 09:10 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post
I think the rules on uncontacted indigenous tribes trump the rules on child welfare and education in this type of scenario.
I would have to see that argument from an expert in Indian law.
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Old 24th November 2018, 09:12 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I would have to see that argument from an expert in Indian law.
I could be an Indian Supreme Court judge for all you know.
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Old 24th November 2018, 09:14 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post
I could be an Indian Supreme Court judge for all you know.
Which is why I wouldn't accept a claim without evidence.
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Old 24th November 2018, 10:42 AM   #155
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About their language: The linguists cited by Wiki think it's probably in the same family as the Ongan languages. Sounds plausible.

As for the Sentinelese: The Indian govt. faces a dilemma. They'd like to persuade these savages to quit murdering people, and maybe even send their kids to school, so that someday the tribe can adopt a few wholesome practices, e.g., reading and vaccinations. But to do that, the Indians must avoid the very real likelihood of infecting people for whom they have responsibility with fatal diseases.

India has other problems, bigger ones, I submit. Maintaining a low-cost wildlife refuge for a small subset of the Andamanese is probably the best policy.
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Old 24th November 2018, 11:01 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Does India have any rules about child welfare or education? If so,is this tribe violating it?
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I would have to see that argument from an expert in Indian law.
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Which is why I wouldn't accept a claim without evidence.
Google is your friend.

Next...
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Old 24th November 2018, 11:35 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I would have to see that argument from an expert in Indian law.
Not really necessary; the fact that the Indian government itself ceased all attempts at contact and set up the exclusionary zone around the island in the 90's which has endured to the present day indicates the legal government considers the exclusionary policy to overrule all other typical government functions and interests. That makes it legally sound as a simple practical matter of fact until the day somebody challenges it via whatever means laws are legally challenged in India.
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Old 24th November 2018, 12:29 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
Google is your friend.

Next...
And did they ever agree to be part of India? I'd want to see the sealed and witnessed documents in which they signed over their sovereignty to India before I accept they should be subject to Indian laws.
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Old 24th November 2018, 12:42 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And did they ever agree to be part of India? I'd want to see the sealed and witnessed documents in which they signed over their sovereignty to India before I accept they should be subject to Indian laws.
It is weird that they claim sovereignty.
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Old 24th November 2018, 12:50 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
It is weird that they claim sovereignty.
Who said they claim sovereignty?
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