Readers Forum

Your letters: Learning
the history of Rohingya

This is to comment on an article entitled “Myanmar asks RI to help settle Rohingya problem,” (The Jakarta Post, Nov. 21).

A detailed study of the recorded history reveals that both the Rakhine and the Myanmar races are illegal immigrants in occupied Arakan, the homeland of the Rohingya nation, who are the earliest known original indigenous people of the land of Arakan.

Before the eighth century, the area now known as Arakan, had been the seat of Hindu dynasties of Indo-Aryan people. They were the very first ancestors of the Rohingya people.

A new dynasty, known as the Chandras, was founded in the city of Vesali. Arab and Persian seafarers after the advent of Islam carried on trade by the sea-route with many parts of the world including Arakan and Burma since seventh century AD.

Arab Muslims settled in Arakan and Chittagong coasts in the eighth century. Centuries-long relations between the original Indo-Aryan people of Arakan with Arab Muslims gave rise to a unique group of people, who are now known as the Rohingya nation.

Amyathu, the chief of Mro tribe (Mongolian) of Arakan hills invaded Arakan, destroyed the Chandras and seized the throne of Vesali.

Rakhine people (Tibeto-Burman) came into existence after Burmese King Anawrahta’s invasion of Arakan State (First Burmese Invasion of Arakan by Burma).

Arakanese king Narameikhla (aka Meng Soamwun, son of king Rajathu) was the founder and first king (reigned 1404–1434) of the Mrohaung dynasty in Arakan. He was forced in the first year of his reign to flee to Bengal, where he became a vassal to King Ahmad Shah of Gaur. He regained control of Arakan in 1430 with the help of King of Bangal. He built a new capital at Mrohaung (in 1433), which remained the capital of Arakan until the 18th century. As a vassal of the Muslim kings of Gaur, Narameikhla used a Muslim title, Sulaiman Shah.

In 1982, general Ne Win passed new racism-based citizenship law in Myanmar, declaring all Rohingya Muslims as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and deprived them of Burmese citizenship.

 Systematic state-sponsored ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims is in progress, rendering them refugees in their own homeland. The use of vocal forces of the civilized world has not yet been able to halt the continued slaughtering of Ronhigya Muslims in Arakan.

Ong Zo Min

Paper Edition | Page: 8

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