The Existence Of Arakan

Source from The Sail,

The Land & people:
The land of the Arakan’s creation was 5 million years ago, and the origin people of Arakan entered from part of India in about 5,000 years ago.
At present two major ethnic races, the Rohingyas and the Rakhines (Maghs) inhabit in Arakan. The Rohingyas are Muslims and the Rakhines are Buddhists. Its unofficial total population now is more than 5 million, both inside and outside the country.  In addition there are about 2 lakhs tribal people [Saks, Dinets (Chakmas) and Mros (Kamais)] and 2 lakhs Burman people in Arakan.  The Rohingyas are mostly concentrated in the riparian plains of Naf, Mayu and Kaladan. Arakan is the only Muslim majority province among the 14 provinces of Burma. Out of the 7 million Muslim population of Burma half of them are in Arakan. (from History Background of Arakan)

Politic: Under different periods of history, Arakan had been an independent and sovereign monarchy ruled by Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. Possibly the history of Arakan can be classified in the following manner into 10 periods; (1) 100-788 AD (Some Hindu dynasties), (2) 788-957 AD (Chandra Hindu dynasty), (3) 957-1430 (A Chaotic period of Mongolians, Buddhists and Muslims), (4) 1430-1784 AD (Mrauk-U dynasty of Muslims & Buddhists), (5) 1784-1826 AD (Burman Buddhist Rule), (6) 1826-1948 AD (British Colonial Rule), (7) 1948-1962 (Parliamentary Democracy Rule), (8) 1962-1974 AD (Revolutionary Military Government Rule),  (9) 1975-1988 (One Party Socialist Programme Party Government Rule), (10) 1988-1999 AD (SLORC/SPDC Military Government Rule).

 According to A. P Phayer and G.E. Harvey, the Arakanese kings established alternately capitals in eight different towns, transferring from one to another. They were successively at Dinnyawadi, 25 kings (146-746 AD); Vesali, 12 kings (788-994 AD); First Pyinsa (Sanbawut), 15 kings (1018-1103 AD); Parin, 8 kings (1103-1167 AD); Krit, 4 kings (1167-1180 AD); Second Pyinsa, 16 kings (1180-1237 AD); Launggyet, 17 kings (1237-1433 AD) and Mrauk-U, 48 kings (1433-1785 AD).  (from History Background of Arakan)
The Arakan Flag Design During Sanda-Thu-Ri-Ya King
The Arakan Flag Design During Sanda-Thu-Ri-Ya King

Arakan to Rakhine state:  In 1974 the Burmese Socialist Programme Party (BSPP)government of Ne Win constituted Rakhine State from Arakan Division to restoration of Rakhine Independence. The government also created 17 townships before this changes. More in 1983, Thandwe, Gwa, Taungup, Ponnagyan townships were defined as Muslim-free Zones by government.

Existence of Rohingya:
Between 7th Century
to 16th Century AD, tradings in Java, Malacca, Myanmar and Arakan were influenced by Arab traders. At the same time, the religion Islam was introduced there. When Islamic preachers arrived,  some of the first group in Arakan who accepted Muslim were moon worshippers, descendants of   ”San-Da-Wan-Tha” and people of Sandathuriya king who ruled over Sandawantha-moon worshipers and Thuriyawantha-sun worshipers. (Researcher)
“In 680 AD after the war of ‘Karbala’ Mohammed Hanofiya with his army arrived at Arab-Shah Para, near Maungdaw in the Northern Arakan, while Kaiyapuri, the queen of Cannibals ruled this hilly deep forest attacking and looting the people of Arakan. Mohammed Hanif attacked the Cannibals and captured the queen. She was converted to Islam and married to him. Her followers embraced Islam en masse. Mohammed Hanif and the queen Kaiyapuri lived in Mayu range. The peaks where they lived were still known as Hanifa Tonki and Kaiyapui Tonki. The wild cannibals were tamed and became civilised. Arakan was no more in danger of them and peace and tranquillity prevailed. The followers of Mohammed Hanif and Kaiyapuri were mixed up and lived peacefully.” The descendants of these mixed people no doubt formed the original nucleus of the Rohingya Muslims in Arakan. (from Historical Background of Arakan)
In 788 AD, during the season of Wae Tha Li, many of Arab traders’ boats were demolished by cyclone and landed to an island. And the king of the land relocated them into the lands. Thus, they named that Island as ‘Raham Bre’ (In Arabic, helper island), today call as ‘Rambre Island’. (from historians)
 
In 887 AD, most of Arakaneses converted to Islam as the results of propagation from India. (from Arab history)
 
Later from Portugal slavery time, some people from Bangladesh including non-Bangladeshies, were brought into Arakan and sold as slaves to Arab traders and Arakaneses.
In 1430, the two large army groups of Bangal had been entered into Arakan to expel Burman occupiers and settled in Arakan. As, Arakan was invaded by upper Burman(Ava) king Min Khaung in 1404 and he refuged 24 years at Bangal professed himself into Muslim. Later, the Arakan king Narameik Hla@ Saw Mon expelled Burmese invaders by the help of general Wali Khan consisting tens of  thousands of  Bangal forces in 1429. However, general Wali Khan betrayed by taking the throne of Arakan and imprisoned the king Narameik Hla. After he escaped from prison, sought again from Bangal king and he reentered into Arakan by a second larger army led by general Sandhi Khan of Bangal king Nasiruddin Shah and then retook his throne in 1430. He designated himself Muslim title as Solaiman Shah and kept Arakan under the governor of Cittagong in order to prevent from foreign invasions. The readers could understand about how many Bangal soldiers and other ordinary people had been settled in that period once political, social, culture structures and goals changed. (according to former chairman of Burma Historical Commission, Lt.Col. Ba Shin)
In early 16th Century during the reign of Mrauk U, Indian Muslims missionary headed into Arakan and preached Muslim religion through village to village converting Islam. (from Rakine Razawin BE1282)
Thou, we can say today Rohingya is mixed stocks of Arab, Mongolia, Arakanese (Maghs) and clashed into Fore-Arian, Indo-Arian, Indo-Mongo. As Burma is originally home to firstly Pyu states and secondly Mon states. I would not make mention as some mix from Bengali as some states of Bangladesh (Cittagong) were well enacted and fell under Arakan for some periods and separated later.
 
Rohingya in Arakan is long rooted, can be proved by historical buildings with Mosques firstly built  in 7th Century AD, Muslim Kings ruled for 4 centuries in Arakan, and others of Islamic names of towns, villages, rivers and others, and some Rakine kings also used Islamic names in 14 Century. Otherwise, the latest DNA may prove their existences. Moreover, some buildings built by Arakanese Muslim combatants, can be seen today in Yangon and Mawlamyaing. (from Burman King Invasions)
The name of Rohingya is founded as the people from Roshang/Rohang-Arakan: Rohang-Gya (‘Gya’ is villager). Like ‘Rakhasa’ to ‘Rakkha’ to ‘Rakkhaing’ to Rakhaing (Rakhine). Like Arakan to Rakhine, Burma to Myanmar. Time by time, states, people, names, cultures, are changed based on determination by influences.

Population:
The official population in 2007 was 3,744,976, and in 2010 the population was estimated to be 3.83 million. The state is inhabited primarily by two major groups of people, the Rakhine ethnic group and the Rohingya ethnic group. According to Government Divisional Administration estimates, 10,33,212 Rohingya live in Northern Arakan State. The majority of the people of Arakan State are Buddhists, with the second-largest group being Muslims.
 The Burmese government estimates that in Arakan State, 59.7% of the population (22,35,750 people) is Buddhist, while 35.6% (13,33,212 people) follow Islam, and 4.7% (1,73,014 people) is constituted of people of other religions. The Muslim Rohingya primarily live in the Arakan region of the country where they constitute around 30% of the total population of Arakan State and speak a dialect distinct from Burmese and Bengali. Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) has an estimated population of approximately 58 million, 15 percent of which is Muslim. The majority of the people of Myanmar are Buddhists.
In Arakan State, the majority-ethnic Rakhine reside mainly in the lowland valleys, including Lemro, Kaladan, and Mayu, as well as Ramree and Manaung (Cheduba) Islands. The Rohingya primarily live in the northern part of Arakan State. Other Muslim groups include Kaman Muslims (indigenous to Myanmar) and Rakhine Muslims (descendants of mixed marriages with Rakhine Buddhists). There are also a number of other ethnic minorities, such as the Chin, Mro, Chakma, Khami, Dainet, and Maramagri, who inhabit the hill regions of the state. The state’s area is fairly sparsely populated, with very few large towns or cities. Sittwe/Akyab is by far the largest city in the state, and also the centre of trade. Other notable towns include Maungdaw, Buthidaung, Rathedaung, Mrauk-U, Kyaukpru, Thandwe, and Tounggok. Otherwise, the population is primarily rural, living in the lowland valleys, hills, and forests, or along the seacoast and coastal islands of the Bay of Bengal. Arakan State is the country’s richest region in terms of oil and natural gas deposits. (Source from MARGINALIZATION OF THE ROHINGYA IN ARAKAN STATE OF WESTERN BURMA)

Historical Buildings:
Historic Budder Mukam, It was built in 7th C and situated in today Navy base Camp of southern-Akyab

(Historic Budder Mukam (Pir Badar Sha), It was built in memory of the eminent Saint Allama Shah.
It was seized since 1978 and now in navy base camp, near by Sittwe-point, on the southern side of Akyab Island.
It was meditation place of saints, historian says it was built in 7th Century AD during Islamic preachers arrived. It was also the sign said told the Akyab Island appeared into large after the shrines.)
Another famous shrine one in Sittwe/Akyab is Babagyi Mosque (Babazi Shah Monayem of Ambari ) situated on the southern bank of Sittwe lake @ Kan-daw-gyi. It was also seized in about 1985 and occupied as military area. 
Stone structure Sandhi Khan Mosque, situated in Mintayabyin @ Kwan Lon, Mrauk-U, built in 1433 AD.
 (Stone structure Sandhi Khan Mosque, situated in Mintayabyin @ Kwan Lon, Mrauk-U. It was constructed in 1433 AD by Muslim army ( Gen. Sandhi Khan)who came to help enthrone Narameikhla. It was demolished by military in 1996 September.)
Stone stucture Majah Pali (a) Musa Pali Mosque, built in1513-1515

(Stone stucture Majah Pali (a) Musa Pali Mosque, construcred by an Indian missionary Musa in the time of 9th king of Mrauk_U 1513-1515 A.D. It stands Maungthagon Village, Mrauk-U. It was demolished by military in about 1983.)
An ancient Kadi Mosque in Paike-thae village, Kyauktaw, found in 14th Century AD

Language & Literature:
Arabic is a main script for Muslims around the world, thus Arab traders introduced Arabic language in Arakan. Later Persian language (sub Arabic), Urdu (sub-Arabic) and English language used in colonial period, now lately in Burmese but not in Bengali script.  As Rohingya’s culture, tradition, script, were destroyed due to unavoidable violations in every power transition periods. Mostly from other parts of Rohingyas where mostly Rakhines speak dialect in Rakhine language and Burmese in many cities so that today Rohingya learn Burmese script from their education and Arabic and Urdu from religious class. Latest script of Rohingya is yet to be form. Some exile groups in developed countries have introduced ‘Romanized Alphabet-Rohingya Script’, example in Australia.
The other Historian says, the first written Rohingya language was more than 1300 years old and it used Arabic script. The sixth century Niti Chandra inscription and Vira Chandra inscription of Vesali, Arakan were written in Rohingya language stating the yedhamma verse of the messenger Prophet. However during the long colonial period under British rule, Urdu, Arabic and English were the main popular languages used for writing. (Historian)

Similarly, India descendent religion Buddhism Rakhine or Burmese used India-Brami words to Pali-subbrami to complete Burmese script today was based from the Mon script.
Others minorities speaking in the Rohingya dialects are  Mro, Thet or Chakma, Khami, Dainet, and Maramagri. Amongst them, the Rohingya people are Muslim and therefore, the problems remains for the Rohingya only.

If we look a back, we would found that the God Buddha is the son of king ‘A-Taw-Ka’ and began from Biha-India, and preached firstly into Arakan and later to upper Burma in Burma. Thus, significant groups like Dianet, Maramagyi and Hindu are seen as the first class, the Arakanese Rakhine is the second class and later Burman from upper Burma is the third class, are indisputable ranks in Buddhism, such as ‘thayrawada’ and ‘mahayana’ in religion. Undeniable that today the dialect of the Rohingya is close to the first class groups of Buddhist.

So, we found that Cittagong-Bengali dialect close to Arakanese Rohingya, but close means different language and not same and need translation. Ironic in many reports, easily reporting that the Rohingya dialects related to Cittagonian. As an example, Thai, Lao, Shan-Burma languages are close in script (written) and dialect, but different language. Cultures, civilization, territory, language, are totally different while Nepali, Butane and Bengali Languages have similarity with Hindi scripture but expression is far way from each other. (The New Fortune)

Recognition:
The Rohingya were recognized as an indigenous ethnic community by the Burma’s first prime minister U Sao Shawe Thaik and again repeated the declaration as an indigenous ethnic community of Myanmar by U Nu government in 1954.  (A History of Arakan, Past & Present)
But, the 1982 citizenship law  denied the Rohingya to be a national ethnic group or full citizenship.   As well as,  others types of Muslims in Burma are also applied similarly. They are also like Rohingyas not allow to recourse to become new citizenship with  own identity under the new constitution act.
In 2003 Nov, Malaysia Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Alber had been concerned about Rohingyas but Myanmar Government is not willing to accept and Embassy of Myanmar Counceller U Khin Maung Lynn said that Rohingya is not among from Ethnic groups and infected from Bangladesh in 1970s.
Burma citizenship law denied citizenship to member of Muslim minority in Arkan State, generally known as “Rohingya”. (“according to a join statement release by six independent human rights expert in 04 April 2007”).
A Letter on 9 Feb 2009, A Burmese diplomat by the name of Ye Myint Aung at the Burmese Consulate in Hong Kong used very politically incorrect language in describing the Rohingyas, an Muslim ethnic minority that has created controversy for the Burmese government, because they are not recognized as Burmese but as Bengali immigrants. Ye Myint Aung, in the letter above, refers to the Rohingyas as very “dark brown” and as “ugly as ogres.” http://viss.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/rohingyas-as-ugly-as-ogres/
However, the Rohingya’s long rooted in Arakan is considered as an indigenous ethnic group of Arakan rather than the Burmese ethnic.
Today Rohingyas sprung up and seeking refuge from the world but the Refugee Agency remains through ignoring their plights by turning to the other issues of around the world. The fact that Rohingya belief, Rohingya is not one of the group prioritized by developed countries.
 
A short Point of  Earlier than others: Tibeto-Burman speaking Burmans, or the Bamar, began migrating to the Ayeyarwady valley from present-day Yunnan‘s Nanzhao kingdom starting in 7th century AD. Filling the power gap left by the Pyu, the Burmans established a small kingdom centred in Bagan in 849. But it was not until the reign of King Anawrahta (1044 – 1077) that Bagan’s influence expanded throughout much of present-day Burma. It was also known as Burma’s first emperor, Bagan Dynasty.
After Anawrahta’s capture of the Mon capital of Thaton in 1057, the Burmans adopted Theravada Buddhism from the Mons. The Burmese script was created, based on the Mon script, during the reign of King Kyanzittha (1084 – 1112). Prosperous from trade, Bagan kings built many magnificent temples and pagodas throughout the country – many of which can still be seen today.
Bagan’s power slowly waned in 13th century. Kublai Khan‘s Mongol forces invaded northern Burma starting in 1277, and sacked Bagan city itself in 1287. Bagan’s over two century reign of Ayeyarwady valley and its periphery was over. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma)

Other Groups: other facts Between Muslim and Others:
There are Thet, Mru, Khami, Dainet, Maramagyi ethnic groups in Arakan, are also speak in Rohingya dialects, but they are not violated because they are being non-Muslims. In detail,
  • 19th Century descendent from Han-China, Wah are recognized and given citizenship.
  • 18-19th Century descendent from Muslim-China, Panthey, are not recognized and but given foreigner-ship.
  • 18th Century descendent from Malay , Pashu, are not recognized but given citizenship.
  • Later from Colony war, non-Muslims are recognized and given citizenship but Muslims are not recognized and given temporary card.
  • 17th Century descendent from India-Archer, Kaman, are recognized but given to few and disputation is still existed.
Because of the Rohingya are not being religious of them, they were being expelled by Burma rulers and often by local groups causes of instigations. However, how deny by military government, the root cause and historical existences, proves will not be dimmed forever.
If we have mechanism which can generate changes in Burma with people elected government firstly with initiation of genuine federal democracy system which could grantee the dignity and the rights of the entire people and sustainable economic gains, Rohingya could found their rights!

However, the Democracy means majority representatives therefore acception of millions of Rohingya refugees from around the world is unrealistic, no matter who rule in the future.

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