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History%2CIssues%2CTruth%2CArakan

History%2CIssues%2CTruth%2CArakan

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Published by: Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) on Nov 18, 2012
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11/18/2012

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HISTORY, ISSUES, AND TRUTHin ARAKAN/RAKHINE STATE, WESTERN BURMA
 
by Rick Heizman
I am disturbed to see that there is so much deception, fraud, and manipulationof the media about the situation in Rakhine State, Burma. So many people -even those who seem to know a lot about Burma - don’t know the history, andthe truth and reality of the Buddhist Rakhine people. I am writing this to explainthe real reasons, and the truth about what is happening in Rakhine State, in thewestern part of Burma/Myanmar. This is based on the history of the region, andupon real experience in Rakhine State.I was last there about 8 months ago - November, 2011.______________________________________________________________________________
Rakhine
, (also spelt
Rakhaing
), and
Arakan
basically mean the same thing, and refer to the culture,language, ethnicity, and continuously populated homeland of the Buddhist people of the area.
Rohingya
is a new name for the more recent Muslim immigrants who were formerly called BengaliMuslims, or Chittagong Muslims (which indicate their roots).
Rakhine State
of Burma borders Bangladesh. The capital of Rakhine State is
Sittwe
(old name Akyab).The largest historical archeological site is
Mrauk U
, the last great Rakhine capital (1430-1784) at it'stime one of the richest cities in Asia.
Bangladesh
is a new country (1971), originally part of various ancient 'Indian' Hindu or Buddhistkingdoms, later Muslim conquests brought Islam, then it became part of the British Indian Empire,gained independence in 1947 as East Pakistan (as one country linked with West Pakistan 1000 milesaway) and became independent as Bangladesh in 1971.
______________________________________________________________________________
 
THE BASIC TRUTH
The basic truth (explained below with real history and facts) is that the BuddhistRakhine people are under a real and brutal campaign to seize their centuriesold cultural homeland and turn it into an Islamic State, without other people orreligions tolerated. This has already happened in parts of Rakhine State nearthe Bangladesh border in the area of Maungdaw and Buthidaung. The Rakhinehave never taken over or invaded other lands - they have lived in their ancient1
 
homeland continuously. The Buddhist Rakhine people have su
ered massiveslaughters, and been forced and burned out of hundreds of towns and villagesin the last 100 years. They know - from bitter experience that the Muslims haveNO respect for the Buddhist people and culture, and will destroy any Buddhisttemples, monasteries, and holy places - as has happened already in parts of Rakhine. Below, I will explain why even Bangladesh hates the Rohingya, and willnot help them, or let them live in Bangladesh.The Rakhine people are in engaged in a struggle that is similar to otherstruggles in the area:
Southern Thailand
: about 5000 Thai Buddhist - including Buddhist monkstortured and beheaded - killed in recent years by fanatic muslims trying todrive out and eliminate the Buddhist population, and turn southern Thailandinto into an independent Islamic state.
Southern Philippines
: constant kidnappings, beheadings, and killing of Christian Filipino's, goal to make an independent Islam-only separatecountry.
Non-Muslim parts of Indonesia:
hundreds of Christian churches burned anddestroyed, Christian school girls beheaded walking to school, currentlyimams and leaders are calling for Indonesians to go wage holy war on theBurmese.
Bangladesh:
fifty years ago it was about 28% Hindu, after forcing millions of Hindus to flee the Hindu population is less then 9%, and still becomingsmaller. The small Buddhist population is treated terribly, and Buddhisttemples and monasteries and homes are looted and burned. All the ancienttemples, stupas, and ruins from nearly 2000 years of Buddhist kingdomshave been completely destroyed.
 
2
 
 
THE HISTORY
The Rakhine area has a history of kings and kingdoms dating back over 2000years. It has had a deeply Buddhist tradition from the early centuries AD. Thesecond largest ruined city and temple site in Burma - Mrauk U - is in RakhineState, and is the spiritual center of the Rakhine identity.Now I'll skip up to the British days, and how the British, unknowingly, helpedcreate the present problems.The British, in Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, and other places, brought in Indianand/or Chinese men to be the plantation or other business managers. TheBritish brought many Muslim Indians from Bengal to Rakhine because Bengalwas close and convenient. These managers - instead of hiring local Rakhinepeople to work - sent for thousands of their fellow muslim Bengalis to comeand work. Most of these Bengalis were influenced by the islamic Faraidimovement in Bengal at that time (late 1800s) which was based on the ideologyof the Wahhabis of Arabia (this is before the Saudi tribe took over and namedArabia after themselves). The Bengalis were instructed to build their own -muslim only - villages near the water resources (so that they could later controlthe water, and deny it to the Buddhist). And, they were told to prepare to wagea holy war (jihad) when their leaders felt they were ready and strong enough.In the Maungdaw Township alone, around 1910, only 15 muslim managersbrought in thousands of Bengali workers - starting a huge population shift -and began the campaign against the Buddhist.In 1939 The British established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the rapidincrease of Bengali Muslims in Arakan from roughly 30,000 in 1825 to 220,000in 1930. That Commission concluded that there would be violence in the verynear future if the relentless Bengali Muslim movement across the border wasn'tstopped or at least restricted.And the Commission was right.3

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