Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Who were Raped and Killed to Buddhist girl.

MA THIDA HTWE - 2 YEAR MEMORIAL Ma Thida Htwe was raped and murdered by a group of three Muslim youths near her village Tha Pri Chaung, on May 28, 2012, when she was returning home from Kyauk Ni Maw Village in Rambree township, Rakhine (Arakan) State, Burma (Myanmar).
The rape and murder of Thida Htwe sparked the cycle of violence that subsequentially spiraled out of control, but, it was not the root caus...e.
It was one of many sparks. There are many rapes of Buddhist women and girls, mainly in the Muslim dominated townships of Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathaydaung. In these townships, and others with large Muslim populations, the Rakhine Buddhists continually complain that the Bengalis steal their property, their cattle and crops, and harass, attack and sometimes kill the Buddhists, and other non-Muslims.

And, disturbingly, the Bengalis seem to even find justification, for being contemptuous of the Rakhine people, their culture and their Buddhist faith. The Muslims are beholden to the insular dictates of their faith, which does not encourage assimilation with others, nor admiration or even tolerance, but upholds expansionism, superiority, and the inarguable belief that Islam will - by Allah’s (God’s) decree - be accepted by all people, everywhere.
Meanwhile, a school building built in the memory of Ma Thida Htwe opened in her native village - Tha Pri Chaung - under the supervision of a prominent monk known as Bogalay Sayadaw.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

၂၀၀၁ခုနွစ္မွ၂၀၁၄ခုနွစ္ထိ ေမာင္ေတာေဒသတြင္ ဘဂၤလီမ်ား အၾကမ္းဖက္သတ္ျဖတ္မႈေၾကာင့္ ဒဏ္ရာရေသဆံုးခဲ႔ၾကသည့္ လံုၿခံဳေရး`ရဲတပ္ဖြဲ႔ဝင္´မ်ားစာရင္း

…၂၀၀၁ခုနွစ္ ဇူလိုင္လ၁၁ရက္ေန႔တြင္ ေမာင္ေတာၿမိဳ႕ ၿမိဳ႕သူႀကီးေက်းရြာမွ ဘဂၤလီမ်ားတိုက္ခိုက္မႈေၾကာင့္ `တပ္ၾကပ္ႀကီးတစ္ဦးေသဆံုး´
…၂၀၀၁ခုနွစ္ နိုဝင္ဘာလ၂၃ရက္ေန႔တြင္ ေမာင္ေတာၿမိဳ႕ေျမာက္ပိုင္း ေလာင္းဒံုရဲစခန္းတြင္ ဘဂၤါလီမ်ားတိုက္ခိုက္၍ `လံုၿခံဳေရးတပ္ဖြဲ႔ဝင္ေျခာက္ဦးေသဆံုး´ၿပီး ရိုင္ဖယ္ေသနတ္ေျခာက္လက္ပါ ယူေဆာင္သြား။
…၂၀၀၄စက္တင္ဘာလ၂ရက္ေန႔တြင္ ဘဂၤါလီမ်ားတိုက္ခိုက္မႈေၾကာင့္ `ဒုရဲအုပ္တစ္ဦးေသဆံုး´ လက္နက္လည္းေပ်ာက္။
…၂၀၀၈ခုနွစ္ စက္တင္ဘာလ၁၈ရက္ေန႔ ညအခ်ိန္က ကင္းေခ်ာင္းရဲစခန္းမွ တပ္ၾကပ္ႀကီးနွင့္ရဲသံုးဦး (ေပါင္းေလးဦး)အား ဘဂၤါလီမ်ားတိုက္ခိုက္မႈေၾကာင့္ ဒဏ္ရာမ်ားရရွိ။
…၂၀၀၉ခုနွစ္ ဧၿပီလ၂၂ရက္တြင္ ကင္းလွည့္ေနသည့္ လံုၿခံဳေရးတပ္ဖြဲ႔အား သက္ေခ်ာင္းရြာမွ ဘဂၤါလီမ်ားတိုက္ခိုက္၍ ခုနွစ္ဦးတိတိ ဒဏ္ရာမ်ားရရွိ။
အထက္ပါ ေဖာ္ျပခ်က္မ်ားသည္ ၂၀၁၂ခုနွစ္ ကုလား-ရခိုင္ ပဋိပကၡ မျဖစ္ပြားမွီကပင္ ဘဂၤါလီမ်ားက လက္စြမ္းျပထားေသာ အေျခအေန ျဖစ္ပါသည္။ ေအာက္တြင္ေဖာ္ျပမွာကေတာ့ ၂၀၁၂ပဋိပကၡျဖစ္ၿပီးမွ လက္စြမ္းျပထားျခင္းမ်ား ျဖစ္ပါသည္။
…၂၀၁၃ခုနွစ္ မတ္လ၂၇ရက္ေန႔က ကုလားတရားခံတစ္ဦးကို လိုက္လံရွာေဖြေနသည့္ ရဲတပ္ဖြဲ႔အား ဘဂၤါလီမ်ားက အုပ္စုဖြဲ႔ ဝိုင္းဝန္းတိုက္ခိုက္မႈေၾကာင့္ ရဲႏွစ္ဦး ဒဏ္ရာရရွိ။
…၂၀၁၄ ဇန္နဝါရီလ၁၃ရက္ေန႔က ကင္းလွည့္ရဲတပ္ဖြဲ႔အား ဒုခ်ီရာတန္းေက်းရြာမွ ကုလားမ်ားက အုပ္စုဖြဲ႔တိုက္ခိုက္ေသာေၾကာင့္ ရဲတပ္ၾကပ္ႀကီးတစ္ဦးေသဆံုး။လက္နက္လည္းေပ်ာက္ဆံုး။
…၂၀၁၄ခုနွစ္ ေမလ၁၇ရက္ေန႔က ျမန္မာ-ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ နယ္စပ္ၿခံစည္းရိုးနားတြင္ ကင္းလွည့္ေနေသာ နယ္ျခားေစာင့္ ရဲတပ္ဖြဲ႔ဝင္မ်ားကို RSOဟုအမည္ခံထားေသာ ဘဂၤါလီမ်ားက ေခ်ာင္းေျမွာင္းပစ္ခတ္ေသာေၾကာင့္ ရဲေလးဦးက်ဆံုး။ဒုရဲအုပ္တစ္ဦး ေသနတ္မွန္ဒဏ္ရာရရွိ။
ဤစာရင္းသည္ ``ေမာင္ေတာေဒသမွ ရဲတပ္ဖြဲ႔ဝင္မ်ား´´သာ ေသဆံုးဒဏ္ရာရရွိမႈ စာရင္းျဖစ္ပါသည္။ေမာင္ေတာေဒသမွ `စစ္သား´မ်ားစာရင္း မပါရွိေသးသလို ရခိုင္ျပည္ရွိ အျခားေနရာမ်ားျဖစ္ေသာ စစ္ေတြ၊ေျမာက္ဦး၊ေက်ာက္ေတာ၊ေပါက္ေတာ စသည့္ၿမိဳ႕မ်ား၌ ေသဆံုးဒဏ္ရာရရွိၾကသည့္ ရဲ၊စစ္သားမ်ား၏ စာရင္းလည္း မပါရွိေသးပါ။ဤစေတးတပ္မွာ 26.5.2014ေန႔ထုတ္ Weekly Eleven ဂ်ာနယ္မွ စာ-34တြင္ပါရွိသည့္ ေဆာင္းပါးထဲမွာ ထုတ္နဳတ္တင္ျပထားျခင္း ျဖစ္ပါသည္။

Saturday, 24 May 2014

"Rohingya," More a Political Rhetoric Than an "Ethnic Identity."

Aye Chan
I: Early Muslim Settlers in the Kingdom of Arakan
Although the term “Arakan” denotes Present Rakhine State of Union of Burma in the European Literature from the 16th century, it was clearly a derivation from the Portuguese corruption of “Rakhine.” The people of Rakhine State of Union of Burma call themselves “Rakhine” and their country, formerly an independent kingdom, “Rakhinepray.” Sir Henry Yule an expert of Colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, quoting contemporary Portuguese sources writes:
“It is called by some Portuguese Orrakan, by others among them Arrakaon and
by some again Rakan” (Yule 1985: 34).
The famous Bengali poet of the seventeenth century, Daulat Qazi, in his Collection of Bengali Poems, “Sati Maina” writes about Rakhine Kingdom as:
“To the East of the River Karnafuli there is a palace, “Roshang City” by name, like the Heaven. There rules the glorious king of Maghada descent, a follower of the Buddha.” (Huq 2005: 12).
In this poem again “Roshang” clearly is the corrupted Bengali pronunciation for “Rakhine.” In the literary works of the Bengali literature Rakhine is called “Roshang” or “Rohong.” During the colonial period the country was known as “Arakan Division.”
A Japanese historian, Kei Nemoto testified at the Supreme Court of Japan, supporting the fact of existence of “Rohingya” as an ethnic group in the Arakan (Rakhine) State of Union of Burma (Myanmar) as:
“Jaeger attempted to reconstruct the history of the Rohingya by describing the three stages where Muslim communities had been formed in Arakan. The first stage is a period when a large number of Muslims had migrated from diverse areas (especially from Bengal) in the Mughal Kingdom (1526-1857; its golden days were from the 16th century to the mid-17th century) in India. Jaeger notes that they are the origin of the Rohingya ethnic group.”
For this passage Nemoto does not give any reference and page number either. I have occasionally read Moshe Yegar’s books many times and I did not see such a passage in any of his works. And even if Yegar would have written in any piece of his publication that I have not read, I can say with certainty that it is a wrong historical fact. Actually, Moshe Yegar is not reconstructing the history of “Rohingya.” As an authority in the study of the Muslim minorities in Southeast Asia his attempt was at most to examine how the problem of Muslim minority in Rakhine State escalated to a Jihad(Holy War) in Myanmar after the independence, and the causes that led to the persistent flights of the Muslim refugees into neighboring Bangladesh (Yegar 2002: 19 -47).
Certainly, Yegar writes that the Arab castaways settled in the Rakhine coast in the 8th and 9th centuries were earliest Muslim settlers and the Muslim followers of King Min Saw Mon (1430-1433) after he was restored to the throne with the help of military assistance from Bengal were allowed to make Arakan their home. The two accounts given in the Rakhine chronicles might be taken by Yegar as the first and second stages of Muslim migration to Rakhineland. About the Arab travelers coming to trade with Arakan French historian Jacques Leider critically asserts as:
“Since the Muslim traders had come to Arakan, we do not exactly know.
Pretending that Arab traders had come to Arakan since the 8th and 9th century is largely a matter of speculation linked to the early history of Chittagong”
(Leider 1998:202).
In the study of Southeast Asian history all the scholars agree that the Arab navigators’ accounts have been based on the secondary information and not substantially reliable. Ibn Majid in mid-fifteenth century noted down about the navigable difficulties of the shallow and rocky channels in the entrance to the Rakhine City (Tibetts 1981: 381). Besides his record, there is no informative source on Rakhine coast left by the Arab navigators. We can definitely assume that Arabs sailors were not well aware of Arakan.
Yegar, with a little knowledge of Burmese literature, certainly relies on the secondary sources, especially Arthur Phayre’s works in English. Phayre always follows the chronicles. A student of Burmese history will clearly understand if he reads Phayre’s History of Burma that is more a collection of legends of Old Burma than a history book. In case of Rakhine history too, every scholar of Burmese history would soon realize the chroniclers’ accounts on the history of Arakanese Kingdom in the First Millennia AD are almost the folk tales. It can be clearly seen that some stories from Indian, especially Buddhist literature were directly copied for some events. As a historian, I confidently say that the dynastic chronicles of Dannyawadi and Wethali Periods (c.100 – 1000) are hopelessly unreliable as primary sources and not even as secondary ones. The stories of Arab settlers are all based on the chroniclers’ account of the shipwrecks at the Rakhine coast and the “Kular castaways” who settled in Rakhine Kingdom. The chronicles do not give exact dates of the shipwrecks and do not say that they were Arabs. “Kular” is a Burmese word for all those who came from the west by sea. The Europeans are called “Kular Phyu” that means “White Kular.”
(To be continued.)

Saturday, 10 May 2014

ဖတ္ၾကည့္ၾကပါ။ သံအမတ္ၾကီးက Derek Tonkin ၿဖစ္ပါတယ္။
I had it coming to me. Rohingya Bloggers have sought to demolish my recent presentation of the British experience in Arakan. It is not merely that I am a dolt and a moron, but so too it seems were all those British administrators who sought to depict in gazetteers and censuses the bewildering kaleidoscope of ethnic diversity which they found in the country which Britain had conquered.

Who are the Rohingya

It is not only Aye Chan who says that there has never been such an ethnic group as "Rohingya" in Burmese history.
British Ambassador Derek Tonkin writes: Although they are reluctant to admit this, Muslims in Rakhine State are overwhelmingly of Bengali origin, though this may well go back to the 16th Century and even earlier. Those who emigrated from the Chittagong District and from further afield in Bengal from the mid-1850s onwards were already well established as permanent... residents at least a century ago. The percentage of all Indians, Hindu as well as Muslim, born in India, remained static in Arakan at 23.5% (1911), 25.0% (1921) and 23.2% (1931) according to the censuses in those years. By 1940 when Financial Secretary James Baxter issued his Report on Indian Immigration, it was not thought that there had been any change of substance. The detailed figures for 1931, given on page 49 of the Baxter Report, for Akyab District where about 97% of the Indian population in Arakan was concentrated, and which under British administration included both present-day Sittwe and Maungdaw Districts,....

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

ပုဂံေက်ာက္စာထဲက ရခိုင္ေ၀ါဟာရမ်ား(၃)

ပုဂံေက်ာက္စာထဲက ရခိုင္ေ၀ါဟာရမ်ား(၃)
ဓမၼရံၾကီးဘုရားေျမာက္ဘက္မွာ ရွိတဲ့ အေစါ၀္လတ္ေက်ာက္စာမွာ " အမိ မရိယ္ခဘူေသာ ေကႅာက္စာ " လိုရွိပါတယ္။ ဒီေန႔စာနဲ႔ ျပန္ေရးရရင္ " အမိ မေရးခဲ့ဖူးသာ ေက်ာက္စာ " ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဆိုေတာ့ ရခိုင္မွာ အမ်ားစုက အေမကို (အမိ)လို႔ ဒီေန႔ အခ်ိန္ထိ ေခၚေနဆဲျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ စာ(မရိယ္), စာ(ရိယ္)ဆိုတဲ့ စာ(မရီး) စာ(ရီး)ဆိုတဲ့ အသံုးအႏွဳံးဟာ ဒီေန႔ ရခိုင္ေတြ သံုးေနဆဲ ေ၀ါဟာရျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ (မရိယ္ခေသာ)မွာ ပါတဲ့ (ခ)ကလည္း ရခိုင္ေတြ ေန႔တဓူ၀ သံုးစြဲေနဆဲျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဥပမာ ( စာအုပ္ကို ထားခ)ဆိုတဲ့ ပံ...ုစံမ်ိဳးေတြျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ျမန္မာလိုဆိုရင္ေတာ့ (စာအုပ္ကို ထားခဲ့)
ပုဂံသက္စိုးေတာင္ မရွက္စန္ဖာ ငေရာက္သင္ေခၚတဲ့ ကံကုန္စာခ်ီသမီးေက်ာက္စာမွာ
" ရွဳယ္ေတာင္တက္သကာ တိုင္သလင္လဆန္ ၁၀ ၈်က္ ၾကသပတိယ္နိယ္ " ဆိုတဲ့ အေရးအသားမွာ (ၾကာသပတိယ္)ဆိုတဲ့ ( ၾကာသပတီး)ကိုေရာ (နိယ္)ဆိုတဲ့ (နိ)ကိုပါ ရခိုင္ေတြ ဒီေန႔ အခ်ိန္ထိ သံုးစြဲေနဆဲျဖစ္ပါတယ္။
ဖြားေစာေက်ာက္စာမွာ " ေကႅာက္ဆည္ မႅိယ္ ၁၀၀ ပိယ္တ္မူ၏ " ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ " ေကႅာက္" မွာ ေအာက္က (လ) " မႅိယ္ " မွာ ေအာက္က(လ)ေတြဟာ ယပင့္ေရာ ရရစ္အတြက္ပါ ပုဂံေက်ာက္စာေတြမွာ သံုးၾကပါတယ္။ ဆိုေတာ့ ( ေက်ာက္ဆည္ ေျမ ၁၀၀ ေပးေတာ္မူ၏)လို႔ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ( မႅိယ္)ဆိုတဲ့ (ၿမီ)ကိုေရာ (ပိယ္)ဆိုတဲ့ (ပီး)ကိုေရာ ရခိုင္အမ်ိဳးသားေတြ ယခုပစၥကၡကာလမွာ သံုးစြဲေနဆဲျဖစ္ပါတယ္။
ေနာက္ပုဂံေက်ာက္စာတစ္ခုမွာ " ပုရွာလွဴေသာလဲ ပါလိယ္ဧအ္ " မွာ (ပါလိယ္)ဆိုတဲ့ (ပါလီ)ကို ရခိုင္ေတြ သံုးစြဲေနဆဲျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ပုဂံေခတ္မွာ ပုရွာကေတာ့ ဘုရားလို႔ ေရးပါတယ္။
ဖြားေစာေက်ာက္စာတခုမွာ " တန္ေဆာင္မွဳန္လပႅည္ စနိယ္နိယ္" ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဒီေန႔ျမန္မာေတြ စေနေန႔ ျဖစ္သြားေပမယ့္ ရခိုင္ေတြကေတာ့ (စနိယ္နိယ္) စနီနိလို႔ သံုးစြဲေနဆဲျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ အဲဒီေက်ာက္စာမွာဘဲ (ရိယ္ မႅိယ္ခပ္သိမ္းေသာ) စတဲ့ အေရးအသားေတြ ပါရွိေသးပါတယ္၊ (ရိယ္ မႅိယ္)ဆိုတဲ့ ( ရီၿမီ)ကို အထက္မွာေရာ အခန္းဆက္မွာ ေရးၿပီးသားျဖစ္ပါတယ္။
အဲဒီ ဖြားေစာ ေက်ာက္စာမွာ ေနာက္ထပ္ေတြ႔ရတာက " ငါလင္ သၡိင္မင္ၾကီ ငါသာမင္ၾကီ ငါ မႅိယ္မင္ၾကီး " ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ အထက္က ေျပာခဲ့သလို ဗ်ည္းေအာက္က(လ)ဟာ ယပင့္ ရရစ္ကို သံုးစြဲျခင္းျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဆိုေတာ့ (ငါ မႅိယ္မင္ၾကီး)မွာ( ငါ့ေျမး)လို႔ ျမန္မာေတြ ဒီေန႔သံုးစြဲေနေပမယ့္ ရခိုင္ေတြကေတာ့ (ငါ မႅိယ္)ကို (ငါ့ၿမီး)လို႔ ဒီေန႔အခ်ိန္ထိ ယွဥ္သန္သံုးစြဲေနေၾကာင္းပါ -- ။ ။ (ဆက္ရန္)
ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းစြာ သေဘာထားကြဲလြဲ ႏိုင္ပါတယ္ ---

Monday, 21 April 2014

The 'Rohingya' Identity - British experience in Arakan 1826-1948

The 'Rohingya' Identity - British experience in Arakan 1826-1948

Posted by Ven. Indobhasa Sunday, April 20, 2014
9 April 2014
Derek Tonkin

I only recently discovered the Digital Library of India. Like a child let loose in a sweetshop, I have been gorging myself on unrestricted historical candy. With the Census in Myanmar on its way to completion, I looked to see how the British in their time had handled the issue of the ‘Rohingya’ identity which is currently a matter of deep concern: there sadly appears to have been a last minute change of heart by the Myanmar Government not to allow self-identification by Muslims as ‘Rohingya’, under the threat by Buddhists in Rakhine State to boycott the census if that was permitted.

There is a very simple answer to the matter of British practice. There was no such identity as ‘Rohingya’ known to the British Governments of either India until 1937 or of Burma after the separation from India on 1 April of that year. In the 122 years between their conquest of Arakan in 1826 and Burmese independence in 1948, not a single reference to ‘Rohingya’ is to be found in any British official report, regional gazetteer, census, legislation, private correspondence or personal reminiscence. Even if such a self-identification had been made, the census enumerator would have written ‘Chittagonian’ as they were under instructions to do in both the 1921 and 1931 censuses if alternative identities were offered, such as ‘Kawtaw’,'Barna’, ‘Babuji’ or ‘Magh’.
“By means of that mysterious sympathy – the despair of the average European – which enables Asiatics of all kinds to communicate with one another with apparent freedom on the veriest minimum of a common vocabulary, the Burmese enumerator has, doubtless, despite his ignorance of the alien’s tongue, generally succeeded in making his native of India understand that what he wished to ascertain was his ‘Zat’ or caste……”. Paragraph 157 - 1901 Burma Census Report edited by C C Lowis, Census Superintendent
The presence of persons of Islamic faith in Arakan, and indeed in the whole or Burma, has been recorded by the British in considerable detail and has in any case been attested by writers and historians of all nationalities. It is not a matter of dispute.

One group which particularly attracted my attention in British records was what the 1901 Census described as the ‘Arakan Muhammadans’. By the 1931 Census, now described as ‘Arakan Mohamedans’, their numbers totalled 51,615 compared to 252,152 ‘Chittagonians’ and 65,211 ‘Bengalis’, in addition to ‘Arakan Kamans’ and ‘Myedus’ also resident in Arakan.
The ‘Arakan Mohamedans’ comprised 26,153 males and 25,462 females, an even balance between the sexes as you would expect in a long-standing permanent community, while ‘Chittagonian’ males outnumbered females by two to one and ‘Bengali’ by three to one – a ratio, I would have thought, which might favour polyandry rather than polygamy.

‘Chittagonian’ is hardly a racial, rather a linguistic and geographical designation. “It might be argued that the figures for Chittagonians should be included in those for Bengalis”, noted the 1931 Census Report, “but there is no harm done in giving separate figures for them.” The language spoken though by both groups was listed simply as ‘Bengali’. In the 2014 Census, the language spoken at home was not a question asked.

The ‘Arakan Muslims’, as I shall call them, mostly resided in Akyab (Sittwe) District, but they were also found further south in Kyaukphyu (1,597) and Sandoway [Thandwe] (1,658). In his report on Indian Immigration released in 1940, Financial Secretary James Baxter said that there was indeed “an Arakanese Muslim community settled so long in Akyab District that it has for all intents and purposes to be regarded as an indigenous race.” Baxter noted that these Muslims commonly spoke the language of their ancestors among themselves, although they used Burmese in writing.
“That the Arakanese are being pushed out of Arakan before the steady wave of Chittagonian immigration from the west is only too well known…..the Arakanese not having been accustomed to hard manual labour for generations cannot and will not do it now; it has to be brought home to him that if he will not do more for himself he must give way to the thrifty and hard-working Chittagonian and his only reply is to move on. “ Page 89 – Akyab Gazetteer 1917 edited by Deputy Commissioner R B Smart.
The 1901 Census report referred to a group of ‘Arakan Muhammadans’ who had been “fetched from Arakan” as prisoners when the Kingdom of Arakan fell to Burman forces in 1785. They were eventually granted lands and allowed to settle around Mandalay. Their descendants were to be found in the village of Bono (situated west of Meiktila) and also in Taungmyin (in Rakhine State, to which they had presumably returned). These would undoubtedly be the people whom the polymath Dr Francis Buchanan – medical practitioner, botanist, linguist, geographer, gazetteer and traveller – had interviewed when he accompanied a mission in 1785 to the Court of Ava, reporting in an article in 1799 on the languages of the Burma Empire in a learned journal ‘Asiatick Researches’ that these were Muslims who “have been long settled in Arakan, and who call themselves ‘Rooinga’, or natives of Arakan”.

This word ‘Rooinga’ would appear to mean no more than ‘Arakaner’ – a geographic locator rather than an ethnic designation. It would seem to be derived from one of the many Bengali names used to describe Arakan. As Buchanan put it in his 1798 “Account of a Journey in South East Bengal”: “Various parts of the hills are inhabited by Mugs [Rakhine] from Rossawn, Rohhawn, Roang, Reng or Rung, for by all these name is Arakan called by the Bengalese”. Buchanan went on to say: “These people left their country on its conquest by the Burmas [i.e. Burmans], and subsist by fishing, Boat building, a little cultivation, and by the Cloth made by their Women. They also build houses for the Mohammedan refugees, of whom many came from Arakan on the same occasion, and settling among men of their own Sect, are now much better off than their former Masters [the 'Mugs'].”

In his voluminous writings for scholarly journals and independently, both before and after his visit to the Court of Ava in 1785, not once did Buchanan refer a second time to Arakan Muslims as ‘Rooingas’ which he would assuredly have done if the designation had any currency in the region at the time, or found any favour with him personally.
“Eight Arakanese witnesses, seven of whom were members of the Legislature, maintained that Chittagonian penetration in Arakan is steadily continuing and is resented not only by the Arakanese proper but also by the settled Chittagonians.….The view was expressed that it was inadvisable to let Chittagonian immigration go unchecked as it contained the seeds of future communal troubles. All the witnesses agreed that immigration from Chittagong should be restricted.” Paragraph 69 – Report on Indian Immigration 1940 presented by Financial Secretary James Baxter.
In the absence of any British archival documentation over the 122 years of their stewardship of Arakan, I can only conclude that ‘Rohingya’ is a designation which came into existence and usage after the Second World War, although it cannot be totally excluded that it might be connected to folkloric tradition unknown to the British. It is however most important to note that it was a designation which the Myanmar Government itself quietly acknowledged and even on occasions used, though only infrequently, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. These occasions, which included permission for radio broadcasts in the local dialect, are not in dispute and have been well documented.

We might ask whether the Arakan Muslims of yesteryear in Akyab were indeed the descendants of the original Muslim residents of Arakan. This seems very likely. But where are they today, after the vicious sectarian fighting which followed the Japanese invasion in 1942, the disruptions of the Second World War, the Jihadist Uprising which lasted from 1948 to 1961 and the massive exodus to Bangladesh first in 1978 and then in 1991, and eventual repatriation? Are there any Muslim residents who can today provide historical documentation and assert, in the style of President Kennedy: “Ich bin ein Arakaner”?

The international campaign to support the ‘Rohingyas’, as many but by no means all Muslims in Rakhine State now style themselves, has been so successful that it has become confrontational and so counterproductive to any solution. Not for one moment do I begrudge the Muslims of Arakan their right to choose their own self-identity and to register this in any Census. This would in any case seem to be their right under generally accepted international practice. But it becomes counterproductive when supporters claim that these indigenous Muslims of Arakan have always called themselves ‘Rohingya’, for which there is simply no credible historical evidence.

It is uncontested, and should in any case be self-evident to us all, that some Muslim residents of Arakan could, if only they had the documentation, trace their ancestry back several centuries, while most others, even if ‘Chittagonian’, have been in Myanmar for four or more generations and so qualify in principle for citizenship, even under the much criticised 1982 Act. Unfortunately the debate, under external pressures, has descended into a sterile confrontation in which ‘Rohingya’ insist that their designation is proof that they are an indigenous race, while the Government for its part insists that this not the case. This debate over the origins and relevance of the designation ‘Rohingya’ conceals the much more important reality of the long historical presence of Muslim residents in Arakan.

Can there be any compromise between these two apparently irreconcilable positions, as clearly neither side is likely to give way? The ‘Rohingya’ surely cannot hope to convert a post-Second World War political label into an ethnic designation acceptable to the Government. But equally might not the Government be persuaded to recognise that they have in the past referred to particular Muslim residents of Rakhine State as ‘Rohingya’, notably in the military administration of the Mayu Frontier District in northern Arakan which existed between 1961 and 1964? Might not the Government be willing in the right circumstances to accept the limited use once more of this previously acknowledged geo-political designation?

If ‘Rohingya’ were felt to be a step too far, why not seek to modernise the ‘Arakan Muhammadan’ of 1901?

A way out of the impasse needs to be negotiated. Rakhine politicians should be brought to accept the historical reality about the continuous presence of Muslims in Arakan for a very long time. An end should be brought to the nonsensical assertions of their supporters that the ‘Rohingya’ are all illegal immigrants from Bengal.

But supporters of Rakhine Muslims overseas should at the same time acknowledge that the particular designation ‘Rohingya’ had no serious historical validity prior to independence in 1948.

(Derek Tonkin, former British Ambassador to Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, is an advisor to Bagan Capital Limited and Editor of Network Myanmar)

Derek Tonkin
Editor - ‘Network Myanmar’
Heathfields, Berry Lane, Worplesdon, Guildford, Surrey GU3 3PU
Tel + 44 (0)1483 233576 – Mobile + 44 (0)7733 328832 – Email

ေတာ္ေလာက္ပါၿပီကြယ္။ …NLD - USDP....

-တစ္ခါက ၿမန္မာၿပည္မွ လူထုအစည္းအေ၀းပြဲတစ္ခု ..
-ေခါင္းေဆာင္လုပ္သူ...( လူမ်ားသတ္လိုေသသြားသူမ်ားကို တစ္ခါကုန္း….)
-လူထုမ်ား (ေခါင္းညြတ္ အရိုအေသၿပဳၾကေလ၏)..
အတန္ၾကာေနေသာ္... (ေတာ္ေလာက္ပါၿပီကြယ္ ) ဟုေၿပာ၏ ။
ထိုေၾကာင္႔ လူမ်ားေခါင္းေမာၾက၏။
-ထိုေနာက္ ေရွတြင္ထိုင္ေနေသာ ပုဂၢိဳလ္ တစ္ဦးမွ
( သူမ်ားသတ္ၿပီး မေသခဲ ရင္ေရာ…တစ္ခါ ကုန္း ရ မွာလား လိုေမးရာ...)
ေခါင္းေဆာင္လုပ္သူမွ ..(ဒါဆိုလဲ သူမ်ားမသတ္ လို ေသသြားသူမ်ားအား တခါကုန္းဟု ) ေၿပာရာ လူမ်ား ေခါင္းငုံၾကၿပန္၏။
အတန္ၾကာေသာ္ ေခါင္းေဆာင္လုပ္သူကပင္ (ေတာ္ေလာက္ပါၿပီကြယ္ဟု ေၿပာေသာေၾကာင္႔ ေခါင္းေမာ႔ကာ ေနရၿပန္၏။
ထိုေရွ႕တြင္ထိုင္ေနေသာ အထက္က ပုဂိၢဳလ္မွ တဖန္ေမးသည္မွာ ခင္ဗ်ားတို႔ ဘယ္သူ ေသသြားလို ခဏခဏ ကုန္းခိုင္းေနတာလဲ ကၽြန္ပ္တိုလဲ မသိရပါလား
ဘယ္သူတုန္း ဒီနယ္ေၿမ(တိုင္းရင္းသားၿပည္နယ္ ေတြ) ကို ေကာင္းေအာင္လုပ္ခဲ႔တဲ လူလား။
ခင္ဗ်ားတို႔ အခ်င္းခ်င္း (NLD- USDP) ရန္ၿဖစ္တိုင္း ကၽြန္ပ္ တို႔ကို ကုန္းခိုင္းေနတာပဲ ဒီတစ္ခါေတာ႔ မကုန္းနိုင္ေတာ႔ဘူး..... ခင္ဗ်ား ေတာ္ေလာက္ၿပီ ဆိုလဲ မကုန္းေတာ႔ဘူးဗ်ာ ဟု ထြက္သြားေလေတာသတည္း။
( ေတာ္ေလာက္ပါၿပီ ကြယ္…)။
ပိုင္ပိုင္ ေၿပာတာ ကို ၿပန္လည္ေရဖြဲပါသည္။

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

ပုဂံေက်ာက္စာထဲက ရခိုင္ေ၀ါဟာရမ်ား (၂)

ပုဂံေက်ာက္စာထဲက ရခိုင္ေ၀ါဟာရမ်ား (၂)
နရသိဃၤ ဥစၥနာမင္း(၁၂၃၀-၁၂၃၅)ရဲ ႔သမီးေက်ာက္စာမွာ " ငမဟိက ျမက္ႏုရိယ္ၾကည္ဟိရာ လာစိယ္သေတ" လို႔ ကၽြန္ေတြကို လႊတ္ေပးခဲ့ပါတယ္(လွဴ ခဲ့ပါတယ္)။ ဒီေန႔ စာနဲ႔ ျပန္ေရးရရင္ " ငါမရွိက ျမက္ႏုေရၾကည္ရွိရာ သြားေစသတည္း " လို႔ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။
(ငမဟိက)မွာ "ဟိ" ေ၀ါဟာရကို ရခိုင္ေတြ ဒီေန႔အခ်ိန္ထိ (ဟိ)ကို သံုးစြဲေနတံုးျဖစ္ ပါတယ္။(ျမက္ႏုရိယ္ၾကည္)မွာလည္း " ရိယ္" ကို ျမန္မာလို (ေရ)လို႔ ဒီေန႔အခ်ိန္မွာ သံုးစြဲေနေပမယ့္ ရခိုင္ေတြကေတာ့ " ရိယ္ " ကို (ရီ)လို႔ ဆက္လက္သံုးစြဲေနဆဲျဖစ္ ...ပါတယ္။
(လာစိယ္သေတ)မွာ လာက လားကိုေရးတာ ထင္ရွားပါတယ္။ လားဆိုတဲ့ ေ၀ါဟာရကို ရခိုင္ေတြ ဒီေန႔အခ်ိန္ထိ သံုးစြဲေနေပမယ့္ ျမန္မာေတြကေတာ့(သြား)ကို သံုးေနၾက ပါတယ္။ (လာစိယ္သေတ)မွာဘဲ (စိယ္) အသံထြက္ကို ရခိုင္ေတြက (စီ)လို႔ ဒီအတိုင္းထြက္ေနၾကေပမယ့္ ျမန္မာေတြကေတာ့ (ေစ)လို႔ အသံထြက္ပါတယ္။
ေက်ာက္စာအျပင္ ေပထက္အကၡရာတင္တဲ့ အခါမွာလည္း ဒီေန႔ ျမန္မာေတြ ေရးသလို " ေပ" လို႔မေရးဘဲ " ပိယ္" လို႔ ေရးပါတယ္။ " ပိယ္" ကို ရခိုင္ေတြ ဒီေန႔အခ်ိန္ထိ " ပီ" လို႔ သံုးစြဲေနဆဲျဖစ္ပါတယ္။
ေနာက္ ပုဂံေက်ာက္စာ ဆုေတာင္းတစ္ခုမွာ " နိဗၺန္မည္ေသာ မသိယ္ျပည္လ်ွင္ ၀င္ရလို၀္သေတ" ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ အေသအခ်ာ စူးစိုက္ဖတ္ရင္ ဖတ္ႏိုင္တဲ့ အေရး အသားပါ။ အဲဒီဆုေတာင္းမွာ (မသိယ္)ဆိုတာ (မသီ)ဆိုတဲ့ ရခိုင္ေ၀ါဟာရ တစ္ခုျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ရခိုင္ေတြ လက္ရွိအခ်ိန္ထိ သံုးစြဲေနတဲ့ ေ၀ါဟာရတစ္ခုျဖစ္ပါတယ္။
" ငါဖႅစ္လိယ္ရရ အရပ္" ဆိုတာကေတာ့ (ငါျဖစ္ေလရာ အရပ္)လို႔ ေရးျခင္းျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ အဲဒီ စကားရပ္မွာ " လိယ္" ကေတာ့ ရခိုင္ေတြ ဒီေန႔ အခ်ိန္ထိ သံုးစြဲေနတဲ့ (လီ)ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ပုဂံ အမိန္႔ျပန္တမ္းတစ္ခုမွာေတာ့ " ၿခိယ္လက္ျဖတ္ေသာ" ဆိုတာ ပါရွိပါတယ္။ ျမန္မာလို ေျခလက္ျဖတ္ေသာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ " ၿခိယ္" ဆိုတဲ့ ေ၀ါဟာရကေတာ့ ရခိုင္ေတြ ဒီေန႔ အခ်ိန္ထိ သံုးစြဲေန " ၿခီ " ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္းပါ ။ ။
ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းစြာ သေဘာထား ကြဲလြဲႏိုင္ပါေစ --

Thursday, 10 April 2014

ရခိုင္ျပည္ႏွင့္ ပတ္သတ္ၿပီး အထင္ကရ စာစုမ်ား

ရခိုင္ဘုရားေပါင္း - “သဇင္ပန္းခိုင္ တၿမိဳင္ၿမိဳင္”
ေျမာက္ဦးဘုရားေပါင္း - “အုန္းပန္းပြင့္ခိုင္၊ တၿမိဳင္ၿမိဳင္”
ရခိုင္အေလာင္း စုစုေပါင္း- “တင္း၀ါးပန္းခိုင္ တၿမိဳင္ၿမိဳင္”...
(ရဟန္း) သာသနာ ၀န္ထမ္းေပါင္း - “၀ါ၀ါ၀င္း၀င္း ျမစ္ကိုဆင္း”
ဘုန္းႀကီးေက်ာင္းေပါင္း - “သံုးေထာင္ခုႏွစ္ရာ ၊ သံုးဆယ္သာ” (ေက်ာင္းငယ္ ၃၇၀၀၊ ေက်ာင္းႀကီး ၃၀)
ရခိုင္ထီးနန္းက်ဆံုးျခင္း - “ဥၾသရီေသာက္ ထီးနန္းေပ်ာက္”
ေျမာက္ဦးၿမိဳ႕ အိမ္ေျခေပါင္း- “ပန္းမဥၹဴ ႀကိဳင္ႀကိဳင္ေမြး”

အသစ္ေတြ႕ရွိလွ်င္ ေအာက္တြင္ ဆက္လက္ေရးသားခဲ့ပါ။
၁ဝ ၊ ၄၊ ၂၀၁၄။