You are on page 1of 4

I am Ma Soe Thein,

from Sun Sha Sate Village,

Mrauk-U, Rakhine State, Myanmar
Interviewed in Sun Sha Sate Village

In June 2012, my husband was killed by Bengali

Muslims. The Bengalis suddenly came to our
village, to attack and kill us, and my husband
had to run out and protect our village.

Somebody from the nearby cemetery came and

told me that my husband was brutally killed by
the Muslims. They only had some parts of my husband, and parts of his bloodied
clothes, but, they did not even have his head. The Muslims had hacked off his arms and
legs, and his head with their swords.

It was unbearable to even go see those body parts, knowing that was my husband.

We had 7 children at the time, the youngest was 3. Then suddenly, with the loss of my
husband, and without his support, I hardly knew what to do to feed and care for the
children. I hardly knew what to do to feed and care for our children.

This is what the Muslims do to us, and I can never forget.They get violent, and all of us
Buddhists are so frightened. We could hardly eat or relax. When the Muslims come with
weapons to attack Buddhist villages, our men must stop them, or they will try to burn
our village, and they will kill everybody even women and kids.

Sometimes when the threat from the Muslims is very extreme the men tell the women
to take the children to the hills, and stay there... and the men had to guard the village
day and night. In that situation the women could not even cook and feed the kids

Interviewed by Rick Heizman 5

My name is Ran Na Soe,
from Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar
Interviewed in Sittwe,
Jan 29, 2016

I was born in a village in Maungdaw, close

to Bangladesh, now I live in Sittwe,
especially I live in the east part of Sittwe.
And my family, my mother and my younger
brother and sisters, they all live in a village
where many Muslim people live. My mother
was posted in that area, because she is a

Last 2012, there was violence between

Rakhine people and Muslim people, and it
was very very big violence. It started on June 8, (2012). At that time, I just worried so
much about my family. And, I went to my mothers place, to take all my family from the
Muslim village, to save them, but, when I arrived at the entrance of the village, there
were so many Muslim people blocking the village with swords and other weapons. So,
I didn't reach there. I tried to make a phone call to my family, and tried so many times,
but the phone line was very busy, and wouldn't make a good connection, but,
fortunately, in the end, I got a phone call from my family.

I called my mother and talked to her, “Are you okay, everything okay there?" And she
said, “No." I asked her, "So, can you just get out of there?" and she said, "No way, but
fortunately there is an exit way, which is in the riverside.” So, I told her, "Please take
that way, from the riverside, and I will be waiting there".

So, they all took that way, from the riverside, in the mud flats, they just walked in the
very muddy place, and came to me, and I took them with the truck to my place, which
is in the east part of Sittwe, so they were saved.

We didn't expect that it will happen like this violence. We never never expected it, but,
unfortunately this happened. It's getting bigger and bigger - the violence. And, we didn't
expect and we didn't prepare anything to fight them, but, at that time we saw the
Muslim people - they had already prepared everything - weapons and other things to
fight Rakhine people. Some people were killed in that village.
I feel, that the problem, is anyway, getting calmed down, but, as much as I know, the
situation is not very good, because, some people, especially some Muslim leaders they
are just trying to push the other Muslim people to make problem. So, this is not good, I
think. Compared to the former time, now business is difficult.

Interviewed by Rick Heizman 6

Saw Mra Raza Lin,
in Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar
Interviewed in Sittwe,
January 31, 2016

Saw Mra Raza Lin is a Chairperson of

the Rakhine Women's Union, founding
member of Women's League of Burma,
Advocate for Women's Rights, and the
Empowerment of Women, Founder of
Rainbow Women and Children Welfare
Foundation, a teacher, educator,
negotiator, and, the most recognized
Rakhine woman activist.

We Arakanese are Buddhists, and in previous years we shared and lived together with
Bengali migrants, and treated them kindly, as human beings, with metta (loving-
kindness) according to our Buddhist principles.

Killing someone is one thing that Arakanese would not dare do. The rape and killing of
Ma Thida Htwe, by Bengali Muslims in 2012, sparked another wave of conflict between
us and the Bengali Muslims.

The conflict between Muslims and Buddhists is of great sorrow to Arakanese people.
Arakan State is the homeland of the Arakanese people. We greatly worry that the ever
increasing migrant Bengali population threatens our homeland and our culture.
Sometimes false news spreads out to the world - that the Muslims are being tortured
and murdered by us. This news shocks us and causes us great sorrow.

To be frank, we Arakanese are suffering from fear, and we are frightened, even though
we are living in our own homeland. In Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships, the
burning of Buddhist villages happens a lot. Even the police guarding borders and
protecting villages are killed.

The Burmese government needs to do much more, because we are flooded with illegal
Bengalis, who are killing us, burning our villages, and driving us out of our own
homeland. We sincerely want to develop our State, and we want to live peacefully in our

Some foreigners spread wrong information about us and our Buddhist culture through
the world. This is not right. They should come see, learn, and experience our Arakan
culture and people. They would sympathize with the Arakanese who are suffering and
fearful.The truth is, the Arakanese are frightened that they will lose their land - our

Interviewed by Rick Heizman 7

And, the world need to save our Arakanese Culture, so that it does not disappear from
the world map. I ask the world to come and learn the truth, and to feel the hearts of our
people, as we share metta (loving-kindness) with each other, as Buddhists, and how we
love our culture and our homeland.

I want to speak to the Arakanese around the world. Historically, our ancient Arakan
Kingdoms ruled a large area. From those times, our land has become smaller and
smaller. We thought we gained independence in 1948, because Arakan is part of Burma.
But, Arakan did not receive the autonomy that we thought would come under a policy of
federalism. We Arakanese still do not have the right to govern ourselves, as an
autonomous State, in the Nation. We need to carefully do more and more to retain our
Arakanese heritage, and to not lose our homeland.

I think it is important for all Arakanese around the world to come back to our homeland
and work together, for the development of Arakan State. Arakanese students and
scholars - around the world - who are learning many vital things - should come home
and apply their skills for the benefit of Arakan State.

I wish to conclude by saying - “LET’S ALL WORK TOGETHER FOR OUR HOMELAND.”

Interviewed by Rick Heizman 8