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bminority is between 18 and 20 percent of the total population. bThat is all bad enough, but for Israel there is even a worse differ- bence. The Greeks were always the majority and the Turks never bclaimed the land had been stolen; the most they sought was btheir share of the land. The Arabs of Israel claim that since they bwere once the majority, all the land was stolen from them. Israel bmoves inexorably toward Nicosia.

Asia

India: Bengalis, Tripurans, Assamese, Muslims, Hindus, Andhras

bIndian army Major R. Pajamani told reporters: “I wonder bwhether My Lai [the South Vietnamese village that was the bscene of a massacre] was half as gruesome as here.” It was June b8, 1980, and the scene was the village of Mandai in the northeast bIndian state of Tripura. As many as 2,000 Bengalis had been bsavagely slaughtered by Indian Tripura tribesmen who raped band burned alive women and children. Tens of thousands of hys- bterical Bengalis fled from the province. The cause? The Tripura bUpaijati Yuua Samiti led a drive demanding the expulsion of all bBengalis who had emigrated from East Pakistan (now Bang- bladesh) since 1947. The influence of the Muslim Bengalis had breduced the Hindu Tripurans to a minority in their own state.

bFive months earlier, similar riots began in the neighboring bstate of Assam, whose indigenous Hindu population is de- bscended from Burma’s Shan tribes. Millions of Bengalese have bfled to Assam over the years, and according to a United Press bInternational dispatch (April 6, 1980): “The Assamese call the bBengalis a threat to their own culture and political life and fear bbeing outvoted in their own state. Assamese students are bspearheading a campaign to have Bengalis deported from the bstate.”

bIn the Assamese riots, mobs armed with swords, spears, bgasoline cans, and bamboo sticks stormed Bengali villages, kill- bing hundreds, burning homes, and driving tens of thousands to bflee to safety in neighboring West Bengal, an ethnically similar bstate. The West Bengalis retaliated, blocking the narrow cor- bridor that is the only access to Assam from the rest of the coun- btry.

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Chapter 7: One Worlds