Attrition: Not All Dead Bodies Are Equal In The Eyes Of The Media


March 20, 2007: While Pakistan is often seen as the most violence-prone part of Asia, that is not always the case. During the first week of March, there 31 deaths in Pakistan as a result of terrorism or civil disorder (rebellion and the like). But in India, there were 43 such deaths, and in tiny Sri Lanka (an island off the southern tip of India) there were 119 deaths.

India has three small wars going on at the moment. In the northwest, there are Islamic terrorists trying to drive India (and all non-Moslems) out of Kashmir. In the northeast, several tribal groups are fighting for the establishment of a separate state. In between, there are thousands of Maoist rebels fighting to establish a communist dictatorship. There are also a few Islamic terrorists running around.

Sri Lanka has been fighting Tamil separatists for the last three decades. The Tamil minority are descended from south Indian Tamils who came to Sri Lanka over the years for jobs. The fighting has killed nearly 70,000 people so far. There was a ceasefire in 2002, and peace negotiations. But the talks failed and fighting has resumed in the last year.

So while Pakistan gets most of the headlines, that's not where most of the bodies are buried in South Asia.


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