*Conformity of Rohingya Ethnicity Prior to 1823 *Conformity of Indigenous Race as Arkanese Muslims in British Report and Cencus * Recognized Ethnic Rohingya Until 1965 * Challenges and Resolution Approach

Dated: 11-7-2013 Rev-01:29-7-2013





Rohingyas were ancient settlers of Indo- Aryan descendant converted into Islam in century A.D and new generation of 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 16 century AD. In page 25 and 27 of Ethnologue, the languages of the world described Myanmar Rohingya Language under the Indo-Aryan’s (225) descendants dialect by SIL international which has special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO). SIL has also been designated by the International Organizations for Standardization as Registration Authority for ISO 639-3 Standard. Although some of them are war victims , slaves and farmers, they had settled down before 1823 AD. It was obivious that they were not comers under British Age. In ancient times the Rakhine State was called Rohang and the people in Rohang were called as Rohingyas so that Rohingya was a name of an ethnic group only occurred under historic event. Rohingya was not created under politics and not the same as Mujahids, armed group. Although Rohingyas’ spoken dialect are not the same as Rakhines’ spoken words, it ought to be taken care of the fact that their words are the same as ancient waithali (vesali) words and the culture is same too based on Ananda Sandra Stone Monument or Shitthoung Temple pillar of Arakan translated by Oxford University in 1935-42 which was erected in 8 Century. According to history, Islam reached Arakan before 788 AD and it attracted the local people to come to the fold of Islam en masse all over Arakan. Since then Islam had played an important part towards advancement of civilization in Arakan where Muslim, Buddhists and Hindus lived side by side for centuries with amity and concord as one family and ruled the country together. Coins and medallions were issued bearing “Kalima” (the profession of faith in Islam) in Arabic Language and persian script. Persian was the Court Language of Arakan and it was common for the kings to adopt Muslim names. Rohingya Muslims of Arakan who have their proud history, culture and tradition as other indigenous races of Burma and there is no justification to take them as foreign race for the simple reason that they profess Islam and keep Islamic names. Other Nationals can easily distinguish from their features who are them. They are also different from one another in their Language, customs and culture. Similar is the case with Rohingya Muslims who have been together as a race in a group from time immoral in a territory included within the Arakan and Burma. 1   

Lt. Col. Win Maung (staff officer), Resettlement Directorate, Ministry of Defense published a book, “the light of sasana” in 1997 which mentioned in page 65 with heading of Islam and Myanmar that Islam religion was introduced into Myanmar by individuals or in groups for (1000) years and (1200) years ago. Asiatic Research 5 (1799):219-240 by Francis Buchanan Stated that Mohammedans who have long settled in Arakan and who 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. In page (21) to (36) of A Short Report on Arakan by Mr Charles paton, SubCommissioner of Arakan in 1826, stated about Head of village divison and the population of Arakan and its dependencies, Ramree, Cheduba and Sandway does not at present exceed 100,000 souls, may be classed as Mughs six tenths , Mussalman three tenths and Burmese one tenths In 1872 census of British Burma expressed that there is one more race which has been so long in the country that it may be called indigenous and that is Arakanese Muslims. These are descendents, partly of voluntary immigrants at different periods from neighbouring province of Chittagong and partly of captives carried off in the wars between the Burmese and their neighbours. There are some 64,000 of them in Arakan. Census of India, 1911 vol:(IX) described that in 1829, a census taken in Arakan show that the population was 121,288. Three years later in 1832, it has risen to 195,107.This remarkable increase of 60.86% was principally due to return from Chittagong of the Arakanese, who had fled from Arakan during the occupation of that Kingdom by Burmese from 1784 to 1826. Report of Indian Immigration of 1941 stated that Indian population at the time of first census in 1872 is the sum of Hindus and Mohammedan populations as recorded in the census of that year. There is little objection to assuming that all Hindus were Indian but not so true to assume that all Mohammedans were Indian. There was an Arakanese Muslim community settled so long in Akyab District that it had for all intents and purpose to be regarded as indigenous race. There were also a few Mohammedan Kamans in Arakan and a


small but long established Muslim community around Moulmein which could not be regarded as Indian. In accordance with British census in 1826, 1872, 1911 and 1941, Rohingyas were Identified as Arakanese Muslims, one of Indigenous race of Burma. Mr A. Jinna, a National Hero of Pakistan and our National Hero, Gen. Aung San conceded that religion concerns will be within Burma and Rohingya Muslims resided at east of Naf river there on will be Burmese citizens on 7 January, 1947. When Section II of 1947 constitution of Union of Burma was being framed, a doubt as to whether the Muslims of Northern Arakan fell under the section sub-clauses (I),(II), (III), arose and in effect an objection was put in to have the doubt cleared in respect of term “Indigenous” as used in constitution but it was withdrawn on the understanding and assurance of the president of constituent Assembly, at present His Excellency, the president of Union of Burma who when approached for clarification with this question said “Muslims of Arakan certainly belong to one of the indigenous races of Burma which you represent. In fact there is no pure indigenous race in Burma and that if you do not belong to indigenous race of Burma, we also cannot be taken an Indigenous races of Burma.” Being satisfied with this kind of explanation, the objection put in was withdrawn. 1948 Union Citizenship Act and 1948 Union Citizenship (election) Act were enacted to implement definition of Citizens in accordance with 1947 Constitution. 1948 Union Citizenship Act was detailed to operate the Sub- Articles of section 11 of 1947 constitution as follows; (i) Every person both of whose parents belong to or belonged to any of Indigenous race of Burma. (ii) Every person born in any of territories within the Union at least one of whose grand-parents belong to or belonged to any of indigenous races of Burma. (iii) Every person born in any of territories included within the Union, of parents both of whom are or if they had been alive at commencement of this Constitution would have been Citizens of Union. But 1948 Union Citizenship (election) Act was promulgated for the Sub-Article (iv), of section 11 of 1947 Constitution as Every person who was born in any territories which at the time of his birth was included within His Britannic Majesty’s dominions who has resided in any of territories within the Union for a period of not less than eight years in ten years immediately proceeding the date of commencement of this Constitution or immediately proceeding the 1st January 1942 and who intend to reside permanently therein and who signifies his election of Citizenship of the Union in the manner and within the time prescribed by law shall be a Citizen of Union. 3   

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 31 December, 1949, No. C.4A. In the speech of Prime Minister U Nu made on 25
th st

September 1954 addressed the

Union Nationals, Rohingya race residing at Buthi Daung, Maung Daw region was Muslim. According to decision of the cabinet, a Rohingya broadcasting programme had been performed three times per week as Nationalities programme with effect from May 15, 1961. Such facts were described in page (71),Myanma Radio book for (30)years published by Department of Information and Broadcasting. One behalf of Government , Deputy chief of Defense commander (Army) described on November15,1961 that Mayyu district was adjacent to frontier of Pakistan in the west so that there were Muslims in Eastern side and Western side of State. The people residing at Western side were called Pakistanis and the people residing at Eastern side with Union of Burma were called Rohingyas. In pages 89 and 90, vol:(9) of Myanmar Encyclopedia published in 1964 described about Mayyu frontier Area was declared by Government on 30

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 1 February 1964 kept under Sittwe district Administrative system. Rohingya was one of ethnic groups recognized by previous successive Government until 1965 and were eligible in all elections, 1936, 1946, 1951, 1956, 1960, 1974, 1978, 1990 and 2010 in accordance with all existent Laws. Before 1982 Citizenship law came into operation, no Certificate of Citizenship granted under 1948 Union Citizenship Act or 1948 Union Citizenship (election) Act but promulgated 1949 Resident Registration Act and 1951 Resident Registration Rule to issue National Registration Card ( NRC ) to all Citizens and Foreigners Registration Cards (FRC) were issued to Foreigners in accordance with 1940 Foreigners Registration Act and 1948 Foreigners Registration Rule. When 1982 citizenship Law came into operation, Mass Rohingyas become Stateless people in the State and branded as illegal Bangali immigrants by seizing their past legal documents, National Registration Card (NRC) under the pretext of issuing new one known as Temporary Registration Card (TRC, white card). It is deliberately designed to degrade Rohingya from bona fide citizens to today’s status. Now some persons are making accusation upon Rohingya who are residing within Rakhine State as an ethnic group and citizens by birth as illegal intruders by mean of concealing the real events and agitate to expel and segregate from other communities and 4   

economic commercial centres with retrospective effect but being provided temporary shelters by authorities to prevent further violence. Restrictions such as free movement access for humanitarian Aids, marriage, higher learning, health care, business land confiscation, renovation of houses and religious buildings etc imposed on Rohingya still remain unaddressed. Ethnic conflict in Myanmar was started when 135 national races had been catalogued but excluded Rohingya which contradicts article (3) of 1982 citizenship Law. Present day denial of Rohingya ethnicity and citizen by birth are due to majority influence, Ultra-Nationalism, racism and 1982 Citizenship Law which contradicts Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN convention on Rights of Child, all international norms, 1947 independence treaty and one citizen throughout the country which was paved by National Hero, Gen Aung San. In the point of view of all inclusive National reconciliation, Genuine reform, peaceful coexistence of diverse people of this country, perfect amity and share, Restoration of Rohingya ethnic Identification and full-fledged citizenship should be resolved accordingly. For the sustainable solution of Rohingya issues such as Ethnic Identification and full-fledged citizenship, the following challenges should be addressed. (1) Denial of historic presence of Rohingya (2) 1982 Citizenship Law or not be in operation of Articles 3,4,5 and 6 of 1982 Citizenship Law and (3) Retrospective effect. In my opinion, corrective actions to be taken to overcome the above mentioned challenges as below. (1) Conformity of Rohingyas presence by international Scholars. (2) Activities for accusations clearance, promotion of Human Rights and integration and justification about illegal immigrants with community leaders. (3) Establishment of influential moderators to eliminate retrospective effect. (4) Dialogue with direct involved actors, such as Rakhine, Rohingya and Government. So your participation to resolve Rohingyas’ Simple issues through the dialogue method by lawful means is much more appreciated. 5   

Reference: (1) Ananda Sandra stone Monument or Shittaung Temple pillar of Arakan erected king Ananda Sandra in 8 century was first read by Dr. John ston of oxford


in 1935-42. Later it was studied by Dr D.C Sircir , Dr Ston’s translation was later copied by U San Tha Aung and Dr Pamela Gutman, Australia National University. (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) Page 49- 50 of coin and Bank note & Burma by M. Rabinson and L. A shaw & Ibid 192 and 194. Article “the coming of Islam to Burma” by col, Ba Shin, chairman of Myanmar History commission. Rakhine Grand History by historian U Tha Tun Aung. Phases of Pre pagan, Burma Languages and History Vlll MRU and KUMI (NARAKAN) article by professor G. H Luice of Rangon University. Article in kalyar Magazine & Movie Music Magazine by Historian Professor Dr. Than Tun. The Golden Land by Maurice collis Page 291 and 75 vol 1, A History of Chittagong by S. B Qanugo Page 65 of the light of sasana published by Directorate of Resettlement, Ministry of Defence in 1997. Asiatic Researches by Dr Francis Buchanan in 1799. The classical Journal published in Landon in 1811. Collections vocabulorum publised in Ber Lin in 1815. Aung San- C.R. Attlee treaty on 27 January, 1947. Cabinet decision & speech of Prime Minister U Nu on September 25, 1954. Cabinet decision of Rohingya Language broadcasting programme on May 15, 1961. Page 89- 90, vol:(9) of Myanmar Encyclopedia. Future of Mayu Frontier Area by Ministry of Defence in 1961. Page 86 of High School Geography in 1978 by Ministry of Education. Rangon University Rohingya Students Association in 1959. The real events of Myanmar History (1958- 1962) vol; (3) by U Kyaw Win, U Mya Han & UThein HLaing and edited by Myanmar History Commission in 1991. Ethnologue, the language of the world by SIL. Reply on Rohingya Indigenous race by Citizenship election officer of Buthitaung, Judicial Department on 31-12-1949. 6   

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