A Buddhist Land Of Rakhine http://www.arakan.bravehost.com/BuddhistLand.html

The places like Lumbini-Nepal, Bodh-GayaNorthern India, Sarnath, Varanasi-U.P. and KushinagarU.P. are the four noteworthy locations, where Gautama Buddha was born, gained enlightenment, preached his first sermons and at the age of 80 attained Nibbana. Indeed! These are the most sacred places in Nepal and India.

From the ancient Rakhine historical point of view, grandfather of Gautama Buddha Einzana (from his maternal side ), altered the ancient Kokethamin Era 8645 to 2 and the out coming era was called Maha Era or Einzana Era. Rakhine King Ralamaru, 2411 in the line of Kanrazagri or Kamaraza, founder of second Dhanyawady, also favoured the alteration made by Einzana. In that era, Gautama Buddha was born in 68 Maha (572 B.C.), renounced the world in 97 Maha (543 B.C.), gained enlightenment in 103 Maha (537 B.C.), and passed to Nibbana in 148 Maha (492 B.C.).

We learned from an article entitled " Review of the most ancient Rakhine " written by a learned scholar of the most ancient Rakhine History, U Sein Nyo Tun, I.C.S. (Retd.), that Candathuria the founder of 31 Dhanyawady, was also born in 72 Maha (563 B.C.), ascended to the Rakhine throne in 97 Maha ( 543 B.C. ), and died in 149 Maha or New Religious Era (491 B.C. ), one year after the Gautama Buddha's Parinibbana. In other sense, Gautama Buddha and Candathuria were contemporary to each other.

Moreover, we also learned that Gautama Buddha visited to Dhanyawady and preached King Candathuria in 123 Maha ( 517 B.C. ), after the 20`h monsoon retreat. At the same date, King Candathuria had cast a bronze image of Mahamuni (Christian dating system in use here is in accordance with the Vikram Sambat Calendar dates). As we all know that, for about forty-five years, Buddha and his disciples traveled from place to place (within Majjhima ), preaching to people of all works of life and the greatest Kings of the time favoured him and his disciples.

Incident of Buddha and Candathuria King of Dhanyawady:

Dr. Forchhammer a renowned archaeologist. wrote in his book entitled " ARAKAN " about a history of Mahamuni Shrine and the Sappadanapakarana, an ancient Rakhine manuscript of great value. According to this manuscript, Buddha with 500 disciples came to Dhanyawady by aerial journey. While sojourning in Dhanyawady, during Candathuria rule in 554 B.C. (revised 517 B.C. ). The Blessed One complied with the King's request for permission of casting an image of the Teacher. The King as well as his subjects offered " Nine-Kuti " worth of precious metal and in the presence of the Buddha, Mahamunithe exact likeness of the Buddha was cast.

Most of the Arakanese chronicle sources unanimously state that Buddhism, which had existed during the reign of King Sanda Suriya, who dedicated the illustrious Maha Muni Image in B.C. 554, has become the prime faith the phenomenon now called Buddhism in Arakan which began its gentle progress to farthest reached of the globe. Ancient Arakanese legendary gives detail accounts of King Sanda Suriya who endowed the great shrine Maha Muni on the occasion of Lord Buddha landing to Arakan in 123 Bowdaw Inzana Era, 25 years before Buddha's Mahaparinibbana. The Buddha visited to Arakan expressly to enable King Sanda Suriya to build a life-size image of himself and Buddha blessed on alighted on the top of Thelagiri Hill situated the east of Kyawtaw on the bank of Kaladan. The Buddha had parted His Holiness teeth emitted rays of light that shone forth with a dazzling vividness in all directions, and to the reverend Ananda, his beloved cousin. He blessed the wishful remarks: "Danyawaddy is great and splendid country which shall have ninety-nine towns on its eastern bank of the Gacchapanadi and ninety-nine towns on its western bank. Its kings shall continue to be the ancient Kshatriya stock and particularly our Sakya race has been descended from Ajjuna Hermit-King of Kapilavastu. As a Bodhisattva, I was reborn many a times here; I shall have in this noble country; my own image built that shall enclose in this land for 5000 years during the life of my Sasana or Buddhism".

Arakanese were justly claimed to be the first in Asia outside India to have heard the word of the Buddha that was too from his His Holiness lips. When the image was finished, it was established in Thiriguta Hill amidst universal rejoicing when gods and men could mingle freely to worship the great image of Maha Muni. How deeply intertwined the image of Maha Muni was in the heart of Arakanese might be gathered from the following classical passage in poem Arakanese Princess Egyin written by Badu Mong Nyo in 15th century. (Rakhine Princes E-Chun) (Stanza-9) Truly peculiar and noble indeed, That banner of king of king, Sadden elephant of snow-white variety Possessed while ruling Dynyawady, Golden Land, country complete with prosperity. The reign of Sanda Thuriya, generous monarch, Coincided with the life of the Buddha. Invited Him to Dynyawady with all his heart. Due to his request in earnest, Lord mercifully let him cast Maha Muni Image, now we have. Visukamma and Sikra Deva came to help. Alloy of five noble metals was used by them But they could not accomplished by then Only after the Buddha offered Seven Handfuls of His bodily warmth to the sculpture, Beloved Brother, His Holiness comes to life, As His representative exact, the image he left; Man, Deva and Brahma have a chance To worship Him in great respect. Great image was held in reverence. (Rahine Roma Magazine) Later Maha Muni, the great image of worship became symbols of an independent Arakan, has retained its deep spiritual vibration inspired countless beings to contemplate upon righteous way of life, higher principles to live for and noble ideas to aspire after, and the shrine itself has been the most focus of attention for millions of pilgrims throughout centuries. Its history supplemented by geographical, archaeological, and literacy sources of Arakan as well as travelers accounts had enlightened us, it is true. Information regarding early introduction of Buddhism in Arakan is from two sources; first from the archaeological discoveries and the second from the records of Arakanese literature. From archaeological evidence, we find a number of symbols that are of religious significance, special to Buddhism. Perhaps most importantly, there have been discovered several image stone figures.

An ancient stone inscription in Nagari character was discovered by renowned Archaeologist Dr. Forchhammer. Known as Salagiri, this hill was where the great teacher came to Arakan some two thousand five hundred years ago. Somewhere from eastern part of this hill, a stone image in Dhamma-cakra-mudra now kept in Mrauk-U museum, was found earlier in 1923. This relief sculpture found on the Salagiri Hill represents Buddha preaching King Canda Suriya belongs to 4th century A.D.; five more red sandstone slabs with the carving were found close by the south of this Salagiri Hill in 1986. They are the same type as the single slab found earlier in 1923. These carving slabs of Bhumispara-mudra, Kararuna-mudra, Dhammacakra-mudara, and Mmahaparinibbana-mudra represent the life of Buddha.

These sculptures provide earliest evident about the advent of Buddhism into Arakan; during the life time of the Buddha and these discoveries were therefore assumed as the figures of King Canda Suriya of Dyanawady, who dedicated the Great Maha Muni Image. These archaeological findings have been studied by eminent scholars and conclusion is that the Maha Muni was made during the king Sanda Suriya era.

In a 15th century Ayechann verse by Adoo Mong Nyo (a court bard of King 8a Saw Pru 1459-1482 A.D.) the casting of image is described thus:

"By the help of Visukarma The divine creative genius It was wrought - The present Mahamuni, When it could not be done With the hollow of the hand The Master gave Exactly seven times The precious metals: With the warmth of His Boson And behold The likeness of The Master appeared To be revered by Brahma, Devas and men The Gift of the Purest Of all hearts."

In time, the Mahamuni became renowned and pilgrims from far-off paid regular visits. This Mahamuni Image has been taken away from the soil of its origin and now enshrined at Mandalay still receives sacred allegiance from millions of South East Asian Buddhist devotees.

The History Of Dhanyawady (Rakkhapura) As Foretold By Gautama Buddha:

Gautama Buddha visited Dhanyawady with the object of leaving his Sasana as well as his Image, for he foresaw that the Sasana would get lost in India after his passing to Nibbana. On arrival at Thaylagiri, Kyauktaw Hill, Gautama Buddha related to Ananda, the history of the Rakhine Kingdom, in order that he may know in what kind of a country. He was leaving his Sasana as well as his Image.


Some are of the opinion that Majjhima ends at the Rakhine Yomas. Since, after sojourning in Dhanyawady, Gautama Buddha proceeded as far as Tan-Gyi-Taung, the East Bank of the Irrawady ( Ayeyawady ) River, and from where predicted that the Tharay-khattara Kingdom will be formed in the opposite Bank in the future. We have to assume that Majjhima ends in the West Bank of the Irrawady ( Ayeyawady ) River.

Once Dr. Than Tun, M.A., BL., Ph.D. remarked in his Book entitled " An Old History of Burma ( Myanmar )", that Gautama Buddha had never been to outside Majjhima. It may be true and we can accept his remarked, but we should bear in mind that in ancient days, since Dhanyawady was included in the Majjhima we can accept our traditional belief of Gautama Buddha's visitation to Dhanyawady with clear conscious


1. Antony Spaetu - A question of faith Time may 26, 1997 PP.42-48. 2. Banerji, R.D. -A Junior History of India. (Blackic & Son India) Ltd 3. Forchhammer, Dr. - "Arakan", Mahamuni Shrine and the Sappadanapaka-rana Manuscript. 4. Mayda Pinna - 81h Century Mayda Pinna Verse. 5. Sein Nyo Tun, U.I.C.S.Retd. - Review of the most ancient Rakhine History & History of Rakhine as foretold by Gautama Buddha. May 1966. 6. Shwe Zan, U - The Golden Mrauk-U, an ancient capital of Rakhine, PP. 154-155. 7. Than Tun, Dr.M.A., BL., Ph.D.- An Old History of Burma, 1969.

Buddhism in Arakan

Two thousand five hundred years have passed since the time of Parinivana of Gautama Buddha. Throughout the centuries, ever since the introducing of Buddhism up to the present time, Arakan professed Buddhism without break.

The present-day Buddhism in Arakan is the Theravada Buddhism using the Pali canon of Tripitaka which are vinaya (conduct), Sutta (Sermon) and Abhidhamma (a mixture of Metaphysics, psychology and mind development) Pitakas.

The Buddhists here worship caityas and stupas. They believe that one can acquire great merit by building and decorating them. The Buddha images are also worshipped after glorifying by conducting a ceremony called Anekasa, that is recitation by a number of monks surrounding the image.

The people worship these caityas, stupas and Buddha images by offering flowers, food, incense, light and prayers. They believe these acts to be meritorious. They believe in the idea of the transfer of merit. That is, by making gift one can acquire religious merits and one can also transfer such merits to one's near and dear ones or their welfare and happiness by performing meritorious deeds like offering alms and the four necessaries to the Sanghas and giving charities to the poor and the needy, and doing good deeds personally or in words or in thoughts, one gains merit and will go to devas abode after death. Where as by doing evil deeds or getting involved in evil acts personally or in words or in thoughts, one falls into downward state of existence, a state of suffering or even to the abyss of hell such as Aauruwa, Avici etc, ...after death.

They believe in the three ways to salvation, i.e., the Arahatship, the Pratyakabuddhahood and the supreme Buddhahood. The lay people strive for Arahatship as the way to Nirvana. They accept the idea that the universe is cyclic and that they live in a Buddha cycle called Bhadrakaipa and are expecting the coming of the fifth Buddha, Maitreya.

There are many members of the Buddhist Order, that is, the monks (Sangha) who wear yellow robes and strictly observe the Vinaya Pitaka. They have given up all the wordly pleasures and lived a pure life striving to attain Nirvana.

The lay people have noviciating ceremonies for boys who spend sometimes, usually a week or more in a monastery under the guidance of revered abbot to experience the life of the monkhood. During his stay in the monastery as a monk, the boy learns for himself the religion of his parents, the abbot guiding him of course. If he likes the life of a monk and wants to forego the worldly pleasures, he can become a monk for life. But he will be qualified for full membership of the Order only after attaining the age of twenty. If not this ceremony can be taken as a preparation for adult life. In Arakan, noviciating of a boy is done only when the boy reaches an age when he can understand and assimilate Buddha's teaching.

Especially during the period of Wasoe (Buddhist lent which falls during rainy season), people are accustomed to keep sabbath taking five, eight, nine or ten precepts. People in more advance stage of piousness mediate to free themselves from ten "fetters", i.e. Samyojana.

Such are the beliefs and practices of present day Buddhists of Arakan. The same is true for the past centuries.

Especially during the period of Wasoe (Buddhist lent which falls during rainy season), people are accustomed to keep sabbath taking five, eight, nine or ten precepts. People in more advance stage of piousness mediate to free themselves from ten "fetters", i.e. Samyojana.

Such are the beliefs and practices of present day Buddhists of Arakan. The same is true for the past centuries.

There are numerous caityas (pagodas), stupa and innumerable Buddha images built and made by the king of these dynasties. Especially Mrauk-U, the last capital city of Arakan, is rich in these religious edifices and images. Miniature stupas, miniature caityas, bronze bells, bronze lamps and many types of bronze Buddha images, crowned and uncrowned were obtained from the relic chambers of the old ruined caityas and stupas. They belong to the period of Danyawaddy and Vesali.

When did Buddhism first introduced into Arakan? And what type of Buddhism was that?

According to tradition and our historical annals, Buddhism was introduced into Arakan during the lifetime of Buddha himself. Keeping tradition part, let us search for concrete evidences which will give of Buddhism introduced.

We have found one Fat Monk image with a line of inscription in Brahmi script used about the beginning of the Christian era. This Fat Monk, Saccakaparibajaka, was related to an incident in Buddha's life. Images of Buddha were also found together with this image. As there were no inscriptions or dates inscribed on them, it is difficult to assign them to the same period as the Fat Monk.

Apart from this image we can search for more concrete evidences. We may take the miniature stone stupas with Ye Dharma verses on them, the stones with Ye Dharma verses fallen out of the ruined stupas or caityas, and inscription found on one of the Mahamuni sculptures as the solid evidence for dating the upper limit of the introduction of Buddhism in Arakan. The dating can be done palaeographically and these writing can be assigned to some time about the 4th or the 5th century AD.

As almost everybody knows, "Yedhama gahta" is the most popular inscription among the earliest records of Buddhism in Myanmar. In Rakhine the earliest" Yedhama gahta" was suggested to have issued in the fourth century A.D. This piece of work is an attempt to trace the Buddhism, in Rakhine, of the period before Yedhama.

The local chronicles traditionally say that during the reign of King Candrasuria in the Danyawaddy city Gotama Buddha, while visiting, converted the court and cast the image, Mahamyatmuni. According to this tradition Buddhism is supposed to be introduced to Rakhine since Buddha's lifetime in the sixth century B.C.

It was also in the Danyawaddy dynasty that Reverend Htayra Maha Yewata was said to have come to Mahinsaka manahala for conversation, after the third Samghayana was held at Pataliputta. Some consider that the present Rakhine was once part of Mahinsaka. However some scholars insist that Mahinsaka was at one time the same of Mysore at the southern part of India.

Above traditions hint that Buddhism came to Rakhine in the 6th century B.C, or 3rd century B.C respectively by means of missionary activities. However, may be unfortunately, no contemporary record is found relating to these traditions.

The crowing event in the history of Arakan was the Convention of the Buddhist Council at the top of golden hill of Vesali under the royal patronage of King Dhammawizaya in 638 AD. through joint effort of two countries, Arakan and Ceylon. This momentous triumph of the great council was participated by one thousand monks from Ceylon and one thousand monks from Arakan kingdom. As a fitting celebration of the occasion, the lavish construction of pagodas, statues and monasteries were undertaken for the purpose of inscribing the Tripitaka.

After Vesali, Pyinsa was found by Lemro dynasty in 818 A.D; Pyinsa City (818 - 1103), Parein City (1103 - 1160), Nareinsara Taungoo (1160 - 1250) and Laungret (1250 - 1430) the great king of dynasty was King Mim-Yin-Phru, who turned his attention towards the development of Buddhism, and in 847 A.D. he conveyed the second Buddhist council in Arakan attended by 800 Arahants. Arakanese chronicles report that therein the Tripitaka and Atthakatha were incribed on the golden plate and enshrined. Never has there been impediment in the practice of Theravada Buddhist faith since it has introduced in Arakan. The copious findings of inscription Ye Dhamma verse (gahta) were practical evidence that Theravada was dominant faith if epigraphic and archaeological sources were to be believed. The Royal patronage has always been significant factor contribution to stability and progress of the religion in Arakan.

An inscription discovered at Nagajunikonda in the Andra country of the southern India says…. For the benefit of the fraternities (of monks) of Tambapamna who had converted Kasmira, Gandhara, Cina, Cilata, Tosali, Avaramata, Vamya, Vanavasi, Yuvana (?) Damalia (?), Palura (?) and the Isle of Tambamni. (From Epigraphia India XX, p.p.22-23)

This record was inscribed in the 4th regional year of King Madhariputa. The scholars think this king seems to be identical with King Madhariputa Sri Virapurisadata of the Issvaku dynasty (3rd century A.D.)

Dr. Niharranjan Ray had attempted to identify the Cilata (Kirata) country with the regions of Rakhine and lower Burma (Myanmar). Besides there is a strong tradition that Kirata was a province of Burma as indicated by a bell inscription, though modern (viz.1811 A.D) at the Mahamuni pagoda, Mandalay (Middle area of Myanmar).

As Nagarjunikonda inscription was issued in the 3rd century A.D. The sending of the Buddhist mission must be some time before the 3rd century. If so it would not be far too wrong to conclude that Buddhism had already arrived at Rakhine in the 3rd century A.D. At this point the popular tradition, which says Buddhism came to Rakhine at the reign of King Candrasuria should be considered in the context of Phayre's suggestion of Candrasuria period in the 2nd century A.D.

Ray also suggest, even apart from the tradition of Asoka mission, it is not impossible to assert the prevalence of Buddhism in Burma sometime before the 3rd century A.D. However no indigenous evidence relating to this period is found in Rakhine. Only for the lack of such evidence, we should not consider that Buddhism did not come to Rakhine. Regarding this George Coedes's remark is worthy of note.

"Because of their geographical position it would seem that they ought to have been penetrated by Indian culture earlier and more profoundly than Funan, Champa, and the other kingdoms of father India, they offer, however, only rare and quite late archaeological and epigraphical remains for the period before the middle of the sixth century. It would be imprudent to conclude from this negative argument that they were Indianized later, for various circumstances may have caused the disappearance or delayed the discovery of order remains.The almost total silence of Chinese sources for the period in question is due to the fact that the envoy from China to the kingdoms of the south at that time used the sea route and countries situated farthest from China for seamen were the last to establish with her."

Johnstone suggested the regional duration of king Candrodaya of Anandacandra inscription as 202-229 A.D and was inclined to equate him with Candrasuria of the chronicles. In this Anandacandra inscription the modification for the kings previous to Candrodaya are read ' zealous in doing kindness to the world', 'The able', 'eminent for stoutness',' fair of form' and 'heroic in policy'. Canrodayan and successor were, however, modified as 'approved by the good', ' giving of countless gifts',' want to heaven', and 'eminent in religious practices'. In contrast with the former one the later ones sound a bit religious. This fact also seems to provide us the liability to assume that at the reign of Candrodaya, in the third century A.D., a particular kind of religion had already been introduced in Rakhine.

A large stone slab, probably related the early phase of the Buddhistic introduction to Rakhine, lies close the Anandacandra pillar at the Shithaung pagoda, Mrohaung. On that stone slab, in relief, a couch, a lotus flower and ' dhammacakka' written are found. Lotus flower represents the nativity and 'dhammacakka' the wheel of the law represents the first sermon of the Lord Buddha and were widely used as the symbols of Buddhism in the pre-iconic worship in India. The symbolic worship faded away when the iconic worship got emerged. Those two symbols are the earliest evidences revealing the coming of Buddhism to Rakhine. An inscription consists of three lines on the plinth of an image is found at the Mahamuni, Kyauktaw township, Rakhine. Although almost illegible it is preserved enough to date

The Ye Dharma verse reveals the cream of the teaching of the Buddha. It is very clear that the people who made these stupas and who inscribed the Ye Dharma verses for the posterity professed the type of Buddhism based on the teaching of the Buddha and not on the personality of the Buddha. Again, the word mahasramana in the verse means the Great Monk. By using this word, it is clear that the Buddha was referred to as a Great Monk and not as a God. We have seen a ceti dedicatory inscription from eighth century Vesali. The inscription mentioned one to purify his own mind to attain Nirvana. The three impurities, lobba, dossa and moha should be discarded revealing that the Buddhism practiced at that time was based on the teachings of Buddha. Therefore, we can definitely say that the Buddhism that flourished during this period was neither Tantric Buddhism nor the advanced Mahayana with plenty of Gods and Goddesses. We can infer that the Tantric Buddhism, which is an advanced state of Mahayana Buddhism, never flourished in Arakan.

History of ARAKAN (Collection)

The history of ARAKAN dates back to ancient times and involves a complex web of differing races, religions and kingdoms. The ARAKAN region is located on the Western side of what is now known as Myanmar (Burma) and although it is separated from the rest of Burma by a vast mountain range, it has felt the consequences of sharing close proximity with Burma, Thailand, China, India and Bangladesh.

During its long (as far back as 2666 B.C.) history ARAKAN is reputed to have had in excess of 145 kings divided up into a number of dynasties including the Chandra dynasty and the Mrauk-U dynasty.

Throughout its long history as many as 8 capitals have been established with each capital hosting a succession of kings. ARAKAN was influenced by the Mongols, Burmese, British, Thai, Mons, Tibetans, Arabs, Moors, Turks, Pathans, Moghuls, Central Asians, Bengalees and many more. These peoples came to ARAKAN in the form of traders, invaders, pirates, captives, warriors and holy men and have had a significant role to play in the development of the ARAKAN people both culturally and racially. At one time the ARAKAN region became a significant trade port particularly by sea with hundreds and hundreds of ships mooring on her shores. This led to the region becoming synonymous with pirates and raiding and for hundreds of years those on the sea and in nearby lands would live in fear of the ARAKAN pirates.

As a region ravaged by war it became necessary for warriors to be trained specifically to protect the Kings from invading forces and from assassins sent to kill them. Some of the weapons used by the warriors would be spears, swords and daggers amongst many others. Many of the ARAKAN kings were also Battle Kings taking the fight directly to the enemy.

The elite guard would protect the kings at all times. Within the castle walls they would blend themselves into the regular community so that would-be assassins would not identify them as a threat. Even amongst the regular warriors not all of the elite guards identities would be known, this helped to provide the king the maximum protection from betrayal. Many of the guards would be cooks, servants and other court aides to help conceal their presence. The elite guard would train as much as possible in an effort to defeat future enemies. Their intricate understanding of their techniques passed down from generation to generation made them formidable opponents.

Almost without exception a person would have to be born into the elite guard, only very rarely would an outsider be considered to join the ranks. For an outsider to join they would have to come to the attention of the elite as a baby and have a bloodline that met the harsh scrutiny of the warriors. Only then may an outsider be permitted to join.

As time marched forward many of the ARAKAN kings knew blood and death. Battles would be followed by peace then again would come the battles. This would continue until ARAKAN came under the control of Burma. This saw an end to the ARAKAN kings.

ARAKAN Martial Art has a direct lineage to the elite guards who fought to protect their kings and takes great honour in sharing these amazing skills with you.


Arakan, coastal geographic region in southern Myammar (Burma). It comprises a long narrow strip of land along the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal and stretches from the Naf estuary on the border of the Chittagong Hills area ( in Bangladesh) in the north to the Gwa River in the south. The Arakan region is about 400 miles (640 km) long from north to south and is about 90 miles (145 km) wide at its broadest. The Arakan Yoma, a range that forms the eastern boundary of the region, to some extent isolates it from the rest of southern Myanmar. The coast has several sizable offshore islands, including Cheduba and Ramree. The region's principal rivers are the Nafestuary and the Mayu, Kaladan, and Lemro rivers.

Only one-tenth of Arakan's generally hilly land is cultivated. Rice is the dominant crop in the delta areas, where most of the population is concentrated. Others crops include fruits, chilies, dhani (thatch), and tobacco. The natural hillside vegetation of evergreen forest has been destroyed over wide areas by shifting cultivation (slashing and burning to clear land for cultivation) and has been replaced by a useless tangle of bamboo.

The main towns are coastal and include Sittwe (Akyab), sandoway, Kyaukpyu, and Taungup. Long accessible only by sea, the Arakan region is now linked by air and road with the rest of the country. An all-weather road running through a pass in the Arakan Yoma connects Taungpu with Pye on the Irrawaddy River.

Arakan Mountain Range, Burmese ARAKAN YOMA, mountain arc in western Myanmar ( Burma), between the Arakan coast and the Irrawaddy River valley. The arc extends northward for about 600 miles (950 km) from Cape Negrais (Myanmar) to Manipur (India) and includes the Naga, Chin lushai, and Patkai hills. The mountain range itself is about 250 miles (400 km) long. Its highest point is Mount Victoria ( 10,150 feet [ 3,094 m]). Dividing the Arakan coast from the rest of Myanmar, the range historically has been a barrier between Myanmar and the Indian subcontinent. It functions as a climatic barrier, cutting off the southwestern monsoon rains from central Myanmar. Arakan Mountain Range is crossed by the An route to Ngape and Minbu and by an all-weather road from Taungup to Pye on the Irrawaddy.

Arakanese, member of a Myanmar (Burmese) ethnic group centred in the Arakan coastal region of southern Myanmar (Burma). The Arakanese are Buddhists of Myanmar stock and possess a dialect and customs of their own. Separated from the parent group in central Myanmar by the mountains of the Arakan Yoma, they trace their history to 2666 BC, have had a lineal succession of as many as 227 princes, and claim that their empire once extended across Myanmar into China and Bengal. Although history does not corroborate these claims, the Arakanese's nost sacred image of the Buddha, the huge Mahamuni statue (now in Mandalay), is alleged to predate the Pagan Kingdom (1044-1287) by a millennium. An independent Arakanese kingdom was probably established as early as the 4th century AD. The Mongols, Pegus, and Portuguese invaded Arakan at different times. Myanmar forces conquered the Arakanese kingdom, carried off the Mahamuni statue to Mandalay, and made Arakan a part of the Myanmar kingdom in 1785. As a province, Arakan was ceded to the British in 1826 by the Treaty of Yandabo. Arakan became independent from British rule in 1948 together with the rest of Myanmar. See also Mrohaung, Arakanese Kingdom of.

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Position Paper of Arakan Gas Pipeline Campaign Committee, Bangladesh, (AGPCC) to Southeast Asian Gathering for Oil and Gas Moratorium
Indo-Myanmar (Burma) Relation: Strengthening Civil Society Activity
India International Center, New Delhi, India
September 17, 2004

First of all, I would like to introduce myself. I am Nyi Nyi Lwin* an Arakanese from Burma. I am advisor to All Arakan Students and Youths Congress (AASYC) that has bee leading Arakan Gas Campaign to promote awareness the world, the cooperates, the governments, and the people of Arakan as well as the present ruling military regime to Postpone ongoing gas pipeline project in the Arakan State or Engage with the people of Arakan and Burma.1 I will give you more details over the project on later parts of this position paper.

To make this awareness gas campaign effectively, we promote campaigns inside Arakan and in the world communities as well as in Southeast Asia nations. Inside Arakan, we educate the Araknese people the devastating effect on environments and the lost of economy, social, culture, basic benefits, force relocation, military oppression, and human rights violations due to this gas pipeline project. And we also collect the projects data inside Arakan.

For international campaigns, we attend seminars to enrich knowledge and skills for our members. Press release to media and sharing information and data among international gas and oil campaign organizations and research institutions is our essential daily activities. Writing request letters to the responsible persons of the involved companies in the gas projects and officials of the government to educate them the real situation of Arakan and its people is also a task. We also invite experts, scholars, and activists to give us seminar, training, technology that are usable for our campaign. However, our knowledge and skills to make an effective campaign worldwide, we need more helps from our international friends, local people, and Asian nations and their active cooperation.

In order to mobilize the people of Arakan by enriching knowledge, providing information, and empowering the civil societies, we distribute pamphlets, newsletters, and sending underground agents to communicate directly to the local people about the impact of the gas pipeline and our activities. We believe our attempt will eventually result in effective action. This action is backed by cooperation of all participants with international organizations and local organizations as a combined strategic force, in which everyone, institutes, academics, activists, workers, and farmers can take part. This interlinks and networking process and progression therefore becomes a strategic force for the campaign that will be able to materialize our demands: Postpone or Engage.

The reason we urge the corporates and concerned governments to postpone the project is it will fuel the hard currencies into the coffer of the regime so-called State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) thereby letting it to continue to prolong its oppressive military power. Also, this gas pipeline project will not benefit the local people of Arakan because the regime is never interested in providing basic benefits of the public such as international standard education, public health, sanitation, infrastructures and environmental protection services.

Background of Drilling Gas and Planning Pipeline
The background of gas and oil exploration in the Arakan State does not take too far to look back. After the regime came to power in 1988, many international oil and gas companies were invited by Foreign Investment Energy Planning Department (FIEPD) of the SLORC*-SPDC, including the US based UNOCAL and the French based TOTAL as well as Daewoo International Corp. of South Korea since 1970s.2 Five of the blocks on offer are located in the sea off the Arakan coast in northwest Burma and another 13 blocks are in the Gulf of Martaban.3 Daewoo International started drilling the block A1 of the project in Arakan in August 2000.4 The Daewoo expected the drilling tests to cost more than 20 million US dollars and the gas development costs to exceed 1 billion US dollars.5

The Korean Corp. estimated to hold about 12 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the block A1. South Korea's Daewoo International Corp. 000(Q.DWT) signed agreements to sell a total 30% stake in its natural gas development project in Burma (Myanmar) to India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Videsh Ltd. and Gas Authority of India Ltd. (P.GAI), or GAIL, and Daewoo International holds a 60% stake in block A1.6

South Korea's Daewoo International Corp declared the discovery as a major gas discovery of up to six trillion cubic feet in Arakan, Burma and expected to find another seven to 12 trillion cubic feet in the block A1 larger than combined Burma's two other gas fields of Yadana and Yetagun, each of which holds reserves of over 5 Tcf. The block A1 covers an area of 3,800 sq km.7

Before the declaration by Daewoo the discovery of oil and gas in the Arakan State, India government has studied a possible gas pipeline route from Arakan to India after a conceived in 1990 pipeline project that has failed to take off with India's reluctance to take the risk of the 2,100-km long pipeline project passing through Pakistan to bring gas from Iran's Bandar Abbas port to Gujarat8. Taking advantage of India's reluctance in buying gas from Iran, Burmese foreign minister U Win Aung in January 2, 2004 rushed to meet Indian officials to brief the discovery of the largest gas field in Burma.9

The commercial production from the block A1 is expected to start by mid-2006. Gas Authority of India Ltd. (P.GAI) will spend the next 5-6 months assessing the availability of gas, the various transport options and the best route to adopt. This transportation can be undertaken either through an offshore pipeline with the landfall point in south Bengal or through an onshore pipeline laid across Myanmar to enter India at a suitable point in Mizoram or possible from Arakan-Chin state borders10.

This pipeline would traverse the Northeast to finally emerge in north Bengal as a part of the National Gas Grid. The final route will depend on two more structures in the same block, which are being currently explored in the Arakan State11.

SPDC Background
The political situation in Burma now is not desirable. The SPDC last year orchestrated an attack at Depeyin on May 30, 2003 on the members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was unjustifiable. In this sense, virtue and morality of the regime to rule the country is questionable12. Yet, the regime has not investigated the killing, as it has been called by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2003. Instead, the regime outlines so-call a 7 points "roadmap" for democracy. This roadmap is backed by no one except the regime itself because it will dismiss the 1990 election results. Furthermore, the regime escalates arresting more people and members of the NLD, and forced relocation in ethnic states is still widespread.

In addition, Arakan League for Democracy (ALD) won 11 parliamentary seats and third largest wining party in the 1990 elections in Burma. The Arakan party was outlawed in 1990 by the regime in the reason of refusing to attend the National Convention. But Arakan League for Democracy (ALD) in exile remains strong in overseas, Australia, Bangladesh, India, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Thailand, and United States.

The State Peace and Development Council took over the state power after gunning down thousands of peaceful protesters in 1988. The regime promised to transfer the power to the elected representatives from the election result that was held in 1990. This promise has never taken place, but it offers irrelevant promises one after another. Given extra caution and mindfulness over the regime promise of so-called "road map" never be wasted times.

Facts of Arakan
Arakan is a former kingdom with currently about thee millions population. It is located in the Western part of Burma lined by Bay of Bengal. The Arakan is rich in natural resources, fertile lands, and oils and gas. He lost his independence when Burman invaded Arakan in 1784. Later, Arakan became a colonial state when British, that had then already occupied India, annexed Arkan in 1824. Under the present mismanagement of the SPDC, Arakan has turned into the least developing state within the Burma's states.

In addition, Arakan State remains a neglected and underdeveloped frontier area, lacking even basic energy supplies.

Moreover, Arakan is on the brinks of humanitarian crisis. The World Bank in 1997 reported based on the national government survey that thirteen million people living below minimum subsistence level, with another five million living precariously just above it, especially it is increasing in Arakan State13. According to UNICEF, of the 1.3 million children born every year in Burma, fatality rate is 92,500 approximately.14 In June 2002, UNAIDS estimates that 530,000 people were infected by HIV in Burma including Arakan State.15 Report of an educational study in Mon state and Arakan state provides evidence that the regime promotes "Burmanization" throughout the education system to the detriment of ethnic groups.16 Estimated number of displaced persons in Arakan State by the UN is 100,000.17 Landmines are now believed to have affected 9 out of 14 states in Burma, especially in Arakan state bordering with Bangladesh and India.18

1. Increased Militarization and Human Right Violations
As detailed by the UN Commission on Human Rights and other international bodies, infrastructure development projects in Burma's border areas and Arakan are synonymous with militarization and human rights violations. Burma already has the highest per capita rate of soldiers to civilians in the world. There are currently 54 army battalions and about 30,000 soldiers stationing in Arakan State alone.

In order to construct the pipeline along any of the possible overland routes, military offensives against Burma's ethnic pro-democracy opposition would be inevitable. Also, in order to maintain security for the pipeline, large numbers of troops will be needed indefinitely due to the hostile relations between the local people and the military junta.

Based on evidence from the Yadana/Yetagun project and infrastructure projects implemented elsewhere in Burma, construction of the pipeline in Arakan State will lead to increase militarization and the following human right violations:
· increase extortion of local food supplies and random taxation to feed the new troops, as the junta does not provide support to its troops from the centre
· land confiscation for new military installations, access roads and the pipeline itself
· forced relocations of villages along the pipeline route
· forced labor of villagers to clear land, and build new military installations and access roads for the pipeline
· increased sexual violence against local women
· forced marriage
· increased restrictions on freedom of movement of the local people, and
· local people's socio-economic life will be depleted

These human right violations will cause further internal displacement of civilians in Arakan and Chin States, resulting in new flows of Burmese refugees into Bangladesh and India.

Although the Arakan gas project is at an early stage, reports have already surfaced documenting forced labor in building new military camps and access roads in western Arakan State near one of the proposed pipeline routes.

2. Environmental and Cultural Destruction
Separated from Central Burma by the Arakan Yoma mountain range, the people of Arakan live mainly along the coast, making a living on fishing and rice farming. There still remain large areas of pristine forests on the mountains and along the northern border with Bangladesh.

The proposed overland pipeline routes and the accompanying military infrastructure will displace and divide centuries-old communities, and destroy large swathes of the remaining Arakan forests.

As with the Yadana/Yetagun project, the offshore wells will damage the local fishing industries, as security concerns will make the vicinity off limits to the local fishermen.

The construction of drilling and production platforms, leakage of chemicals used in the drilling process as well as potential gas blowouts will be detrimental to the health of Arakan coastal area.

Under the current system of military dictatorship in Burma, no transparent and independent-environmental and social impact assessment of the project is possible, nor is genuine consultation with local people.

3. Demands and Actions
The demand for Burma's natural gas has encouraged neighboring countries, such as India and Thailand, to recognize and make deals with the Burmese military. As part of the negotiations to buy the natural gas, the Burmese junta is demanding political concessions from these neighboring countries, such as requiring the expulsion of Burmese refugees from their countries and crackdown on the pro-democracy oppositions.

All local profits from any gas or oil projects in Burma go directly to the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), which is 100% owned by the Burmese military.

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the junta's military expenditures account for over 40% of its national budget. UNDP 2003 statistics state that Burma's health and education spending is 0.4% and 0.5% of Burma's GDP respectively, each of which is the lowest among all documented countries in the world.

Even though no contract details have been released, according to AASYC latest information—this Arakan gas project is believed to generate 26 billion dollars in annual revenues for the junta. These profits will only strengthen the position of the ruling military clique against the people of Burma including Arakanese.

Calls for Actions
1. The extraction of the Arakan natural gas must be postponed until a time when the affected people can participate in making decisions about the use of their local resources without fearing of persecution.
2. The international community, including democratic governments and oil corporations, must stop all current business with the military regime, and refrain from further investment until a democratically elected government is in place in Burma.
3. We urge the people of India, Bangladesh and the international community to join hands with the people of Arakan to oppose this Arakan gas project.
4. We urge all democratic forces to cooperate with us for this campaign (or)
5. Engage with the Arakanese.

Stake Holders
Currently the following companies own stakes in the block:
1. Daewoo International Corporation 60%,
2. GAIL Ltd, India 10%, purchased from Daewoo, January, 2002
3. ONCG Videsh, India 20% purchased from Daewoo, January, 2002
4. Korean Gas Corporation (KOGAS), South Korea, 10%, purchased from Daewoo in November 2001.

In starting to organize upon the gas pipeline project in Arakan, Daewoo International Cooperation, ONCG Videsh, KOGAS and GAIL Ltd have become partners in order to construct the largest gas field of Burma. This construction would systematically abuse and oppress the people of Burma and their environment. It is very sure that the military regime, one of the world's cruelest and longest-lasting the SPDC, has to receive many profits from this project. This investment not only funds the SPDC's oppression of the people of Arakan but also lends the regime international legitimacy and allows the generals to further entrench their rule.

Even as there has no any project or construction in some ethnic nationality's areas of Burma, the military regime has

been making many infractions to local people including human right violations such as torture, forced labor, forced relocation, freedom of movement, land confiscation, forced marriage, rape and violence against women and environment problems.

Daewoo and their partners are ignored the pleas of the people of Arakan despite the fact that this investment with their co-investors will cause many human right violations and environmental problems. In fact they denied and neglected the local people's feelings and democracy movements including some international community who has been strongly advocating to the rebirth of democracy and perfect federal union in Burma.

If the current investment programs carried by Daewoo-India government and relevant consortium are looked upon from the experiences of the previous gas fields named Yedana and Yedagun gas projects, unbearable, intolerable, unimaginable sufferings that would come to ordinary Arakanese people is foreseen enormous and hellish. At the present, regime has already placed 54 battalions in Arakan State of about three million populations. Under its impact Arakan has turned into a slave state in which the people are strangled by military pressure being impossible to move to get out of hellish state. The gas pipeline project is ensure to launch further militarization inside Arakan state to set the regime grip upon Arakan sate more structured and resulting further displacement, land confiscation, force labor, ruin of people livelihood, environment damage and other human rights abuses beyond unbearable and limitless. Since a potential hellish consequences being seen, concerned investors are advised to refrain their commitment of cooperating with State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

1. Postpone the extraction of the Arakan Natural Gas until a time when the people enjoy democracy and justice.
2. Corporations should not do business with military regime. Corporations should respect human rights and the environment.
3. Governments, both national and local, should not do business with Burmese regime. Instead, the UN as well as the US government should impose multilateral sanctions against Burma and other involved governments to restrict investments in the gas project.
4. Governments, both national and local, should not do business with corporations that do business with Burma military regime. Local municipalities and states should pass selective purchasing laws that penalize corporations doing business with the Burma military regime.
5. All other foreign companies, including Daewoo- Gail- Kogas- ONCG Videsh should refrain from investing in Burma as well.
6. Since the companies cannot credibly guarantee that they can stop the documented violations, nor that their money will not be used to finance SPDC policies, Daewoo and their stake partners should refrain from investing until a democratic government has been formed, and local ethnic and indigenous people have been consulted.

1 Daewoo- Gail- Kogas- ONCG Videsh should engage with Arakanese opposition groups, scholars, concerned individual and interest groups to enhance culture, health, environment and eco-social life of Arakan.
2 Korea, India and other governments should condition their investments on an improved human rights violations record in Burma and Arakan.
3 Daewoo and other current stake holders should immediately release all environment impact assessments to the public, so as to allow examination of existing problems as well as potential future ones.
4 SPDC and the oil companies should allow Arakanese and international organizations immediate access to the pipeline areas for independent monitoring to allow objective and comprehensive human rights investigations.
5 SPDC should abide by its treaty obligations, including those contained in the Geneva Conventions and the convention against forced labor.
6 Gas pipeline project's successfully accomplishment has potential of bringing to the people of Arakan the worst effects, politically, ethnically, socially, culturally, economically, and therefore all patriotic forces of Arakan and the whole nation should join hands in the campaign against the gas pipeline or engage with the Arakanese.
7 Considering about the plight of the people of Arakan and Burma as well under the military rule for nearly half a century, consortium and cooperation and stake holders cooperating with the SPDC should think our potential social-political-environmental damages which cannot be anyhow recovered by in responsible and exploit corporate and governments.

Effective Problems of Arakan Concern
1) Education and Heath
2) Economic, Social and Culture
3) Human Right violations
4) Exploitation and Lack of Consultation
5) Increased Militarization
6) Environmental Destruction
7) Prolong Military Dictatorship

Issues come from an action, but the action ought to have a response. The response must have responsibility, accountability, and transparency. Example to this issues of response is as mentioned above categories problems—the local people have faced and will be faced tremendous circumstances and consequences under the current illegitimate regime's misuse of the gas and oil profits, and the irresponsible manner of the foreign cooperates and governments based on for profits alone, lack of moral principle and ethical code of conduct—cannot be avoidable. Unnecessary approaching to get special favor from the regime's protection by the use of force to acceptance it without the wills of the people by the corporate and the governments is questionable in the future—emerging the Arakan into the self-determination and peace in the future. So that, the issue should be reconsidered by Daewoo, Gail, Kogas, and ONCG as well as the SPDC and the India government.

Response and Solution
In fact, the people of Arakan has rights to determine and concession to decide his national treasures whereas his true position is to provide the people the benefits as locality and as innate rights of well-beings within the state in order of being a dignified life, freely pursues of happiness, and maintaining justice. The State with its nature and its governing law, boundary is to provide all rights and virtue for the people of Arakan.

Speaking about legitimacy, the Arakanese is the only people who have rights to posses any production in the land, and others are secondary. To fill this gap, respect and mutual understanding each other is one of the resolutions that is in another word an engagement. Thus, we call all the concerned parties to engage with us as a two-way-rights traffic solution as fair and balance.

Neither one is to be offered nor to be engaged without due respect of the basic rights of the Arakan people as the owner of the land, otherwise Arakanese has the rights to halt the project with any peaceful mean or might is legitimate and justifiable.

However, to understand the true identity of the Arakanese, their determination, and aspiration, He is a well organized community-based society within the state and thorough out the world, with their affection in justice, equality, patriotism, and friendliness. This national character should not be minimized nor marginalized by any corporate and government involved in the gas projects in the Arakan State, or should it be considered into accountability.

It never wastes time but it will enwise us understanding by engaging with the Arakan community: political parties, social organizations, and environmental organizations, scholars, and individuals, not later nor after later but sooner, that we advocate to advice the companies and the governments of the gas project to communicate with us to solve this dispute reasonably. This solution is to SAVE ARAKAN.


Coordination Committee for Preconvention of Arakan National Convention

March 7, 2004
New Delhi

Contact Persons:
U Thein Phay (Tel. 091-981-098-5889)
U Tha Noe (Tel. 091-11-256-14895)
Major Khaing Myo Min (Tel. 091-981-806-6509)
Nyi Nyi Lwin for International Press (nyinyilwin8@yahoo.com)

The Arakan National Pre-convention is successfully held in New Delhi, India, on March 1-6, 2004. the pre-convention forms a political leading body, Arakan national Counicl (ANC) to represent to restore freedom, democracy, human rights and justice.

The ANC is given political leadership role to represent the Arakan people and national interest until it holds national convention again.

The ANC is comprised with Arakan League for Democracy 9ALD-Exile), Arakan Liberation Council (ALP), Democratic Party of Arakan (DPA), and National United Party of Arakan (NUPA). Civil organizations in the council are All Arakan Students and Youths Congress (AASYC), Arakan Women Welfare Association (AWWA), Rakhaing Sanga Union (RSU), Rakhaing Women Union (RWU), and individuals and academics all over the world.

ANC comprehends that the root cause of the political deadlock in Burma is between freedom struggle and self-determination movements by ethnic nationalities and the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) oppression and refusing to recognize the basic rights of ethnic languages, cultures, as the regime's first priority and along with repressing National League for Democracy (NLD). To end this deadlock, another option is to initiate ethnic nationalities by the international community and all democratic forces.

ANC does not support Prime Minister Gen. khin Nyunt outlined "seven point road map," particularly SPDC sponsored so-called National Convention. Instead, ANC calls for tripartite dialogue, NLD, SPDC, and ethnic nationalities forces, and this is the only practical way to solve political problem in Burma; to begin with it, there three forces will establish trust and genuine national reconciliation that will eventually lead to Burma emerging in democracy and deferral state.

ANC comprehends that the root cause of the political deadlock in Burma is between freedom struggle and self determination movement by the ethnic people and SPDC repression and refusing to reorganize the basic human rights of the ethnic people and culture and languages as the regime first priority along with repressing the NLD. To end this deadlock, another option is the international community and all other democratic forces can initiate with the ethnic issues.

The ANC does not support Prime Minister Gen. Khin Nyunt's outline so-called seven point "road map," particularly the SPDC sponsored "National Convention" Instead, the ANC calls for tripartite dialogue, the National League for Democracy (NLD), the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), and the ethnic democratic forces and this is the only practical way to solve the political situation in Burma, and beginning with it, these three forces will established trust and genuine national reconciliation that will lead the Burma emerging in decentralized federal state.

Before meaningful entering dialogue with these three forces, the SPDC must release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Arakanese leader U Tha Ban, student leader Min Ko Naing, and all other political prisoners and must guarantee freedom of expression, and this urgent action call is not a set up precondition but it is practical process for viable national reconciliation.

The ANC fully support all Arakanese democratic forces in Burma and the leader Dr. Saw Mra Aung, and U Aye Tha Aung.

The ANC also supports the 1990 election results and the NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The ANC supports 2003 United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) resolution, in which it calls to honour the 1990 election results and to investigation May 30, 2003 Depeyin mass murders that is believed to be sponsored by the SPDC the attack on the NLD and its members and democracy supporters.

The ANC calls the United Nation General Secretary Kofi Annan to take Burma issues on the table of UN Security Council in cases with in the brinks of humanitarian crisis in the Arakan State and other ethnic nation states in Burma, gross human rights violations, arbitrary arrest of political activists, extra judicial killings, and rapping ethnic women.

The ANC welcome the very recent encouragement of the Secretary of State of America Mr. Powell and said, "Burma's day of democracy will come." The ANC will fully respect calls the United State of America and European Union (EU) to intervene the humanitarian crisis in needs of the people of Arakan and the people of Burma and to support the ethnic democratic forces and refugees on the borders of Bangladesh, India and Thailand.

The ANC calls the Association of the South East Asia nation (ASEAN) to work with the UN, US, EU and other good will nations in order of restoration democracy and human rights in Burma and to stabilize regional peace and security.

The elected Member of Parliament U Tha Noe from Araka League for Democracy (ALD-Exile) said, "It is right time for the international community to initiate a leadership role to facilities the tripartite dialogue within international laws and UN mandates." (The Arakan league for Democracy, ALD, is the third largest winner party in the 1990 election in Burma.)

The ANC con not longer take repression over the Arakanese people by the SPDC, use of force labours, human rights violation on planning Arakan Gas pipeline to India from the Arakan State that will benefit the SPDC 1.2 billion dollars annually that fuels to the regime human rights violation and buying more military equipments.

President U Kyaw Han from AASYC and the leader of Arakan Gas Pipeline Camping Committee (AGPCC) said, "The larges gas well founded in the Arakan State is our national treasure and we have rights to get benefit from it for our people, But the SPDC just forces us in concession of the gas and the benefits the Korea based Daewoo and the India state own gas and oil companies and national Gas Corporation Ltd, (ONGC) Videsh and gas Authority of India (GAIL)." "The pipeline project will damage environments and marine life, increase use of force labour and human rights violation; I feel sorry for my people," he said we will work with international friends and supporters for the Arakan gas pipeline campaigns in demonstration, press publicity, letter campaigns boycotts, shareholder actions, lobbying governments, sanction, and law suits against the parties involve in the pipeline projects," Kyaw Han said.

U Thein Phay, Chairman of Democratic Party of Arakan (DPA) said, "This is the enormous unity among Arakanese people and political parties, religious, social, youth, student organization and academics in overseas, and this is a good to the Arakanese people as well as to our brother democratic forces and ethnic alliances and to the world that this unity will facilitate ethnic nations' for the freedoms and democracy that will hit SPDC in fear, butdon't be afraid of, the dialogue is the only way to exit for General Than Shwe, General Maung Aye, and General Khin Nyunt."

"I am so happy today that we have this unity, and I feel the people of Arakan will do the same," said Chairman Khaing Ray Khaing of Arakan Liberation party (ALP).



In Bangladesh Arakanese community are found in the districts of Cox's Bazar, Patuakhali, Baraghona, Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts. They are known to Bengalee as "Mogh". In this connection Professor San Tha Aung says. "There is a belief of a branch of the Maghodha raj family, having migrated to Chittagong when Hinduism became ascendant in that, ancient nursery of Buddhism. It is not unlikely that the royal family of Arakan was somehow descended from that Bihar family. The derivation would probably be Magahi-Magai-Mog or Magh. The new English Dictionary states that the term of Magh appears as the name of Arakanese. But the Arakanese who live in the district of Cox's bazaar, patuakhali and Baraghona feel proud in troducing themselves as Rakhine. So, A. Phayre rightly says. "There is a tribe in Arakan which is known as Rakhine and their country as Rakhine Prey. They are supposed to be the aborihinals of the land. He was of opinion that the word Rakhine derived from Yakha which in Burmese means Cannibals. In fact, it is Rakha in Arakanese Pronunciation. The Burmese do not pronounce "R" sound but normally corrupts it into "Y" sound. For example Rengoon is pronounced as Yangoon in Burmese. The word Rakha in Arakanese literature means to safe-guadrd the culture of the nation. According to the Arakanese oral tradition those who save their culture from utter destruction are known as Rakhine and their native land is called Rakha-Pura. So, in this connection Abdul Mabud Khan says, " This conservative attitude to their culture clearly demonstrates their affection and deep respect for their motherland. According to the Ananda Chandra's stone pillar inscription, ( 8th century A.D) erected at Shite-thoung pagoda in Mrauk U, it is well known that Arakan was mentioned as "Arrakha Daysa". So the people of Arakan were known as Rakhin-tha. Thus it does suggest that the term "Arakan" is a derivation of Rakhine (Rakhine/ Arakhine/ Araccan/ Arakan).

According to the Arakanese history, from the ancient period to seventeen centuries A.D. Chittagong had been conquered by Arekan for several times. Specially in Mrauk U period, in 1459. Chittagong come in to the hands of Arakan, which held it until it was finally annexed to the Mughal empire in 1666. Thus they came to reside at Chittagong as a ruling nation, as officers, nobles and other dignitaries. During the Arakanese rule in Chittagong, there were twelve administrative units under the Chittagong Governor who was appointed by the king of Arakan. Each administrative unit had its own administrator appointed by the Gevernor.

In Mrauk Oo period, some Arakanese King took Muslim name and titles. At the time they issued coins in Arabic script containing these names and titles. So it is said that Min Saw Mun undertook to assume a Muslim name and strike coins bearing the Kalima as a tributary. In this connection Professor Alamgir M. Serajuddin says. "It is difficult to accept the view that assumption of Muslim name was the manifestation of Muslim influence in Arakan. Among other things, it does not explain why only 9 out of 48 rulers were won over by the Muslim. Again Muslim influence rose to its height during the long and prosperous reign of king Sanda Thudamma ( 1652-84). Yet, he did not take Muslim names and titles and was content with his Arakanese name and coin. Again he says that in reassessing the significance of Muslim names and titles we must not lose sight of the fact that the rulers who assumed Muslim name had Chittagong under their possession. Moreover, such historians as Hall, Phayer and Maurice Collis agreed with the point that Buddhist supremacy was not shaken at that period.

In the sixteenth century Arakan was a sea power of some importance, it built hundreds of galiots and developed great skill in both sea and riverine warfare. Then they used to raid the Ganges delta and the creeks leading upto Dhaka and other towns of eastern Bengal. In 1665 A.D. unstable political situation in Mrauk OO and conflict between Arakanese king and Portuguese attracted mughal Subadar, Shaista Khan to conquere Chittagong. In January 1666 A.D. Shaista Khan captured Chittagong and established their authority. From then Arakan never recovered from this blow. At that time many Arakanese with their families fled to Arakan and a kind of Tax as "Magh Joma" had been imposed by the mughal authority on the rest of every Arakanese in Chittagong. This compelled them to leave Chittagong. In 1763 after the East India Company conquest of Chittagong the company government lifted this taxation system on Arakanese in Chittagong. It encouraged Arakanese people to settle there peacefully. At that time the unsettled political situation of Arakan attracted king Bowdowphya of Burma to attach Arakan. Then many Arakanese come to Chittagong, where British rule existed, to live peacefully. In 1784, King Bowdowphya invaded Arakan and conquered it completely on 12th January 1785. In the invading period, the soldiers of Bowdowphya used to shout slogan as " Kill Rakhine like cutting tree without leaving any roots". Only within four years from 1785 to 1789, they killed 236000 Arakanese people. In this way, the Burmese invaders just like racist committed inhuman terrorism in Arakan that expelled thousands of Arakanese in exodus to the north and north western side in Bengal where the British East India Company had been occupied. Then Captain Cox warned the Government of India that if the Arakanese frontier questions were not settled according to their wishes, the Burmese would threaten to Bengal. And the Mon of lower Burma, he said, looked for French aid, with which to make another attempt at independence. Between the year 1797 and 1800, it was estimated that no less than 50,000 of Arakanese refugees migrated from Arakan into Chittagong district. In 1799 captain Cox was sent to superintend relief measures of Arakanese refugees. He settled ten thousand Arakanese in large are the waste land in Chittagong but many had already dispersed among the hill's jungles. The chief settlement was made at the place named Cox's bazaar which was derived from its founder.

13 years after the Arakanese migration of 1793, the Arakanese Chief Ngathan Dee settled, with the permission of company's officers at Harbhang in the district of Cox's bazaar. His title was Mrothugree. He had a son named Chun Byan who was called by English as "King-Bering." Chun Byan's own account of his father and himself was that, " In 1784 country of Arakan was over run with plunderers. In consequence my father addressed a letter to the king of Ava who sent army and took possession of Arakan. The king looking on my father as a person of royal blood, put him in possession of the Government of Arakan, retaining only the sovereign of himself. In 1798 the king of Ava demand from my father a quota of 290,00 muskets and 40,000 men to make war on Siam (now Thailand). My father consented to furnish the half of the demand. The king was angry at not getting the whole and seized my brother and killed him. On this account my father with his relatives, friends and all his adherents, consisting of most of the inhabitants of that country emigrated. My father died, we sought refuge in the English territory and I concealed myself at Harbhang, Mr. Cox at this time came to Ramu by order of the government and distributed food and implements for cutting the jungles to all the Moghs. They cultivated the ground and thus earned a substance. Mr. Cox made every search for me, but through the operation of my evil destiny. He did not fine me. After the death of my father, my mother took every thing he possessed. I got nothing."

In this way, Arakanese emigrants arrived in various groups and batches to settle in Bengal. When the British conquered Arakan in 1826 by Anglo-Burmese War and became the master of Bengal as well, the descendants of these Arakanese settlers decided to stay in Bengal permantly.

After the second world war, when India, Pakistan and Burma became free from the British colonial power, most of the Arakanese migrated back to Rakhine state of Burma which is situated between Bangladesh and Burma. Now it is separated from Burma proper by arrange of mountains known as Arakan, goma, which has acted as a barrier against intercommunication between the people living on either side of it. In the Pakistan period, there had been continous Chittagonian Arakanese migration to Rakhine state. And in the period of 1970, when Bangladesh independence movement was going on, many Chittagonian Arakanese with families fled to Rkahine state of Burma to escape from the atrocities of Pakistani Army. Most of them did not yet come back again. But after the independence of Bangladesh, the exodus was stopped and their condition has improved with certain prosperity due to the liberal helpful policy of the Bangladesh Government. There are at present, Arakanese inhabitants at about 14 Union padrishads in the districts at Cox's bazaar and Chittagong. We have made a census at 1980. According to this census the Arakanese population of Cox's bazaar and Chittagong was about ten thousand.

In Chittagong Hill Tracts there is much bigger group Arakanese who came into Bengal during the Arakanese rule of Chittagong as well as at the time of the Burmese invasion to Arakan. Their present population is about two lacs. Unlike other Arakanese settlement, they lived in Chittagong hill tracts with their own Arakanese Chief. Its area is 5,138 sq.mls. It is a compact and strategic border land adjoining as it does Arakan hill tracts on the East Buthidaung, Maung daw district on the south, the Lushi Hills (Mizoram), and Chittagong plain on the North and west respectively. It is composed of three regions namely, Bohmong Htaung, Thet-Htaung and Palan-Htaung with their own hereditary chiefs or Raja called the Boh-mong gree. (Boh-mong Raja), the That mong (Chakama Raja) and Palan-mong (Mong Raja). The Boh-mong end Mong Raja and their people are of Arakanese descendants. Here the meaning of Htaung is settling up of village and towns in groups of thousand.

Their history commences during the regin of the great Arakanese king, Mun Raia Gree, in the early part of the 17th century. In 1599, Mun Raja Gree conquered pegu and brought 3000 families of Pegu, two sons and a daughter of Nanda Bayin. The king appointed the elder prince of Pegu, Maung saw Prue as the viceroy of the western part of his empire which then consisted of Chittagong, Noakhali and Balarganj districts. Thus Maung Saw Prue accompanied by an army of his followers from Mrauk Oo came to sferrel in Bangal in 1614A.D. Chittagong was then the capital of Arakanese empire of Bangal. There were always a large garrisons of Arakanese soliders in Chittagong as well as smaller garrisons in Bukarganj and Noakhali. In those days, the Portuguese pirates were nuisance to the Arakanese at Chittagong. These pirates used to ally with the Mughals and create troubles. He served the Arakanese King by fighting both the Mughals and Portugrese successfully and thus defended independence of Arakan. For his victory over them he received the hereditary title of Boh-mong-Gree from the King of Arakan. Their descendants were always ruled by a Boh-mong. In 1666 the Mughal subdar. Shaista Khan conquered Chittagong and annexed it to the Mughal empire.

After Chittagong had been annexed to the Mughal empire, in 1756, Kaung Hla Pru, the fifth Boh-mong had to seek asylum in Arakan. In 1763 the British occupied Chittagong. In 1774 A.D. as the political situation in Arakan being too unsettled, then the Boh mong, Kaung Hlu Pru, came back to Chittagong again. He found most of the fertile plains at the southern part of is former territory occupied by the local people. He and his followers therefore began to work their way up to the North and entered the Chittagong hill Tracts. Then Warren Hastings was the Gobernor Goneral of Bengal. This part of Bengal was a wild region composed of many mountain ranges with deep narrow-valleys and trune jungles where a number of tribes such as the Mros the punkhos, Bonjugy is, Mrung, Khames and Shaudus etc. They subdued all these tribes and founded Rowdow (Bandarbuns in Bangules) as the head quarter of the Boh-mong-Htaung in 1822. A.D. Boh-mong Gree Kaung Hla Pru also contacted the East India company who were by now the rulers of Bengal, and reached an agreement with them regarding the integrity of Boh-mong-Htaung. After his death, four more Boh-mong-Gree succeded. The last of them was Boh-mong-Gree Thet Hnan Nyo. He helped the British government in Lushi eapedition. On his death in 1901, the succession passed to Saw Hla Pru his nephew, then to Maung Tha Nyo (cousin), and in 1923, to Boh-mong-Gree Kyaw Zan Pru. He was succeeded by his son Boh-mong-Gree Kyaw Zan San who became thirteenth Boh-mong. After his death kin 1959, his younger brother Maoung Shuee Pru became the fourteenth Boh-mong.

Geneology of Boh-Mong Naudabareng( King of Pegu) 1581-99

1. Mong Sow Pru 1599-1631 ( Married to the daughter of King Mun Raja Gree)
Princess Shein Thwee Naung ( Shin Dwe Hnaung in Arakanese)
2. Son Men Rai Phroo allias Palai -- Married to Mun Rajagree King of Arakan
3. Son Hari Phroo 1665-87
4. Nephew Hari Gneo 1687-1727
5. Grandson Koung Hla Phroo 1727-1811
6. Son Sathun Pru 1811-40
7. Nephew Kong Hla Gneo-1340-66
8. Cousin in Mong Phroo 1866-75
9. Sana yeo-1875-1901
10. Nephew Chow Hla Pru – 1901-23
11. Cousin Mong Chow Gneo- 1916-23
12. Cousin Kyaw Zan Phroo – 1923-33
13. Son Kyaw Zaw San 1933-53
14. Brother Maung Shew Pru- 1959 up to now.

---- END ----http://www.arakananc.org/r,d&report/file=1.htm


ေဒဂနိန္႔ ကၽြန္ေတာ္ရုိ႕ကိုၾကည္႕ယင္းနန္႔ အနာဂါတ္မ်ဳိးဆက္သစ္တိခရီးကိုေတြးဗ်ာလ္ "အမီြ" ဆိုေရစကားလံုးေခ်တလံုးကို
ိုဆန္းစစ္ေလ႕လာသင္႕နီယာဆိုစြာကို ရခိုင္သား/သမိန္းရုိ႕အားလံုးၿငင္းပယ္ဂတ္မယ္မထင္း။
"အေဝသားေခ် မင္းအကိုမင္းအစ္မရုိ႕က ပညာမတက္ဘဲႀကီးၿပင္းလားခဂတ္ဗ်ာ မင္းလည္းပညာမတက္ေဂ
မင္းသား/သမိန္းေခ် တူ/တူမေခ်တိအတြက္ပညာဆိုစြာဇာမာေလးေဝ ယင္းပိုင္ဆိုေဂငါ႔ရုိ႕တမ်ဳိးလံုးဝါးတုပ္ကိုရာၾကည္႕ဖိေဝ"
ေဒဂနိန္႔ ရခိုင္သားရုိ႕အနာဂါတ္မ်ဳိးဆက္သစ္သား/သမိန္းေခ် တူ/တူမေခ်တိဇာအမီြပီးဂတ္ဖိုေလးဆိုစြာ question တခုျဖစ္နိန္ဗ်ာ။
ပညာအမီြလား ဥစၥာအမီြလား
ပညာအမီြပီးဖို႕လလြယ္ေခ်လား ေဒဂနိန္႔ ရခိုင္ျပည္ပညာေရးလမ္းကိုၾကည္႕ဂတ္မယ္။ ဘုန္းႀကီးေက်ာင္းပညာေရးကေနာက္မာက်န္လိုက္ဗ်ယ္ ဂနိန္႔လိုက္နီဂတ္ေတအစိုးေက်ာင္းပညာေရးကိုၾကည႕္ေဂ ရြာတရြာမွာစာသင္ေက်ာင္းတေက်ာင္းက်စီမဟိ ဟိျပန္ေကေလးမူလတန္းဗ်ာ ရခိုင္ေက်ာင္းသားတေယာက္စြာမူလတန္းၿပီးဗ်ာလ္
အလယ္တန္းေက်ာင္းတတ္ခ်င္းလို႕ အပါးေခ်မွာစာသင္ေက်ာင္းမဟိ ယင္းေၾကာင္႕တခ်ိဳ႕တိဆိုေဂ ၅/၆ မိုင္ခရီးကိုၿခီနန္႕လားဗ်ာလ္ေက်ာင္းတတ္ရယင္႕ ေက်ာင္းကျပန္ ပင္ပန္းဗ်ာလ္စာမက်က္ႏိုင္ယာ စာက်က္ဖို႕ပ်င္မီးကမဟိ မိဘရို႕ကသားေခ်စာက်က္ဖို႕ဆီမီးခြက္ထြန္းပီးေက သားေခ်ကပင္ပန္းဗ်ာလ္အိပ္ငိုက္နီဗ်ာ ေယေကမိဘလုပ္ေရလူကေအာ္ဗ်ာမနားေယ"ရနံဆီအလကားရစြာထင္လား ေဖ႕သာနန္႔ဝယ္ရစြာေဟ ဝယ္ရစြာ"
ယင္းပိုင္းယင္းပိုင္းနန္႕ေက်ာင္းသားဘဝကိုစိတ္နာလခဗ်ာ ကေကာင္းဝီရိယထက္သန္ေရရခိုင္ေက်ာင္းသားတခ်ဳိ႕တိ အထက္တန္းအဆင္႔ကိုေရာက္ေကာင္းေရာက္ႏိုင္လိမ္႕မယ္ အလယ္တန္းအဆင္႕ကိုခခက္ခခဲေအာင္ၿပီးလို႕ အထက္တန္းအဆင္႕ကိုတက္ဖို႕ၾကည္႕ေက ကိုယ္ပတ္ဝန္းက်င္မွာအထက္တန္းေက်ာင္းကားမဟိ ေယေကၿမိဳ႕မွာေက်ာင္းတက္ဖို႕ၿပင္ဆင္ရဗ်ာလ္မနားေယ ၿမိဳ႕မွာေက်ာင္းတက္ဖို႕ဆိုေက မိဘရို႕မွာေဖ႕သာဂါးမဟိ တမိုးလုံးလုပ္ထားေရဆန္တစိႏွစ္စိ ကုန္ဗ်ာလ္ တခ်ဳိ႕တိကေတာ ကုန္ေကေလးေသာ႕ကုန္လီဖိ ငါ႕သားေခ်ပညာတက္ေကၿပီးဗ်ာလ္ဆိုေရ
စိတ္ဓါတ္ေခ်တလံုးနန္႕အားစိုက္ပနာ သားေခ်ပညာေရးကိုဦးစါးပီးလိုက္ယင္႕ ၿမိဳ႕မွာေက်ာင္းတက္ဗ်ာလ္ စာကားတလံုးေခ်မရ ဇာေၾကာင္႕လဲ ကၽြန္းမွာေက်ာင္းတက္လာစြာအေၿခခံကားမပါ။ ေက်ာင္းကားတက္ယင္႕၁၀ တန္းမေအာင္ေရေက်ာင္းသားကတပံု
ေအာင္လာၿပန္ေက တကၠသိုလ္ပညာေရးမွာအဆင္႕သက္မွတ္ထားဗ်ာလ္ တကၠသိုလ္ကေလးတၿပည္လံုးေပါင္းမွရာ တခုတည္ဟိေရ ကၽြန္းသားငမန္းမွာအမွတ္ကလည္းမေကာင္း ယင္းပိုင္းဆိုေက အဝီးသင္တက္ဖို႕လုပ္ဗ်ာလ္ မိဘတိမ်က္စိသားေခ်ေက်ာင္းတက္ယင္းနီလခဗ်ာ မထူးဗ်ာလ္သားေခ်ပညာတက္ေကေကာင္းယင္႕ အဝီးသင္စဗ်ာလ္ သံုးႏွစ္တက္ၿပီး ဘဲြ႕ေခ်တခုရဗ်ာလ္ ရလာေရဘဲြ႕အနိမ္႕ဆံုးဘဲြ႕ ဘဲြ႕တလံုးကိုကိုင္ဗ်ာလ္ ရခိုင္သား/သမ အတြက္အလုပ္ကဟိ အလုပ္ေခ်တခုရဖို႕အစိုးရကိုေဖ႕သာပီးရဗ်ာလ္မနားေယ အလုပ္ေခ်တခုရဗ်ာလ္ အလုပ္မွာ ဗ တိက အဓိကနီရာအားလံုးကိုမိုးထားဗ်ာ

ဇာမွာလဲဥစၥာ ရခိုင္ျပည္မွာရခိုင္ရုိ႕တိတြက္အလုက္ကားမဟိ အလုပ္မဟိေကဥစၥာလည္းမဟိ
'သယံဇာတပြားေႃကြဝေရရခိုင္ၿပည္ " ယင္းစကားမွန္ပါေရ အမွန္သယံဇာတပြားေႃကြဝေရရခိုင္ၿပည္ ယင္းသယံဇာတကိုကားရခိုင္ကားမစားရ ပိုင္ရွင္ရုိ႕ယူလားယင္႕ ရခိုင္တိအဝတ္တထည္ေတာင္ကေကာင္ဝယ္မဝတ္ႏိုင္။ အယင္႕အယင္းကFreedom Arakan ေဒဂနီန္႕ Narrow Arakan ျဖစ္နီဗ်ာလ္။ အနာဂါတ္မ်ဳိးဆက္သစ္သား/သမိန္းေခ် တူ/တူမေခ်တိကိုေဒဂနီန္႕ ကၽြန္ေတာ္ရို႕ ခံနီေရအျဖစ္တိကိုလက္ဆင္႕မကမ္းသင္႕လို႕ကၽြန္ေတာ္ျမင္ပါေရ။
ရခိုင္သားရုိ႕ အနာဂါတ္မ်ဳိးဆက္သစ္သား/သမိန္းေခ် တူ/တူမေခ်တိကိုဇာပိုင္အမီြပီးဂတ္ဖိုလဲ။ ကၽြန္ေတာ္ရို႕အနာဂါတ္မ်ဳိးဆက္သစ္သား/သမိန္းေခ် တူ/တူမေခ်တိ ေပ်ာ္ေပ်ာ္ရႊင္ရႊင္နီႏိုင္ဖို႕Freedom Arakan ဆိုေရအမီြကိုပီးဖို႔ ေဒဂနိန္႕ကၽြန္ေတာ္အပါဝင္ရခိုင္တမ်ိဳးသားလံုးႃကိုးစားသင္႕ဗ်ာလ္

Historical periods

Period Years Ruler Notes
Dhanyawady - BC 3325 - AD 326
The First Dhanyawady BC 3325-1483 King Marayu
The Second Dhanyawady BC 1483-580 King Kanrazagree
The Third Dhanyawady BC 580-AD 326 King Chandra Suriya Gautama Buddha, Himself, visited Dhanyawady and the Great Image of Mahamuni was cast, and Buddhism began professing in Rakhine. Currency system by coinage is said to have been introduced in Rakhine economy.
Vesali – Lemro - AD 327–1430
Vesali Kyauk Hlayga AD 327-794 King Dvan Chandra
Sambawak AD 794-818 Prince Nga Tong Mong (Saw Shwe Lu)
Lemro AD 818-1430 King Nga Tone Mun This period was the highest civilization in the Bay and highly prosperous with busy international trade with the West. Pyinsa, Purain, Taung Ngu and Narinsara, Laungkrat cities flourished. Gold and silver coinage was used in trade relation in Rakhine in this period.
Golden Mrauk-U - AD 1430-1784
First Golden Mrauk-U AD 1430-1530 King Mun Saw Mwan
Second Golden Mrauk-U AD 1530-1638 Solidified by King Mun Bun (Mun Ba Gri) Rakhine reached at the zenith of the national unity and of the time of most powerful in the Bay in this period.
Third Golden Mrauk-U Period AD 1638-1784 King Mahathamada Raza
The oldest artefact, stone image of Fat Monk inscribed "Saccakaparibajaka Jina" in Brahmi inscription comes to the date of first century AD.
An ancient stone inscription in Nagari character was discovered by renowned Archaeologist Dr. Forchhammer. Known as Salagiri, this hill was where the great teacher came to Rakhine some two thousand five hundred years ago. Somewhere from eastern part of this hill, a stone image in Dhamma-cakra-mudra now kept in Mrauk-U museum, was found earlier in 1923. This relief sculpture found on the Salagiri Hill represents Buddha preaching King Canda Suriya belongs to 4th century AD; five more red sandstone slabs with the carving were found close by the south of this Salagiri Hill in 1986. They are the same type as the single slab found earlier in 1923. These carving slabs of Bhumispara-mudra, Kararuna-mudra, Dhammacakra-mudara, and Mmahaparinibbana-mudra represent the life of Buddha.
These sculptures provide earliest evident about the advent of Buddhism into Rakhine; during the life time of the Buddha and these discoveries were therefore assumed as the figures of King Canda Suriya of Dyanawady, who dedicated the Great Maha Muni Image. These archaeological findings have been studied by eminent scholars and conclusion is that the Maha Muni was made during the king Sanda Suriya era.
The founder of Vesali city, King Dvan Chandra carved Vesali Paragri Buddha-image in 327 A.D and set a dedicatory inscription in Pali verse
" ye dhamma hetuppabuava / Tathagato aha / tesan ca yo niyodho / evamvadi Mahasamano. "
That Buddha-image is carved out by a single block and the earliest image of Vesali.
The meaning of Ye Dhamma verse is as follow.
" Of these dhammas which arise from causes / The Tathagata has declared causes / Lord Buddha preached about the causes / And the effects gained by the causes / And that which is the ceasing of them, Nirawda Thitesa / This the great ascetic declares. "
The verse, which is considered as the essence of Theravada spirit, bears testimony to the fact that Buddhism flourished to an utmost degree in Vesali. The relationship of Vesali with foreign countries especially Ceylon would be established for Buddhism.
The stone inscriptions are of Sanskrit, Pali, Rakhine, Pru and Arabic languages. Anandacandra Inscriptions date back to 729 AD originally from Vesali now preserved at Shitethaung indicates adequate evidence for the earliest foundation of Buddhism. Dr. E. H. Johnston's analysis reveals a list of kings which he considered reliable beginning from Candra dynasty. The western face inscription has 72 lines of text recorded in 51 verses describing the Anandacandra's ancestral rulers. Each face recorded the name and ruling period of each king who were believed to have ruled over the land before Anandacandra. Archaeology has shown that the establishment of so many stone pagodas and inscriptions which have been totally neglected for centuries in different part of Rakhine speak of popular favored by Buddhism.
The cubic stone inscriptions record the peace making between the governor of Thandaway Mong Khari (1433-1459) and Razadhiraj the Mon Emperor in Rakhine inscription. This was found from a garrison hill at the oldest site of Parein. A stone slab with the alleged figure of the Buddha preaching, King Canda Suriya bore testimony to the Salagiri tradition, depicting of the advent of the Teacher to Dyanyawaddy.
The crowing event in the history of Rakhine was the Convention of the Buddhist Council at the top of golden hill of Vesali under the royal patronage of King Dhammawizaya in 638 AD through joint effort of two countries, Rakhine and Ceylon. This momentous triumph of the great council was participated by one thousand monks from Ceylon and one thousand monks from Rakhine kingdom. As a fitting celebration of the occasion, the lavish construction of pagodas, statues and monasteries were undertaken for the purpose of inscribing the Tripitaka. After Vesali, Pyinsa was found by Lemro dynasty in 818 AD; the great king of dynasty (AD 818-1430) was King Mim-Yin-Phru, who turned his attention towards the development of Buddhism, and in 847 AD he convened the second Buddhist council in Rakhine attended by 800 Arahants. Rakhine chronicles report that therein the Tripitaka and Atthakatha were inscribed on the golden plate and enshrined. Never has there been impediment in the practice of Theravada Buddhist faith since it has introduced in Rakhine. The copious findings of inscription Ye Dhamma verse were practical evidence that Theravada was dominant faith if epigraphic and archaeological sources were to be believed. The Royal patronage has always been significant factor contribution to stability and progress of the religion in Rakhine.
The country had been invaded several times, by the Mongols, Mon, Bamar and Portuguese and finally the Bamar in 1784 when the armies led by the Crown Prince, son of King Bodawpaya, of the Konbaung dynasty of Burma marched across the western Yoma and annexed Rakhine. The religious relics of the kingdom were stolen from Rakhine, most notably the Mahamuni Buddha image, and taken into central Burma where they remain today. The people of Rakhine resisted the conquest of the kingdom for decades after. Fighting with the Rakhine resistance, initially led by Nga Than Dè and finally by Chin Byan in border areas, created problems between British India and Burma. The year 1826 saw the defeat of the Bamar in the First Anglo-Burmese War and Rakhine was ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Yandabo. Sittwe (Akyab) was then designated the new capital of Rakhine. In 1852, Rakhine was merged into Lower Burma as a territorial division.
Rakhine was the center of multiple insurgencies which fought against British rule, notably led by the monks U Ottama and U Seinda.
During the Second World War, Rakhine was given autonomy under the Japanese occupation and was even granted its own army known as the Arakan Defence Force. The Arakan Defence Force went over to the allies and turned against the Japanese in early 1945.
In 1948, Rakhine became independent as a division within the Union of Burma. Shortly after, violence broke out along religious lines between Buddhists and Muslims. Later there were calls for secession by the Rakhine, but such attempts were subdued. In 1974, the Ne Win government's new constitution granted Rakhine Division "state" status but the gesture was largely seen as meaningless since the military junta held all power in the country and in Rakhine. In 1989, the name of Arakan State was changed to "Rakhine" by the military junta.

Arakan History

The people of Rakhine claim a history that began in 3325 BC and archaeological evidence has been found to support this claim. The first independent Rakhine kingdom was established in 3325 BC by King Marayu. Buddhism was introduced into Rakhine during the lifetime of Buddha himself. According to Rakhine Chronicles, Buddha in his lifetime visited the city of Dhannyawadi (Grain Blessed) in 554 BC The Rakhine king Sandar Suriya (Sun Moon) requested Buddha to leave the image of Himself. After casting the Great Image Maha Muni, (Great Sage) Buddha breathed upon it which resembled the exact likeness of the Blessed One.
Ancient Dhannyawadi, lies west of the mountain ridge between the Kaladan and Le-mro riv¬ers. Dhannyawadi could be reached by small boat from the Kaladan via its tributary, the Tharechaung. Its city walls were made of brick, and form an irregular circle with a perimeter of about 9.6 km, enclosing an area of about 4.42 square km. Beyond the walls, the remains of a wide moat, now silted over and covered by paddy fields, are still visible in places. The re¬mains of brick fortifications can be seen along the hilly ridge which provided protection from the west. Within the city, a similar wall and moat enclose the palace site, which has an area of 0.26 square km, and another wall surrounds the palace itself.
At times of insecurity, when the city was subject to raids from the hill tribes or attempted invasions from neigh¬boring powers, there would have been an assured food supply enabling the population to withstand a siege. The city would have controlled the valley and the lower ridges, supporting a mixed wet-rice and taungya (slash and burn) economy, with local chiefs paying allegiance to the king.
From aerial photographs we can discern Dhannyawadi's irri¬gation channels and storage tanks, centered at the palace site. Throughout the history of Rakhine, and indeed the rest of early Southeast Asia, the king's power stemmed from his control of irrigation and water storage systems to conserve the monsoon rains and therefore to maintain the fertility and prosperity of the land. In ceremonies conducted by Indian Brahmins the king was given the magic power to regulate the celestial and terrestrial forces in order to control the coming of the rains which would ensure the continuing prosperity of the kingdom.
Period Years Ruler Notes

History of Arakan Or our Beloved history

The natives of Arakan trace their history as far back as 2666 B.C., and give a lineal succession of 227 native princes down to modern times. According to them, their empire had at one period far wider limits, and extended over Ava, part of China, and a portion of Bengal. This extension of their empire is not, however, corroborated by known facts in history. According to recorded history, a kingdom called Dhanyawadi arose in the Arakan region in the 1st century AD. The famous Mahamuni Buddha (located in Mandalay) was cast in Dhanyawady in around 150 AD. The kingdom of Waithali (Rakhine: Wai-tha-li) was the successor to Dhanyawady from the 3rd century AD.

Arakan reached the zenith of its power in the Bay of Bengal during the Waithali (Vesali), Lemro and Mrauk U periods, but the country steadily declined from the seventeenth century onwards. Chittagong, which was part of Arakan, was invaded and occupied by the Mughal Empire in 1666. Internal instability and dethroning of kings was very common. The Portuguese, during the era of their greatness in Asia, gained a temporary establishment in Arakan; but on December 28th 1784 the province was finally conquered by the Burmese. From that time to time, Arakanese have got colony under Burma controls.
The famous Mahamuni Buddha image was taken as a war trophy by Crown Prince Shwedaung, son of King Bodawphaya and Conqueror of Arakan in 1784, to his capital of Amarapura. (The image was relocated to Mandalay By King Mindon in 1853 when he relocated the capital to Mandalay). The Burmese, after conquering Arakan, came directly into contact with British interests in east India. Burmese seizures of Arakan's neighbouring states of Assam and Manipur and the assault on Shinmaphyu Isle, which was a British outpost in Bengal was the instigating causes of the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824 to 26). Under the Treaty of Yandabo (1826), Burma ceded Arakan and Tenasserim to British India. Arakan was thus one of the first Burmese territories to be ceded to the British. The British made Akyab capital of Arakan, and retained the traditional divisions of the country into the districts of Akyab, Kyaukpyu and Sandoway (Ramree) with a district officer in charge of each. Akyab district originally included the Arakan Hill Tracts, which were detached 1865 and made into a separate district (and which is now Chin State), and also another two of towns to (Irrawady).

With independence and the formation of the Union of Burma (now Myanmar) in 1948, the three districts became Arakan Division, on equal footing with the majority Burmese administrative divisions.

From the 1950s, there was a growing movement for secession and restoration of Rakhine independence. In part to appease this sentiment, in 1974, the Burmese government of Ne Win constituted Rakhine State from Arakan Division giving at least nominal acknowledgment of the majority Rakhine ethnic group.
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