Monday, 28 January 2008


A woman goes to Arakan for holiday a 2-week.
Her husband drives her to the airport and wishes her to have a good trip.
The wife answers : "Thank you honey, what would you like me to bring for you?
The husband laughs and says: "An Arakanese girl. The woman kept quiet and left.
Two weeks later he picks her up in the airport and asks: "So, honey, how was the trip?
"Very good, thank you." "And, what happened to my present?"
"Which present?" She asked. "The one I asked for an Arakanese girl!!"
"Oh, that" she said"Well, I did what I could, now we have to wait for nine months to see if it is a girl !!!"

Note of Buddha.

Name Prince Siddhattha
Father King Suddhodana
Mother Queen Maha Maya
Died 7 days after giving birth to Siddhattha.
Clan (Kula) Khatthiya/ Brahmin (Royal Clan)
Step-mother Mahapajapati Gotami
Brother-in-law Devadatta ( also a cousin )
Date of Birth 623 BC/ full moon day, Friday, May

69 Maha Era, Kason Month
Place of Birth Lumbini Park, Kapilavatthu
Country of Birth India (now in Nepal )(Majjhima Desa in Jambudipa)
Age when married 16 years
Wife Princess Yasodhara (Badda-Cancana)

Daughter of King Suppabuddha
Only Son Rahula
Four Great Signs An old man, a diseased person, a corpse, and a hermit
(Said to be created by Devas/ gods)
Age at Renunciation 29 years (after 13 years of Marriage)
Charioteer Channa
Royal horse Kanthaka (Kandaka)

(Died of grief after leaving its Master)
When? Full moon day at Mid night, Monday, May, 594 B.C
97 Maha Era, Vesakha Waso month,
River to cross
Uruvela Forest
(Spent here for six years)
Buddhagaya in Bihar, India
Middle Way (Majjhimapatip ada)
Breathing-out and breathing-in Meditation/ Paticcasamuppada/Insight Meditation/ Four Noble Truths
Age at Enlightenment
35 years, Wednesday, May , full moon day, 589 BC
103 Maha Era, Vesakha Kason month,
Under which tree Bodhi tree
The last donor of food to Bodhisatta (milk-rice)
49 mouthfuls of milk-rice
The first donor of food to the Buddha (myrobalan fruit and liquorice wood)
Sakka (King of Devas)
The first human donors of food (rice-cake and honey-comb)
Tapussa and Bhallika (merchants brothers)
From Ukkala ( said to be in Burma) (first lay-worshippers)
First Sermon
Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta
Four Noble Truths, Middle Path
Full moon day, Saturday, May, 588 B.C
103 Maha Era, Waso month,
Deer Park, Migadaya forest, Isipatana (Saranath) near Benares Varanasi)
First Buddhist Monks( Bhikkhus)
Kondanna, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama, Assaji,
They all became first five Arahats at the end of the Sutta.
Chief Disciple Sariputta (Upatissa)
Right hand Chief Disciple/ Etadaga
Chief Disciple
Maha Moggallana (Kolita)
Left Hand Chief Disciple/ Etadaga
Severe Dysentery
As a consequence of previous evil deed in His past existence
Last words of the Buddha
"All conditioned and compounded things have the nature of decay and disintegration.
With steadfast mindfulness, endeavour diligently for your own liberation"
Age 80 years, Tuesday, Full moon day, 543 B.C
Kason month, 148 Maha Era
Place Kusinara/ Kusinagare (Uttar Pradesh), India
Cremation Sunday, 12th Waning day.
The earth trembled violently and thunder-roars with flashes of lightning appeared in the sky.
note of buddha

Fortune for Arakan Eagle's Reader!

Enjoy here every one.

Panties for Peace(Comedy)

Just for fun.
In deep To Nga Than Shwe.
Ha Lay Lu Yah...........................................

My Favourte Blog!

Hi All ,
My Favourte Blog,
Arakan Eagle.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

The Founder of Mrauk-U City and Dynasty.

King Mong Saw Mwan, The Founder of Mrauk-U City and DynastyBy Ah Lonn MaungYour majesty, you are a Thursday born, and so if the Royal Capital is going to be founded on the astrological calculations of ''main'', ''lut'', ''sann'', Your Majesty''s life span will be lengthened but that of the Capital will be shortened. If the Capital is founded as ''kan'', lut'', ''kan'', ''sann'', your Majesty will not live long but the City will last hundreds of years…."Royal Astrologers'' counsel to King Mong Saw Mwan councerning the establishment of the new capital city in the year 1430A.D."…..Learned Councellors, never mind my shorter life span. If the Royal Capital lasts for a long, long time, that''s enough. My sole wish is for the prosperity and welfare of my people and power and glory for my descendants….."King Mong Saw Mwan''s reply to the councel.Prince Mong Saw Mwan, also known as Nara Meik Hla became king of the Laungkrat Court in 1404 A.D. and was the last king of the Lemro dynasty. SAfter ascending to the throne, he failed to bring about the prosperity and welfare of the people and neglected the defence of his kingdom, but rather over-indulged in amusement and sensual pleasures. King of Innwa (Ava) sent an invading force to occupy the country in 1406 and as a result, Mong Saw Mwan fled to Gaur, a sultanate in Bengal. However, his younger brother, Prince Naranu, the Governor of Thandwe (Sandway), asked military support from King Razadirit of Hanthawady (Bago) and the request was heeded. The Kingdom of Rakhine was in turmoil as a result of fighting among the warring armies.While the deposed king was taking political asylum in the sultanate the Mogul king in Delhi made preparations to annex Gaur, Mong Saw Mwan gave decisive advice to the sultan Nosir U-din Shah on military matters for the defence. According to his advice, pieces of flesh were attached to the spikes of the caltrop and laid along the possible military routes. Moreover, long, deep ditches were dug and covered with straw, grass and dirt for camouflage. Other military arrangements were made for the defensive purposes. The Delhi army was defeated and consequently the Mogul city fell into the hands of the Gaur Sultan. For imparting military strategy and tactics to conquer the enemy, King Mong Saw Mwan was highly favoured by Sultan Nosir Shah. As a token of gratitude, the Sultan promised the deposed monarch to assist militarily to regain his kingdom. According to the promise, he sent a military force under Walis Khan to land of Rakhine to restore Mong Saw Mwan as king. However, after defeating the enemies, Walis Khan arrested and put Mong Saw Mwan in prison. The deposed king was rescued by his brother Prince Naranu and made headway to Gaur again. Greatly annoyed, the Gaur Sultan sent another larger army to punish Walis Khan. In the ensuing circumstances the traitor was captured and put to death.To recapture the capital and kingdom it took Mong Saw Mwan and Prince Naranu for twenty two long years. From the capital Laungkrat, the king ruled the land for two years. Having the city fallen into enemies'' hands and ill omens showing one after another, the king, taking the advice of the learned counselors, decided to shift the capital. An auspicious site for the new capital was chosen in accordance with the advice of the Court astrologers.In "Mhauktaw E-chin", Court bard Badu Mong Nyo composed the following piece of verse (stanza 31) as to the choice of the site:"…………..In terms of (Rakhine) era, the year seven hundred and ninety-two in Tawthalunn" *On the first waxing day, in the morn,At the auspicious time of ''kan'', ''lut'', ''kan'', ''sann'', in line with astrological calculations,Establishment of Capital and Royal Palace initiated."Two quotations at the beginning of this piece of writing are advice imparted to king Mong Saw Mwan by royal astrologers concerning the choosing of new site for the Capital and king''s famous reply.Even though he hand been a happy-go-lucky type in his younger days, he took serious consideration for his people and fatherland as experience had taught him. The King''s historic deliverance to his younger brother Prince Naranu (afterwards, Mong Khari) as to the succession of the kingdom in the presence of his two sons reads as follows:"…………..Dear Brother, Your Highness, my two sons (Prince Saw Prauk and Prince Mandat) are still very young to govern a country at its building stage. As known experienced hand in statecraft combined with bravery and loyalty to the land and its people, your Highness are honoured to succeed me as King, the sovereign. If my sons are stupid enough to offend Your Highness or commit offence, let them wear worn-out white robes and take sufficient food. Please don''t put to death."What a noble monarch, King Mong Saw Mwan is! He sacarified two cherished things - his own life and strict nepotism. That nobel spirit kindled by the founding father has long - lived in the land where he was born and brought up and ruled at critical moments.His deeds were well recorded in the annals of Rakhine history. One such record in stanza 25 of "Tharswalay verse on Rakhine History" is as follows:"……………The Kingdom regained and reignedFor two years; results not encouragingNew site searched and pointed by Sakka discoveredLike Evening star in broad, blue welkin, Mrauk-U, city of many accomplishment first, founded.Even foretold (the King) to be dead;His wish and vision…..Long, long reign of his descendantsIn power and glory be fulfilled,Martyred himself."Ah Lonn MaungReferences:1.Sakkinda, Ashun: "The Deposed King Mong Saw Mwan in Gaur Sultanate" - Rakhine Constant Tales, Vol. 1, 1994.2. Sandamarlar Lunkarra, Rev.: New History of Rakhine, (1293 M.E)3. Tun Shwe Khine (M.A): Rakhine Princes E-chin or Mauktaw E-chin, 1991.4. Tun Shwe Khine (M.A): "Tharswalay Verse on Rakhine History", Rakhine Authors, 1991.

Thirty Two Marks of A Great Man(Religious)

Oo Maung
Marks ( Lakkhana )
Well-supported feet.
Firm undertaking
Wheels arise beneath the sole of the feet.
Great retinues
The heels are projecting.
Long life
The fingers and toes are long.
Long life
The hands and feet are soft and tender.
Well-united with people
The hands and feet are net-like.
Well-united with people
The ankles are raised like conch shells.
Becomes the best
The lower part of the leg is like an antelope's.
Gets the best things quickly
He can touch and rub around his knees with both palms, while tanding, and without bending.
Great wealth
The part which should be concealed by garments, is covered by a bag.
Many sons
The skin shines like gold.
Get finest furnishings and garments
Subtle skin: dirt and sweat do not stick to his body.
Great wisdom
Single hairs arise, one to each pore.
The hair pointing upwards; dark, black in colour, turning in rings to the right.
Becomes the best
The frame is straight like Brahma.
Long life
There are seven outflows on his hands, on his feet, at the tips of the shoulders, and at the top of the back.
Obtains excellent foods
The upper part of the body is lion-like.
No loss
The hollow between his shoulders is filled.
No loss
The body is proportionate: the body is as long as the span of the arms.
Great wealth
The shoulders are evenly rounded .
No loss
He releases the highest of tastes.
Very healthy
The jaw is lion-like.
He cannot be overthrown.
There are forty teeth.
The assemblies cannot be divided.
The teeth are even.
Pure retinues
The teeth are undivided.
The assemblies cannot be divided.
The visible teeth are very white.
Pure retinues
A mighty tongue.
His words are heeded.
The voice of Brahma and also resembles the song of a karavika bird.
His words are heeded.
The eyes are very blue.
Attractive look
The Eyelashes are like those of a cow.
Attractive look
The filament between the eyebrows is white like soft cotton.
The head is turban-crowned.
Many followers


We have two mental states that opposite to one another. They are Dosa and Metta. Dosa means anger or hatred in English. Metta means loving- kindness. Dosa is evil and harmful while Metta is good and beneficial.
Dosa hinders knowledge. While Dosa pervades one's mind he knows nothing in the correct perspective. The Buddha says: "An angry person knows not the welfare of himself and of others."
People love themselves. But they can commit suicide through Dosa. People love their fathers and mothers. But they can commit matricide and patricide while their minds are full of Dosa.The Buddha says: "An angry person commits matricide; and angry person commits patricide."
Dosa is a powerful destructive vice. It is a great destroyer in the world. Dosa is a mental state which often instigates crime.
Hatred proliferates hatred. One's hatred engenders hatred in another. An angry face cannot soften another's heart. "Hatred never ceases through hatred" says the Buddha.
Through hatred, we cannot construct "peace." Through hatred, we cannot live happy lives. Through hatred, we cannot make friends. Through hatred, we cannot unite a society.
Dosa (hatred), is harmful to peace. It is harmful to society. It is harmful to spiritual progress. This harmful Dosa, hatred, must be expelled from us.
How do we expel that extremely harmful hatred from us?
The Buddha taught us: "Mettamust be developed in order to expel Dosa, hatred."
What is Metta?
Metta is a mental state that is non-hatred or loving-kindness. Metta is defined as the spirit of a true friend. Metta is the sincere wish for the welfare and happiness of all living beings without exception.
Metta is compared to a mother's love towards her child. The Buddha says: 'just as a mother protects her only child even at the risk of her life, even so one I should cultivate boundless loving-kindness towards all living beings." The mother loves her own child. Mettahowever, loves all.
How do you make Metta grow in your heart?
First of all, you must think thus: You love yourself. So should you love others. You desire happiness and health. So should you think of other people's happiness and health.
To make Metta grow in your heart, you should always think of the others' lovable qualities. Don't try to find faults with others. Upon the others' lovable qualities make your Metta grow. Through finding faults, you cannot grow Metta in your heart. Tolerance and forgiveness fortify Metta against hatred.
You must keep your Metta alive in your heart. Try to feel love to all in mind at anytime, anywhere. Show always your Metta towards others through your physical actions. Show your Metta towards others through verbal actions. Render good for evil. Render help to those in need.
In the Buddhist way, if you develop your Metta you can attain the stage of Jhana.If you attain Jhana, the higher concentration, you will experience the eleven consequences of Metta.
When your heart is full of Metta:
You sleep happily.
You awake happily.
You never have a nightmare.
ou are favoured by human beings.
You are favoured by non-human beings.
You will be guarded by deities.
You will not be affected by fire, poisons or weapons.
You can easily succeed in attaining concentration.
You can keep your face ever serene -and lovely,
When you die, you die without confusion.
If you have not attained the highest knowledge yet, you will be reborn in the Brahma world.
If Metta prevails in your heart, there is no place for hatred, The Metta concentration paves the way to achieve insight knowledge. The insight knowledge leads to enlightenment. Through the enlightenment you can attain Nibbana, the supreme happiness;
May you all be happy!
May you all attain Nibbana!

15 Reason why a beer is better than a woman(Comedy)

(1)Abeer doesn't get jealous when you arab another beer.
(2)When you go to a bar you know you can always pick up a beer.
(3)A beer won't get up self if you come home with beer on your breath.
(4)You don't have to wine and dine a beer.
(5)if you pour a beer right you'll always get good head.
(6)Hangovers go ways.
(7)When you've finished with a beer the bottle is still worth 5 pence.
(8)You don't have to wash a beer before it tastes good.
(9)A beer always goes down easy.
(10)You can share a beer with your friends.

Arakan Nationalism and The Struggle for National self-determination.

Arakanese Nationalism and the Struggle for National self- determination
(An overview of Arakanese political history up to 1988)
By: Khaing Aung Win
Arakan had been an independent kingdom before it was invaded by the Burmans in 1784. The invasion of the Burmans into Arakan in 1784 led the Burmans into conflict with the British in British-India . The Arakanese people took refuge in chittagong Hill Tracts of British- India and repulsed the Burman invaders to restore their home land .The resistance wars launched by the Arakanese people were misjudged by the Burmans as to be the encouragement of the British . This gave rise to conflict between the British and the Burmans .After the first Anglo-Burman war in 1826 , Arakan was ceded to the British by the Burmans. Instead of ceding Arakan to Arakanese people ,the British colonized it and incorporated it into British–India .The British’s rule in Arakan in the 19th century faced numerous pro- independence revolts staged by the Arakanese people .The imposition of the British’s control in Arakan took long time , some areas not being pacified until the early 20th century .In 1852 , a second Anglo- Burman war resulted the Burmans to surrender to the British and the remainder of the Burmans territories were incorporated into British -India .Up to the earliest 20th century , the national liberation movement of Arakan was carried out in isolation having no relation with the neighbouring nationalist movements . The Burman’s nationalism was faded away under the oppressive British colonial rule .In 1917 , the emergence of saradaw U Ottama , an Arakanese Buddhist monk ,woke up the Burman’s nationalism.Being aware of impossibility for freedom for the Burmans without co-operation of non-Burman ethnic nationalities in British-Burma, the Burman political leaders persuaded the non-Burman ethnic nationalities to be united in struggle against the British colonial rule giving a sham promise for establishment of Federal Union of all ethnic nationalities equal in every respect .The Arakanese political leaders hopefully believed the sham promise given by the Burman political leaders and co-operated with the Burmans to achieve independence of British -Burma instead of setting up definite political position to gain the right to self-determination of Arakanese people .When Burma gained independence from the British in 1948 by the collective efforts of the Burman and non–Burman ethnic nationalities including Arakanese people , Arakanese people found themselves that they were a colony of the Burmans and were deceived by the Burmans , who transformed their nationalism into the form of military dictatorship to dominate the non-Burman ethnic nationalities : Chin, Kachin, Karen ,Kayah, Mon ,Rakhaing ( Arakanese people ) and Shan .However , the Arakanese people did not give up their struggle for the right to self-determination .They continued their struggle and they are still struggling for their right to self-determination by various means sacrificing a lot of their lives .After forty years of Burma’s independence, the Burman nationalism in the form of military dictatorship became a detriment even to the interest of the majority Burman people . In this paper , I attempt to define the Arakanese nationalism and examine the general condition of their struggle for national self-determination.Arakanese NationalismThe Arakanese nationalism at this present phase can be classified into two streams according to the national movements carried out by the Arakanese nationalists. One is characteristic of third-world anti-imperialist national liberation. It is originated from the political concept to regain the long lost national independence and takes the form of political struggle to establish a national state with jurisdiction over Arakan national territory based on the self-determination as defined by the United Nations Organization. There is another stream of Arakanese nationalism which is based on the principles of federalism, political equality and the right to self-determination of all different ethnic nationalities in Burma.This stream of Arakanese nationalism claims that a condition of peace and progress for different ethnic nationalities in Burma is possible only as a result of abolition of the Burman’s chauvinistic domination in the form of military dictatorship, and establishment of an authentic federal union on the basic of full freedom and political equality of non- Burman ethnic nationalities .Such a change in the basic structure of Burma’s political community that those relations which breed exploitation of non-Burman ethnic nationalities by the Burmans, and human misery will come to an end. Therefore, its goal is the attainment of national freedom of Arakanese people and other ethnic nationalities, and the beginning of free society of all ethnic nationalities of Burma, where racial oppression , economic exploitation and violations of Human Rights will be terminated.The rights of self-determination has been interpreted by both streams of Arakanese nationalism as a people’s freedom to determine their political status, to pursue their economic, social and cultural developments independently.{ (1)the Arakanese people must be in a position to act – they must not be compelled by external forces or the threat of punishment (2) the actions of Arakanese people must be performed in obedience to a law- they must be rational free choosers (3) the Arakanese people must themselves create or prescribe the law to which they are obedient.}Both streams of Arakanese Nationalism claim that the people of Arakan are a people who have the rights to self-determination according to the UN charter ,and take the view that there are all the features of a colony in Arakan. This is because Arakan, which was an independent kingdom till 1784, was conquered by the aliens as the Burmans in 1784, the British in 1826 and the Japanese in 1942 successively ,and the Arakanese people are still subjected to extreme national oppression and political domination by the aliens Burmans. That is why both streams of Arakanese nationalism demand the decolonisation of Arakan. The Arakanese people, who carry the political heritage of the independent kingdom of Arakan, have the will to be identified them as a people having a social entity with their own identity and characteristics in their own territory.Both streams of Arakanese nationalism assert in the matter of racial groups in Arakan that the minority rights shall be guaranteed to the racial groups that migrated in Arakan before 1826, the year on which the British occupied Arakan. However, those Bengali Muslims, who were brought to Arakan after 1826 by the British for the purpose of employments in the expanded cultivation in Arakan, are considered as individuals, not a racial group. Their rights as citizens shall not be deprived like other citizens. The individual citizens and freely constituted groups or organizations shall enjoy full participation in every aspects of Arakanese political community. Arakanese nationalists, who centre national independence , struggle by all necessary means, violence or non-violence, against the Burman domination. But, Arakanese nationalists, who centre the right to self-determination of Arakanese people within the frame-work of a genuine federal structure, struggle by non-violence means.The successive Burman military regimes always attempt to crush any form of Arakanese national movements through their military and police apparatus. It is illegal to establish an Arakanese political organization in Arakan.The socio-economic conditions of Arakan are aggravated as a result of the successive Burman regime’s policies to retard deliberately social and economic developments of Arakanese people. Their policies aimed at economic exploitation of natural resources and economic bases of Arakan bring about million of Arakanese people to live in a condition of absolute poverty. The mortality rate is higher in Arakan compared with in the territory where the majority Burmans inhabit due to the lack of health care and medical expenditure. Most of the industry are constructed in the territories where majority Burmans inhabit, and there are no industry for the interest of Arakanese people in Arakan.Transportation and communication are very poor, and standard of living in Arakan lags far behind the territories where the majority Burmans inhabit. The education is neglected and Arakanese people continue to experience decline of per capital income.Accordingly, Arakanese nationalism contains a back-ward looking elements demanding redress of past grievance and it also claims that Arakan national question must be viewed historically and economically.Location and Territory of ArakanArakan is situated between Burma on the east and Bangladesh on the west, and is separated from Burma by the Arakan mountain ranges ( Arakan Roma). It is also bordered by India and Bangladesh on the north and bounded on the south-west by the bay of Bengal .The present total area of Arakan is about 18,500 sq-miles. Actual territory belonged to Arakan before it came under foreign rule in 1784 was twice the area of the present day Arakan. The southernmost territory of Arakan, from Kyauk-chwan river to cape Negres, was integrated into Bessein district of lower Burma by the British in 1853. The territories covering Tripura region, Chittagong Hill tracts and plain was integrated into British-India in 1937 by the British again. Arakan Hill Tracts (Platwa district) was integrated into Chin special division by the U Nu-led AFPFL Burman regime in 1952 in order to create discords between the peoples of Arakan and Chinland.A Short History Background of ArakanThe origin and development of Arakanese nationalism and national movements lie in the history of Arakan. The history of Arakan can be viewed dividing into the following periods.(a) Independent kingdom of Arakan ruled by Arakanese kings 3325 BC - 1784 AD(b) The Burman rule 1784 AD - 1825 AD(c) The Brithish rule 1826 AD - 1942 AD(d) The Japanese rule 1942 AD - 1945 AD(e) The British rule 1945 AD - 1947 AD(f) The Burman rule 1948 AD to Up to DateEthnically, Arakanese people are mixture of Indo-Aryans and Mongolians. The ancient chronologies gave 3325 BC as the date of the founding of the first Dynnyawaddy dynasty on the east of Gissapa River (also known as Kalandan River). The founder of the first Dynnyawaddy dynasty was king Marayu ( a young hero) who was a descendant of the ancient tribe of the Shakyas in the northern India. King Marayu and his army was successful to subdue the carnivorous barbarians who forayed Dynnyawaddy occasionally. King Marayu established a beautiful city and led the kingdom to be a prosperous and peaceful society, and he died at the age of eighty. The name of his kingdom “Dynnyawaddy” means a land of plentiful rice production.The Ananda Chandra inscriptions (686 A.D) on the Chite-thaung pillar of Mrauk-U has recorded the presences of Arakanese dynasties from the 6th century BC. According to the Ananda Chandra inscriptions and other ancient chronologies, the following six dynasties reigned in Arakan.(1) The first Dynnyawaddy ( BC 3325 to BC 1510) founded by King Marayu,(2) The second Dynnyawaddy (BC 1483 to BC 581)founded by King Kanrazargree(3) The third Dynnyawaddy ( BC 580 to AD 326 )founded by King Chandrasuria(4) Wesali Dynasty (AD 327 to AD 818) founded by King Dvan Chandra,(5) Lemro Dynasty (AD 818 to AD1404 ) founded by King Khattathun,(6) Mrauk-U Dynasty (AD 1430 to AD 1784) founded by King Sawmon.The 243 Arakannese kings ruled Arakan for a long period of 5108 years. The land which is known as Arakan by the foreign peoples is christened by her own people as “Rakhaing Pray”. According to the ancient Arakanese chronologies, the name “Rakhaing” is originated from pali word “Rakkhapura” which means the native land of “Rakkha”. The word “Rakkha”, in the course of time, evolves into “Rakhaing”. “Rakkha” in pali means safe-guarding of nation and moral precepts. In an old history record of Arakan in poetic form, the meaning of “Rakhaing” is mentioned as:“Because they are capable of cherishingand safe-guarding of their nationand moral precepts,They are deserved to be namedand to be called “Rakhaing”.(Ashon Nagainda Mawgun, 14th Century).In the Ananda Chandra inscriptions, the ancient name of Arakan is mentioned as “Arakhadesa” in Sanskrit. “Arakha” means safe-guarding of nation and “desa” means land. “Arakha” may be the source of foreign version “Arakan” for “Rakhaing”.The fifty eight descendents of King Marayu ruled for (1818) years till BC 1510. The 58th King Pyaw Hla Si Thu was usurped by the three disloyal ministers in BC 1510. Under the usurpers, the insurrections were rampant throughout the kingdom. About the same time, a wave of Indo-Aryan tribe led by Kanrazagree, entered Arakan from the north. Kanrazagree eliminated all insurrections and dethroned the usurpers.In BC 1483, Kanrazagree ascended the throne and established the second Dynnyawaddy dynasty. His 28 descendants ruled Arakan for 927 years. The second Dynnyawaddy dynasty was succeeded by the third Dynnyawaddy dynasty founded by King Chandrasuria in BC 580. King Chandrasuria was a descendant of King Kanrazargree. He was a contemporary to king Bimbisara of the kingdom of Magadha in India. During the reign of King Chandrasuria, Arakan had commercial contact with the Kingdom of Magadha in India by both land and sea routes. The Kingdom of Magadha was economically and technologically a valuable support to Arakan. Dynnyawaddy inscriptions dated 544 BC says that during the reign of King Chandrasuria, Lord Buddha visited Arakan.It is quite possible that Arakanese people professed faith in Buddhism since then, and from that time onwards, Buddhism seems to have continued to flourish and to influence Arakanese civilization. Owing to the trade between the kingdom of Maghada and Arakan, there was much cultural contact with the kingdom of Maghada at that time.The third Dynnyawaddy dynasty was succeeded by the wesali dynasty which was established by King Dvan Cahdra in AD 327. The capital city Wesali was very beautiful and popularly known as the city of the stone Pier. Contacts were had with foreign peoples and trade was carried on through both sea and land routes. The trading ships from foreign countries harboured at the stone pier of capital city Wesali.The kingdom of Arakan under the Chandra kings of Wesali dynasty became prosperous due to the trade relations with foreign countries. In the trade relations, gold and silver coins were used as currency. During this periods, although Arakanese court used Sanskrit alphabet and Pali language, a new style of “Rakkhawunna” script ( Arakanese script) was invented and promoted for a purpose of public use and the writing of Arakanese language to be uniform, and thus fostered national unity. A lot of translation of Sanskrit literature into Arakanese language were done in this period. Among them, the translation of law of Manu, translation of Sarrnakya’s Niti and translation of the fables of King Kyammadike were famous and well known. In this period, books written in Arakanese language on traditional medicines , arts, warfare, metallurgy, pottery and architecture were produced in vast quantities. The most famous Arakanese literary works as “Pyinnyameda chronical”in poetic form and “Thein Kan Mein Twin Poem” were written in this period. “Pyinnyameda chronical” in poetic form was composed by Medapynnya, a Minister of King Thirichandra, in 622-658 AD and “TheinKan Mein Twin Poem” was composed by Princess Thuwunnadevi in 650-667 AD.The industry of Arakan, in this period, produced household utensils such as stone plates, the decorated carvings of stone and metal images, lamps, pots, golden sash, rings, bracelets, ears-plugs and textiles. Dams and embankments were built and irrigation systems were used in order to distribute water for agricultural lands, and thus yield rich harvests. Buddhism thrived, and pagodas , stupas, monasteries and shrines were built throughout the kingdom. Buddha images were cast, and land grants were made to the religious institutions. The Buddhist synod of 638 AD was convened by attending 1,000 Buddhist monks from the Island of Lanka (Ceylon) and 1,000 Arakanese Buddhist monks. It lasted for 3 years, and the Pitakas, the three repositories of Buddhist scripture, were written on the 5,000 copper plates. Arakan was a prosperous and powerful nation in this period, and was the highest level of the world standard of that period.The Wesali dynasty was followed, in AD 818, by a new dynasty, the Lemro (four cities) which ruled Arakan nearly 600 years, until 1404 AD. Sixty kings ruled from four cities of Pyinsa, Parein, Nereinsara Taungoo and Launggrat successively .During the rules of king Kawlia and King Datha Raza, the fifth and sixth kings of the Parein city of Lemro dynasty , Arakan grew into a more powerful nation. The Lemro period was one of the most glorious periods in the history of Arakan. One of the outstanding kings of Lemro period was King Mun Htee, who was on the throne form 1238 AD to 1389 AD or a little over 96 years. Under him, military operations were greatly expanded the territories of Kingdom of Arakan; to the west into Bengal , to the east the west bank of Irrawaddy river, and to the north Kammapura and Tripura. King Mun Htee and his great army paid a visit to Buddha Gaya of India, and repaired the temples there and set up a stone pillar on which he mentioned his arrival and merit. The Kingdom of Arakan flourished during King Mon Htee’s rule. He is still famous in the world history as a king who was an example to his people by being obedient to the laws which were made by himself. During the Lemro Period, there lived a Buddhist monk named “Rakhaing Thu Mrat”, who wrote “Lakathara Pyo”( the essence of human conduct), which is still considered as the outstanding literature of Arakan and Burma.After Lemro dynasty, there came Mrauk-U dynasty founded by King Saw Mon in 1430 AD. Mrauk-U dynasty ruled Arakan for more than 350 years. During the time of Mrauk-U dynasty, Arakan saw the development of Arakanese literature and culture in all sphere of national life for which it is called “the golden age of Arakan history”. The Kingdom of Arakan became more unified and powerful under the reign of Mun Khari (1434-1458 AD).In 1454, King Mun Khari met King Narapati of Ava of the Burmans (1443-1469 AD) and the watershed of Arakan mountain ranges ( Arakan Roma) was demarcated as the border line of the two kingdoms. Again in 1480 AD , by the another meeting between Arakanese King Ba Saw Pru and Burman King of Ava Thihathuria, the stable friendship of the two kingdoms was established. During the reign of King Ba Saw Pru (1458-1481 AD), the famous Arakanese literature “Rakaing Munthamee E Chin” ( the classical poem addressed to a child princess extolling the glory of ancestors) was written by Minister Phadu Mun Nyo.The greatest King Mun Ben (1531-1553 AD) created a naval fleet of 10,000 war boats that dominated the bay of Bengal and Gulf of Marta ban. The kings of Arakan firmly established their authority in Bengal during Mrauk-U period. The Mrauk-U dynasty ruled from the entire coast line of Dacca and the Sundabans to Yankon and Moulmein, a coastal strip of a thousand miles in length and varying from 150 to 20 miles in depth. The Mogul and Afghan kings sent annual presents, and the kings of Island of Lanka (Ceylon) and Portugal paid their respect and sent trading ships to Arakan. It was under the government of King Mun Ben that annals were written at the court and an amendment of the Arakanese legal code was made, and a new constitution of Kingdom of Arakan (i.e. Shwemyin Dhammathat) was adopted on the advice of Ashon Mra Wa, an erudite hermit.The ports along the Arkan coast received Arab , central Asia, Danish, Dutch and Portuguese traders in this period. A Dutch man, who visited Arakan in the 16th Century, described Arakan as one of the richest countries in Asia ,and compared Mrauk-U city with Amsterdam of Dutch and London of England in size and prosperity .Growing international trade, and political and administrative skills of Arakanese kings enabled Arakan to be a prosperous and powerful country in the South East Asia. The reigns of warrior kings; Mun Phalong (1571-1593 AD), his son Mun Razagree (1593-1612 AD) and his grandson Mun Khamuang (1612-1622 AD) strengthened the wealth and power of Arakan.The Arakanese king of Mrauk-U dynasty practised open doors’ policy which attracted foreign traders to the kingdom and appointed some foreigners as servants at the court. According to the record of father Sebastiao Manrique of Portugal, not only the Muslim guards and Portuguese captains of the fleet but also there were even a troop of Japanese guards at the court around 1630 AD. With the Arakanese kings’ open doors’ policy, the imports of techniques and skills in the fields of construction, ship-building , artillery and metallurgy flowed into Arakan in this period.The Burmans , ever jealous of prosperity and cultural developments of the kingdom of Arakan, always planned to break up her national sovereignty and to loot her vast wealth. Eventually, the turbulent situation happened in Arakan during 1780s due to the power struggle among the local Dukes led to be exploited by the Burmans. In 1782 AD, Thadoe Aung, Duke of Rambree, became the king of Arakan. He was accorded the title “Mahasamada”(Great President Elect) by the Mun Ahtaingban (The Royal Assembly of Lords). He was a Republican and had the policy to form a more workable government elected by the Mun Ahtaingban ( The Royal Assembly of Lords). Ngathade, Duke of Ngasaraingchaung, had the policy to maintain feudalism, and asked Bodaw U Wyne, King of the Amarapura of the Burmans, to invade Arakan. His idea was that Bodaw U Wyne would enthrone him as a king. However, the Burman King Bodaw U Wyne had no intention of enthroning Ngathande as a king of Arakan. His policy was to break up national sovereignty of kingdom of Arakan, and to loot her vast wealth and to reduce Arakan to the position of an administrative province of the Burman empire.In 1784 AD, the expeditionary Burman invaders’ forces sent by the Burman king Bodaw U Wyne invaded Arakan without declaration of war. The royal forces of kingdom of Arakan were caught unawares, and suffered a crushing defeat due to lack of unified military preparations. Arakanese King “Mahasamada”( Great President Elect) was dethroned and murdered by Burman invaders.The Struggle for National Self-DeterminationThe resistant wars broke out in various parts of Arakan as soon as Arakan was invaded by the Burman invaders’ forces. Araknnese forces led by Crown Prince ThaukSan Shwe, Taungmungree Kyaw Htwee, Duke Kaung Nyunt Randaing of Pinnaychaung Island, Duke Poe Lone of Rambree Island, Dhapaing Mra Raung, Dhapaing Htwan Aung, Dhapaing Hari, Dhapaing Ray San and Nga Myo Por fought against the Burman invaders in different parts of Arakan.Resistance spread to the whole Kingdom, when the Burman invaders had made an arrangement to carry away the Great Mahamuni Buddha Image by January 1785.It continued to grow till 1824, the year on which the British declared war against the Burman invaders in Arakan. The imposition of the Burman’s control on Arakan was not possible during their occupation of Arakan for 40 years. (from 1784 to1824)During their invasion, the Burman invaders’ forces committed a crime against humanity with a genocide killing about 236,000 Arakanese civilians including 10,000 infants of cradle age. They killed the infants mercilessly with the slogan of “while cutting down the stalk of a reed, its stump should not be left out”. A mass of 100,000 skilled workers, artisans, intellectuals and Buddhist monks were arrested and taken across the Arakan mountain ranges, and they all were initiated into slavery and servitude at pagodas and temples of pagan, Sagaing and Mandalay.The Great Mahamuni Buddha Image was also carried away to Mandalay. Moreover, the Burman invaders destroyed many valuable creations of Arakan including royal palace, city gates, the clock-tower, the booming drum that was believed to have a mystical effect on the Burman dynasties and many other edifices of splendour. The industries and business centres were also destroyed by them. The ancient chronicles and books were carried away by them with an intention of eradicating of national feeling of the Arakanese people, and many others were destroyed. The Arakanese books on literature, arts, traditional medicines, warfare, metallurgy, architecture , ship-building , which were carried away by the Burman invaders, are estimated to be about the height of two toddy palms. The Arakan genocide is the forgotten genocide of the 18th century, remembered mainly by the Arakanese people.More than 200,000 Arakanese people fled into the British-Bengal to escape the atrocities committed by the Burman invaders. The Naff river was strewed with the dead bodies of all ages and of both sexes. Captain Hiram Cox , a British officer, took care Arakanese refugees with great sympathy . He managed to resettle about ten thousands in wasteland around Chittagong, but many other had dispersed widely among the hill and jungle of Chittagong hills tracts. The main settlement area of Arakanese refugees was named as Cox’s Bazaar. About 10,000 Arakanese refugees from the southern region of Arakan escaped to delta areas of east Bengal boating across the Bengal sea, and made their settlement there.In 1811-1815, the situation abruptly changed; war of tremendous resistance broke out in Arakan. Lord Chain Bran known as King Bering in the contemporary British records organized Arakanese people living among the hills and jungles of Chittagong hills tracts, and built up an army with a 20,000 man strong and fought against the Burman invaders to drive them out from the soil of Arakan. Lord Chin Bran and his army succeeded in crushing one after another, and they were capable to lay siege Mrauk-U, capital city of Arakan, repeatedly. They plundered Burman’s garrisons on their way to Mrauk-U and killed the Burmans whom they encountered on their way.Military campaigns were carried out in various parts of Arakan by Lord Chin Bran’s troops. By 1812, almost the whole of territories of Arakan were under the control of Lord Chin Bran’s troops. However, the Burman king sent larger reinforcements by land and sea to consolidate the position. The Buman invaders slaughtered innocent civilians in revenge ,and so Lord Chin Bran led his troops to retreat to Chittagong hills tracts. In order to defend the Burmese forces, he built a fort at Plun Chural, a three days journey from Panwa (Ramu), where he died of old age in 1815. The revolt, that Lord Chin Bran started, did not end with his death. He was succeeded by other leaders, who gained support from Arakanese people, and continued struggle against the Burman invaders. Outstanding among his successors were Dhabainggri Kyaw Bone, Lord Aung Kyaw Zan , Lord Lat Ronephawgri and Zonetat Myattaungrhay.Arakanese troops advanced inside Arakan and fought the Burman garrisons repeatedly giving much trouble to the Burman’s shaky rule in Arakan. By 1818, the Burman governor of Rambree sent a letter to the British authorities in Calcutta. The letter stated: “One lakh of Arakanese people living in the British dominion are challenging the Burman’s rule in Arakan many times with the encouragement of the British. I demand the British authorities to extradite those Arakanese people to Arakan, and failure to accede the demand will be brought to the destruction of the British dominion by the Burman forces”.The British at that time was in difficulties both inside and outside India - distressing political situation in various parts of India, troubled with Pandris ,and strained relations with China, Nepal and Afghanistan. Therefore, the British first tried to avoid the direct conflict with the Burmans by sending envoys to Ava. But, it was unsuccessful. Then, when the British were fighting with Pandris, the king of Ava of the Burmans sent a letter again to Lord Hastings demanding the surrender of Chittagong , Dhaka, Cassimbazaar and Murshidabad. Soon, in 1821-1822, The Burman forces invaded Assam, and in September 1923 the Shapuri Island near Chittagong which was belonging to the British dominion. At the same time , the Bumans were making preparation for the dispatch of a military expedition to invade the British-Bengal. All those events frustrated the British.At the beginning of 1824, an agreement was signed between the exiled Arakanese Princes and the British authorities in Bengal to establish an alliance between the British and Arakan. By the terms of this agreement, Arakanese forces under the command of Lord Aung Kyaw Zan must fight the Burman forces on the side of the British, and Arakan must be ceded to the princes of Arakan after the Burman invader’s forces were driven out of the soil of Arakan. About the same time, the advance of the Burman forces towards the eastern frontier of the British dominion made the British inevitable to declare war on Ava of the Burmans.On 4 March 1824, therefore, Lord Amherst declared war on Ava of the Burmans. In the war, Arakanese forces fought against the Burmans on the side of the British. The Burman forces suffered a crushing defeat and by the “Yantabo Peace Treaty” at the end of the first Anglo-Burman war on 24 February 1826, Arakan was ceded to the British by the Burmans. However, after the conquest of Arakan, the British reneged on to comply with the agreement and colonized and integrated Arakan into British-India.In 1827, therefore, Arakanese nationalists led by Lord Aung Kyaw Zan, Prince Shwe Ban and Lord Aung kyaw Rhee sought help from the French and hatched a plot to drive out the British from the soil of Arakan. A lot of Arakanese patriots joined them and built up underground resistance forces under their leadership. The resistance forces carried out guerrilla combats against the British troops and attacked the British authorities. On one occasion, the resistance forces made a raid up the police thana of Akyab and burned it up.However, Lord Aung Kyaw Zan, Prince Shwe Ban and Lord Aung kyaw Rhee , who were masterminds of the revolt, were discovered and arrested by the British on account of a traitor. The revolt without its leaders was quelled by the superior British battalions, which were reinforced with Indian troops from British-India.Lord Aung Kyaw Zan, Prince Shwe Ban, Lord Aung kyaw Rhee and many other leaders were put in the Dhaka jail for unlimited time. They died of hunger strike in Dhaka jail in 1834. They all are still considered by the Arakanese people as the founders’ of new Arakanese nationalism. Prince Shwe Ban left a message written on the wall of Dhaka jail with his own blood to the future Arakanese generation. It was in a poetic from, and it reads:“ Those who will come in the future,All Arakansese people;Do not deviate with other thoughtsFollow my pathDiligently and resolutelyWe shall regain our land ArakanKeep up with the efforts and work with determinations,Even Nirvana is not beyond the reach of attainmentI ring the bell of the truth,These were my words at my death”Similarly, Lord Aung Kyaw Rhee also left a message to future Arakanese generations. It was also a poetic forms and it reads:“If you are cheated with the face of money and betrayed,Oh! People of future, do not tolerate,In all international matters, use your wisdom and intelligence,And strive with good plans.Do not be derelictBe loyal to your nation,Be ready to sacrifice your lifeAnd let your blood flows,We shall regain our own land,Don’t want to be underdog in this world.”After the failed plot hatched by the Arakanese princes and patriots, the British rule in Arakan in the 19th century faced numerous pro-impendence revolts staged by the Arakanese nationalists, and the peasant revolts broke out simultaneously in different parts of Arakan.The imposition of the British’s control took long time, some area not being pacified until the early 20th century. Among the numerous revolts,(a) the pro-independence revolt led by Bo Chit San in the Lemro delta of northern Arakan in 1828,(b) the pro-independence revolt led by Bo Maung Tha Oo in southern Arakan in 1829,(c) the pro-independence revolt led by Kyeintali Sayadaw in southern Arakan in 1831,(d) The Peasant revolt led by Bo Maung Oo Pru in Akyab district in 1867,(e) the pro-independence revolt led by Bo Nga Mauk in Rambree Island in 1887,(f) the pro-independence revolt led by Sandoway Saradaw and Kyauk Sein Bo in Sandway district in 1890,(g) the pro-independence revolt led by Bo Maung Bun and Bo Ngataro in Akyab district in 1888.(h) the pro-independence revolt led by Bo Mra Htwan, Bo Shwe Hla and Bo Lar Ba in Akyab district in 1890-91.(i) the pro-independence revolt led by Bo Kyaw Wa in Sandoway District in 1890,(j) the pro-independence revolt led by Bo Chun Pho and his son Maung Phaw Aung in Akyab district in 1891-92 were enormous and popular.The pro-independence revolts were staged with their plans to repulse the British and regain independence of Arakan. The peasant revolts stemmed from the British’s evil administration that raised land taxes, capitation tax and the practice of forced-labour from the peasants. The revolts gave much trouble to the British rule in Arakan. The revolts were quelled by the British hardly and at the great cost.In 1852, after hostile acts of the Burmans to the British traders, a second Anglo-Burman war led to the annexation of the Irrawaddy Delta of the Burman’s territory into the British dominion. Finally, in 1885, the Burman king Thibaw, with the French encouragement, confiscated the Bombay-Burma company’s properties, thus bringing down on his country a force of 10,000 British and Indian troops, who deported the king and occupied the remainder of the Burman’s territories.After the end of the third Anglo-Burman war in 1886 , the entire territories of Burman became a province of British-India empire. It was misfortune of the Burmans in the 19th century to be ruled by a dynasty bent upon conquest .The territory of Arakan, which was not the integral part of Burma, was annexed to the territory of Burma by the British in order that the British could establish convenient administration in their dominion.Arakan national movement, from 1900 to 1940, was characterized by the multiplicity of its organizations and the diversity of its methods. The Rakkhapura League established in 1918, All Arakan League established in 1930 engendered an appreciation of Arakan’s lost heritage and a sense of national identity among the Arakanese people. The national sentiment in favour of independence remained active among the Arakanese people.The Burmans’ nationalism was faded away under the oppressive British colonial rule. The Burmans’ nationalism was awakened and motivated by Saradaw U Ottama, an Arakanese Buddhis monk. There was nothing to indicate the existence of an genuine Burman nationalist sentiment until emergence of Saradaw U Ottama in 1917.After the first world war (1914-1918), the British colonial masters faced a political crisis to control their colonies. Due to the impact of the first world war , the people of British’s colonies suffered economic hardship, and grew their indignation with the British. Saradaw U Ottama , during this period, travelled from one place to another, and preached the Burmans and non- Burmans in British-Burma sermon about being vigilant to the cause of freedom. He stimulated them to have valour to fight for freedom. Thus, he became their leaders who was indivisible from them.In April 1918, Sir Montague Chelmsford , the new Governor of British-India, produced the Montague Chelmsford report in British-India to compensate a severe blow to British power and influence by the first world war. In order to deceive the peoples in British-Burma, sir Reginald Cradock , lieutenant Governor of British-India, produced the Cradock scheme for Burma in December 1918 before the administrative system of diarchy had been introduced in India.Saradaw U Ottama undauntedly challenged the Cradock scheme by yielding “Get out Cradock from Burma”. At that time , the Burmans were afraid of even a police man of British administration . He incited the Burmans and non-Burmans to oppose the British rule without fear. The British’s arrest of Saradaw U Ottama and the sentence of the British’s court to him for three years imprisonment with hard labour due to his challenge against the British in 1922 woke up the Burmans from their silent fear of the British colonial masters. This event spread as the forest fire and turned the entire people of British-Burma against British rule.Saradaw U Ottama dominated the course of Burma’s politics more than two decades from 1917 to 1939.His political speeches, political writings and political activities created many political organisations and movements against the British’s rule in Burma. Under the political leadership of Saradaw U Ottama, the first Rangoon University student’s boycott in 1920 came to be launched and the national colleges and schools emerged in Burma; the Cradock scheme was withdrawn ; the visit of prince of Whale to Burma in 1924 was boycotted; When the white committee led by Sir A.S White came to Burma to investigate for administrative system of diarchy, it was boycotted; When Simon commission, a body named to study Burma’s political conditions, arrived in Rangoon on 29 January 1929, it was not welcomed and boycotted; the second Rangoon University student’s boycott came to be launched in 1936; a series of hunger strikes, public demonstrations, marches of protest, strikes and boycott followed; the administrative system of diarchy disappeared in 1937. He was the first national leader not only to secure the support of the Burma’s intelligentsia and the middle class, but also to stir and attract the loyalty of the untold masses in the countless villages of Burma.Saradaw U Ottama, who initiated non-violent tactics in Burma, was designated as Mahatma Gandhi of Burma. His policy was to liberate the Asian people from the yoke of European colonial masters through non-violent means. The British authorities jailed him for four times in order to eradicate all uprisings in British-Burma and his fighting spirit. Nevertheless , he never gave up his struggle against the British colonial rule till his death on 9th September 1939. That is why Aung San Suu Kyi, in her famous book “ the freedom from fear, ”wrote: “the first exciter of fighting will and fighting capability for independence of Burma was Saradaw U Ottama”.In this phase, two main strategies were developed by the Arakanese elite groups. One was to collaborate in the British administration in order to upgrade educational, and economic conditions of the Arakanese people through self-government and democratic means, and at the same time, to wear the British administration down by erosion from within .Another was to co-operate with the Burman national movement if the Burman movement aimed at not only freedom of the Burmans alone but also freedom of Arakanese people as well.As a consequence, the Arakanese intellectuals, who centred the former strategy entered the British administration securing major civil services positions. Such intellectuals as Sir Paw Tun , deputy chairman of the executive council of Governor Sir Dorman Smith, Sir Tun Aung Kyaw, the famous supreme court judge, ICS U Kyaw Mun and U May Aung were Arakanese nationalists who took major civil services positions in the British administration. The Arakanese nationalists, who centred the latter strategy, co-operated in the Burmans’ national movements emerged under the political leadership of Saradaw U Ottama. Such Arakanese nationalists as Dr. Shwe Zan Aung, U Sein Hla Aung and U Sein Tun Aung became the famous leaders of the General Council of Burmese Association (GCBA) (1920), which was the forerunner of the political parties in Burma. U Ba U, an Arakanese student leader, led the first Rangoon university students’ boycott movement in 1920. Ko Kyaw Yin, Ko Nyo Tun and Ko Ba Zan took part in the front line of the second Rangoon university boycott movement led by Ko Nu and Ko Aung San in 1930.In this phase, the Arakanese people and the Burmans were the same oppressed peoples under the British colonial rule, and had the same sentiment against the British domination over Asian peoples. A satisfactory promise for independence of Arakan after throwing off of the British was also made by the Burman leaders who were languishing under the British rule. Arakanese people and their leaders hoped that after attaining freedom of British-Burma, Arakan which had been an independent kingdom would regain her independence. Arakanese nationalists, therefore, fought on the political front by means of deputations and petitions, and sometimes strikes to influence the British’s policies in British-Burma. In December 1931, a round table conference for Burma’s political affairs was convened in London. Daw Mra Sein, an Arakanese woman politician, presented the case for Burma’s separation from India in the British commons as a representative of Burma’s delegation to the round table conference in London.The following year, a general election was held in Burma in which the majority people voted to separate Burma from British-India .In 1937, Burma was detached from British-India and given some self-government which made it more autonomous and gave more room to motivate Arakanese nationalism as well as the Burman nationalism. In 1939, Arakan National Congress (ANC) was formed by uniting various groups- democrats, socialists, communists and other well defined groups of the Arakan independence movements. Alongside the growing in strength and developments in organization of ANC was the emergence of the major poor peasants’ movements and solidarity among the Arakanese people.In 1942, the Japanese invaded British-Burma. In the invasion of British-Burma, the Japanese forces had been joined by a small force known as the Burma Independence Army (BIA) led by General Aung San. The British retreated to India creating many social disorders in Arakan. The Japanese fascists were at first welcomed by the Burmans as liberators because they established a government led by Dr. Ba Maw and proclaimed Burma’s independence on 1st August 1943. However, the Burmans soon discovered that the independence the Japanese fascists existed only on paper. Everywhere in Burma were guilty of atrocities committed by the arrogant Japanese fascists.The allied forces in India carried out their first offensive against the Japanese fascists in Burma in November 1942 but were repulsed with heavy losses. For the allied forces in India, the battle for British-Burma was one of the hardest-fought of entire war(i.e. the second world war). By 1942, Arakan National Congress (ANC) under the leadership of Saradaw U Seinda, Saradaw U Pyinnyathiha and U Tha Zan Hla grew in strength and became a powerful organization of Arakan. By 1944, ANC was invited to attend the Anti-fascist Conference in Rangoon. Saradaw U Seinda and U Nyo Tun attended the Anti-fascist Conference in Rangoon and signed on the Treaty of Burma Revolutionary Front(TBRF), representing the Arakanese people. As a consequence, the Anti-fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL) was formed as a coalition of various political organizations in British-Burma.All the Burman and non-Burman nationalistic, socialist and communist parties joined AFPFL including ANC, and elected General Aung San as chairman of AFPFL. They agreed on a program of collective struggle against the Japanese fascists, struggle for independence of British-Burma and a political program based on the principle of a Federal Union of Burma. ANC joined AFPFL as a member organization because AFPFL’s policy stood for the freedom, equality and the right to self-determination of all ethnic nationalities in the territory of British-Burma, and the Burman AFPFL leaders also promised an independent state of Arakan after attaining freedom of British-Burma.With an aim to liberate Arakanese people from the yoke of colonists , ANC built up Arakanese Defence Army(ADA) with a 3,000 man strong in the rural areas of Arakan in 1944.Commander Kra Hla Aung became the chief commander of ADA. When AFPFL leaders sought support from the British in India, the leaders of ANC provided much help to them. The British in India promised support. ADA under the leadership of ANC waged the anti-Japanese fascists war in the middle of 1944. ADA was supported with arms and ammunition by the British in India. In December 1944, the Japanese fascists were totally wiped out from the soil of Arakan by ADA, and ANC made a plan to set up Arakanese government and run the business of government in Arakan.However, the British forces invaded Arakan and occupied Akyab, the capital city of Arakan, on 1st January 1945.Thus, Arakan came under the British rule again. Commander Kra Hla Aung and the Arakanese volunteers of ADA under the leadership of ANC were the first resistance fighters against the Japanese invasion in British-Burma. They fought against the Japanese fascists prior to the Burmans’ anti-Japanese resistance which commenced on 27th March 1945. After the British’s reoccupation of Arakan in 1945, two different strategies were surfaced among the leaders of ANC. One was to continue co-operation with AFPFL until full freedom of Arakan was achieved. Another was to revolt against the British for the independence of Arakan. At last, ANC split into two factions. The Arakanese nationalists, who favoured the latter strategy, realized that Arakan should be granted independence separately according to the provisions of Atlantic Charter.As soon as Arakan came under the British rule again, the British promulgated that all arms and ammunitions in the hand of ADA’s volunteers should be made over to the British .For this act , the British gave reason that those arms and ammunitions would be supplied to the AFPFL’s troops under the command of General Aung San in order to begin anti-Japanese war in proper Burma .The faction of ANC, which had the strategy to cooperate with AFPFL, made over their arms and ammunitions to the British .But ,the another faction of ANC ,which had the strategy to revolt against the British for independence of Arakan if the British failed to comply with the Atlantic Charter ,did not make over their arms and ammunitions to the British. Instead ,they prepared for revolt.So, a warrant was out for the arrest of Saradaw U Seinda , his guerrilla leaders and followers .They all went underground .However , the hundred of guerrilla leaders and their followers were arrested and charged with the criminal offences .They were inhumanly tortured, and sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour by the British Courts .Some were condemned to death by hanging four or five times. The villages in the rural areas, which gave support to the guerrilla leaders, were set fire by the British troops. Feeling in Arakan rose to a danger pitch , Saradaw U Seinda become canonized as a great national hero.During 1945, Arakan become more and more tense. Irate mobs periodically paraded in the streets of Akyab and other towns as Kyaukpru, Sandoway, Kyauktaw and Minbra . There was anti-British sentiment prevailing .The Arakanese guerrillas , who took part in the anti-Japanese war in 1944, became intolerable , and they manifested their readiness to sacrifice their lives in the struggle against the British.On 10 March 1945, the British fourteenth army conquered Mandalay ,the second capital city of proper Burma .On 27 March 1945, AFPFL forces under the command of General Aung San declared war against the Japanese fascists and began guerrilla combats against the Japanese forces in proper Burma .The British forces conquered Rangoon, the capital city proper Burma, on 2nd May 1945 , and thus proper Burma also came under the British rule again.In July 1945, a national election had been held in Great Britain , and Winston Churchill, the conservative leader ,had been displaced as prime minister by Clement Atlee . The coming to power of the labour party was a good augury for the cause of Burma’s independence.By 1946, the Mraybon Conference was held under the auspices of Saradaw U Seinda in Mraybon town of Arakan. At the conference , the unity of all the Arakanese left wings was successfully built. At the beginning of 1947, the People’s Liberation Party (PLP) led by Saradaw U Seinda was formed, and began the armed struggle against the governments in Rangoon for independence of Arakan. The PLP was capable to control a number of villages in Akyab district and kyaukpru district , and acted as local government . The struggle of PLP against the governments in Rangoon continued till 1958.In January 1947, the British labour government signed an agreement with General Aung San , chairman of AFPFL, agreeing both independence of Burma and incorporation of the territories owned by the non-Burman ethnic nationalities in British-Burma . But, the terms of the agreement contained a proviso which stated, “ the free consent of the non-Burma ethnic nationalities shall be required for the incorporation of their territories into Burma .”AFPFL’s leaders including General Aung San, thus, sought political support from all non-Burman ethnic nationalities – Chain, Kachin ,Karen , Kayah, Mon ,Rakhaing (Arakanese ) and Shan to achieve the independence of Burma speedily and without any hindrance. When AFPFL’s leaders sought political support from non-Burman ethnic nationalities , they promised a new Federal Union of all ethnic nationalities equal in every respect .General Aung San and AFPFL’s leaders promised Arakanese political leaders that after independence of British-Burma , Arakan might join Union of Burma or might establish a sovereign independent state according to the free will of Arakanese people.The faction of ANC led by U Pyinnyathiha, U Nyo Tun and U Aung Zan Wai accepted the promise made by General Aung San and AFPFL’s leaders and made their decision to cooperate with AFPFL for the speedy attainment of independence of British -Burma . Accordingly , U Aung Zan Wai accepted the proposal of the British governor of Burma to join the interim government of Ministerial Burma as a cabinet minister together with General Aung San, chairman of AFPFL, in order to hasten the process of independence of British-Burma.Eventually, an agreement between AFPFL’s chairman General Aung San , who was also a representative of interim government of Ministerial Burma ,and the leaders of non-Burman ethnic nationalities reached at the Panglong Conference on 12th February 1947 . This agreement is still known as “ the Panglong Agreement ” . The Panglong Agreement recognized equality, voluntary association and self-determination of non-Burman and Burman ethnic nationalities in the federal structure as a Nation made up of nations, and provided the basic principles for the establishment of future Federal Union . The leaders of non-Burman ethnic nationalities also agreed in the Palonglong Agreement to co-operate with the interim government of Ministerial Burma to hasten the process of achieving independence of Burma from the British.On 19July 1947, General Aung San was murdered, together with most of the cabinet minister of interim government of Ministerial Burma, and U Nu took the leading role of the Burman politics in the place of General Aung San. U Nu-led AFPFL, however , deviated from the fundamental principles for authentic Federal Union laid down by General Aung San and the leader of the non-Burman ethnic nationalities at the Panglong Conference, and adopted a constitution which was favourable to the hegemony of the Burmans over non- Burman ethnic nationalities.According to the 1947 constitution adopted by the U Nu-led AFPFL, the non-Burman ethnic nationalities were deprived of their right to self- determination. The Union of Burma formed by the U Nu-led AFPFL was, in essence, unitary and colonial in structure . Therefore, when Burma attained independence on 4 January 1948 , the Burmans completely monopolized over economic ,social , educational , administrative and military affairs, and run the whole machinery of government of the so-called Union of Burma , reducing the non-Burman ethnic nationalities to colonies. For non-Burman ethnic nationalities , independence of Burma in 1948 meant super session of the Burman domination in the place of the British’s domination.Accordingly , the non-Burman ethnic nationalities took up arms and civil war , that has been going on for almost sixty years , began soon after Burma had gained independence from the British . Under the sham Union of Burma, the Arakanese people, who carry the heritage of an independent Kingdom, were not even given an autonomous state , but reduced to a mere administrative formality.Consequently, the Arakanese people intensified the struggle for autonomous state through democratic and non-violent means. All Arakan National United League (AANUL) under the leadership of U Maung Kyaw Zan won landslide victory in Arakan in the elections held during the parliamentary period of AFPFL’s governments ( 1948-1962). AANUL, which was popularly Known as “Ra-Ta-Nya” , struggled hard in the parliament joining hands with other non-Burman ethnic nationalities parties to modify 1947 constitution to an authentic federal constitution and to gave Arakan a political status of autonomous state in the authentic federal structure. AANUL’s struggle and influence among the Arakanese people grew tremendously. Under the leadership of AANUL, Arakanese people from all walks of life took to the streets widely and periodically demanding for autonomous state.As a result , in 1961, the then ruling Pa-Hta-Sa (the Union Party ) government led by U Nu promised for the autonomous states of Arakan and Mon. During this phase from 1948 to 1962, the federal movements formed by uniting all non-Burman ethnic nationalities became increasingly enormous and popular . In this movements ,the role played by the Shan nationalists was great . The unity and solidarity among the non-Burman ethnic nationalities became greater than had been achieved before .In the Parliament debates ,the MPs of non-Burman ethnic nationalities demanded to amend the sham Union constitution to be genuine so that non-Burman ethnic nationalities could enjoy their right to self-determination as the promise made to them before independence of Burma by General Aung San and the Burman AFPFL leaders.Moreover , on 25 February 1962, the leaders of non-Burman ethnic nationalities attended the historic “Taung Gyi Conference” in southern Shan State and signed on the draft genuine federation popularly known as “the Shan’s principles ”,and unitedly demanded it to the then ruling Union Party government led by U Nu . The features of genuine Federal Union of Burma in the draft genuine federation could be summed up as follows:(1) Eight federating states should be constituted to establish genuine Federal Union of Burma .they are :(a) Arakan state(b) Burmar state(c) Chin state(d) Kachin state(e) Karen state(f) Karyar state(g) Mon state(h) Shan state.(2) The federating states should be sovereign and equal in every respect with the exception of some powers empowered to the federal legislature.(3) Every federating state should have its own constitution, legislature and government. (4) The federal legislature should be bi-cameral legislature in which there are a national Assembly composed of equal numbers of representative from the federating states and the people’s Assembly composed of representatives elected from among the entire people of the Federal Union according to the defined constituencies. Both Assemblies should have equal power.(5) The president and the government of the Federal Union should be elected from among the representatives of two Assemblies in a Joint session . The government of the federal Union should be responsible to the parliament.(6) The federal legislature should be empowered the following power:(a) Foreign affairs ( b) Defence (c) Finance (d) Judiciary (e) Currency and coinage (f) Post and telecommunication (g) Railway and Airway (h)Taxation on seaports.(7) The federating states should be fully autonomous and free from interference of centre and other federating states.(8) Fair and just financial allotment should be made among the federating states , and natural resources and economic bases of a federating state should be owned by itself.However, before U Nu’s government could do nothing regarding these demands of the non-Burman ethnic nationalities, highly chauvinistic Burman senior military officers led by General Ne Win took over the state power by staging a military coup on 2 March 1962. General Ne Win justified his act of military coup by alleging that the Union of Burma was being torn apart by the non-Burman ethnic nationalities .The background to the military coup was nothing but a planed effort of highly chauvinistic Burmans not only to secure Burman domination over non-Burman ethnic nationalities but also to thwart peaceful struggle of non-Burma ethnic nationalities for their right to self-determination in the federal structure.The coup leaders dissolved the democratically elected government and parliament, and arrested and jailed the president of Union , the cabinet members and the leaders of non-Burman ethnic nationalities who were attending the Taunggyi Conference . They revoked political freedom and all democratic rights, and abolished the 1947 constitutions .They formed themselves the Revolutionary Council (RC) under the leadership of General Ne Win, and assumed all powers and military dictatorship was put into practice . The Burmese Socialist Program Party( BSPP) was formed under the tight control of the Revolutionary Council on July 4, 1962 .The Burmese way to socialism was the BSPP’s policy .All economic activities , including retail trade, were nationalized . The private properties and ownerships were confiscated .The government’s strategies were directed to the monopoly of political power by the Burman military ; the removal of affairs of non- Burman ethnic nationalities from politics to the safe containment of the Burman military’s administration; the fragmentation of non-Burman ethnic nationalities into various racial groups. The Burmese way to socialism plunged Burma into the conditions of technologically backward, with low living standards , and an underdeveloped , and chaotic education infrastructure.Soon after the military coup led by General Ne Win in 1963, Arakan National Liberation Organization (ANLO) was formed under the Leadership of U San Phaw Oo and U Maung Sein Nyunt. A new movement was carried out by ANLO which between 1962 and 1969 revolted against the Burman central regime . The political background to insurrection of ANLO was attributable to failure of the Burman central regime to recognize the political status of Arakan i.e. the right to self-determination of Arakanese people .The ANLO’s political ideology was socialism and its organizational activities and guerrilla warfare were carried out mostly in the rural areas of Arakan. But, it had its clandestine intellectual groups in the urban areas.About the same times, a faction led by U kyaw Zan Rhee and Bo Maung Han broke away from the communist Party of Burma ( Red Flag) and established the communist Party of Arakan ( CPA) and set up its political stand on the Arakanese national line .The CPA espoused Marxism -Leninism and demanded independence of Arakan .It recruited its members both from the rural and urban areas of Arakan. Some Arakanese intellectuals gave support to the CPA , but it was largely a peasant party . The socio-economic and political background to insurrection of CPA included indignation of majority Arakanese peasants arising from failure of the successive Burman regimes to decolonise Arakan, and indigence of Arakanese peasants brought about by enormously exploitation of peasant’s production ,natural resources and economic bases of Arakan by the chauvinistic Burman regimes.In 1963 , the then ruling Revolutionary Council led by General Ne Win declared a country -wide cease fire and invited all armed organizations waging war against it to the so-called peace-talks .U kyaw Zan Rhee and U Thein Pe of CPA attended the so-called peace -talks ,and demanded to withdraw Burman troops from Arakan and to recognize the right to self-determination of Arakanese people so that Arakanese people could establish an independent Republic of Arakan peacefully and exercise their right to self- determination without interference of alien. The demand of CPA was not acceded by the Burman Revolutionary Council, and guerrilla activities were launched widely in Arakan by the CPA again.In 1964 , a new armed organization, Arakan National United Organization (ANUO) came into existence . Commander Kra Hla Aung was at the head of the ANUO, which committed to the armed struggle as the vehicle for independence of Arakan .However, the guerrilla activities were carried out by the ANUO mostly in areas of so far distant from the main centres of population that they had little impact on the majority of the people.In 1967, there was a great scarcity of rice in Arakan due to the economic exploitation of Burman Revolutionary Council led by General Ne Win. The production of rice everywhere in Arakan was confiscated at gun point by the Burman troops in order to make profit for the Burman military , neglecting the Arakanese people who were suffering famine . Thousands of Arakanese civilians in rural and urban died of starvation at the beginning of 1967. On 13th August 1967, a march of tens of thousands of Arakanese people took place in Sittwe , capital city of Arakan , demanding distribution of enough rice for public consumption. But , the demand of the Arakanese people was neglected . The Burman troops, instead, opened fire into the mob: over 400 were killed and thousands were wounded. The August killing in Arakan in 1967 resulted increasingly growing in anti- Burman sentiment and fighting spirit among the young Arakanese people , which instigated the armed insurrection for independence in the 1970s . There was a specific grudge against the Burmans, and anti-Burman sentiment was prevailing.By 1967, Arakan Independence Front ( AIF) led by Peter Ba Cho was formed to struggle for independence of Arakan .By 1969 , Arakan National Liberation Party(ANLP) was established by the unification of ANLO and AI F in order to intensify struggle against the Burman central regime. U Maung Sein Nyunt was elected as the chairman of ANLP . The guerrilla combats were launched in the northern region of Arakan by ANLP, giving much trouble to the Burman central regime.In the early 1970s, Arakanese nationalists had many links with both Karen and Kachin struggles for national self-determination . Many Arakanese young people participated in military combats against the Burman troops in Karenland and kachinland. Both Karen National Union (KNU) and Kachin Independence organization (KIO) had aims to help in building up of new Arakanese armed forces in their lands, and many plans were made to send Arakanese armed forces to Arakan in order to open a new military front in the struggle against the Burman domination in Arakan.On 3rd March 1970, Arakan Independence Organization ( AIO) was formed under the leadership of Htwaan Shwe Maung and San Kyaw Htwaan in Kachinland .AIO created a new Arakanese nationalism by blending classic nationalist concepts with a new vision of armed struggle for independence of Arakan. In this plan, Arakan Independence Army (AIA) became the armed wing of AIO. The officers and volunteers of AIA were trained by KIO in Kachinland.The first expedition of AIA under the command of Lt-Col Htwaan Shwe Maung explored the long march from Kachinland to Arakan on 5th November 1971 along the Indo-Burma borders. This military expedition led by Lt-Col Htwaan Shwe Maung reached Arakan on 27th February 1972 successfully . AIA staged many guerrilla combats against the Burman troops in Kyauk-taw , Mrauk-U, Mimbra and Palatwa townships in Arakan . AIA received a lot of support from Arakanese people in rural and urban area. AIO was capable to create a network of resistance cells which were spread to every village and every town in Arakan.However , the second military expedition of AIA under the command of Major San Kyaw Htwaan suffered a crushing defeat in face with the outnumbered and outgunned Burman troops in chinland in mid 1977. Major San Kyaw Htwaan died in action .The fall of Major San Kyaw Htwaan was a great loss to the struggle of Arakanese people for their right to self-determination because he was a person who possessed martial prowess and mental faculty. His political essay titled “what should we do?” (Nga Roe Zar lote Ket Phoe Le`) still arouses the Arakanese national sentiment in favour of independence among the Arakanese people . He is still remembered by the Arakanese people as a national hero.In 1973,Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) and its military wing Arakan Liberation Army (ALA) under the leadership of Khaing Moe Lunn was formed in Karenland .ALP insisted that the sole solution to Arakan national question is the armed struggle against the Burman central regime . ALP recruited its members from overseas Arakanese people in Burma and Thailand .But it had its network of resistance cells in the rural and urban areas of Arakan . The officers and volunteers of ALA were trained by KNU in Karenland . They had to participate in the military combats launched by the KNU against the Burman troops in Karenland so that they could have a practical military experiences.In 1974, a new constitution was adopted by the Burman military regime led by General Ne Win , but without consent of non -Burman ethnic nationalities . A lot of political leaders of non-Burman ethnic nationalities were arrested and put in the jails for long term in order to implement the new constitution of 1974 without the voice of non -Burnan ethnic nationalities .Under the constitution of 1974 , Arakan was recognized as a state of the so-called socialist Republic of Union of Burma . But, in essence, the statehood of Arakan was merely nominal within the sham Union of Burma .The domesticated Arakan State Council’s authority under the tight control of the Burman military was introduced. The elections were a farce, as the only political party allowed was BSPP, which was dominated by the Burman military .There was no possibility of Arakanese people to exercise their right to self-determination.In 1976 , the military expedition of ALA, under the command of Col. Khing Moe Lunn marched from Karenland to Arakan , traversing Kareland ,Karennilnd , Kachinland and Chinland . It was a long march of nearly 2000miles .The military expedition of ALA was only a force with a 300 man strong .Throughout the long march , it fought several combats with the Burman troops. In Chinland alone , it fought 100 combats with the Burman troops. However ,when it encountered the Burman force with a 10,000 man strong in Chinland in June 1977, it suffered a crushing defeat. Col .Khing Moe Lunn killed himself preferring death in dignity to surrender . The remnants of ALP’s leaders and its troops spent their times, preparing their new plans and participating in the combats lunched by KNU against the Burman troops in Karenland . Col.Khing Moe Lunn is still considered as a national hero by the Arakanese people .During 1970s, as the BSPP Burman military regime mounted its strategy of annihilation in rural areas of Arakan evrey underground armed groups of Arakan had to retreat to bordering countries such as India and Bangladesh ; ANLP in 1975, CPA and CPB (red flag) in 1978, AIO in 1979 CPA and CPB (white flag) in 1980. In October 1979, the Vanguard of Arakan Revolution ( VAR) –a coalition of two parties including AIO and ANPL- was created at Raju camp in Bangladesh.The Burman central regime deployed many battalions in Arakan unprecedently , and implemented the strategy of the four cuts operation under martial law in order to keep Arakanese people in rural areas aloof from the Arakanese armed revolution. With heavy military offensives, the Burman troops committed gross human rights violations as numerous arrests, torture ,killings , raping of women , lootings ,the destruction and forced relocation of villages against the Araknese people in rural areas .The gross human rights violations in Arakan during 1970s led to the killing of 2000 civilians , destructions and forced relocations of 1500 villages, and detention of 10,000 civilians in military concentration camps.On May 1986 , a clandestine troop of CPA led by Major Maung Saw Yin, which had remained underground , gained public support and captured Minbra Town and proclaimed independence of Arakan there . The next day , the people from all walks of life of Minbra town and nearby townships (about ten thousands people) flocked to the football field of Minbra town, where they manifested their support to proclamation of independence of Arakan by CPA. Being incapable to control Minbya town for long time , after two days , the troop of CPA retreated to the jungle area of the Arakan mountain ranges. After CPA’s capture of Minbya town , the martial law was imposed, and wide-scale arrests, jailing ,torture and killings of innocent civilians, looting of properties and money and restriction of free movements of Arakanese civilians were conducted in Arakan by the Burman regime.In 1988, a tremendous country-wide democracy uprising broke out in Burma . Millions of citizens took to the streets and demanded not only ousting of the government of military dictatorship but also replacing a democratic government in its place. The socio-economic and political background to the democracy uprising in 1988 was stemmed from economic hardship of the entire people of Burma and the loss of their human rights due to the economic mismanagement , corrupt , repressive and isolationist system of the Burman military regime led by General Ne Win ,which turned the country into the poorest in the world . In July 1988, General Ne Win resigned following the deaths of thousands of demonstrators who were killed in the streets by the military.The series of replaced leaders were appointed, but the people responded by intensifying their activities and demands sacrificing their lives. On 18th September 1988, the SLORC military junta led by General Saw Maung, the successors of General Ne Win , seized the state power after a brutal military crackdown , killing tens of thousands of innocent people. During democracy uprising , a great number of Arakanese people were killed in the streets of Arakanese.The background to the military coup on 18 September 1988 was to consolidate the state power in the hands of Chauvinistic Burman military senior officers . Following the violent suppression of the pro-democracy uprising , hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, students and Buddhist monks fled to the neighbouring countries such as Thailand, India and Bangladesh to avoid arrest, torture and extra judicial killings of the military junta.The progressive Burman democrats, students and intellectuals joined hands with armed organizations of non- Burman ethnic nationalities in the border areas to struggle against the military Junta for democracy, human rights and the right to self-determination of Burman and non- Burman peoples. A new chapter began for the new generation of Arakan to intensify struggle for the right to self-determination of Arakanese people.ConclusionThere is no doubt that the kingdom of Arakan was invaded by the Burman invaders in 1784 because Arakan national unity was sabotaged by the regional rivalries. The resistance wars staged by the Arakanese princes and patriots did not triumph due to lack of the same master plan and unified command. Under the rule of British (from 1826 to 1900), Arakanese political leaders were unable to establish a strong national unity to repulse the British .Instead, they fought against the British separately in different parts of Arakan.During the pre-independence Burma, again, Arakanese political leaders were incapable of setting definite political position of Arakanese people through their own initiatives .They, instead , believed hopefully a sham promise given by the Burman political leaders . During this period, Arakanese political leaders did not foresee the fact that the Burman’s main concern have always been themselves and with political and cultural superiority of the Burmans over all small nations such as Chin, Kachin, Karen ,Shan, Kayah, Mon and Arakan . They also did not foresee the fact that the Burmans are feather-brained to know the need for adopting a positive attitude towards the small nations.From independence of Burma in 1948 to 1988 , intensification of the process of the armed-struggle for self-determination of Arakanese people under one master plan was not attainable .This must be attributed in the main to lack of skilled leadership and in the last analysis to lack of political insights and political culture among the armed- groups concerned.Arakanese nationalistic armed groups which commenced guerrillas combats against the Burman central regime during 1960s and 1970s had their differences. Those undesirable differences, that led to major clashes, paralysed Arakanese armed movements and entailed the declension of organizational activities among the people . The armed groups competed with one another for power and influence; a crushing defeat suffered by one with the Burman central regime was seen by his rivals as an opportunity for weakening it.Moreover, the communist armed movement agitated by the communist party of Burma from 1946 to 1980 weakened the Arakanese national armed- movement to some extent. The communists got more support from some rural areas in Arakan than nationalists. Along with its growing in organizational strength in some rural areas in Arakan, the communist policy towards Arakanese national armed- movement in the areas controlled by it was to break up and eliminate as far as possible .The main reason of some rural peasant’s support to the communist movement was ascribable to their indomitable spirit arising from various forms of suppression inflicted to them by the Burman central regime .The communists were more capable to exploit this indomitable spirit of some rural peasants in Arakan than Arakanese nationalists .The communists knew how to impress upon simple-minded rural peasants.However , Arakan was not yet industrialized and had no true proletariats, and the support of rural peasants to the communists lay its root in the national sentiments of the rural peasants. The majority Arakanese people have national sentiment in favour of their long lost right to self-determination .Therefore , Arakanese nationalism is nothing, but Arakanese people’s national sentiment in favour of their right to self-determination; the sense of permanent duty to struggle against any regime which deprives their right to self-determination.This national sentiment is manifested in their relentless and continual struggle for their right to self-determination by various means since the fall of Mrauk-U dynasty in 1784. The countless number of Arakanese people have shed their blood enormously for their right to self-determination since the fall of Mrauk-U dynasty . The various forms of struggles against the Burman central regimes ,which claim their right to self-determination, have proven that Arakan had never been a part of Burman till 1784 and the guerrilla outfits have further testified that Arakan is still colonized by the union of Burma. From 1988 onwards , the Arakanese nationalism seems stronger than ever .History of Arakan demonstrates the fact that persistence and hardworking of Arakanese people with a clear vision and grim determination, had accomplished and can surely accomplish in the future as well.Khaing Aung Win4.06.2005References.1. The statements released by ALP and NUPA2. The election campaign Declaration issued by Arakan League for Democracy (ALD), 1990 , p-23. The Statement of the third congress issued by Arakan League for Democracy ( Exile) 13th April 2001, New Delihi, India4. U Aung Tha Oo , Rakhing Razawan Yaing kyany hmu Thamaing ( Cultural history of Arakan)5. Tun Shwe khaing , the Ancient Cities of Arakan, 1985, p-180 to 2056. Dr. Aye Kyaw , the Burma we love: A position paper of the Arakanese perspective presented at Oslo Burma seminar on January 15 -17 , 20047. Dynnyawaddi inscription recording the visit of Lord Buddha to Arakan , Northern Brahmin, 544B68. U San Tha Aung , wesali ( Shwe Zan , A glimpse of old Rakhine , Arakan Post , monthly journal published in Dhaka , Bangladesh,2004, p-1710. G.E .Harvey ,History of Burma ,London 1967, p-311. Candamalalankara, the Rakhing Razawan thite vol I&II12. Shwe Lu Maung alias shahnawaz Khan, PhD (wales,UK), Sovereign Rakhapura and 31st December : Reflection of some thoughts ( Shwe Lu Maung alias shahnawaz Khan, phD (wales ,UK) The Arakanese students and youth movements, a political analysis , Arakan Post ,second issue, January 2004.14. Dr .Abdul Mabud Khan , The liberation struggle in Arakan ( from 1948 to 1982 ), CLIO, vol 3 June 1985,Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka ,Bangladesh.15. Dr.Jacqucue P. Leiden , Arakan during the Mrauk-U period : The political success of a Buddhist Border state.16. Tha Thwan Aung , The Rakhing Maha Razawan daw gri ,1927.17. Dr .Forchhammer , Arakan, 1881.18. Maurice collies ,The land of Great Images ,194219. M.S collies and San Shwe Bu , Arakan’s place in the civilization of the bay : a study of coinage and foreign relation, JBRS Vol V , part (2) 1925.20. S.T Aung , Datum of the national movements of Arakan including the armed struggle since the fall of Mrauk-U ,1992 ( Dr. Saw Mra Aung ,Mrauk-U Era AD 1430-1784 in Ancient Rakhine Prae (Arakan Nation) 199422. Ashon Wathawa , The Arakanese Dictionary 1996, Rangoon.23. Ran Rahul, Politics of central Asia ,1973.24. Po Hla Aung , A new History of Arakan,198025. Brain Crozier , South east Asia in turmoil, penguin Books Ltd,1965.26. A.W.Palmer . A dictionary of modern History (1789-1945) ,Penguin Books Ltd 1964.27. Aung San Suu Kyi , Freedom from Fear , penguin Books Ltd .199128. Bonbauk Tha Kyaw :On The Road to Revolution( Taw Hlan Ray kharee wai)29. Maung Boon, The First Burmese War .(Translated by San Shwe Bu) JBRS vol *3,part 3,1923.30. Ba Shwe , the Arakanese resistance movements against the British ( U Aung Zan wai , Memoires of Maung Kan Htu.32. Dr . Aye Chan, The Muslim enclave in Arakan state of Burma (2004).33. U Tun Myint (Taungyi ), Dan Tu Thaw Shan pyi34. Mra Htwan Aung , U Ottama and Diarchy.( From koloni khite shwepray Rakahaing ), Ashon Ottama Journal .vol 1 ,March 2001 , published by RPLC.35. Chao Tzang Yawnzhwe , The Burma Military : Holding the country Together? (Independent Burma at forty years: Six Assessments , Cornell university , New york,1989To download MS Word Version .

Views of Arakanese old capital city.

The Lost Kingdom.(Mrauk U)Pictures.


Largely unknown to the Western world for much of its tur­bulent history, Arakan played a pivotal role in the exchange of cultures and religions between India and Southeast Asia. For over a thousand years the region which now forms the Rakhine State of the Union of Myanmar (Burma) was an inde­pendent state whose rich history is only slowly being paid the attention it deserves. Stretching along the Bay of Bengal, from the Naaf River which separates it from Bangladesh to Cape Negrais in southern Burma, it occupies the narrow strip of land to the west of the mountains of the Arakan Yoma (Range). Land and sea routes connected it with Bengal to the west and Burma proper to the east, routes that were travelled by peo­ples, religions and cultures. When its neighbours were weak, Arakan was able to expand its influence along the coast to the east, west and south. At other times strong and aggressive neigh­bouring states would drive the Arakanese back to their home­land in the north or, at times, seek to conquer them.
Arakan's heartland was in its north, based on the rich alluvial flood plains of the adjoining Kaladan and Le-mro valleys. The earliest cities were in the Kaladan valley, backed by hills and facing west, and were thus open to influence from India and beyond. Subsequently cities were founded west of the Le-mro River, more accessible to Burma proper. The greatest city, Mrauk-U, bestrides the gap between these two valleys and thus could control both. All these cities were accessible to the Bay of Bengal through the tidal Mayu, Kaladan and Le-mro Rivers and their tributaries.
From the early centuries of the present era Arakan was ruled by kings who adopted Indian titles and traditions to suit their own environment. Indian Brahmins conducted the royal cer­emonial, Buddhist monks spread their teachings, traders came and went and artists and architects used Indian models for in­spiration. In the later period, there was also influence from Islamic courts of Bengal and Delhi. As an important centre for trade and as a goal of Buddhist pilgrims it was also the recipi­ent of influence from other cultural centres in Southeast Asia. But the peoples of Arakan - like their counterparts elsewhere
In the region - also followed older traditions connected with their land and the spirits which guarded it. Many of these still survive in fertility and spirit cults, or have been absorbed into the Buddhist Pantheon.
Arakan was discovered and forgotten by the rest of the world as its power rose and fell. In the first century AD the Alexandrian geographer Ptolemy knew it as Argyre, the land of silver, which was visited by merchants from southern India. Chinese Buddhist pilgrims of the seventh century knew it and the area of east Bengal within its cultural sphere as A-li-ki-lo or Harikela. The Burmese inscriptions of Pagan and Ava from the twelfth to fifteenth centuries refer to the Country as Rakhaing, the Tibetan historians Rakhan, and the Sri Lankan chronicles Rakhanga. Portuguese explorers from the fifteenth century call it Rachani and Aracan, and were followed in this by the later Dutch and English traders. The spelling 'Arakan' became standard in the eighteenth century.
After Arakan was annexed to India by the British in 1826 a number of scholar-administrators began to study in antiqui­ties, and in 1889 Dr Emil Forchhammer, a Swiss Pali scholar employed by the Government of India, undertook a survey of the sites of the old cities and the major monuments. His com­prehensive account remains the best to date. Later archaeolo­gists found sites like Pagan in central Burma more accessible and attractive than those in remote and malarial Arakan, al­though the region was visited briefly by Charles Duroisclle all 1920 and by U Lu Pe 'Will in 1940, Nevertheless, the sites always attracted Arakanese scholars, especially U San Shwe Bu who worked with British colleagues in the writing, of Arakanese history. A resurgence of interest led by key Arakanese in the Burmese central government in the 1970s led to further study being undertaken by Professor of architecture U Myo Myint Sein and to the present writer's work on the cultural history of the early period. Some Vesali sites were excavated in the 1980s by the present Director-General of the Department of Archae­ology in Myanmar, U Nyunt Han. Recognising the tourist potential of the region, the government declared the old city of Mrauk-U a Heritage area in 1996. It is now committed to funding restoration of key shrines, and excavation of the place sites of Vesali and Mrauk-U underway.
We cannot be sure who the earliest inhabitants of Arakan were. Most probably they included some minor­ity groups still surviving in the remoter areas: the Chin, the Mro and the Sak. The dominant group today, the Rakhaing, appear to have been an advance guard of Burmans who began to cross the Arakan Yoma in the ninth century. The traditional histories of the country claim the origins of the Arakanese people in a remote past when the legendary hero-ancestor of the Arakanese, Marayu, founder of the first city, Dhanyawadi, is said to have married the daughter of a Mro chief and to have cleared the country of Bilus, demon-like creatures who may have been Chills. These histories incorporate earlier traditions and legends.
From around the 4th century other sources begin to contrib­ute to our interpretation of the history of the country. Most important are the art and architecture which tell the story of the development of religious ideas and beliefs and help us lo­cate the origins of these through all analysis of their style. The political history is outlined in the inscriptions of the rulers, notably those of the Shit-thaung pillar, a great stone stele in­scribed by kings from the 6th century and carried from capital to capital until it reached Mrauk-U in the 16th. The lists of kings the inscriptions contain are verified by coins bearing their names. And we have local histories, mostly written by Bud­dhist clergy, recounting stories of kings and shrines and draw­ing in part from an earlier oral tradition.
Buddhist traditions are the most important in the formation of Arakan's culture, as indeed, is the case in the rest of Burma. As with other sites in Burma and in the rest of Southeast Asia, these traditions tell of the Buddha flying to the city of Dhanyawadi, accompanied by his disciples, and converting King Candrasuriya ("Sun-and-Moon"), after which he con­sented to have an image of himself made in commemoration of the event. This was the famous Mahamuni ("Great Sage") image, known throughout the Buddhist world and desired by kings who sought to conquer the country in order to carry away this powerful prize. The history of this image is entwined with that of Arakan.
The tradition of the origin of the Mahamuni image can be interpreted as an allegorical account of the introduction of Buddhism to Arakan. The first evidence we have of Buddhism is in the early sculpture of the Mahamuni shrine at Dhanyawadi.
Dhanyawadi (Pali Dhannavati, "grain-blessed") was a city typical of the earliest phase of urbanization in Southeast Asia during the first centuries of the Christian era. While ele­ments of its culture undoubtedly derived from India, it shares many characteristics with other centres in mainland Southeast Asia linked by the sea, the Pyu polities of present-day Burma, and the Mon of Dvaravati in Thailand and Oc-Eo in southern Vietnam.
Located in country with the capacity to produce three crops of paddy rice a year, Dhanyawadi had access to the hills and the products of the hill tribes such as beeswax and stick-lac, as well as to the sea via the Tharechaung, a tributary of the Kaladan River. During the early centuries of the present era maritime trade between China, India and Europe was stimulated by the interruption of the central Asian overland trade routes. India's demand for gold, and the Roman empire's demand for the ex­otic products of the Orient, led traders from India and the Middle East - often Arabs - to explore alternative sources. This brought Arakan into new trading networks. Contact with In­dia brought new ideas. Later inscriptions and local historical traditions remember ancestors who were probably local chiefs, who adopted Indian religion and statecraft to increase their power and become kings.
This process, generally referred to as "Indianization" was an extension of the spread of certain aspects of south Asian civili­zation which had been taking place for over a millennium in India itself, diffusing eastward and southward from its centre in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent until it finally reached western Southeast Asia: what is now Burma, Thailand, Southern Vietnam, Cambodia and the western sectors of Indo­nesia. The concept of divine kingship, which had been im­plicit in the Indian tradition, became explicit in Southeast Asia where the rulers sought to validate their hold over different ethnic groups and to control the means of production in a context wider than the traditional village.
Professor Paul Wheatley has described the transformation of village culture to the civilization of the city-state in terms of the changes in society which this "Indianization" brought about. The maintenance of a state appropriate to kingship required the ministrations of increasing numbers of craftsmen and arti­sans, the most skilled of whom were often accommodated within the royal compound. It required the labour of a peas­antry who contributed the surplus produce of their fields as a tax in kind for the support of the court, and a band of armed retainers who acted as household guards, organised the peas­antry as militia and enforced the authority of the ruler. Mate­rial defences - walls and moats protecting the palace and the city - were constructed and the city-state, the nagara, evolved. These transformations saw the tribal chieftain replaced by a divine king, shaman by brahmin priest, tribesmen as cultiva­tors by peasants, tribesmen as warriors by an army, and fa­voured the development of occupational specialisation. They were reflected in the conversion of the chief's hut into a pal­ace, the spirit house into a temple, the object of the spirit cult into the palladium of the state, and the boundary spirits which previously had protected the village into Indianized Lokapalas presiding over the cardinal directions.
This process can clearly be traced in Arakan, which received Indian culture by land from Bengal and by sea from other parts of India. The Anandacandra inscription on the Shit-thaung stele, after listing the ancestral monarchs, says that a king called Dvan Candra, possessed of righteousness and fortune, conquered 101 kings and built a city "which laughed with heavenly beauty" sur­rounded by walls and a moat. From the inscription we can de­duce that Dvan Candra ruled from around 370-425AD, and that he was the founder of the Dhanyawadi of the chronicles.
Lying, west of the ridge between the Kaladan and Lc-mro riv­ers, Dhanyawadi could be reached by small ships from the Kaladan Via the its tributary, the Tharechaung. Its city walls were made of brick, and form an irregular circle with a perimeter of about 9.6 kilometres, enclosing an area of about 4.42 square kilometres. Beyond the walls, the remains of a wide moat, now silted over and covered by paddy fields, are still visible in places. The re­mains of brick fortifications can be seen along the hilly ridge which provided protection from the west. Within the city, a similar wall and moat enclose the palace site, which has an area of 0.26 square kilometres, and another wall surrounds the palace itself.
As was the case in the contemporary Pyu cities of central Burma, the majority of the population would have lived within the outer city, whose walls also enclosed the fields in which they worked. At times of insecurity, when the city was subject to raids from the hill tribes or attempted invasions from neigh­bouring powers, there would have been an assured food supply enabling the population to withstand a siege. The city would have controlled the valley and the lower ridges, supporting a mixed wet-rice and taungya (slash and burn) economy, with local chiefs paying allegiance to the king.
From aerial photographs we can discern Dhanyawadi's irri­gation channels and storage tanks, centred at the palace site. Throughout the history of Arakan, and indeed the rest of early Southeast Asia, the king's power stemmed from his control of irrigation and water storage systems to conserve the monsoon rains and therefore to maintain the fertility and prosperity of the land. In ceremonies conducted by Indian Brahmins the king was given the magic power to regulate the celestial and terrestrial forces in order to control the coming of the rains which would ensure the continuing prosperity of the kingdom.
The renowned Mahamuni shrine is situated on a hill north­east of the palace site. This may have been the location of an earlier fertility cult, controlled by local chiefs and absorbed into Buddhism as Indian influence strengthened. The shrine was to become the centre of a Buddhist cult but would incorporate earlier beliefs surrounding the spirits of the earth and the pro­tectors of the land. While the shrine was attacked, destroyed and rebuilt many times over the centuries, and its holy image finally transported to the Burmese capital of Mandalay after the conquest of Arakan in 1784, many ancient and now badly dam- Sculptures still remain. Traditionally regarded as deities protecting the central image, they are stylistically comparable to the art of the late Gupta period in India, from around the fifth and sixth centuries AD. There are indications that the dei­ties they represent belong to the Mahayana Buddhist pantheon.
Some nine kilometres south of Dhanyawadi is the next im­portant city, Vesali (Wethali), founded around the begin­ning of the sixth century and named after the Indian city of Vaisali, famous in Buddhist tradition. We do not know pre­cisely when the centre of power moved to Vesali, but inscrip­tions and sculptures found in the vicinity of the city can be dated from around the sixth century. Vesali is flanked by the Rann-chaung, a tributary of the Kaladan, to the west, and the ridge between the Kaladan and Le-mro Rivers to the east. As at Dhanyawadi we find an oval-shaped city wall encompassing an area of seven square kilometres, protected by a moat which still fills with water in the wet season. In its centre the palace site, also surrounded by a moat, contains a royal lake. More easily reached by the overland route from India, it also took advantage (if increased trade in the Bay of Bengal at the time and its influence spread to southeast Bengal. Its material re mains show that it was in contact not only with the Pyu of central Burma but also the pre-Angkorian cultures further east. As was the case at Dhanyawadi, there was a large temple com­plex to the northeast of the palace. Excavations in the 1980s unearthed the remains of a Buddhist monastic complex and a royal shrine containing the stone image of a bull. This was the royal insignia of the Candra dynasties which ruled at both Dhanyawadi and Vesali and who claimed to belong to the lin­eage of the Hindu god Siva, although they themselves pro­fessed Buddhism, probably of the Mahayanist persuasion. Such religious synthesis was not unusual in Southeast Asia, where Brahmins of Indian origin have traditionally conducted the royal ceremonial which Buddhism, disdaining class hierarchy, did not aspire to, even in Buddhist courts.
Our knowledge of the history of this period is based not only on the archaeological remains, but also on inscriptions, impor­tantly those on the pillar now preserved at the Shit-thaung tem­ple at Mrauk-U. The Shit-thaung pillar inscription of Anandracandra, who ruled Vesali in the 8th century, records a genealogy of some 22 kings ruling from the late 4th century, the earlier kings probably at Dhanyawadi. Anandacandra is described as a Buddhist who established monasteries, caused images to be made, and welcomed monks from other lands including the Buddhist clergy of Sri Lanka, to whom he sent an elephant and robes. He did not neglect other religions, repairing "deva" shrines, probably Hindu in character which were erected by former kings, and establishing buildings for the local Brahmins, whom he also provided with land, servants and musicians. Amongst the sculptural remains from Vesali there are stone and bronze votive stupus which give us an idea of the architec­ture of the time, Buddha images showing contact with the Pvu of central Burma and the monastic establishments of Bengal, and a remarkable series of Visnu images, indicating the impor­tance of that sect.
Although the extent of the lands controlled by the Dhanvawadi, Vesali, Le-mro and Mrauk-U kings would have changed under differing political and economic circumstances, the spread of historical remains indicates that from around the 6th century most of the Kaladan and Le-mro valleys came within their influence. So, for example, the discovery of a Vesali period Hindu shrine within the walls of Mrauk-U, for instance, gives an indication of the extent of the lands controlled by that city. Contact with the Pyu of central Burma is evidenced by a Pall inscription found in Mrauk-U, and another in Pyu script from Thandwe (Sandoway).
From the middle of the 8th century east Bengal, Arakan and the Pyu cities of central Burma were disrupted by waves of incursions of Tibeto-Burman-speaking peoples. These were the Mranma (in modern Burmese, Myanmar) who were eventu­ally to make Pagan their capital, and the people who were to rule Arakan and call themselves Rakhuin (Rakhaing).
In the 9th or 10th century the administrative centre may have moved to the Mrauk-U area. The chronicles record the building of two new cities on the Mrauk-U plain, the last over­run by invaders from the west. Some recent discoveries dating from this period show that close links with Eastern India had been maintained.
With the rise of the Burmese capital at Pagan a series of small Arakanese cities, Sambawak, Parein, Hkrit, and Launggret, succeeded each other on the lowlands west of the Le-mro River, while Toungoo Neyinzara was on its eastern side. This location gave these cities more access to Burma than their predecessors had. Smaller than their predecessors, almost noth­ing remains of their walls and palaces.
The first capital, Sambawak was believed to have been founded by a descendant of the Candra kings of Vesali in 1018 AD. The power of Pagan was reaching its zenith at the time, and though access was difficult across the Arakan Yoma, Pagan kings often attempted to raid Arakan and to carry away its palladium, the Mahamuni image. Instead of being a country whose influence was felt in Bengal, Arakan became a tributary of Pagan and her power curtailed. Her cities were small and her hold on more remote territories weak. According to the chronicles, a usurper ultimately ascended- the throne and the royal family had to take refuge at the Burmese king Kyanzittha's court at Pagan. When the rightful line was restored with the assistance of the Burmese, King Letya-min-nan moved the capi­tal to Parein in 1 118 AD. Launggret was founded in 1237 AD, at a time when Pagan's power was beginning to wane, and after a few years managed to become independent and began to again expand its authority to Bengal to the west and Cape Negrais to the south. The art of this period is strongly influenced by that of Pagan and reflects increasing religious contact with Sri Lanka, then the centre of Theravadin Buddhism.
In 1404 AD Burmese forces occupied Launggret and drove out the king, Min Saw Mun, who fled to.the Sultanate of Gaur in Bengal. Islam had been taking hold in Bengal from the 13th century, and the Bengal Sultanate, independent of Delhi, was founded in the mid-14th century. It was natural that Arakan, threatened from the west, should turn to its eastern neighbour with which it had centuries of contact. Weak but strategically desirable, it became a pawn in the struggle for power between the Burmans, now with their capital at Ava, and the Mons of lower Burma, with their capital at Pegu.
It is said that Min Saw Mun returned to Arakan with the assistance of an armed levy from the Sultan of Gaur. Following the advice of his astrologers he left the ill-omened Launggret and founded the last of the old great capitals, Mrauk-U, in 1433.
MRAUK-U 1433-1785 AD
The Portuguese Jesuit, Father A. Farrinha, SJ, who trav­elled to Mrauk-U in 1639, wrote Mrauk-U, called Arakan by the many foreigners who visited it, occupies a unique site. Situated in low land within a series of parallel ranges it commands both the Kaladan and Le-mro valleys and has access to the two main rivers, and therefore the Bay of Bengal, by both land and water.
After Min Saw Mun's return, the country remained tributary to the Bengal Sultanate for a hundred years. The kings, though Buddhists, used Mohammedan titles in addition to their own names, some issuing coins bearing the kalima, the Muslim dec­laration of faith, in Persian script. Min Saw Mun's brother, All Khan, managed to occupy the Bengali coastal town of Ramu and his son Ba Saw Pru, also known as Kalimah Shah, is said to have occupied Chittagong.
The twelfth king of the line, Min Bin, who ruled from 1531 to 1553 saw Arakan reach the height of its power. Two factors assisted him in this: the arrival of the Portuguese and civil war in Bengal.
In the sixteenth century the Portuguese were the world's fin­est mariners. They arrived in the Bay of Bengal seeking to con­vert the heathen to Catholicism, and in doing so to promote trading opportunities. The Arakanese saw that by granting ter­ritorial concessions and trade openings, they could benefit through the Portuguese mastery of seamanship and their mod­ern knowledge of arms and fortification. Min Bin thus turned Mrauk-U into the strongest fortified city of the Bay of Bengal, employing Portuguese to lay out his walls and moats and to forge and mount his cannon. He appointed them as military officers to train and equip a mercenary army of many races, and built, with their aid, a large fleet manned with his own men. It was during his reign that the Mrauk-U architectural style, draw­ing on Burmese, Mon and Bengali prototypes, developed. The Rakhaing navy became the scourge of the Bay of Ben­gal, taking slaves from up and down the coast as well as trad­ing rice for luxury products for its aristocracy. The Portuguese recorded that the navy comprised three hundred and fifty ves­sels. Ships coming from the Bay of Bengal usually approached via the Mayu River. There was a customs checkpoint at Kwede, at the beginning of the river of that name which joins the Mayu with the Kaladan. Upriver were trading posts for the produce of the region, cotton goods and rice.
That Mrauk-U controlled the economy of the Kaladan and Lc-mro valleys and their hinterlands can be seen not only in the widely scattered remains of religious buildings and Bud­dha images of the period but also in signs of occupancy of other centres essential for trade and the defence of the city. In 1630 the Portuguese traveller Sebastian Manrique found a massive image of the Buddha at the head of a pass guarding the land route to Bengal. Punnakvun, on the left bank of the Kaladan River, was strategically placed to control access by water to Mrauk-U, and was the site of its naval base. The Urittaung pagoda stands on a low, but steep and rocky hill opposite Punnyakyun. To the west of the pagoda are two large and several smaller tanks. The ground here is strewn with earth­enware shards indicating a long period of settlement.
Meanwhile, in Bengal, the Mughals had arrived. The emperor Humayan conquered the Sultanate of Gaur, thus initiating a long period of civil war. Min Bin took advantage of this opportunity and occupied east Bengal with a combined fleet and army movement. The province remained a vassal of Arakan for the next one hundred and twenty years, till 1666. Its administra­tion was left in the hands of twelve local rajas, who paid an annual tribute to the Arakanese king's viceroy at Chittagong.
From the west, Min Bin was threatened by the powerful Bur­mese king 'Tabinshweti, who had already conquered the Mon country and was making war against the Thais at Ayuthia. Tabinshweti invaded Arakan in 1546-7 with the help of his Portuguese mercenaries and Mon levies. When the Burmese penetrated the eastern defences of the city, Min Bin opened the sluices of his great reservoirs and halted their advance. The Arakanese chronicles tell us that the Burmese, unable to make headway, accepted the intercession of the Buddhist monks. The opposing leaders met, had amicable discussions and the Bur­mese returned home.
The Portuguese Jesuit Sebastian Manrique, describing a simi­lar procession before the coronation of King Sanda-thu­dhamma wrote The Nobles and the other men of rank gather at the palace whence, amongst music of all kinds, a huge elephant emerged, richly caparisoned, with his ivory tusks adorned with rings of gold and jewels. He carried on his back a howdah made of silver. It was open on all four sides except for curtains of green and gold silver veiling. Inside it was a tray of gold set with precious stones of immense value, which bore the royal order containing the proclamation of the coronation. Just in front, before the howdah, sat the Chique, or chief-justice at the Court, clothed in white silver cloth covered with plaques of gold. In front of him was the elephant-driver or cornaca in his usual place. He was dressed in red damask and carried in his hand the accustomed implement with which that land vessel is guided, in his instance of the finest gold. He was followed in due order by thirty-two war elephants, dressed in silken cloths and ornamented with gold, bearing the usual uncovered howdahs on their backs, made of wood but covered with silver plates. They carried huge silver bells around their necks and had rings of this same metal on their tusks. Each elephant had four silken banners of various colours fastened to the howdah which trembled in the light breeze and acted as flapping fans for their heated bodies.
When, in the east, the Mughal Emperor Akbar consolidated his hold on central and western Bengal, Min Bin's successor Raza-gri protected his eastern frontier with the aid of a menac­ing group of Portuguese slavers and adventurers settled near Chittagong, to whom he gave trade concessions.
In 1595 the Arakanese besieged and conquered the Mon capital of Pegu, deporting 3,000 households, and taking back a white elephant and a daughter of the fallen king, bronze cannon and the thirty bronze images which the Burmese king Bayin-naung had earlier seized when he conquered Ayuthia. They left in charge Felipe de Britoy Nicote, one of their Portuguese merce­naries. For a short period Arakan extended from Dacca to Moulmein, a narrow coastal strip some thousand miles long.
But the causes of Arakan's greatness were also the causes of its downfall. The thousands of Mughal, Burmese, Mon, Siamese and Portuguese mercenaries and prisoners of war did not bear a strong allegiance to the king. With mercenary support a pre­tender, Narapati, came to the throne in 1638, and Arakan's power began to decline. The influence of the Portuguese also waned as the Dutch gained commercial advantage in the Bay of Bengal. King Sanda-thudamma temporarily restored the country's glory by allowing the Dutch to settle at Mrauk-U. Wanting to strike at Catholicism in Ceylon, the European new­comers facilitated the sending of Arakanese monks there to revive the Buddhist ordination rites which had been in decline under the Portuguese.
Father Sebastian Manrique recorded that ......the city of Arracan according to general opinion must have contained one hundred and sixty thousand Inhabitants, excluding foreign merchants, of whom there was a great influx owing to the large number of-ship trading with this port from Bengala, Musulipattam,Tenasserim, Martaban,Achem and Jacatara. There were some other foreigners, too, some being merchants and some soldiers, the latter being enlisted oil salaries, and were, as 1 have said, Portuguese, Pegus, Burmese and Mogors .Besides these there were many Christians of Japanese, Bengal and other nationalities.
Meanwhile, in India, Shah Shuja, the Mughal pretender who had been provincial viceroy in Bengal, was defeated by his brother Aurangzeb who became Emperor at Delhi. Shah Shuja sought refuge at the Arakanese court, where King Sanda­thudhamma is said to have lusted not only after his immense treasure but also his daughter. Shuja in desperation attempted to overthrow the city, but was defeated and executed along with his family. In retaliation the Mughals broke the power of the Arakanese in east Bengal, enslaving many who had been slav­ers and inducing the Portuguese to change their allegiance.
Many of Shuja's Indian followers are said to have remained in Arakan, where they were employed as archers of the guard and proceeded to murder and set up kings at will. Mrauk-U's decline continued for a century. The country was beset with civil war and by a series of natural disasters such as awesome earthquakes, although the Arakanese continued to raid the Bengal coast as late as the middle of the eighteenth century. As soon as the kings of Burma regained their power under the Alaungpaya dynasty, the Peguan territories were lost and Arakan's southern borders were withdrawn to Cape Negrais.
After Sanda-thudhamma Arakan survived as a polity only because it had no aggressive neighbour. The Moghuls had ceased to be an expanding power, and Burma was becoming preoccu­pied with the British. The power of the last of the many kings of this period could extend only a few miles beyond the walls of Mrauk-U. It came to an end in 1784 when the Burmese king Bodawpaya invaded and removed the protector of the country, the Mahamuni image, to his capital at Amarapura. Two hundred thousand Arakanese are said to have fled to In­dia. These events laid the seeds for the first Anglo-Burmese war, fought in Arakan in 1825. The conquerors found the old city of Mrauk-U pestilential to its troops, and removed them to a small fishing village at the mouth of the Kaladan River, which today remains the capital of Rakhaing State of Sittwe.