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1939 - 1954
by Rick Heizman, April 16, 2019

To better and more fully understand the conflict in Rakhine State, Myanmar, it is very
necessary to comprehend the history of the area - in terms of religions, ethnicities, the
ancient kingdoms, indigenous cultures, homelands, and particularly the history just before,
during, and after World War 2. This timeline shows many things - read it, and read it again
and again in order to understand and comprehend the history - as it continues.

1939: The Commission of Inquiry was correct: The British colonial government
established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the rapid increase of Bengali Muslims (the
term ‘Rohingya’ was unknown and not used by anybody) in Arakan (historic name) from
30,000 in 1825 to 217,800 in 1930. The Commission reported back that there would be racial
and religious strife between the Arakanese / Rhakine Buddhists and the Bengali Muslims in
the very near future if the relentless Muslim tide across the border wasn’t stopped or at least

1942: The Largest Slaughter In Contemporary Rakhine History

In early 1942, as the Japanese were advancing towards Arakan, the British formed a
battalion of Muslims - called the Bengali V Force - and gave them weapons and training. The
British knew them as more willing to fight, and better fighters than the Rakhine. As the British
suddenly retreated - the Bengali Muslims quickly used the weapons - not against the
Japanese - but they used them to slaughter thousands and thousands of Buddhists and to
burn down all of the Buddhist villages, pagodas, temples and monasteries in the Maungdaw
and Buthidaung areas. About 30,000 Rakhine Buddhist were killed in this absolute genocide,
hundreds of villages were burned down (see end of report for a list of destroyed Rakhine
Buddhist villages), and around 100,000 Rakhine Buddhists were ethnically cleansed from
their ancestral lands.

From an eyewitness at the time:

“By May 1942, the Bengali Muslim men from all the Bengali villages in the frontier area and
many more from across the border had gathered, armed with guns and swords and spears,
and began their genocidal campaign against the Rakhine Buddhist villages. The armed
Bengalis set up roadblocks, destroyed the bridges, and encircled the Rakhine villages. By
then more than 20,000 armed Bengalis had surrounded Maungdaw town. All the entry and
exit points had been completely blocked and the horrifying news of surrounding Buddhist
villages being burnt to the ground and their people slaughtered reached the town constantly.
We then heard the news of the arrival of Section-Magistrate Aung Thar Gyaw and a handful
of British Ghurkha soldiers. Once he heard of the Bengali Muslim raids on Maungdaw Town
he had come down to rescue the besieged Rakhine Buddhist townsfolk. At first his plan was
to take the whole crowd of townspeople to Buthidaung with the protection of his Gurkha
troops as the road to Buthidaung was now controlled by the Bengali Muslims who would kill
any non-Muslim found on the jungle road. But while waiting and preparing the large crowd
to travel a heavy rain came down for a while and soon the news of road blockages due to
the landslides and flash floods on the mountain spread among us. So the good Magistrate
changed his plan and tried to ferry the crowd out of harm’s way across the Naf River to
Teknaf Town on the India side of the border. By then it was 9 am next day. At about noon
the Magistrate Aung Thar Gyaw and English Captain Taylor with the Ghurkha soldiers came
to the monastery compound and escorted the crowd to the Maungdaw Wharf where a
ferryboat from the Arakan Flotilla was waiting. Even after many trips across the river by the
big ferryboat our Buddhist crowd was too large and many of us were to be ferried across by
the fleet of local sampans.

By night fall we could see rolling flames on the Maungdaw side from Teknaf Town across the
wide Naf River. Later we heard the depressing news that tens of thousands of Bengali
Muslims had entered Maungdaw after the town was abandoned and burned down the
whole town after taking away everything removable from the Rakhine houses including rice,
cooking oil, salt, and every single piece of furniture. The same ugly fate had also fallen on
every single Buddhist Monastery and Temple of Maungdaw Town.

All the hundreds of Rakhine Buddhist villages on the extremely fertile strip south of
Maungdaw Town between the Naf River and Mayu Ranges were completely wiped out by
the rioting Bengali Muslims within a few days. While the Rakhine villagers near the shore
were able to escape with their sampans across the Naf River, the villages far from the river
were burnt down and the whole village slaughtered by the rioting Bengali Muslims.”
Alay Than Kyaw Village Massacre and Inferno:
(Eyewitness account continues) “Back then the large village of Alay Than Kyaw, was the
main Buddhist village with a small police station. On that day in May 1942, twenty thousand
armed Bengali Muslims raided the Alay Than Kyaw police station and brutally killed all the
policemen who surrendered and then all the Rakhine men from the villages.

The bloodthirsty Bengali Muslims then burned down the village monastery together with
more than 500 Buddhist women, children, elders, young Buddhist novices, and the
Buddhist monks taking refuge inside the main monastery building. All 500 Buddhists inside
were burned alive that day by the Bengali Muslims who want their village and their fertile
land and their fishing ground for good. Basically none of the hundreds of thousands of
Yakhin-Buddhist living in the villages at the South of Maungdaw Town escaped the warlike
wholesale slaughter. Not even a single mongrel dog escaped the slaughter let alone a
human being. And all their properties and lands taken by the newcomers from the Islamic
land now called Bangladesh.” (eyewitness account ended)

Killing of BIA Officers and Soldiers in Maungdaw:

Later in June 1942, a BIA (Burmese Independence Army) unit led by Bo Yan Aung
captured the town of Buthidaung and they foolishly contacted the Bengalis’ Maungdaw
Township Administration in an honest attempt to quell the riots and arrest the Indian
Bengali deserters from the withdrawing British army. The BIA unit was somehow invited by
the Maungdaw Bengalis to come into the town of Maungdaw. Nobody really knew why the
BIA men wrongly trusted the killer Bengalis with their own lives by going into Maungdaw
and accepting their hospitality. That night, in June 1942, in Maungdaw the BIA men led by
two of Bo Yan Aung's young lieutenants Bo Yan Naung and Bo Myo Nyunt dropped their
Japanese arms at the friendly dinner prepared for them at Kanyindan Uradu School (now
the Maungdaw High School’s Mosque) by completely trusting their Muslim hosts. While the
BIA men were hungrily eating their dinner they were attacked and cut into pieces by the
Bengalis. Both Burmese Buddhist officers and all their Buddhist soldiers were killed and
their bodies burned to ashes that night. (Rakhine State People’s Council 1986: 40-42).

Countless number of Rakhines had to flee into either the British-controlled Chittagong
territory, in British India, or deep down into the Southern Arakan as the genocidal Bengali
Muslims were ethnically cleansing the land of non-Muslims and destroyed all the remaining
Buddhist villages in their predominantly Muslim areas of Maungdaw and Buthidaung.

From 1942 until the British recapture of Burma in 1945, Bengali Muslims completely
controlled the Maungdaw Buthidaung region and the illegal mass immigration continued
unabated, and non-Muslims had, to a very great extent, vanished from northern Arakan.

Popular Deputy Commissioner of the Area, Kyaw Khine, is Assassinated:

In early May 1942, Kyaw Khine, the popular Deputy Commissioner of the area,
headquartered in Buthidaung, was continually trying to talk peace, and keep order from
dissolving. In early May 1942, he took his official boat down the Mayu River and up a side
creek to a village named Gudampara (Gu Dar Pyin) to investigate a report of Muslims
massing to attack Buthidaung (which at the time was predominately Buddhist). As he
approached the river bank, flying a white flag (meaning he is coming in peace, not to fight) he
was killed by a single shot, fired by a Bengali Muslim. The boat returned to Buthidaung and
his body was kept on board, and his death unannounced for some time to prevent a panic in
the town when his death became known.

Another incident in Buthidaung occurred when hundreds of fleeing Buddhist women and
children getting onto a crowded boat drowned when the boat suddenly capsized in the river.

A final assault on Buthidaung was organized by Maracan (almost certainly it was one of his
men who shot Kyaw Khine) and Omra Meah - two notorious Muslim leaders who both
became leaders of the Mujahid (and were known to bitterly oppose each other). After 5 days
of fierce fighting the Buddhists who remained were killed, or fled, and the Muslims controlled
the whole border area. Sharp divisions at once arose, however, between the followers of
Omra Meah and of Maracan over the division of the spoils of the town - gutting their
grandiose dreams of a combined Jihad marching all the way down the Mayu peninsula and
capturing Sittwe for Islam.

On the east bank of the Mayu River, about halfway between Buthidaung and Rathedaung,
was the Muslim bandit Faruq, an enterprising robber with a gang of followers, who built
himself a mud-walled fortress (some said, with a moat and a drawbridge) and tyrannized
over the local villagers and the traffic on the river. His modus operandi was to drive all the
local cattle he could collect into his stronghold and then charge a ransom for their release.
He was eventually captured, tried and shot.

1943: In the words of the historian, Clive J. Christie, the “ethnic cleansing in British
controlled areas, particularly around the town of Maungdaw,” was occurring until the arrival
of Japanese troops to the eastern bank of the Naf River (Christie 1996: 165).

February 4, 1943: This is quoted from a British officer, serving at that time in 1943, who
wrote "I have been told the harrowing tales of cruelty and suffering inflicted on the Arakanese
(Buddhist) villages in the Rathaydaung area. Most of the villages on the west bank of the
Mayu river have been burnt and destroyed by the (Bengali-Muslim) V Force. The enemy
(Japanese) never came near to these villages. Hundreds of villagers are said to be hiding in
the hills. It will be the Arakanese who will be ousted from their ancestral land and if they
cannot win over (the Muslims) in time, then there can be no hope of their salvation.”
C.E. Lucas Phillips, Brigadier General, British 14th Army, India Office Records R/8/9GS. 4243

1945: As the war ended, and the British returned, the Muslims were in effective occupation
of the Maungdaw and Buthidaung areas, and many of them were in occupancy of houses
and on land which were the lawful property of Rakhine Buddhists, who had been slaughtered
or sent fleeing in 1942. This conflict of interest over property added further fuel to the flames
of communal discord. The British insisted that the Buddhists refugees, beginning to return,
be allowed to re-occupy and rebuild their villages, and their livelihoods, in safety. The
Muslims would not hear that, and resisted any efforts of the Buddhists and the British to
reclaim villages and land.

1946: The Formation of the Mujahid Party and Mujahid Army:

A delegation was sent by the Jami-atul Ulema-e Islam of Maungdaw to Karachi to discuss
with the leaders of the Muslim League the possibility of incorporation of Buthidaung,
Maungdaw and Rathedaung townships into Pakistan, but the British ignored their proposal
to detach the frontier area to award it to Pakistan. The failure of their attempts ended in an
armed revolt, with some Muslims, declaring a holy war on the new republic. A guerrilla army
of 2700 fighters was organized (Khin Gyi Pyaw 1960: 99; The Nation Daily 1953: April16).

The Mujahid uprising began two years (1946) before independence was declared on January
4, 1948. In March 1946 the Muslim Liberation Organization (MLO) was formed with Zaffar
Kawal, a native of Chittagong District, as the leader. (A conference was held in May 1948, in
Garabyin Village, north of Maungdaw, and the name of the organization was changed to
‘Mujahid Party.’) (Mujahid = Arabic - ‘warriors fighting for Islam’) Some Bengalis from nearby
villages brought the weapons they had collected during wartime to the mosques in Fakir
Bazaar Village and Shahbi Bazaar Village (Department of Defense Service Archives,
Rangoon, DR 491 (56)). Jaffar Kawal became the commander in chief and his lieutenant was
Abdul Husein, formerly a corporal from the Akyab District police force (Department of
Defense Service Archives, Rangoon, DR 1016).

May 1946: Bengali Muslim leaders met with Muhammad Ali Jinnah, soon-to-be founder of
Pakistan (West Pakistan, and East Pakistan - now Bangladesh) and asked that Maungdaw,
Buthidaung, and Rathedaung be annexed into East Pakistan (Bangladesh). Jinnah refused,
sensing too much future trouble in an already troublesome endeavor.

1947: During the British Military Administration period after the British re-occupation of
Burma the Rakhine refugees returning from both Chittagong area and other parts of Arakan
were to be resettled back into their previous village sites, with the help of the British army.

But the Bengali Muslims now occupying the land of the old Rakhine villages refused to
accept the original native Rakhine, and used intimidation and violent means to create a
hostile environment for the returnees, as they now believed in their make-believe dream of
creating a strict Muslim enclave ruled by the Sharia Law in the Maungdaw-Buthidaung-
Rathedaung region as a part of newly-established East-Pakistan (Now Bangladesh).

The following excerpt is from the Report of the Commissioner’s Office of Arakan, dated
April 18, 1947 (The National Archives, London, FO 643/74.) “For want of funds only 277 out
of about 2400 indigenous Arakanese, who were displaced from Buthidaung and Maungdaw
Townships after the British evacuation in 1942, could be resettled on the sites of their original
homes. There are also 2000 Arakanese Buddhist refugees brought for fear of Muslims’
threatening and frightening them by firing machine guns near the villages at night. While our
hands are full with internally displaced refugees we cannot take the responsibility for
repatriation of the Muslim refugees from the Sabirnagar camp which the government of India
is pressing.”

In August 1947, the Sub-Divisional Officer of Maungdaw, U Tun Oo, was brutally murdered
by the Muslims. The Commissioner of Arakan reported: “I have no doubt that this is a result
of a long fostered communal feeling by the Muslims. The assassins who committed the
murder were suspected to be employed by the Muslim Police Officers and have been
organizing strong Muslim feelings and dominating the whole areas. This is a direct affront and
open challenge to the lawful authority of the Burma Government by the Muslim Community
of Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships whose economic invasion of this country was
fostered during the British regime. Unless this most dastardly flouting of the government is
firmly and severely dealt with, this alien community will try to annex this territory or instigate
Pakistan to annex it.”
The Mujahid Army Begins Fighting:
An Islamic militant party, Jami-a-tul Ulema-e Islam, led by the Chairman Omra Meah, was
formed. And with the material support of Ulnar Mohammad Muzahid Khan and Molnar
Ibrahim from Pakistan the Mujahidin insurgency was initiated to invade Arakan and absorb
the land into East-Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

The Mujahid armed insurgents began their subversive activities in the northern Maungdaw
area and later expanded into the southern Maungdaw region. A long-term criminal and major
rice-smuggler named Abdul Kasim was the leader of the Mujahid in southern Maungdaw.

1948: When Burma became independent in January 1948, the new Government had their
hands full with troubles elsewhere. Before the country could adjust itself to its new situation
the Communist rebellion began, followed before long by the Karen rebellion. The
Government had little time to spare for the troubles of so outlying and remote an area as
northern Arakan, and in any case lacked the resources in men to enforce authority there. It
was stated in the press in June 1948, that the area was, in reality, un-administered:
smuggling was carried on at will across the Naf, and Bengali Muslims entered and left freely;
bands of Bengali Muslims were setting up a parallel government, and as civil officers and
police dared not enter the area, local Burmese and Rakhine morale was low and many were
fleeing in fear. In their place, more Bengali Muslims were coming in from East Pakistan

The ethnic conflict in the rural areas of the Mayu frontier revived soon after Burma celebrated
independence on January 4, 1948. Rising in the guise of Jihad, many Muslim clerics
(Mawlawis) played a leading role, as the countryside and remote areas gave way to banditry,
arson and rapes. Before 1942, there were more than 200 Rakhine Buddhist villages in
Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships. In 1948, only 60 villages were judged to be favorable
and safe for the Rakhine refugees to repopulate. Out of these 60 villages, 44 villages were
raided by the Mujahids in the first couple of years of independence. Thousands of Rakhine
villagers sought refuge in the towns and many of their villages were occupied by the Bengali
Muslims. (Rakhine State People’s Council 1986:58-60)

June 9, 1948: The Mujahid Party sent a letter written in Urdu and dated June 9, 1948, to the
new government of the Union of Burma, through the sub-divisional officer of Maungdaw
Township. Their demands were as follows (Department of Defence Service Archives,
Rangoon: CD 1016/10/11):

1. The area between the west bank of the Kaladan River and the east bank of the Naf River
must be recognized as the National Home of the Muslims of Burma (and this is the land
they had ethnically cleansed of Buddhist in the previous 6 years!)

2. The Muslims in Arakan must be accepted as a nationality of Burma. (Even though Muslim
(a religion) is not an ethnicity)

3. The Mujahid Party must be granted legal status as a political organization. (and this party
preached holy war against the Buddhists who have lived there for centuries!)

4. The Urdu Language must be acknowledged as the national language of the Muslims in
Arakan and be taught in the schools in the Muslim areas. (Notice they didn’t choose
Bengali language, but the more ‘serious’ language of the more extreme Muslims of West
Pakistan and Afghanistan)

5. The refugees from the Kyauktaw and Myohaung (Mrauk- U) Townships must be resettled
in their villages at the expense of the state.

6. The Muslims under detention by the Emergency Security Act must be unconditionally
released. (They are jailed for slaughtering Buddhists, and burning and destroying villages,
temples and monasteries)

7. A general amnesty must be granted for the members of the Mujahid Party.

When the demands were ignored by the new Government the Mujahid launched a vicious
campaign and destroyed all the Buddhist villages in northern Maungdaw Township (the
southern parts had been destroyed 6 years earlier).

Calling themselves ‘the Muslims of Arakan’ and choosing Urdu as their national language
indicated their inclination towards the sense of collective identity that the Muslims of the
Indian sub-continent showed before the partition of India into two independent states.

On July 19, 1948 they attacked Nga Pru Chaung, and villages around it, and used a new
tactic - kidnapping Buddhist monks, holding them as hostages, and killing them if they didn't
get the money or conditions that they demanded. (Department of Defense Service Archives,
Rangoon: CD 1016/10/11).

October 1948: Local officials in East Pakistan were accused of provided information and aid
to the insurgents from across the border. The Sub-Divisional Officer and the Township Officer
from Cox’s Bazaar were reported to have supplied the Muslim guerrillas with arms and
ammunition. The wounded rebels were apparently able to obtain treatment from the hospital
in Cox’s Bazaar. And, according to a report of the Deputy Commissioner of the Chittagong
Hill Tracts, both the commissioner and the Burmese officials were informed that the two
Mujahid leaders, Jaffar Meah and Omra Meah, were hiding in Balukhali village in East
Pakistan, near the Burmese border.

1948 Military Operations against Bengali-Muslims’ Mujahid:

Once the Mujahid rebellion started the armed Bengali Muslims killed most of the Rakhine
Buddhists and destroyed all the Rakhine villages in the northern Maungdaw region. Martial
Law was declared in November 1948, as the rebellion greatly intensified and the rebels even
surrounded the towns of Buthidaung and Bawli Bazar.

November 1948: Bengali Mujahid were ambushing vehicles on the jungle covered steep
mountainous Maungdaw Buthidaung road. They were also in strength in the Mayu valley,
where they shot up rivercraft. In November, however, the Government was able to send
troops to the area: they found the rebels strong near Buthidaung, where they were well dug
in and where they had thrown a boom across the Mayu River. The troops failed to achieve
anything in this sector, but were more successful around Maungdaw: there they cleared the
Maungdaw Buthidaung road and repelled rebel attacks on the villages of Kein Cha Kata and
Kan Yin Dan, close to Maungdaw town; they also burnt 13 rebel villages, including 6
mosques, and reported the deaths of 49 rebels.

Late November 1948: By the end of the month the Maungdaw Buthidaung road was again
cut and controlled by Mujahid militants. The rebels ambushed one formation of troops which
was wiped out with the loss of 75 rifles, 2 sub-machine guns and 70 boxes of ammunition.
They also ambushed a navy boat on the Mayu River, though it managed to escape.

1949: Burmese troops reopened the Maungdaw Buthidaung road in January 1949, but
traffic could move only under armed escort; and though they claimed to have driven a
number of rebel groups over the border, they had failed to take many prisoners or inflict
many casualties, and the groups remained intact. Then in February 1949, the outbreak of
the Karen revolt elsewhere led to the withdrawal of the 5th Burma Rifles, and the situation
again deteriorated.

About the objective and strength of the Mujahids, the British Embassy in Rangoon reports to
the Foreign Office in London on February 12, 1949: “It is hard to say whether the ultimate
object of the Muslims is that their separate state should remain within the Union or not, but it
seems likely that even an autonomous state within the Union would  necessarily be drawn
towards Pakistan. The Mujahids seem also to have taken arms in about October last,
although this does not exclude the possibility that some have not gone underground and are
still trying to obtain their objective by agitation only. There are perhaps 500 Muslims under
arms, although the total number of supporters of the movement is greater.”

The British Embassy in Rangoon sent a confidential letter to the High Commissioner for the
United Kingdom in Pakistan on February 28, 1949; this letter dealt with the probability of
provocation and interference from local Pakistani officials on the other side of the border. It
reads: “In spite of the correct attitude of the Pakistan Central Government there have been
fairly reliable reports that their local officials in, for instance, Cox’s Bazaar have actively
helped Muslim guerrillas. You yourselves are well aware of the pro-guerrilla attitude in this
affair of the Pakistan district officers. The Pakistan Government must also be aware of it, and
we feel that if they do not curb these officials they may run the risks of provoking Anti-Muslim
riots in Akyab district as bad as those which occurred during the war.”

On May 18, 1949, The Hindustan Standard newspaper, reported about the following about
the Mujahids: “A dangerous aspect of this fighting is its international aspect: the Moslem
insurgents have been carrying the Pakistani flag, and many of them clamor for the
incorporation of this end of Arakan with Pakistan. It was suspected that they drew arms from
across the border; the Government, however, is now satisfied that their rifles and ammunition
are old stocks, left behind by the Japanese and British…. The great majority of Arakan
Moslems are said to be really Pakistanis from Chittagong, even if they have been settled here
for a generation. Out of the 130,000 here, 80,000 are still Pakistani citizens.”

“These guerrilla operations are less a Muslim insurrection against the government than
“communal action” against the Arakanese – a prolongation of the Muslim-Buddhist riots of
1942.The Moslems, natives of Chittagong in what is now part of Pakistan – fear oppression
by the Arakanese. The Arakanese, the intensely clannish community less than a million
strong, hate their Buddhist Kith and kin, and are afraid of losing their identity in the growing
Chittagongese population. Neither trusts the either.”

On June 17, 1949 the British Embassy in Rangoon sent a telegram to the Foreign Office in
London  about the fall of two district headquarters into communist hands. Sandoway fell on
June 9, and Kyaupyu on June 10, as the result of a mutiny by the Union Military Police and

levy garrisons in collusion with the local communists. The situation in Akyab was uncertain,
and all air services were suspended.

In the Akyab (Sittwe) District of Arakan it was reported that only the town and island of Akyab
(Sittwe) were firmly in the hands of the Burmese government. Conditions had deteriorated
following the withdrawal of the only Burmese Army battalion (Burma Rifle 5). The CPB
(Communist Party of Burma) went underground in March 1948, and its followers in Arakan
reached an agreement with the Mujahid Party to fight the government forces jointly. 

The government of Pakistan was informed that the Communist Party of East Bengal had
instructed its members to establish contacts with the Muslim communists in Arakan and 
persuade them to infiltrate  the Cox’s Bazaar subdivision to organize Muslim cultivators for a
revolt against the government of Burma had fallen to the communists, as evidenced by the
following record (of communications between British Embassies in Rangoon and Karachi):

“This is borne out by a conversation which the Commissioner of Chittagong Division recently
with one of the Mujahid leaders who said that the early agreement with the communists was
that when the Burmese Government was overthrown, the Communists will leave Mujahid
territory to become an independent state.”

However, since the middle of 1949, the Burmese Army’s offensive warfare was successful -
for a short time. As a result all the towns and major cities under the control of the rebels were
recaptured.  Sadar Aurengzeb Khan, Pakistani ambassador to Burma, who visited East
Pakistan, expressed confidence that the position of the Burmese Government was improving
and that the power of the insurgents was on the decline.

The raids of the Mujahid were now carried further south: in July 1949, they attacked the
village of Godusara, 10 miles south-east of Maungdaw, and in August 1949, the Mujahid
held the village of Alay Than Kyaw for a time, on the coast, south of the Naf estuary.
Buthidaung and Maungdaw were under the control of the government forces but the
countryside around the town was out of control.

1950: Again, early in 1950 the Mujahid rebel groups were astride the Maungdaw
Buthidaung road, and were once more raiding as far as Godusara.

April 1950: The Mujahids drove the Government forces from Bawli Bazaar, the principal
village north of Maungdaw.

May 1950: The chaotic conditions produced by the rebellion caused great hardship to the
people of the district, most of whom desired nothing more than to be allowed to carry on
their cultivation in peace. Non-Muslims suffered severely at the hands of the rebels, and
many had to flee to the towns of Maungdaw and Buthidaung. The levies of men and money
by the rebels and their ill-treatment of anyone so ill-advised as to refuse to join them caused
great hardship to both the non-Muslims, and Muslims.

1951: Government authorities seem to have abandoned all hope of regaining the country
north of the Maungdaw-Buthidaung road and to have contented themselves with trying to
prevent the rebels from raiding southwards.

In July 1951, the 3rd Burma Rifles, composed largely of Arakanese who were formerly
enlisted as levies, were redeployed so as to provide additional posts south of Maungdaw
and Buthidaung towns; and these measures seem to have prevented raiding southwards,
though the rebels were still able to impede the Maungdaw-Buthidaung road, where on one
occasion they tried to blow up the tunnel at the 8th mile.

In August 1951: The word “Rohingya” was first used by Mr Abdul Gaffar, an MP from
Buthidaung, in his article “The Sudeten Muslims,” published in the Guardian Daily on
August 20, 1951.

Towards the end of 1951, villagers were being forced by the Mujahid to construct defensive
fortifications at the Nga Kye Dauk Pass, controlling the war-time route from the Mayu to the
Naf valley north of the Maungdaw Buthidaung road. It was reported at this period that they
had established a workshop in the Maungdaw township where four Pathans were repairing
and even manufacturing .303 rifles.

Rebel Objectives:
The rebels called themselves mujahids, or ‘warriors fighting for Islam’. Their avowed aim was
the formation of a Muslim State in the three townships. Besides the politico-religious
inspiration, however, the movement from an early date had a less honorable motive also.
Like the Muslims of V Force, with whom, indeed, many of them are probably to be identified,
the Muslim rebels had been consistent smugglers. The principal commodity which they
smuggled was rice, which they carry across the Naf river from the fertile fields of Maungdaw
to the deficit areas of Chittagong. To a large extent, the rebellion seemed to have
degenerated into little more than a smuggling racket plus a fair amount of banditry, from
which the insurgent leaders made a very good profit.

Possibly owing to differences arising from these devious financial interests, the movement
soon broke up into rival gangs. Some of the original leaders, whose names are given as
Sultan Ahmed and Jaffar Hussein, seem to have taken up residence in Chittagong, nominally
to organize supplies with the aid of sympathizers in that district, but perhaps because they
wish to enjoy their ill-gotten gains in comfort; other leaders thus came to the fore, and
during 1951 “Major-General” Abdul Cassim and one Raschid were prominent as rivals for
supremacy. By the end of 1951, however, agreement seems to have been reached between
the leaders on both sides of the frontier, and some measure of co-operation was achieved in
the field between the supporters of Cassim and of Raschid. Also sometimes mentioned as a
leader of the Muslims is one Omra Meah.

Despite their more material interest, however, the various Mujahid leaders have at all times
maintained the claim that they sought to secure Muslim interests, and adhesion to Pakistan
has certainly been avowed by some of them as their aim. Thus in 1951 they gave orders that
the Pakistan flag must be flown in all villages under their control, and in the course of
collecting money and recruits Cassim informed the people that their support was needed on
account of the Kashmir crisis: the area of northern Akyab must, he said, become a Muslim
State so that its people could fight alongside Pakistan against India.

The main financial source of the Mujahid Party was the smuggling of rice from Arakan to East
Pakistan. Their actions were all part of an overall strategy to prevent the government forces
from enforcing the prohibition rice export. It has been reported that even the Muslim leaders,
Sultan Ahmed and Omra Meah were involved in this illegal border trade.

To solve the problem of this rice shortage in the Chittagong District of East Pakistan, regional
officials seemed to have sought cooperation with the Mujahid leaders. For many years the
Mujahid Party leaders monopolized the smuggling of rice across the border.

1952: During 1952 the general improvement in Burma showed its effect. The Burma Navy
became active on the Naf and Mayu rivers, and towards the end of 1952, land operations
also developed. Hard-pressed, the rebel leaders quarreled; Rashid surrendered, while
Cassim, with only 150 men left, was driven into the far north of Akyab district and even,
according to Burmese reports, across the border. For the moment at least the Mujahid
rebellion had seemingly collapsed.

June 15, 1954: From Burma’s newspaper THE NATION

Cassim, the notorious Mujahid leader, has been arrested by the East Bengal authorities, and
is at present lodged in the Chittagong jail, it can now be confidently stated.

Following on a reliable report from a correspondent in Arakan, that Cassim had been
arrested while attempting to cross into Pakistan, about 10 days ago, The Nation last night
interviewed a spokesman of the Pakistan Embassy in Rangoon, who confirmed the accuracy
of the report.

The spokesman said that Cassim had been arrested on a charge of illegal entry, and that it
was probable that other charges would be preferred against him when he is brought to trial.

Cassim, who is said to be an illiterate fisherman, has been a recognized leader of the
Mujahiid needs since the middle of 1948. He is a history-sheet criminal, having served a
prison sentence for a sea-dacoity before he became a Mujahid leader. Released from jail at
the end of 1947, he organized a dacoit gang in Arakan.

He received further support from a group of Muslim insurgents who broke out of the
Maungdaw lock-up in April 1948, bringing with them a large number of arms. By the middle

of 1948 his movement was going strong and he was formally recognized as a leader of the
Mujahid Party.

By 1950 he had grown so strong that he attacked Maungdaw town itself, on two occasions.

As executor of the Mujahid plan to drive out the Arakanese population and make way for
Muslim immigration into the districts of northern Arakan, Cassim has committed innumerable
excesses. He has burned villages, abducted women, stolen money and other valuables, and
created a ring of terror in the area in which he operated.

In 1951, when he suffered reverses at the hands of the Government, he even took reprisals
on the Muslim population, who he suspected of having gone over to the Government side. At
that time, he was condemned publicly by the Muslim Organization of Maungdaw, the Jamiat-
Ulema, who urged the Union Government to crush him as quickly as possible.

Cassim is also believed to have made a vast fortune for himself out of rice smuggling.

Nov 9, 1954: From Burma’s newspaper THE NATION

In a major offensive designated ‘Operation Monsoon’ now being launched in Arakan, Burma,
Army troops have succeeded in smashing the Mujahid headquarters on the western slopes
of the Mayu range, killing the Muslim rebel commander, Colonel Shiba Rashid, and the
Buthidaung Regional Commander, Colonel Abad.

Colonel Shiba Rashid, who was formerly one of the Mujahid’s Regional Commanders, was
promoted to succeed the notorious Bo Cassim, when the later was arrested in Chittagong.
‘Operation Monsoon’ began on November 1, when Army units started a two-pronged drive
along the eastern and western slopes of the Mayu Range, one column taking off from
Buthidaung and the other other from Maungdaw.

First objective of the Maungdaw column was Point 1440 which was attacked at 7 AM on
November 1. The Mujahids put up fierce resistance here. Despite heavy shelling from the
Government side, the troops could make a little headway against the rebels who were well
dug-in in bunkers. The strong point finally fell at 2:53 PM after an eight-hour battle.

When the troops entered the mountain hideout they found six well-constructed barracks,
heavy fortifications, plentiful food supplies, and five new cases of rifle and tommy gun
ammunition containing some 7000 rounds.

Meanwhile the Buthidaung column were attacking Point 309 in the Rathedaung area. The
place was garrisoned by a small force of about 50 rebels, who soon fled after a brief

The following day, November 2, saw dawn attacks on Mujahid camps along the western
slope of the Mayu Range. Points 714, 308 and 385 fell to the advancing army units in quick
succession. 15 enemy dead were found after these skirmishes.

The Government units then continued their advanced along the mountain range,
encountering no more resistance for the next five days. Entering the village of Htain Daw on
November 5, they surprised Mujahid Lieut-Col. Dusala and two of his aides, and made them

The final blow of the offense was struck on November 7 when the eastern and western
columns converged on the Mujahid headquarters near the northern end of the Mayu Range.

In this stronghold about 150 of the rebels were holding out, behind a battery of heavy
machine guns, which from the height of the encampment, commanded all approaches.
“Operation Monsoon” troops had to call in the aid of mortars to silence the guns before they
could take the position.

Launching their assault at 7:30 AM they hoisted the union flag over the place four hours later.

Within the enemy headquarters they found 8 of the enemy who had fallen at their positions.
Amongst them were the Commander of all the Mujahid forces in Arakan, Colonel Shibal
Rashid and his Regional Commander for Buthidaung, Colonel Abad. The rebels had fled in
such disorder that they had left their headquarters intact, together with an ammunition dump
containing over 20,000 rounds of .303.

The Mujahids are reported to have retreated towards Satoo Bauk in the north. ‘Operation
Monsoon’ which is still continuing, has dealt a smashing blow against the Mujahid rebels
who have been terrorizing the inhabitants of the Maungdaw - Buthidaung area, victimizing
innocent people and masquerading in the name of religious liberators.

About the Islam of the Bengali Muslims:

Most of the Bengali immigrants were influenced by the Farai-di movement in Bengal that
propagated the ideology of the Wahhabis of Arabia, which advocated settling ikhwan or
brethren in agricultural communities near to the places of water resources. The peasants,
according to the teaching, besides cultivating the land should be ready for waging a holy war
upon the call by their lords.

For most of the Bengali Muslims it was a religious issue that would necessarily lead to the
creation of a Dar al-Islam (an area of the world under the rule of Islam, literally, ‘the home of
Islam’), or at least to being united with their brethren in the west (East Pakistan /
Bangladesh). It also aimed at the total extermination of the Rakhine Buddhists and all other
non-Muslims from the land that the Bengali Muslims coveted. The Bengali Muslims had no
(and still have no) desire to live with others in peace and harmony - they have a fervent sense
of alienation from the heterogeneous peoples of Arakan.

Rakhine Buddhist Villages Destroyed by Bengali Muslims - 1942

The following list is 99 Rakhine Buddhist villages, and their respective number of Buddhist
households, totally destroyed by the Bengali Muslims in the genocide of May 1942.

1.    Thit-poke-chaung Village (20 households).

2.    Kan-byin Village (43 households).

3.    Yay-phone-byin Village (50 households).

4.    Pan-daw-byin Village (50 households).

5.    Maung-Oo Village (30 households).

6.    Khwa-zone-byin Village (45 households).

7.    Pyin-byu Village (45 households).

8.    Doe-dan Village (200 households).

9.    Thet-ke-byin Village (50 households).

10.  Wet-pike Village (60 households).

11.  Kyauk-chaung Village (25 households).

12.  Ponna-sart Village (60 households).

13.  The-chaung-ywar-thit Village (50 households).

14.  Nghan-chaung Village (50 households).

15.  Dar-kyi-sar Village (40 households).

16.  Kyauk-pyin-seik Village (30 households).

17.  Pyin-phyu-chaung Village (50 households).

18.  Yay-khart-chaung Village (50 households).

19.  Ngar-sar-kyu Village (60 households)

20.  Pyaung-pyit Village (40 households).

21.  Pyin-shay Village (30 households).

22.  Pha-yone-chaung Village (30 households).

23.  Upper Sin-thay-byin Village (40 households).

24.  Lower Sin-thay-byin Village (20 households).

25.  The-phyu-chaung Village (40 households).

26.  Pyar-thar-mae Village (15 households).

27.  Taung-phet Village (unknown households).

28.  Phout-kyee-daung Village (30 households).

29.  Upper Baw-tu-lar Village (42 households).

30.  In-tu-lar Village (50 households).

31.  Inn-chaung Village (30 households).

32.  In-gar-pha Village (40 households).

33.  Kar-lar Village (80 households).

34.  La-baw-wa Village (36 households).

35.  Done-kyaw-pha Village (22 households).

36.  Thet-kay-byin Village (75 households).

37.  Gyate-chaing Village (40 households).

38.  Kaing-su Village (24 households).

39.  Tarp-chaung Village (30 households).

40.  Ah-le-chaung (82 households).

41.  Maung-shwe-zan Village (20 households).

42.  Thar-doe-hla Village (40 households).

43.  Tart-chaung-chay Village (30 households).

44.  Sin-pya-kwing Village (40 households).

45.  Shwe-daing Village (46 households).

46.  Yay-chan-chaung Village (40 households).

47.  Ngar-chan Village (23 households).

48.  Ye-aung-sanya-phwe Village (40 households).

49.  Upper Kyaung-na-phay Village (30 households).

50.  Lower Kyaung-na-phay Village (25 households).

51.  Chet-su Village (20 households).

52.  Ah-yoe-gya Village (40 households).

53.  Kyaw-htwee-chaung Village (30 households).

54.  Upper Inn-chaung Village (48 households).

55.  Lower Inn-chaung Village (26 households).

56.  Shwe-phee-oo-pha Village (25 households).

57.  Htauk-ka-lan Village (88 households).

58.  Taung-byo-let-wae Village (16 households).

59.  Taung-byo-let-yar Village (28 households).

60.  Day-tan-nyar Village (22 households).

61.  Kun-thee-bin Village (12 households).

62.  Kyan-htaung Village (15 households).

63.  Tan-chaung Village (18 households).

64.  San-htun-oo Village (20 households).

65.  East Kha-moung-zeik Village (35 households).

66.  West Kha-moung-zeik Village (25 households).

67.  Upper Thu-lu-taung Village (50 households).

68.  Than-khone Village (30 households).

69.  Ma-phyu-ma Village (40 households).

70.  Kone-tat Village (unknown households).

71.  Khin-pyo-thar Village (60 households).

72.  Upper Shwe-ngin-chaung Village (40 households).

73.  Nga-yant-chaung Village (50 households).

74.  Thit-tone-nar Village (60 households).

75.  Pan-shwe-aung-pha Village (20 households).

76.  Shew-hla-khine Village (20 households).

77.  Ta-man-thar Village (30 households).

78.  Cha-doe-yee Village (15 households).

79.  Thar-aung Village (30 households).

80.  Loung-part Village (30 households).

81.  Wet-kyane Village (100 households).

82.  Kyet-kyane Village (40 households).

83.  Upper Kywe-tha-bout Village (45 households).

84.  Lower Kywe-tha-bout Village (60 households).

85.  Kyauk-tan Village (50 households).

86.  Seint-taw-byin Village (40 households).

87.  Upper Gaw-du-ya Village (25 households).

88.  Lower Gaw-du-ya Village (65 households).

89.  Kyun-bouk Village (35 households).

90.  Ta-yein Village (150 households).

91.  Tin-thar-ya Village (25 households).

92.  Thae-chaung Village (65 households).

93.  Nghet-pyaw-chaung Village (45 households).

94.  Ngar-san-baw Village (80 households).

95.  Let-phwe-kya Village (20 households).

96.  Kyout-chaung Village (50 households).

97.  Ye-aung-chaung Village (70 households).

98.  Yay-nout-ngar-thar Village (20 households).

99.  Mee-gyaung-chaung Village (15 households).

The following list is another 114 Rakhine Buddhist villages without known household
numbers also brutally destroyed by the invading Bengali Muslims in the genocide of 1942.

1.    Lower Baw-du-lar Village.

2.    Daing-paing Village.

3.    Khaing-oo-pha Village.

4.    New Thar-aw-aung Village.

5.    Tat-chaung-chay-tee-zar Village.

6.    Mee-min-thar-pha Village.

7.    Shwe-daing Village.

8.    Toung-boke Village.

9.    La-mone-kaing Village.

10.  Wai-lar-goung-done Village.

11.  Tha-lu-chaung Village.

12.  Ye-baw-oo Village.

13.  The-ni Village.

14.  Kyaung-khow Village.

15.  Nga-yan-chaung Village.

16.  Mee-chaung-khote Village.

17.  Thit-tone-nar Village.

18.  Mhaing-sri Village.

19.  Be-yote Village.

20.  Kyout-pyin-hla Village.

21.  Maung-seik Village.

22.  Phet-wun-chaung Village.

23.  Gar-yar-byin Village.

24.  Wet-kyane-chay Village.

25.  San-gar-bin Village.

26.  Nga-phyu-chaung Village.

27.  Nat-kyauk Village.

28.  Pyaing-chauing Village.

29.  Kyin-phaw village.

30.  Aung-hla-phyu Village.

31.  Thin-baw-hla Village.

32.  Mee-daik Village.

33.  Nant-thar-daung Village.

34.  Gaw-du-ra-the-chaung Village.

35.  Sin-oh Village.

36.  Kyauk-chaung-chay Village.

37.  Gant-daran Village.

38.  Lower Gyit-chaung Village.

39.  Thit-thee-bin-ahle-byin Village.

40.  Laung-done-zedi-byin Village.

41.  Han-zar-ma Village.

42.  Ngar-khu-ya-chaung-wa Village.

43.  Kyar-khaung-htaung Village.

44.  Maung-lone-pha Village.

45.  Kyet-yoe-byin Village.

46.  Ngan-chaung Village.

47.  Big Pwint-phyu-chaung Village.

48.  Small Pwint-phyu-chaung Village.

49.  Chit-san-pha Village.

50.  New Nay-pu-khan Village.

51.  Old Nay-pu-khan Village.

52.  The-chaung sisters Village.

53.  Chaung-myouk Village.

54.  Tha-lu-chaung Village.

55.  Ywar-thit-kay Village.

56.  Min-ga-la-gyee Village.

57.  Kyouk-hlay-gar Village.

58.  Sat-cha-gone Village.

59.  The-phyu-gyun Village.

60.  Min-kyo-chaung Village.

61.  Yee-phone-pyin Village.

62.  Khwa-sone-pyin Village.

63.  Thit-pote-chaung Village.

64.  Kin-chaung Village.

65.  Inner Kin-chaung Village.

66.  Kan-byin Village.

67.  Kyee-gan-phyu Village.

68.  Hmaw-win Village.

69.  Gyin-chaung Village.

70.  Lin-bar-kone Village.

71.  Zaw-ma-tat Village.

72.  South Ngar-khu-ya Village.

73.  Chee-sar Village.

74.  Ah-pout-wa Village.

75.  Lar-lee Village.

76.  Sein-pan Village.

77.  Upper Tone-chaung Village.

78.  Lower Tone-chaung Village.

79.  Kar-dee Village.

80.  Ohn-bin-yin Village.

81.  Doe-dan Village.

82.  Ka-nyin-dan Village.

83.  Old Ah-le-than-gyaw Village.

84.  Kyan-chaung Village.

85.  Thin-ga-net Village.

86.  Kyaung-daung Village.

87.  Tat-htoe-byin Village.

88.  Myin-lut-chaung Village.

89.  Myee-chaung Village.

90.  Shout-kaing Village.

91.  Kyouk-pan-du Village.

92.  Baw-dee-kaing Village.

93.  Shwe-maung Village.

94.  Ah-twin-byin Village.

95.  Kyan-dan-chaung Village.

96.  Inn-din-gyee Village.

97.  Inn-din-chay Village.

98.  Tha-win-chaung Village.

99.  Kow-dan-kout Village.

100. Thane-khar-lee Village.   

101. Done-pike Village.    

102. Sin-wut Village.    

103. Aung-hla-pha Village.

104. Phout-kyi-chaung Village.

105. Pauk-taw-byin Village.  

106. Kone-dan Village.    

107. Pa-din Village.

108. Yay-dwin-gyun Village.

109. Cha-yar-dan Village.

110. War-cha Village.

111. Upper Nyaung-bin-gyee Village. 

112. Lower Nyaung-bin-gyee Village.     

113. Douk Village.

114. Hla-poe-khaung Village.

After the total collapse of the Mujahid campaign of terror the Mujahids ended up on the
borderline as rice smugglers and bandits, still terrorizing the Rakhine Buddhist population for
many years to come until they reinvented themselves as the ‘Rohingya’, and started the
international media campaign, and the political and the so-called human rights campaigns to
re-establish their Bengali Muslim enclave again in Rakhine State, and to fulfill their selfish
land grab of the homeland of the Rakhine Buddhists, and other ethnic minorities, and to
ethnically cleanse the land, with genocidal intent, of all non-Muslims.

by Rick Heizman, April 16, 2019

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