Burma Times: By Ibrahim Shah 11, March 2015
Rohingyas’ Challenge MMR Gov’t: Physically prove either Rohingya is native of Arakan or Illegal immigrants [Bengali]
Remark: This is a twin-titled article
Through a four-way record, historically and linguistically, and genealogically and genetically, the ethnic Rohingyas call for disapproval of the ethnical term Rohingya on current Burmese rulers through above mentioned a four-way record as they [current Burmese rulers] insistently says that the ethnical term Rohingya was politically fabricated after 1950s. Additionally, before implementation of geo-politically drafted Rakahine Action Plan in which it was clearly mentioned to grant citizenship to those people[ whose shapes are similar to South Asian but in contrast to southeast Asian] who are eligible to be citizens of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar according to Burmese Citizenhsip Act 1982 as Bengali ethnic group ,we, Rohingya community, demand Burmese authorities to first clarify that which ethnic group included in the most ancient native of Arakan as ancient self-settler in contrast to invader— Negrito, Rohingya[descendent of Indo-Aryan family], Rakhine/Magh[ a folk stock of Sino-Tibetan], or Burman[Tibeto-Burma].
This article twin-titled of Rohinghya national challenge to President Thein Sein’s administration and his fellow Buddhist Rakhine including hard liner monks is written for the first time aiming at revealing the hidden truth of the most ancient inhabitants of Arakan province widely known as western Burma or occupied Arakan which has abundant natural resources . Additionally, to let the world’s inhabitants in particular the over 100 ethnic nationalities in Burma know the real history of Arakan State and, in particular, either Rohingya is the indigenous group of Arakan or illegal immigrants.
Through this article, firstly, Rohingya community makes a national challenge to Burmese current rulers and leading personalities —President Thein Sein[ who insistently says Rohingya is not our people but illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh and he calls them by his self-designed term Bengli], Nobelist Aung San Suu Kyi[ left-wing politician (ASSK) who officially denied the existence of Rohingya despite issuance of membership registration cards of her NLD party to Rohingya under the term Rohingya ethnicity in 1990], Burmese presidential spokesperson Ye Htut and Hmuu Zaw who repeatedly say that we don’t have much experience about Democracy, NLD spokesperson Nyan Win[NLD spokesman Nyan Win simply said: “The Rohingya are not our citizens,” according to an article published by WSJ on 3rd September, 2012], co-mentor of Rohingya ethnic cleansing Vet. Aye Muang[Dr. Aye Maung said in an interview conducted by Venus News Journal on June 14, 2012 that the Rakhine state should be established in the way Israel was established], Saw Mra Zar Lin[the chairperson of the Rakhine Women Union (RWU) based in Bangladesh as well as a central committee member of Arakan Liberation Party (ALP)], so called leader of 88 generation student Ko Ko Gyi and those who utter baseless words concerning Rohingya existence into Arakan( Arakan was not a part of Burma until the final invasion by Burmese King Maung Wai in 1784)— concerning the ancient native of Arakan State— Negrito(Proto Australoid), Rohingya(last descendants of Indo-Aryan family in Arakan), Rakhine/Magh( descendants of Mongloid family or Sino-Tibetan) or Burman( descendants of Tibeto-Burman).
Secondly, in this article of Rohingya national challenge to Burmese government led by President Thein Sein, Rohingya commune urges UN-OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights), US, EU, ASEAN,OIC,GCC, HRW,AI,ICG, and other political and human rights institutions which work for peace establishment and promotion of human rights to take necessary measurements in a vast momentum based on ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ without anymore verbal statement which just beats drum of vocal lyrics “ we are deeply concerned” so President Thein Sein’s quasi-military government unconditionally pay back the long stripped birth rights of Rohingya in the way that Rohingya can enjoys as equally as the ethnic Burmans who have been holding all governmental chief posts across Burma.
Let’s dive into the ocean of Arakan history to observe the most ancient real inhabitants of Arakan are whether Negrito, Rohingya, Rakhine/Mogh, or Burman. The term of western province of Burma nowadays known as occupied Arakan was politically changed as Rakhine State in 1974 during dictatorship of one of the world worst dictators Ne Win following the racisalism-conspiracy of hard liner monk late U Otamma.
The first earliest people of Arakan: Negritos
According to the book of San Tha Aung tilted ‘The Buddhist Art of Ancient Arakan’ printed at Daw Saw Saw Sapay from Rangoon in 1979, the earliest inhabitants of Arakan belong to the Negrito group. They are mentioned in the Arakanese Chronicle as Rakkhasas or bilus (cannibals). These peoples were also described by historians as demons, half man half monsters. They were similar to today’s Andamanese(Balck-skinned). According to historians, they are descendants of Proto-Australoids or Negroids who settled in Arakan in Neolithic period but no trace of them has yet been discovered in Arakan. Thus no more discussions for Negritos will be carried out here.
The second earliest people of Arakan: Indo-Aryans
The first Arakanese Kings were Indo-Aryans from Ganges Valley. (Ancient Arakanese Chronicles)
Indo-Aryan people ruled over Arakan dynasty following dynasty, century following century.( Maurice Collis +U San Shwe Bu; into Hidden Burma Chapter, Arakan)
The settlements of the people of Indo-Aryan, tribal and hilly people— Mro(Khami) and Thet(Sak) can be trace to the time as early as BC 3323.( Zaa- Lok- Kat- Pho-Lay by San Kyaw Tuan, p81)
According to the archaeological evidences, after Negritos, Indo-Aryan people following Mro and Thet were the second earliest people to have settled in Arakan by themselves.
“The Anand Chandra Inscription, which contains 65 verses (71 and a half lines) and now sited at the Shitthaung pagoda, provides some information about these early rulers in Arakan.
- W. Wilson says before 10th century A.D. in Arakan only Indians and Indian culture including the literature were found. Burmese and Burmese cultures are found only after 10thcentury.( H. W. Wilson; the history of Indian people, PP. 189 – 204)
Accordingly, the Rakhine who are of Sino-Tibetan stock, did not arrive at their present homeland from Western China until about the 10* century CE.
Maurice Collis say this is an answer to his question about the Rakhine race, by U San Shwe Bu, an honorary archeological officer of Mrauk-U Museum: Maurice Collis further says when he asked about the Arakanese language, which is very similar to Burmese, whether the invading Mongolians were Bruman? Collis says (U San Shwe Bu’s) opinion was that; it was a matter for experts, though common sense assumption seemed to be that either the original Mongolians or succeeding waves of Mongolian immigrants imposed the Burmese language on the area.
Maurice Collis asked U San Shwe Bu, and what happened after 957? U San Shwe Bu replied Arakanese history proper then began and lasted eight centuries until the Burmans conquered the country.
Pamela remarks, perhaps it was the result of Burman invasion into central plain, that Arakan suffered another Sak invasion or uprising in the 10th century. The Rakhines were the last significant group to come to Arakan……. In old Burmese the name Rakhine First appeared in slave names in the inscriptions of 12th century.[Here Dr. S. B. Kunango, a Bengali researcher said the name Rakhine was given by Burman and it was found in 12th to 15th century Stone inscriptions of Tuparon, Sagaing]
Arakanese legends claim that the history of the Rakhine people began in 3325 BC, although archaeological evidence supporting this claim is unavailable. “The presently dominant Rakhine are a Tibeto-Burman race, the last group of people to enter Arakan during 10th century and on.” (Pamela; The Lost Kingdom, Bangkok, 2002, P-5)]
According to the British Burma Gazetteers, “About 788 AD Mahataing Sandya ascended the throne of Vesali, founded a new city (Vesali) on the site of old Ramawadi and died after a reign of twenty two years…. R.B. Smart, Burma Gazetteer – Akyab District, Vol.A, Rangoon, 1957, P.19.
U San Tha Aung says Arakanese chronicle denotes Candra Kings ruled Arakan from 8th to 10th centuries. There were successive Kings. That succession ceased in 957. (Pamela Gutman, Ancient Arakan p-40, U San Tha Aung; Arakane coins p117)
That 957 was a landmark in Arakan history. Morris Collis says, it was the Rakhine( Burman) domination. After making a thorough study of coins, chronicles and ruins of the city, M Collis reached a conclusion Wethali(Vesali), the Arakanese Capital must be regarded not an early Burmese but a late Hindu state.(JBRS 50th Anniversary Publication. 1960. P-488)
Famous European traveler Dr.Francis Buchanan (1762-1829 AD, in one of his accounts, “A Comparative Vocabulary of some of the languages spoken in the Burman Empire published in 1799” it was stated that, “ the native Mugs of Arakan called themselves ‘Yakin’, which name is also commonly given to them by the Burmese. The people of Pegu are named ‘Taling’. By the Bengal Hindus, at least by such of them as have been settled in Arakan, the country is called Rossawn. The Mahammedans who have long settled at Arakan call the country ‘Rovingaw’ and called themselves ‘Rooinga’ or native of Arakan…)
Identification of Rohingya Ethnicity was expressed in the classical Journal of London published in 1811 and also at 1815 of collectiones vocabulorum in Berlin of Germany.
An Account of the Burman Empire, Compiled from the works of Colonel Symes, Major Caning, Captain Cox, Dr Leyden, Dr Buchanan by Henry G. Bell, ESQ in 1852 stated in page (66) that the Mahommedans who have been long settled in the country, call themselves Rooinga or Native of Arracan.
The language of Ananda Chandra inscription inscribed at the end of 8th century in Nagri literature has 70% similarity to Rohingya language. It is indeed amazing that there was not any single Burmese or Rakhine verse inscription in the Burmese script found in Arakan before 11th and 12th centuries.
Some words which are accurately similar to the Rohingya language from the book Asiatic Researches volume the fifth by Dr.Francis Buchanan that was published in 1799:
The current spoken language of the most ancient native people of Arakan or Rohingya people in 2013:
The linguistic difference between Bengalee and Rohingya is like the distance between sky and land:
The language of the stone inscription of Ananda Chandra which was inscribed by Nagri literature at the end of 8th century is much similar to neither the intruder Burman nor their settler Rakhine, except, the Rohingya language by 70 percent.
Apparently, it is lawful that the claim of Rohingya to be the descendents of Indo-Aryan[early Indian] people of Arakan.
Regarding the linguistic chart of Dr. Francis Buchanan, we can easily say that the term Rohingya derived historically but was not fabricated after 1950s.
According to Ananda Chandra inscription, linguistically and genealogically, Rohingyas are the only people who have accurate affinity with those early Indians in Arakan. The language used in early Inscriptions in Arakan has much similar just with Rohingya spoken language than any other languages.
The people in Wethali, during Chandra dynasty indeed were Indians rather than Mongolians or Tibeto-Burmans. Here we can raise a logical question that if the Rohingyas have much affinity with the people of Chandra dynasty, why their religion is Islam. Many centuries ago, the whole Bengal was a Hindu or Buddhist land. Today 80% of Bangladesh population is Muslim. Let’s imagine, how it happened? Undoubtedly, Rohingyas turned to Islam from following Hinduism and Buddhism that’s why the current religion of entire Rohingya people is Islam.
Genealogically, Rohingyas are Indo-Aryan descendants who converted into Islam in 8th century A.D. Genetically, they are mixed blood of Arab (788 A.D – 801 A.D) plus Persian (700 AD -1500 A.D) plus Bangali (1400 AD – 1736 AD) plus mogul in 16th century AD. They are in South Asian appearance in contrast to Southeast Asian.
Here is one critical point came for us which made us think deeply to find out the most ancient settler of Arakan province—
It is proved by Ananda Chandra inscription that before 8th century, Chandra King family ruled Arakan many decades believing in Hinduism after concurrently holding two terms firmly both last title of forefathers known as Chandra and Hindu religion.
“According to Ananda Chandra inscription, the last living family of Chandra King family, belongs to Indo-Aryan family, is the today’s Rohingya who have been living there since before arrival of invaders Mongolian and Tibeto-Burman,” written by the author, Ibrahim Shah, one Rohingya political activist and writer as well.
Rohingya was categorized with Indigenous races of Union of Burma as defined in section 3(1) of Union Citizenship Act 1948 referred to Citizenship Election Officer of Buthitaung of Judicial Department dated on 31st December, 1949, No. C.4A. In the speech of Prime Minister U Nu made on 25th September 1954 addressed the Union Nationals, Rohingya race residing at Buthi Daung, Maung Daw region was Muslim.
In pages 89 and 90, vol:(9) of Myanmar Encyclopedia published in 1964 described about Mayyu frontier Area was declared by Government on 30th May, 1961 and it had population of (4) Lakhs to nearly(5) Lakhs ,75% were Rohingyas. Mayyu frontier Area was handover to Ministry of Home affair from Frontier Area Administrative on 1st February 1964 kept under Sittwe district Administrative system.
Burman King Muang Wai invaded Arakan in 1784 and ruined many historical mosques, temples, shrines, seminaries and libraries, including the Mrauk-U Royal Library. As for Arakanese Buddhists, their revered Mahamuni Image of Lord Buddha was taken away to Burma and thousand of Arakanese Muslims and Arakanese Buddhists were put to death.
“Those slain Arakanese Buddhists [Mogh] from 17th century completely learnt that the native people of Arakan are Rohingya. The prime reason of the mass killing of Arakanese Buddhists with Arakanese Muslims by their fellow Buddhist Burma King Maung Wei is quite complex. Its major policy was to erase the witness of the Rohingya existence into Arakan that’s why the Arakanese Buddhists[ Arakanese Buddhists from 17th century] were mass killed with Arakanese Muslims, according to the author, geo-political analysis of Arakan by Ibrahim Shah, one Rohingya political activist.
Some official brief accounts of Rohingya existence —broadcasting from radio program in the Rohingya language was relayed three times a week from the indigenous language programme of the official Burma Broadcasting Service in Rangoon, from 15 May 1961 to 30 October 1965. Myanma EncyclopediaVol.9, page 89-90, published in 1964, concludes that population of 500,000 living in Mayu Frontier of Northern Arakan State 75% is Rohingya. “The majority people live in Buthidaung, Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships are ethnic Rohingya and the minorities are Rakhine, Daingnet, Mro and Khami” wrote in Tatmataw Khit Yay journal Vol.12, No.6 printed on 18 July 1961 and Vol. 12, No.9 printed on 8 August 1961.
“The people living in Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships are Rohingya, ethnic of Burma” said Burma’s first prime minister U Nu in a public speech on 25 September 1954 at 8 pm. “The Rohingya has the equal status of nationality with Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Mon, Rakhine and Shan” said the prime minister and minister for defense U Ba Swe at public gatherings in Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships on 3 and 4 November 1959.
“The people living in Mayu Frontier is ethnic Rohingya” included in the announcement of Frontiers Administration office under Prime Minister Office on 20 November 1961. Mayu Frontier is composed of Buthidaung, Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships.
Apparently, Rohingya is the recognized ethnic minority by the first Burmese parliamentarian and first Prime Minister U Nu.
The ethnic minority Muslims from western part of Burma, Rakhine State (formerly Arakan state), internationally well-known as Rohingya, is the long settled people there since many centuries even before arrival of several folks of Tibetan families according to many concrete historical records.
The sharp reaction of Burmese officers and MPs to UN appeal for Rohingya citizenship
Kyaw Tin, Burma’s Permanent Representative told the UN assembly that Burma has a “long standing position against the use of the word ‘Rohingya minority’ and the presidential spokesperson Ye Htut said, “The government absolutely does not accept the word ‘Rohingya.
Comment by Ibrahim Shah: The main reason of consistently unaccetptance of the ethnical term Rohingya by Burmese rulers is to utterly perish the indigenous rights of Rohingya people who are the last descendents of Indo-Aryan family in Arakan.
Aye Maung, chairman of Rakhine National Development Party (RNDP), which represents the state’s Buddhist majority, said he totally rejected the UN’s call for Rohingya citizenship.
“I feel that the world’s powerful countries are trying to pressure us through the UN,” he said. “We won’t give them [the Rohingyas] our land, not even one inch. We will protect our land by giving our lives.”
Comment by Ibrahim Shah: The rejection of UN‘s resolution on approval of Rohingya and its call for Rohingya citizenship by Vet. Aye Maung is to re-establish the occupied Arakan as Arakan Kingdom like it was before the invasion of Burman Kings. He very well understood that until Rohingya people are there nobody can divide Arakan from Burma Union.
Regrettably, it is to be expressed that the blindly accusation of Rohingya as illegal immigrants by the Burmese radical monks and ultra-Nationalist Buddhist is a deliberate insult to the faith of Rohingya and to swiftly eradicate them from soil of Arakan despite the fact that Rohingya have been living there since many decades peacefully.
Let’s thoroughly examine whether Rohingya is a distinct ethnic group called Rohingya or Bengali
Rohingya people consume the dal[pulse] through concentrated cooking way while Bengali people consume it by diluted cooking way. Here I, the author, would like to raise a logical question why there is difference even in cooking style between Rohingya nad Bengali if Rohingya is Bnegali.
Here is my censorious question to above mentioned Burmese radicals and successors of intruder King Maung Wai—
- Is there any state in the world where the first official language is foreign language?
- When the Ananda Chandra inscription was written in Nagri literature at the end of 8thcentury, where were those Burmese Buddhist radicals of today who are chanting with Buddhist Nationalism that Rohingya are illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh?
- Why the official name of western part of Burma ‘Rakhine state’ was not recorded in “history of Arakan and its people” by historians and researches before 18thcentury as well as not termed in Burmese language if it is true that there were no Rohingya ever there?
- How did the -Nobelist ASSK signed in her NLD party membership registration cards with Rohingya identity unless she knows utterly Rohingya are whether Burmese ethnic group or illegal migrants?
- Why the Ananda Chandra inscription was not written in Burmese literature, but written in Nagri literature which has 70% similarity to Rohingya language if the Burmese arrived in western part of Burma before Rohingya or Rooinga?
- Which rule is legitimate whether democratic rule or dictatorial rule?
- Is the military-drafted Burma’s 1982 citizenship law during dictatorship of Ne Win eligible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or with Burma’s legal obligations under international treaties?
- The Burmese authorities [genocidal rulers] have been massacring Rohingya since 1978 restricting them in marriage, education, movement, population and faith. Accordingly, it is only genocide, otherwise, what is to be called strictly to the ongoing several crimes of Burmese rulers against Rohingya?
There is no gap to conceal any of above interrogations.
As soon as possible, I trustfully expect that the ruling President Thein Sein’s administration will grasp this opportunity of disapproval of the term Rohingya through a four-way record- historically and linguistically, and genealogically and genetically- including regarding Rohingya existence in western part of Burma for the sake of protection to Burma from worldwide bad reputation that has been notoriously infamous as Burma is full of Buddhist terrorists since 2012.
If President Thein Sein’s administration fails to disprove the ethnical term derived through a four-way record, it is sure that all those got involved in Rohingya Genocide will be prosecuted at any cost. Thus, it is significantly important for Thein Sein’s administration to deeply consider to immediately paying back the long stripped rights of Rohingya before being prosecuted according to Genocide Act.
The author is a Rohingya political activist and human rights defender.