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.
The New Encyclopaedia Britannica ( 1st Edition 1768 - 15th Edition 1998 )
(Vol - 3)
Page No. 513
SAVE ARAKAN OF BURMA
Home News Mail
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.
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.
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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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).
THE ARAKANESE (RAKHINE) COMMUNITY
IN BANGLADESH MAUNG USHANG
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.
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