Saturday, 10 May 2014

Who are the Rohingya

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

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