Arakan around 1830 - Social Distress and Political Instability in the Early British Period Dr. Jacques P.
Leider 12/28/2008 The 3rd article of the Treaty of Yandabo of 1826, which sealed the end of the First AngloBurman War (1824-1826), stipulated that, besides the southern province of Tenasserim, "the British Government will retain the conquered province of Arracan including the four divisions of Arracan, Ramree, Cheduba and Sandoway". The Secret Committee of the East India Company confirmed this claim in April 1829 stating "the expediency of retaining in our possession the whole of the Provinces in Arracan and its dependent Islands"' and Governor General Bentinck considered Arakan to be "a most valuable acquisition" (Philips 1977, 165). This was not surprising. Arakan lay on the border of East Bengal which had come under the administration of the East India Company in 1761, and the control of its mountain passes was an invaluable asset in the event of new hostilities with the King of Burma. It was likely for reasons of practicality, that, at the beginning, Tenasserim was presided over by British officials coming from Penang, while the English who set out to take control over Arakan were from Bengal. While the history of the early years of Tenasserim under the British administration is fairly well known by J.S. Furnivall's remarkable study "The Fashioning of Leviathan - The Beginning of British Rule in Burma" (published in 1939, Journal of the Burma Research Society 19, 1), no single study provides a comprehensive view of the province's early colonial period. Despite their common features as parts of coastal Burma, Tenasserim and Arakan confronted the early British administrations with different situations. One explanation of the lack of research on Arakan seems to be that, due to tropical storms or neglect, few archival sources have survived.2 Some information on the early colonial period can be found in s few articles of the Journal of the Burma Research Society (quoted in the list of references) and in the Akyab (1917) and Sandoway (1912) Gazetteers, which draw on the British Burma Gazetteer of 1878-1879. E.H.L. Seppings' article "Arakan: a hundred years ago, and fifty years after" (JI3RS 25, 1, pp. 53-72; 1925) partly summarises a "Report on the progress of Arakan under British Rule from 1826 to 1829" which the writer of this paper had as yet no chance to trace in a library. Sepping's treatment of the subject is casual but makes nonetheless interesting reading revealing for instance facts about the opium consumption and other less pleasant aspects of Arakan's development under British rule. A. P. 1'hayer's "Account of Arakan" (published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 2, pp. 679-712; 1841) gives an excellent overview and remains an invaluable source for the early British period. For a more detailed study of the early days of British Arakan, one has to delve into the manuscript sources of archives and libraries. This paper is a small contribution to the subject based on English and Arakanese manuscript material traced during the last seventeen years in libraries in Paris (Bibliotheque nationale, Mmzuscrits orieutaux), London (British Library, OIOC) and Nottingham (Hallward Library). Most documents are dated from 1829 to 1831, blt.t refer to actual developments that stretch over the period from 1825 to 1836. Questions on social and economic change are probably among the first that come to our mind when we wonder about the consequences of Arakan's political and institutional transitions: questions relating to the social impact of the early British administration, to the life of the villagers or to the growth of coastal towns. In this context, it is useful to recall a few aspects of the years preceding the arrival of the East India Company's government.
In 1785, the Burmese conquered Arakan and brought the highly venerated statue of the Mahamuni as a trophy to Upper Burma. The forty years of the Burmese government were marked, on the one hand, by periods of social and political unrest as well as a massive exodus of the former Arakanese elite and their dependants. On the other hand, the Burmese court was aware of new economic opportunities and built a road over the Am pass to develop the commercial link between the Irrawaddy valley and the Bay of Bengal.3 In 1786, the Burmese governor of Arakan (Dhanyawati) wrote a letter to the British authorities in Chittagong with a proposal of a treaty of commerce to further the trade between Arakan and Chittagong (Pogson 1830, 63-67). Religious integration was another aim of Burmese imperial policy. Missions of monks were repeatedly sent to reform the Aarakanese sangha and in 1807, the Muslim community of Arakan came under the authority of a single Burmese Muslim leader appointed for the whole kingdom.4 After the death of Chin Byan, the famous Arakanese rebel, in 1815, Arakan probably became a quieter and more settled area. This inner pacification may partly explain the increasing presence of Burmese troops on the border between Arakan and the district of Chittagong. Rival territorial claims and the clashes on Shin Ma Pru [Saint Martin] island in 1823 were among the immediate causes of the invasion of Burma by troops of the East India Company. After the Burmese conquest, Arakan underwent an administrative reorganisation. It was divided into four districts, Dhanyawati, Rammawati, Meghawati and Dwarawati. Each had at its head a myowun (governor) and a myothugyi. During the Konbaung period, the myowun (governor) was generally a member of the royal court, appointed by the king while the myothugyi was a local "big man", who enjoyed the confidence of the population of the villages that came under his authority. That is why the myothugyi's position required an able person. The function was generally passed on inside a family, but was not by definition hereditary. The myothugyi also needed the confirmation of the court to fulfill his tasks as tax collector, arbitrator and organiser of local manpower and corvee labour. The myothugyi knew the volume of local production (agriculture, fishing, gardens, crafts etc.), made an assessment and provided information (registers and lists) to the central authority at the capital indicating the amount of taxes his district was able to pay. He was thus the key of the administrative system. If he would overcharge the villagers, for example, to rise his own share of the tax revenue, he would, ,in the long term, undermine his authority in the community, because people would no longer put their faith in him or her (there were female myothugyis as well). It was in his or her own interest to strike the balance between the requests of the royal tax office and the taxes his or her villagers had to pay. A newly appointed Burmese governor would not know how much such and such a village tract would be able to pay to the Royal Treasury and he would depend on local informers. If the system had to function in Arakan along the same lines, the myothugyi would have been an Arakanese appointee cooperating with the Burmese authorities and providing a reliable report on the number of the villagers and the average return of agricultural production. In the myo [town] of Dhanyawati, he would normally have obtained this information from the 44 kywan ok (or khyaung ouk), heads of village circles. The outcome of this information gathering would have been a list of households and of ploughs used as a basis for distributing the required amount of taxes.5 The few data we have on Arakari s population under the Burmese government strongly suggest that the number of houses was over-estimated or exaggerated on purpose. H. Burney, the British resident in Ava after the First Anglo-Burman War, was given the following list of Arakanese households under the Burmese government (Burney 1941, 19). Province Arracan Arracanese 104,696 Burman 783 Other races 15,372 Total 120,851
Ramree Cheduba Sandowa Total
57,879 19,770 20,095 202,440
560 220 861 2,424
2,351 10 9,704 27,437
60,790 20,000 30,660 232,301
As a loyal order of January 22nd, 18 10 indicates a number of houses of Dhanyawati (121143) which is merely 0.24% higher than Burnay's total figure for "Arracan" (obviously referring to Arakan proper, i.e. Dhanyawati) the English resident's data were probably a little bit older. (Originally lists like these were attached to the records of the 1798 and 1802-1803 inquiries which were statements by the officials (ywagaung, ywathugyi or rnyothugyi) in charge of a particular territorial jurisdiction. These so called sit-tans are still available for the myos of Dhanyawati and Rammawati (Leider 1998a; Trager/ Koenig 1979, 88-93; see also Paton 1828, 377) and provide precious information on both the Arakanese and Burmese taxation systems. The problem with the indicated number of houses is that it entails an obviously inflated number of the general population. With every household counting an average number of five people6, the total Arakanese population would have been over 1.1 million. As the first reliable British data (of 1831) gave the total population as 174108 (Seppings 1925, 5), a figure of 1.1 million in 1810 would be absurd. The considerable Arakanese emigration to the Chittagong district, the high infant mortality rate in the refugee camps and the deportation of a few thousand Arakanese to Upper Burma would be very insufficient explanations for such a discrepancy.7 If the Burmese tax officers used inflated records to collect tax, the Arakanese villagers risked to be victims of over-taxation. This may indeed have been the case, as over-taxation is considered as one of the reasons of the successive waves of emigration under the Burmese regime.8 When the British sepoy (troops) started to occupy Arakan in January 1825, thousands of Arakanese flowed back to their homeland, hoping for a change. But, as our written evidence shows, things soon turned from bad to worse. In 1841, Arthur P. Phayre, definitely one of the best British experts on Arakan at the time, wrote that "it is difficult to account for such an impolitic and unjust system of taxation as existed up to 1836 ever having been proposed or adopted. Boats, nets of all sizes, cattle not used in agriculture; all trades, occupations, and callings had separate taxes upon them" (Phayre 1841, 700-701). As the British, besides their obvious imperialist designs, understood themselves also as liberators from the oppressive regime of an aggressive and arrogant Burmese king (as they saw him), they wanted to provide the new provinces "with a civil and political administration on the most liberal and equitable principles", in the words of Mr. Maingyi, the first commissioner of Tenasserim (Furnivall 1939, 5). Something went obviously wrong in Arakan. On the British side, one of the leading figures in the events of the 1820s was Thomas Campbell Robertson. In 1822, he became district magistrate in Chittagong. He visited the Arakanese refugees around Cox's Bazaar and, taking advantage of the unabated hope of their leaders to return to the former kingdom, recruited Arakanese exiles for the Mug Levy. These men "though indisciplined and touchy, rendered valuable services as long as active operations were in progress" (Collis 1923, 258) and in August 1825, it was even decided to raise "an additional 400 Mug recruits ... to be trained along with the regular army". But when it became clear that these troops could not even be used as a police force, the Mug Levy was disbanded in May 1826. In March 1825, when Mrauk U fell into British hands, Campbell Robertson was appointed Agent to the Governor General in Arakan and Commissioner for the Management of Civil Affairs. His duties were "to collect revenue, to organise efficient police, to administer civil and criminal justice, adhering as far as possible, to local usages and institutions, except when they are plainly
at variance with the principles of humanity and natural equity" (San Shwe Bu 1923, 135). To assist him, a magistrate of Calcutta, Charles Paton was appointed as his assistant ("subcommissioner"). Campbell Robertson left Arakan in August 1825, attended the negotiations in Yandabo in early 1826 and probably returned to Bengal where, at the time, he still kept his appointment as judge and magistrate in Cawnpore.9 The new province was at first divided into three districts: Akyab, Ramree and Sandoway. In 1833, the Am district was created with 17 circles taken from each of the three other districts.10 As three of the four assistant commissioners stationed in Am died of malaria, the district was abolished four years later. Until 1829, the civil administration of the district of Akyab lay in the hands of two "joint commissioners", the above mentioned Ch. Paton, and G. Hunter. Paton and Hunter had to rely on the local elite of village circle headmen to direct the country. These were the kywan ok (or khyaung ouk) of Dhanyawati, or, as they could be known elsewhere in Arakan, the thygi (sukri). In normal times, the village circle headmen held the traditional authority over their villages, assessed the amount of taxes for each village community, collected the taxes for the government and handled minor judicial affairs. From a petition of 1830, we learn that Campbell Robertson himself had appointed the 44 kywan ok of Dhanyawati in 1825.11 The number '44' corresponds to a division dating back to time of the Arakanese kings and is found in Nga Aung's 1165 [18031 record on Dhanyawati (Leider 1998a). In early British times, Arakan (the term is referring here to Arakan proper, i.e. Dhanyawati) was divided into 160 circles (Phayre 1841, 689). Many of the village circle headmen were "Arakanese elders who came along from Chittagong with British" and were "given suitable appointments".12 Maung Nyo may be cited as an example. His father, son of all Arakanese minister who fled in 1784, had obtained a concession for a piece of land on Shahpuri island. He came along with Campbell Robertson and followed him even to Yandabo. He was paid for his services by an appointment to the post of kywam ok of Maungdaw (after other, less able men had been ejected). Maung Nyo later became myothugyi, conducting revenue affairs for the British and was even appointed tayama thugyi (tarama sukri), the only native judge in Arakan at the time. His son Aung Phru became village circle headman of All Naff [Alay Naaf] in 1860 where he succeeded by his own son. It is unlikely that all village headmen were entirely wen men. Many may just have been confirmed in their function by the British and been re-appointed. Under the Burmese government, many of these local leaders had sympathies for Chin Byan and had either openly or covertly supported him. There would have been no obvious reason far the British to distrust them. Besides assessing the amount of taxes to be paid by the villages and collecting the taxes due - a subject we will still treat in some more detail - the village circle headmen had to arrest robbers and 'dacoits' and bring them to the regular police stations. Six police posts, "at which the police ordinarily remain" (Phayre 1841, 691), were created after the conquest and manned by Indians. Village circle headmen were "held responsible for the preservation of the peace and good order within their respective local limits, which shall constitute the extent of their police jurisdiction and within such limits it shall be the duty of the Kyouk or Soogree to afford every assistance in his power, in concert with the regular police officers of the Government towards maintaining the peace of the country, prevent the commission of heinous offences and apprehending persons who may have been guilty of murder, robbery, or other heinous crimes".13 But a number of leaders of the "respectable families" who had come back from Chittagong to Arakan were unhappy with the new state of things. Some may have joined the troops to take their revenge on the Burmese, others merely followed with the aim of safely getting back to Arakan,
others may have trusted deceptive British promises that the government would be handed over to them.14 They saw themselves as lords in their country and were not ready to accept British rule. According to Phayre's description, "some of them were connections of Khyehg-byan [Chin Byan], and relations of their chiefs who, in the latter times of the kingdom when the regular monarchs were deposed, had one after another seized the throne. [...] They have regained their country, but not the high position they appear to have anticipated. They refer to the power they formerly had under their kings; their being then allowed to hold slaves, who under our rule have been declared free...". As a number of them had rendered "important services to the army of invasion", the local elite felt disaffected with the new rulers. On the one hand, this led to much abuse. Some influential men, like Aung Kyaw Rhee, a brother-in-law of Chin Byan, and Aung Kyaw Zan, his nephew15, had at first been given exorbitant powers by Paton and they took advantage of their privileged situation to enforce their own petty authoritarian rule in the countryside. On the other hand, vain attempts were made to re-establish an Arakanese monarchy. According to Phayre's account, "In less than two years after the occupation of Arakan, the establishment of a native dynasty was canvassed and plotted for, and these two men [Aung Kyaw Zan, Aung Kyaw Rhee] together with nearly all the influential persons in the country were privy to intrigues to compass that object. In December 1926, or January 1827, a grandson of Abhaya, a chief who had seized the throne and regained for nine years before the Burman conquest16, returned to Arakan. His father, named Patang-tsa, had been carried to Ava by the Burmese. The son of Pa-tang-tsa, named Shwe-pang, either had made his escape, as he averred, or been permitted quietly to depart the court of Ava, perhaps, hoping thereby to excite troubles in Arakan. Certain it is, that on his appearance, most of the headmen of the country were favourable to his claims, and attempts were made in April 1827, to tamper with the native officers and men of the Local Battalion. Shwe-pang was subsequently made a kywn aop; the flame was smothered for a time, but the fire remained smouldering." (Phayre 1841, 699-700) At the end of June 1830, a certain Nga Mauk Kri declared his intention to become king of the country, "struck a sword and a spear in the ground and swore to plunder and drive away the English gentlemen from Akyab". His force consisted of one to two hundred men, some of whom may have been coerced into following him. His lieutenant was Mating Kan Ngay alias Janu, a former subadar of the East India Company's troops.17 On June 26, Nga Mauk Kri's men arrested the village circle headman of Kwam Khyaung, Mating Sa Ngay, required him to pay "taxes" for the years 1828 and 1829 and plundered his village. The next day, a boat of the East India Company was raided by a group of Nga Mauk Kri's men. Six or seven people were killed and fourteen sailors forced to take an oath and follow the group. In the night, Nga Mauk Kri went to Ngwe-twin-tu, to meet the (above mentioned) Aung Kyaw Zan, made clear his ambition to become king and requested his help. It seems as if Aung Kyaw Zan was only luke-warm for Nga Mauk Kri's plans, as the latter had to take him along with 26 villagers by force. Aung Kyaw Zan was told to seize any boat that he would come across while Janu went on the 28th with a body of men to Mye-bon to obtain reinforcements. Unfortunately all the villagers of Mye-bon had run away. On his return, Janu and his men ran into a boat of the Company that had already been looted by another group, so that they could merely seize what had been left. Aung Kyaw Zan and Maung Sa Ngay did their best to prevent a killing of the crew. Mating Sa Ngay later reported that on June 29th, a hundred men left to raid Mye-bon and Krat-sin. According to Aung Kyaw Zan and Ca Ne Kyaw - another man forced into Nga Mauk Kri's ranks - hundred or two hundred men left in the night to raid Akyab. Aung Kyaw Zan and Ca Ne Kyaw ran away during the same night with ten of the boat's crew and Aung Kyaw Zan turned to the police chief of Talak. Probably
around the same time, Mating Sa Ngay had escaped and alerted the British authority at Akyab. That is how far the events are known to us through the testimonies of some of the people directly involved. The attack on Akyab was probably prevented by the police as we can conclude from the date of the first testimonial which was given in court on July 1st, 1830.18 When the judge asked Aung Kyaw Zan who was, as Phayre says, "a man of influence and great ability", why did he not, with the assistance of his villagers, apprehend Nga Mauk Kri and Mating Kam Ngay (alias Janu) instead of giving assistance to the dacoits and plundering the country, he replied sheepishly: "I had but few men and arms and could not apprehend the dacoits. I was seized and carried off in the dark by force. I have not committed any dacoity." He also put forward that he was afraid that Nga Mauk Kri would kill his family if he disobeyed his orders. We ignore if and when anybody else was arrested, Nga Mauk Kri finding a secure haunt in the Am area for over a year. Nga Mauk Kri was a rebel as much as a robber. From one of the testimonies we learn that he had previously been in prison. He was ambitious, confident about the strength of his few dozen troops and ready to strike a deal with a powerful local big man. He closely resembles the many throne pretenders with a background in the royal armies who fought each other in the second half of the eighteenth century increasingly undermining the strength of the kingdom. To bolster his claim and authority, he pretended to have supernatural power. In the proclamation to be read to the people in Mye-bon and elsewhere, he declared that in his former lives he had been the king of the lions, as predicted by the Buddha. He stated that he was protected by god Indra and that, as a general and warrior king (sit-thu-gyi sit-bayin), he possessed the fabulous sword of Indra making him invincible." Phayre's comment that the real object of so called dacoity or gang robbery was indeed to seize the government of the country is entirely valid. People like Nga Mauk Kri was dangerous for the public order, but they were also threatening the political order established by the British. We must bear in mind that a rebel leader could generally count on the sympathy or tacit approval of some of the local leaders. One of the immediate measures taken by the Company's commissioners was a ban of arms in the Ramree district: "It being ascertained in the course of investigation of several suits that some of the Soogrees, Roagaungs and Ryots [village circle headmen, village headmen and farmers] of this district afford protection to dacoits and disorderly persons and furnish them with muskets, dows [=dhas] and other arms in order to screen them from justice. This being ascertained and the inhabitants of this country great as well as small being oppressed by such proceedings it becomes necessary to put a stop to such improper behaviour for the security of the country. It is ordered ... that from this day excepting their several working dows, no Soogrees [thugyi], Roagaungs [ywa-gaung, village headman] or Royts [raiyat, village farmer] have or possess any muskets, swords, long dows, knives or spears... Every Soogree, Roakhaung, merchant or respectable villager wishing to keep muskets, hanging dows, long dows, knives, spears or arms must petition the court for a sealed Parwannah [licence]20. "Owing mainly to the very heavy taxation introduced after the annexation [...], in February 1829, Maung Tha U, the thugyi of Alegyaw, "took up arms against the Government. He collected a large following of discontented villagers ... and marched on Sandoway ... the insurgents were driven back and retired into the north and north-east of the District. They captured and burned the police post at Ma-i and killed all the policemen, they then harried the Ma-i circle to such an extent that the inhabitants migrated en masse to Ramree. [..] it was well towards the end of 1830
before the rebellion was finally stamped out. Maung Tha U himself was never captured, he fled to Padaung and died there."21 One year later, in 1831, a monk from Kyeintali proclaimed himself min-kcung (future king) and recruited men to fight the English (British Burma Gazetteer 1879, vol. 2, p. 619). Phayre reports a similar case happening in 1836. Aung Kyaw Rhee, Aung Kyaw Zan and Shwe Pang incited a man called "Kyeet-tsan-we" to raise in arms: "He commenced plundering the country, with the assistance of a band of escaped convicts, and other desperate characters, and some of the ignorant hill tribe, the Khyengs. He and his adherents were at length forced to fly into the Burman territory, whence they were brought back in the beginning of 1837, being given up by the Burman government."22 (Phayre 1841, 700).23 Land taxation, as it worked until 1836, was probably the biggest failure of early British administration in Arakan. Phayre considered it as an "impolitic and unjust system" (see quotation above). While Campbell Robertson, just as Maingy in Tenasserim, had got clear instructions to sdhere to local usages, the joint commissioners Paton and Hunter ignored Arakanese customs and applied to the newly conquered territory the Bengali zamindari system. In Mughal India, "from Akbar's time onwards, a zamindars was "a person with a hereditary claim to a direct share in the peasant's produce" (Habib 1982, 244). In the Mughal revenue system of North India, zamindars were intermediaries between the farmers and the Government responsible for the collection of land revenue. "Called upon to answer for the payment of land revenue within the area of their zamindari", Bengali zamindars "seem to have collected the land tax from the peasants at rates fixes by custom or by himself and to have paid the amount imposed on him, in turn, by the administration. The balance left with him constituted his income." (Habib 1982, 245). Unlike what was the situation in the large part of Mughal India, the Bengali zamindars had thus become powerful landlords who were very much beyond the control of central government. Paton and Hunter considered the Arakanese Kywan oks (village circle headmen) as zamindars who owned their land and would negotiate with the government a lump sum to be paid as land tax. Kywan oks had also traditionally been intermediaries between their communities and the royal tax officers, but they did not own the land of their villagers.24 A village circle headman's son succeeded generally to his father, but the office of the kywan ok was not by definition hereditary and subject to royal confirmation. The village circle headmen were checked by the village chiefs and the villagers because the system worked smoothly only when the assessment done by them was fair. If the kywan oks were considered as zamindaris owning the land, they had a direct interest to find ways to raise the amount of taxes (levied on each plough or yoke of cattle) and could extort from the villagers whatever they wanted. Seen from the perspective of a simple farmer, the system obviously depended on the goodwill and fairness of the village circle headmen. Those men were, indeed, not necessarily bent on exploiting their countrymen. The efficiency of the system was distorted for two reasons. The first reason was the salability of the tax collection. The Akyab Gazetteer calls the system "an imitation of the Indian malguzari system" (vol. A, 1917, p. 178). The malguzari was the revenue engagement right, which was legally distinct from the proprietary title (termed by the British, zamindari) (Stokes 1982, vol. 2: 41). Put in practical terms, this meant that the right to collect land revenue was framed out to the highest bidder. 'He would normally be someone able to pay a lump sum in taxes according to his arrangement with the government. If a village circle headman failed to pay the required amount, somebody else could be appointed.25 Though this way of proceeding was already recognised in 1827 as an error by the government in Calcutta26, the system was apparently not abolished.27 A second distortion was due to the corruption and greed
of some of the influential men that we have already mentioned. Aung Kyaw Rhee, for example, shamefully abused his position as dewan in charge of assessing the amount of tax. In a petition of March 7th, 1829, "Maung Jyn", speaking for the inhabitants of West Kyeen village, states that Campbell Robertson had confirmed the village tract headman (mre-taing thugyi) appointed by the Burmese kings in his position. In 1825 the villagers were assessed to pay the annual amount of 157 silver rupees. When the headman died, a certain Shwe Sa became the collecting agent. This was the beginning of four years of unprecedented fleecing of the villagers. In 1825, they were charged another 1221 rupees, in 1826, 11950, in 1827, 3075 and in 1828, 23169. The tax collector (Shwe Sa) denied them acquittal receipts and flogged the villagers who complained.28 In their petition of April 20th, 1830, the village circle headmen of Mo-jei and Shin-kyaw, San Ra Phwe and Ca Ra Phwe, bitterly complained about the tax arrangement made in 1827 for a period of three years. Both state that they were unable to pay the taxes without running into debts. For two years, they also paid taxes for villagers who had moved to other places29 and they had borrowed money on behalf of those who hadn't any. The situation deteriorated, when the great cadi became myothugyi of Dhanyawati (this was either the above mentioned "Shwe Pang" or Shwe Sa) after paying 8000 rupees to the British commissioner. To recoup his expenditure, he deceived the English officers on the real size of the village circles, created new circles by dividing the former ones and appointed new kywan oks in return for cash payments. When the village circle headmen who had lost a part of their villagers petitioned him, he gave heed only to those who paid him 40 to 50 rupees. During the assessment of 1829, he allotted subdivisions of village circles to simple villagers in return for a higher amount of tax payments. These men, in turn, inflated their assessment lists with handicapped and blind people who were usually not taxed. This led to a situation where many village circle headmen were unable to pay the requested sum. Paton ordered a revision of the lists, but the myothugyi revised only the register of those headmen who paid him some money. The villagers and their leaders were ultimately driven to despair and their letters ends with violent emotion. "... the remainder of the Keoks [village circle headmen] cannot endure it, by degrees they will run away, and you will not catch us, tho' you use great exertions for the end. When you get the revenue for 1192 [AD 1830] by degrees from the Keoks, get ships and boxes ready to put it in and when you send the Keoks to the different circles to collect the revenue, take the precaution of having good men, good muskets, good gunpowder and plenty guns and send them out and speedily put our wives and children to death."30 One year later, at the end of April 1831, a group of village circle headmen, village headmen and villagers wrote an even longer petition to the British authorities criticising the taxation system. They recalled that Campbell Robertson had appointed trustful men but that since Paton and Hunter were in charge, the common people had become victims of ruthless oppression. They accused in particular Aung Kyaw Rhee, the "dewan of the salt department", Nga La, the nazir, ans Shwe Sa, the kadi. As cash money was still rare in the countryside, salt was to be considered as an alternate (and supposedly easier) way of paying taxes." But the system was badly devised and villages which did not produce any salt,' or where villagers had no experience to produce salt, had to hire men to make salt so as to be able to pay their taxes. Moreover, while in the village circles of Aung Kyaw Rhee's loyal followers, 500 to 1000 houses shared the burden of paying 2000-3000 maunds of salt and a sum of 3000-4000 Rupees, in all other village circles, the same quantity of salt and the same sum were due to be paid by a mere hundred households. Village circle headmen were falsely accused of refusing to pay taxes, ejected from their employments and heavily fined.32
The petitioners also accused Paton of listening only to the myothugyi and his allies and not investigating their grievances. Only when Paton was absent from the country, they got the opportunity to explain to Commissioner Halhed, arrived in 1829, "the devastated state of the country and our own oppressed condition". Once Halhed removed the three culprits from their posts, many people turned to the court presenting petitions against them "for oppressing the poor inhabitants and running the country as well as for taking bribes and presents".33 Though in May 1831 all village headmen, village chiefs and their secretaries were strongly exhorted by the Commissioner of Arakan to transfer correct lists34, it was more likely the removal from office of men like Aung Kyaw Rhee which could remedy, in the short term, the depressing situation.35 Probably around the same time a number of positive measures were taken, such as the reduction of the capitation tax from ten to six rupees per household. Despite this reduction, the total revenue of Arakan was growing.36 In a letter addressed to Thomas Pakenham, Private secretary to the Governor General, Assistant surgeon Bishop Cranmer Sully openly criticised the tax imposition in Arakan and particularly the horrendous amount of the capitation tax. Unlike some of the other British officials, Cranmer Sully had been in Arakan since May 1825 and his letter, written on August 18th, 1830, perfectly illustrates "the present unsettled state of the Province, more especially the Akyab district". It may be quoted at some length: "If therefore, I place before his Lordship the Tax imposed on one family and the means they have of meeting its payment, an ideal may be formed of the effect the present taxation has upon the whole and what are the actual prospects of emoluments and comfort, they derive from their labour. For whatever may be said to the contrary I am sure, that no individual, whether he be an inhabitant of the frozen regions of Lapland, or of the pestilential jungles of Arakan, will be induced to labour for others without some substantial prospect of reaping his share of the profit, and the statement that I will make of this family composing six individuals will show that altho' the sum of Sc. Rs. 18„ 8 as. is produced from the sweat of their brows, only Six Annas is the amount of their savings for the whole year. The Capitation Tax for 1192 (Mug era) 1829 / 30 for a Man his wife and four children, the eldest a boy of 17 or 18 years: Husband and wife (for one ear) Son above 17 or 18 yrs. Plough with two Buffaloes Total Sc. Rs. 63(37) Sc. Rs. 2 Sc. Rs. 8 Sc. Rs. 16
The Plough will produce, from a good soil about 1000 Baskets of Paddy, out of which, the family will consume during one year: 240 Baskets 120 Three children (40 Baskets each) Baskets The usual Alms to Priests etc. 10 Baskets It being impossible for two individuals to reap 1000 baskets of Paddy, Assistants are 200 hired. This will cost Baskets 570 Total Baskets Three adults (80 Baskets each)
Remaining in hand 430 Baskets which will be sold at the usual rate of 3 Rs. Per baskets During their leisure hours they usually engage as coolies to others, by which they make in a year Rs. 6 Out of this amount they pay the Government Tax For material etc. to repair their house
Rs. 12„ 12a. 6 Rs. 18„ 12 16„ 2„ 8 Rs. 18„ 8
Making a balance in hand of six annas, out of which they have to purchase, clothes, fish, ngapie, salt, beetle nut, chunam, cooking pots etc. It is usual for young men to lay by something wherewith to meet the expenses of marriage, but where is this to come? The six annas are gone in part payment of clothes, but something must be done to provide the other necessaries, their silver ornaments must be sold. This may do for one year but the next, there is no means, the sixteen rupees put by for the revenue is encroached upon. The man is threatened by his Keouck [Village circle head man], taken before authorities, his Plough and Buffaloes seized and sold. The poor man returns to his wretched and poverty struck home, and sells one of his children to redeem his Plough, his only means of existence, but he is again deficient in payment and at length driven to desperation, he flies his country, joins the numerous, and desperate gangs of Robbers, who infest the interior of Arakan and who for the greatest part have been driven to adopt this course of life under similar circumstances. This, Sir, tho' a most distressing, is a pretty true account of the present state of Arakan and tho' bad enough as this settlement has been, a more galling one is, I hear, in preparation, for in addition to the former, a tax is to be levied, either on the ground or the very plaintain trees that shade their humble dwellings; to what amount, I am unable, to say."38 The more satisfactory system of taxation described by Arther Phayre in 1841 was introduced by commissioner Archibald Bogle (18371849). The writer of this paper had as yet no opportunity to check documents relating to the land revenue system during Commissioner Dickinson's time (1831-1837). As Phayre insists so much on the changes made after 1836, one would expect that no substantial changes were introduced between 1831 and 1836. As we have been dealing with the manifestations of political instability in the first part of this paper, it is obvious that the dissatisfaction with the taxation system was one cause of unrest which, as we saw above, vanished apparently around the year 1836. Utter poverty had created robbers as well as rebels. What we can reliably state is, that around 1830, there was a general awareness among British officers in Arakan that the early taxation modus had been a failure with dire social consequences. Their feeling is aptly summarised in a letter of R. Boileau Pemberton to Captain Benson of June 22nd, 1831: "The very mistake policy which led in our first acquisition of the Province to the levying assessments far beyond the power of the people to pay has attended as might have been anticipated with the most serious injury to the general tranquility of the Province to evade the payment of the taxes which pressed heavily upon them. They resorted to every species of fraud and deception, deserted their habitations and erected temporary huts in the most secluded of their forests, fled from circle to circle, from one district to another and at last resorted to gang robbery and murder, the last alternatives of half civilized minds smarting under misrule and oppression."39
Taxation is a vital aspect of the relationship between rulers and their subjects. The perception of social and political problems related to taxation during the early British period provides some matter for reflection on change and continuity in Arakan from the late period of the Arakanese kings ("It is a very troublesome place" as said William Turner, a British trader, in 1761) to the Burmese governorship and the early colonial period. In political terms, change prevailed and looking at things from a nationalist point of view, it may seem important to state that such or such held the strings of political power. But if we take a closer look at the social context, life was cheerless and full of hazards for the broad mass of the people. To put it briefly, a simple villager living off the work of his hands had a fair chance of being robbed or overburdened by a tax collector, be it in 1769, 1799 or 1829, whatever government there was. Coming to the end of this investigation in Arakan's early colonial period, we should bear in mind that the picture that unfolds is incomplete. Further studies would require an examination of the economic and demographic revolution that Arakan underwent since the early years of British administration: the growth of sea-borne trade, the rise of the port of Akyab, the growing importance of cash crops and the steady immigration of Burmese and Chittagonians into Arakan. List of References AUNG THA U. 1968. Notes on the Great Cyclones in Arakan. Yangon: Daw Shwe Ein. 219 p. (in Burmese) BA MYAING. 1934. 'The Northern Hills of the Ponnagyan Township' Journal of the Burmese Research Society 24: 127-148. BRITISH BURMA GAZETTEER 1879. Rangoon: Government Printing and Stationery. 2 vols. BRUCE, G. 1973. The Burma Wars 1824-1886. London. Hart-Davis / Mac Gibbon. 179 p. BURNEY, Henry 1941. 'On the Population of the Burman Empire' Journal of the Burma Research Society 31: 19-32. BURMA GAZETTEER AKYAB DISTRICT including Town and Village Census Tables 1912. Rangoon: Office of the Superintendent - Government Printing. Vol. B. 66 p. BURMA GAZETTEER HILL DISTRICT OFARAKAN including Town and Village Census Tables 1912. Rangoon: Office of the Superintendent - Government Printing. Vol. B. 21 p. BURMA GAZETTEER KYAIIKPYU DISTRICT including 7"own and Village Census Tables 1912. Rangoon: Office of the Superintendent - Government Printing. Vol. B. 47 p. CANDAMALALANKARA 1932. New Chronicle of Rakhaing. Mandalay. Vol. 2.405 p. (in Burmese) COLLIS, M.S. 1932. 'Campbell Robertson in Arakan' Journal of the Burma Research Society 13: 257-260. COMSTOCK, Rev. G.S. 1849. 'Notes on Arakari Journal of the American Oriental Society 1: 219-258. DESAI, W. 1972. History of the British Residency in Burma 1826-1840. (reprint) Gregg International Publ. 491 p. (lst ed. Rangoon: 1939). 'EMPIRE BIRMAN. ARRACAN' 1826. Bulletin de la Societe de Geographie p. 529-531 'EXCURSION LE LONG DE LA COTE D' ARRACAN' 1828. Nouvelles Annales des Voyages, 38: 165-168. FOLEY, William, 1835. 'Journal of a Tour through the Island of Rambree, with a Geological Sketch of the Country, and Brief Account of the Customs, etc. of its Inhabitants', Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 4: 20-39; 82-95; 199-207. FURNIVALL, J.S. 1939. 'The Fashioning of Leviathan - The Beginnings of British Rule in Burma Journal of the Burma Research Society 29, 1: 1-138. GOMMANS, J./ LEIIDER, J. (ed.) 2002. The Maritime Frontier of Burma - Exploring Political,
Cultural and Commercial Interaction in the Indian Ocean World, 12001800. Amsterdam: Koninklijke Nederlandse Arademie van Wetenschappen/ Leiden: KTfLV Press. 248 p. GRANT-BROWN, G.E.R. 1060. Burma Gazetteer Northern Arakan District (or Arakan Hill Tracts). Rangoon: Govt. and Printing Stationery (vo1.A).34 p. HABIB, Irfan 1982. "Agrarian Relations and Land Revenue. North India" In: The Cambridge Economic History of India, vol. 1: 235-248. HALL, D.G.E. 1960. 'R.B. Pemberton's Journey from Munipoor to Ava and from thence across the Yoma to Arracan 14 July - 1 October 1830' Journal of the Burma Research Society 43. HALL, R.M. 1928. 'Early Days in the Police in Arakan 1825-1828' Journal of the Burma Research Society 18: 193-227. LANGHAM-CARTER, R.R. 1938. 'Archives of a Arakan Family", Journal of the Burma Research Society 28, 100-108; 1939, 29, 193-197. LEIDER, Jacques 1994. 'La route de Am. Contribution a 1'etude d'une route terrestre entre la Birmanie et le golfe du Bengale' Journal Asiatique 282: 335-370. LEIDER, Jacques 1998a. 'Taxation et groupes de service sous la royaute arakanaise. Un rapport d'enquete de 1803 d'apres un manuscrit dela Bibliotheque nationale de Paris', Aseanie 1:67-89. LEIDER, Jacques 1998b. ' "An Account of Arakan written at Islaamabad (Chittagong) in June 1777 by Major R.E. Roberts" Presentation et commentaire.' Aseanie 3: 125-149. MRA THWAN AUNG 1984. 'The Administration of the Company and its Officers' Rakhaing Magazine 9: 31-40 (in Burmese) PATON, Charles 1828. 'Historical and Statistical Sketch of Arakan' Asiatick Researches 16: 353381. PATON, Charles 1838. 'Journey to Datel in 1827' (Extracts from the Journal of Ch. Paton recording his Journey from Akyab to DaleC) Journal of the Burma Research Society 28: 223231. PHAYRE, A.P. 1841. 'Account of Arakan' Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 2: 679-712. PHILIPS, C.H. 1977. The Correspondence of Lord William Cavendish Bentirzck 18281835. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2 vols. POGSON, Robert Wredenhall 1830. Captain Pogson's Narrative during a Tour to Chategaon. Serampore. 228 p. PRAKASH, Om et D. Lombard 1999. Commerce and Culture in the Bay of Bengal, 15001800. New Delhi: Manohar. 416 p. RAYMOND, Catherine 1999. 'Religious and Scholarly Exchanges between the Singhalese Sangha and the Arakanese and Burmese Theravadin Communities : Historical Documentation and Physical Evidence' In : Prakash/Lombard 1999, pp. 87-114. RITCHIE, A./ EVANS, R. 1894. Lord Amherst and the British Advance eastwards to Burma. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 220 p. SCHENDEL, Willem van (ed.) 1993. Francis Buchanan in Southeast Bengal (1798). Dhaka: Signum Press. [1992. The University Press Ltd., Dhaka] SAN SHWE BU 1923. 'The First Burmese War. By Maung Boon' Journal of the Burma Research Society 13: 261-279. SAN SHWE BU 1923. 'The Arakan Mug Battalion' Journal of the Burma Research Society 13. SELECTED CORRESPONDENCE of letters issued fiom and received in the OVf1ce of the Commissioner Tenasserim Division for the years 1825/26 to 1842/43. Rangoon: Government Printing and Stationery. 280 p. SEPPINGS, E.H.L.1925. 'Arakan: a hundred years ago and fifty years after' Journal of the Burma Research Society 15: 53-72. SMART, R. B. (ed.) 1917. Burma Gazetteer Akyab District. vol A. Rangoon: Government
Printing and Stationery. 261 p. STOKES, Eric 1982, "Agrarian Relations. Northern and Central India" In: The Cambridge Economic History of India, vo1.2:36-85 STUART, J. 1913. 'An Appeal for more Light on Arakanese History' Journal of the Burma Research Society 3: 95-98. STUART, J. 1919. 'Arakan Eighty Years Ago' Journal of the Burma Research Society 9: 27-31. THA TUN PHRU 1934. 'The Minbya Chin Hills of the Akyab District' Journal of the Burma Research Society 24: 160-165. THAN TUN, (ed.) 1983-1990. The Royal Orders of Burma (1598-1885) Kyoto. 10 vols. THAN TUN 1983. 'Paya Lanma (Lord's Highway) over the Yoma (Yakhine Range)' Journal of Asian and African Studies 25: 233-240. TICKELL, S.R. 1854. 'Extracts from a Journal up the Koladyn River, Aracan, in 1851' Journal of the Royal Geographical Society 24: 86-114. TRAGER, R / KOENIG, W 1979. Burmese Sit-tans 1764-1826 Records of Rural Life and Administration. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press. 440 p. TYDD, W.B. (ed.) 1962. Burma Gazetteer Sandoway District. 001. A. Rangoon: Government Printing and Stationery. Reerences * He is a member of the Ecale fran4raise d'Extermeme-Orient (EFEO) in Paris and presently serving at Yangon, Myanmar. He wrote various papers and in 1998 finished a doctoral thesis at INALCO in Paris entitled 'Le royaume rl Arnkan. San histoire polttique entre le debut du XVe et la.frn du XVI/e siec[e' (the political history of Arakan from 1404 to 1692). 1. Nottingham University Library, Dept. of Manuscripts, Portland Collection, Pw J172666 / VIII / 2, hereafter refered to as Bentinck papers. 2. Cyclone of great violence hit the district of Akyab on November 13"', 1867 and May 171h, 1884. For cyclones in the 20"' century, see Aung Tha U 1968.
3. 3. It is clear that such a road had also a military significance; during the war the Burmese
general Maha Bandula used it for moving his troops to Arakan. Work on the Am road was in progress between 1816 and 1819 (see Trant 1827, 442, 444; Iydd 1962, 46). The myowun of Sanoway had been ordered by the King to supervise the work on the Am road himself. This fact stresses the importance of the road. It was for that reason that he resided for several years in Am town. (cf. Bentinck papers Pw Jf 2684-24). For early British descriptions of the Am road, sec the accounts of MacGrath, reference as quoted in footnote 22; Boileau Pemberton in: Hall 1960, 76-78; Arakanese descriptions / Campbell Robertson in: Bentinck Pw Jf 2676/I/I-2; Horatio Nelson in: OIOC, Ear F140-124; "1".A. 'rrant/(David Ross) in: Calcutta Government Gazette May 22nd, 1826, pp. xxix-xxxvi/ also: Bentinek Papers 2784-13bc;[T.A. Trant 1927, Two Years in Ava, chapter XVIII. 4. See Royal Orders of Burma 3rd January 1788; 17th November 1807. A first mission of Burmese monks was already sent in 1786 as we learn from an Arakanese palmleaf manuscript (Indochinois 27, Bibliotheque nationale (Paris), Manuscripts orientaux, hereafter referred to as Indochinois). 5. Of the seven tnyothugyis of Rammawati, between 1797 and 1817, four at least had trouble with [17e Burmese authority. Maung San Mra and Shwe Sa were punished and died, Aung San was punished and Nga Khay died in 1811, fighting on the side of Chin Byan (Indochinois 21, f. ku).
6. Western historians generally assume a number of five persons per household when they have to quantify the number of people where only the number of households is available (as in documents of the early modern period of European history). This seems to be a reasonable hypothesis for modern Arakanese history as well as a simple calculation shows. If we divide the number of the total population of the nine townships of Akyab District (as given by the Burma Gazetteer Akyab pistrict vo1.B, 1912) by the number of houses on record, we obtain an average of five persons per house. But the anonymous author [obviously a British official] of "Excursion along the Aracan Coast" published in Calcutta Government Gazette of April 23rd, 1827, considered five individuals to one house as below the usual average. 7. On this matter, see for example, Schendel 1993 and Candamalalankara 1932, vol. 2, p. 350. 8. The argument of over-taxation is not self-evident but needs a careful and critical examination. Phayre considers that it was not the amount of taxes which harmed the people but the uncertainty of the "amount that would be demanded from them". He states that "during the times of the Arakan kings and the Burmese governors, the people were not called upon to pay much in regular taxes, but there were constant calls on them for labour, for service, and for materials to make or repair the houses of the kywn-aops [village circle headmen] and other government officers; besides which, the circles were obliged to furnish the public officers with followers for special duties" (1841, 697-698). In Paton's account on Arakan, it does not appear that the people were taxed too much (Paton 1828). But there was obviously a big difference between theory and practice as shows for example a royal order of 28 April 1810, which followed a complaint of several headmen of Ramree accusing the governor (myowun) of Rammawati to have exacted taxes higher than the customary amounts (Than Tun 1983-1990, part VI, 1807-1810). 9. After July 1826, he was no more involved in the administration of Arakan. 10. Captain White, Senior Assistant in Sandoway, estimated that the creation of the new district would stimulate the trade over the Am pass, give some relief to the officers in charge of the other districts and make the control over the area where rebels and robbers used to retreat, more efficient. (Letter to Dickinson, September 22nd, 1832, Bentinck paper, Pw if 2G84-2G). 11. Indochinois44, f. 43. 12. This is a quotation of Maung Boon's account of the war translated by San Shwe Bu 1923, p. 277. 13. Extract of ? 3 of police regulations of 1828 in: Selected Correspondence....... p. 229; Indochinois 53, f. 24-25; cf. Phayre 1841, G91. 14. See for example the following comment drawn from a report of G. Swinton, Secretary of the Government in the political department (dated 8 July 1824) relating to plans for an occupation of the island of Ramree: "... the presumed willing assistance of so numerous a population of Mugs, who would act as Porters, when assured that Arracan was our object and that a Mug Government would be reestablished there, and this I apprehend we shall find it necessary to proclaim, if we determine on invading that Province, and penetrating through it, towards Amarapoora". (OIOC), Amherst Collection, EUR F 140/ 123) 15. This man was kywan ok of Ngwe twin tu and myothugyi of Ramree (Indochinois 44, f. 114-115)
16. Phayre refers to King Abhaya-maharaja, who took the power after the death of his brother-in-law, King Chandaparamaraja, and reigned from March 1764 to January 1774 (cf. Chadamalalankara, vol. 2, pp. 270-273). 17. On this man and the attack on the EIC boat, see Bishop Cranmer Sully's letter to Thomas Pakenham of 19 August 1830 (Bentinck Pepers Pw Jf 2784/ 15-1). 18. Indochinois44, f. 3-21; 59-75. 19. Indochinois44, f. 54-55; 58. 20. Order published by the court of Ramree, 5 March 1830, Indochinois 44, f. 22-24. 21. Tydd 1962, 13. Burmese authorities occasionally harboured people from the Arakanese/ British side of the border, but they were also worried about robbers coming from Arakan: The nakhan of Mindon bitterly complained to Pemberton when they met on September 22nd, 1830 (Hall 1960, 72). 22. They had been caught by the Burmese and brought to Ava. They were taken back to Arakan in January 1837 by Captain Frederick Vaughan MacGrath who also succeeded in breaking up the robbers' alliance with the Chin hill tribes. In his own words: "I opened a communication with some of the wildest of these mountaineers and not only prevailed on them to throw off allegiance, and connection with a powerful Banditti they were allied with who got safe refuge in their Hills but I also induced their joining me in the subsequent pursuit and discomfiture of the above gang. [..] I recovered every Dakoit and escaped convict who had committed the most atrocious murders the year before in the British province [...] I also recovered and delivered over to their grateful relatives a great number of captive British subjects who had been carried off by the Banditti and sold to the hill tribes and Burmese into permanent slavery..." (EV. MacGrath Route from Aeng... Scottish Record Office GD 45 / 6 / 527). 23. See also Mra Thwan Aung 1984, 35.
24. In the case of early British Sandoway, the British Burma Gazetteer records that "the taik
thoogyee, who were mere officials were treated as zamindars and in the early records are spoken of as "owing" the circles of which they were in charge and the circles as being their "estates". They were left to assess the landowners and tax payers with little if any reference on the European officers' part" (1879, vol. 1: 479; vol. 2: 623) 25. See petitions in Indochinois 44,f. 102; f. 107.
26. In a letter to W. Blunt of November 22nd, 1827, H. Prinsep, the secretary of the
Government writes: "With respect to the Land Revenue Department, the great error of the Commissioners in assigning over a perpetual, heritable and inalienable zamindaree right to the Khyooks, who were merely a class of local officers appointed by the Government, and many of whom, as the emigrant Mugs, appear to have settled in their districts by the Commissioners themselves since the acquisition of the province, will, it is hoped, have been corrected by the publications of the Government Advertisement disallowing the pledge given to them in this respect." At the same time, the Government had no alternative to offer and that may be the reason why the system was not discontinued. (Selected Correspondence... p. 217-218) It seems that only in the Sandoway district, the system was altogether abolished: "Early in 1828 all the contracts were cancelled, a new system of raising revenue was introduced and most of the old thugyis or their heirs were reinstated in the thirty-two taiks." (Smart 1912, 58 - Burma Gazetteer Sandoway District)
27. According to the evidence of our sources, the assertion of the Akyab Gazetteer (1917, p. 178) that "the system continued only to 1828 in which year the thugyis were no longer allowed to collect what they liked, but only the amount due..." is hardly tenable. 28. Bentinck Papers Pw Jf 2784/ 14d - translated in July 1829 by Commissioner R.W. Halhed. Inf 28 Regt. Ns. 29. As Phayre notes, "from the rapid increase within a few years of some circles, compared with others, consequent on superiority of soil, more convenient locality for exporting grain, and other causes" (1841, 690), many people had moved to other villages. The documents convey the impression that there was a general move from the inland to the coast. 30. Indochinois 44, f. 43-54. 31. The regulations regarding the production of salt seem to have been one of the practical consequences of the mission of a "special commissioner' sent in 1828 to Arakan to find ways to reduce government expenditures. 32. Indochinois 53, f. 84-86. 33. Indochinois 53,f.148. 34. Order of the Commissioner of Arakan to the Superintendent at Akyab of 20 May 1831, Indochinois 53, f. 7678. 35. Unsurprisingly Aung Kyaw Rhee lost his position on a charge of bribery and corruption (Phayre 1841. 699). 36. Bentinck Papers Pw 1f 2784-23b-d. 37. Sc. Rs. = Sicca Rupees; a. = annas. 38. Bentinck Pepers Pw Jf 2784-15-1. 39. Bentinck Papers Pw Jf 2784/ 23 b-d. Source: The Arakan Research Journal Vol-II published by Arakaneses Research Society of Bangladesh (ARSB).