|International disputes have been in existence for almost as much time as boundaries have been in place and flags have been flown. Border disputes are the most common form of dispute and are the result of a country's ability (or non-ability) to draw lines, stand behind them and hold the land as their own. |
The region of Jammu & Kashmir in the Indian subcontinent is a land subject to much political debate and dispute. The area is located in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent and straddles the old Silk Road. Both Pakistan and India claim the land as their own and their are frequent exchanges of fire between the two nations. The Indian city of Srinigar is subject to a strict curfew at night, and walking the streets after nightfall is foolhardy to say the least.
Within northern Sri Lanka, the city of Jaffna and its environs has been subject to a bloody civil war between the Sinhalese and the Tamil separatist group LTT, the Liberation of Tamil Tigers. The LTT wants to claim the region and run it as a separate state of India. The area is known locally to Tamils as Ellam. In 2002, the LTT bombed the international airport in the capital city of Colombo and succeeded in destroying one half of the entire Sri Lankan Airlines fleet.
Since the Korean War ended in 1953, North and South Korea have remained divided at the 38th parallel by a DMZ, demilitarized zone. The DMZ in Korea is the only of its kind in the world in that it separates a once united nation. The last DMZ to be re-unified was that of the old North and South Vietnam. One million soldiers of both sides face each other constantly, monitoring each other's every move. At the joint security area in Panmunjom, South Korea, meetings are held in order to keep alive the hope of possible future reunification. It is possible to take a US military guided tour of this area.
Israel, Palestine and the Gaza Strip are areas of the Middle East that have been subject to international dispute for decades now. It would be very difficult to define the boundaries of each region without entering into a heavy debate.