Burma Must Give Rohingyas Citizenship: Nobel Laureates

By Raj Kumar Yadav

You yourself have overstepped by saying something (commenting on history of Arakan) which you have no knowledge of!! I have been following their history for quite some time now. Following is the brief history on Arakan, I have compiled with the help of my friends!
1) The earliest inhabitants of Arakan were a proto-Australoid people called Negritos settled in the Neolithic period. They were known as Rakkhasha (cannibals). They were dark-skinned people much like Africans and Rohingyas of today. They did not look like Mongoloid Rakhines or Maghs of today who falsely claim to be of their descendants. The second earliest people of Arakan were Indo-Aryans (i.e. Indians) followed by Mro and Theks. Their settlements dated back to B.C. 3323. Most of the earliest Kingdoms in Arakan history were Indian Kingdoms namely Dhannyavadi Kingdoms and Vaishali (Vesali) Kingdom. These earliest Indians, that is to say the forefathers of Rohingyas, were the followers of Hinduism, Buddhism and Animism. With the advent of some Arabs as traders and Islamic propagators to Arakan in 788 AD, most of local Indians converted into Islam. It is very important to note that it was Islam that came to Arakan in 788 AD, not Muslims. Yet, the indigenous Indians who had converted into Islam (known as Rohingyas today) later came to mix with foreigners as their settlements continued throughout its historical periods.

2) Rakhines of today was the last significant people of single Mongoloid stock to arrive in Arakan with the Mongolian invasion in 957 AD. Later, a new civilization took place as they came to mix local Indians and formed into Indo-Mongoloid people, while many remained purely of Mongoloid origin. And they re-established Buddhism in Arakan but in the form of Theraveda this time. With the continual invasions by the feudal kings of Tibeto-Burman people of Mongoloid stock from Upper and Lower Burma, the people of Arakan were gradually formed to be of more Mongoloid origin and Indian-Originated people consequently decreased or were outnumbered. Therefore, the later Kingdoms of Arakan such as in Lemro and Mrauk-U Periods were rather Indo-Mongoloid or Mongoloid Kingdoms than Indian Kingdoms. However, Muslims (of both Indigenous Indian Origins and foreigners settled in Arakan) played many at times as phenomenon Kingmakers and other very important roles during Mongoloid Arakanese Kingdoms. (For these earliest history of Arakan, please read D.G.E Hall’s History of South-East Asia, G.E. Harvey’s History of Burma, Noel F Singer’s Vaishali and Indianization of Arakan and Pamela Guteman’s Research Papers on Arakan and Zaa Lok Kay Pho Lay by San Kyaw Tuan (Maha Wizza), P. 81)

3) Muslims played the phenomenal role of kingmakers in Arakan. Its heyday began with the spread of Islamic civilization. “Islam spread and deeply rooted in Arakan since 8th century from where it further spread into interior Burma. (Sasana Ronwas Htunzepho” a book published by SLORC in 1997)
4) In fact, “Arakan was virtually ruled by Muslims from 1430 to 1531” [Ba Shin, “Coming of Islam to Burma 1700 AD”, A research paper presented at Azad Bhavan, New Delhi in 1961, p.4.] to the extent that it was turned into a sultanate. Arakan was depicted as an Islamic State in the map of The Times Complete History of the World, showing cultural division of Southeast Asia (distribution of major religions) in 1500.(Edited by Richard Overy, eighth edition 2010, page 148.). These are enough evidences that the Muslims or Rohingyas are indigenous to Arakan.

5) The use of the term “Rohingya” in the form “Rooinga” existed in the past and found in 17th century. A dialect was spoken by Muslims in Arakan of Western Burma who had long been settled in Arakan and who called themselves “Rooinga” or “Natives” of Arakan. (Francis Buchanana, Buchanan, 1799) The document can be reached at http://www.soas.ac.uk/sbbr/editions/file64276.pdf.

6) Read The Classical Journal for September and December, 1811, Vol. IV, P. 348. Printed in London by A.J. Valpy, Took’s Court, Concert Lane. The word “Rooinga” was used for the Muslims in Arakan of the time.

7) Read Linguaram Totius Orbis “INDEX” Alphabeticus quarum “GRAMMARTICAE, LEXICA” Collectiones Vocabulerum, Patria Significatur, Historia Adumbratur by Joanne Severion Vatero, Theol. Doct. et Profess. et Bibliothecarlo Reg. Ord. S. Wladimiri Equite, Berlin, 1815. The word “Rooinga” was used many times for the Muslims in Arakan of the time.

8) In 1820, British ethnologist Walter Hamilton referred to the “Rooinga” as “the Mahommedans [sic] who have been long settled in the country.” (Copied from http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/investigation/310399/fear-loathing-and-lies-in-rakhine-state). It is also a proof that Rohingya people existed in Arakan before 1824.

9) The first President of Burma, Sao Shwe Thaike, said, “Muslims of Arakan certainly belong to one of the indigenous races of Burma. If they do not belong to the indigenous races, we also cannot be taken as indigenous races. (“The Rohingyas: Bengali Muslims or Arakan Muslim”, Euro Burma Office (EBO) Briefing Paper No.2, 2009. In Dr. San Oo Aung. http://sanooaung.wordpress.com 22 January 2008)

10) Rakhines or Rowangya People by Maung Than Lwin, Mrawaddy Magazine, July 1960. Rohingyas’ history was briefly mentioned.

11) Check the records of Burma Broadcasting Service (BBS). The Rohingya language was relayed trice a week from the indigenous language programme of the official Burma Broadcasting Service, Rangoon, from 15 May 1961 to 30 October 1965 that is, nearly four years further beyond the seizure of power by Gen. Ne Win.

12) In official Myanmar Encyclopaedia Vol.9, 1964, pages 89/90 the historic narration was given in detail concerning Rohingya while affirming that 75% of the population in Mayu Frontier is Rohingya.
13) Read the textbook “Geography for Std. 9th and 10th, printed in 1978, printed press 361 Pyay Rd. Sarbay Viman, on page 86 map Mayu area was clearly marked as “Rohingya’s dwelling place”. It was printed in Ne Win’s era.

I think it is enough for the people with common sense to decide who are ethnic and who are not!

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