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Rohingya: Allegations and Refutations (Part 1) | M.S.Anwar

Rohingya, the Muslim minority group in Arakan state of Burma, have been under systematic persecutions of tyrannical regimes of Burma since 1962. At present, there is a pre-planned genocide against them being carried on in Arakan by the Burmese regime and Rakhine extremists. Therefore, Rohingyas’ outcry and persecutions and discriminations against them are no longer new to the international communities and the world. According to United Nation, they are one of most persecuted minorities in the world. Human Rights Watch describes them as a minority group which has high possibility of extinction. Who are Rohingyas? Different allegations have been made against them by many Rakhine Bigotry Scholars, Burmese Regime and some of ultra-nationalist Burmese. Some of the allegations are mentioned below together with refutations. 

Allegation #1 

The name Rohingya didn’t exist in the history. Therefore, Rohingyas are not of citizens of Burma or not one of the Burmese ethnic communities. 


Well. The name “Rohingyas” didn’t exist in the history. Did the name “Rakhine” exist in the history? British have recorded Muslims in Arakan as Mohammedans or Chittagonians. So, British were right to do so. What term did British use for the Buddhists in Arakan? Rakhine? Obviously not! If yes, is there any evidence for the fact that British referred Buddhists in Arakan as Rakhines? British were right and honest because they referred Muslims in Arakan as Mohammedans or Chittagonians. The same British were wrong and dishonest because they referred Buddhists in Arakan as “MAGHS.” Why double standard? 

Yet, the use of the term “Rohingya” in the form “Rooinga” existed in 17th century. A dialect was spoken by Muslims in Arakan of Western Burma who had long been settled in Arakan and who called themselves “Rooinga” or “Natives” of Arakan. (Buchanan, 1799) The document can be reached at here

Besides, the word "Rohingya" might be a slight variation of the word "Ruahonga" (in Rakhine meaning "from old village") because the place where Rohingyas used to live was called Ruahong. Rohingyas have the habit of calling someone by the place name where they live. For example, if somebody is from Man-Aung, he will be called as Man-Aunggya, if from RatheThaung, then RatheThaungya and if from ButhiTaung, then Buthi-Thaungya etc. The word Rohingya has formed exactly the way Rakhine has formed from Rakkhasha. 

Allegation #2 

Rohingyas can’t be nationals of Burma because they don’t look like other ethnic minorities of Burma but look like Bengalis or Indians. 


Bangladesh, today’s India, Pakistan, Nepal etc were one nation or empire used to be ruled by same rulers in the history. People in all these countries are generally called Indians or South Asians. People in these nations are mainly of two human stocks, Indo-Aryans and Dravidians, which can hardly be differentiated. Similarly, according to historians, Chittagong region of Bangladesh and Arakan region of Burma were once one nation used to be ruled by the same rulers. Dating back to before Christian (BC) era, there have been highly Indian influences on Arakan religiously, racially and culturally. It can’t, further, be denied by anyone that the earliest Kingdoms of Arakan such as Dhannyawadi and Vaisali were founded by Indians whose Kings had the titles of Gupta and Chandra respectively. 

Indo-Aryan people have been living in Arakan since B.C. 3323. (San-Kyaw-Tun-(Mahawizza), 2010) Who were these Indo-Aryans? Were not they forefathers of the people called Rohingya today? Are Rakhines descendants of Indo-Aryan race? In which group of human stocks did Rakhines fall, Indo-Aryan or Mongoloid? Think and answer! 

Put aside both religions, Islam and Buddhism, and both names, Rakhine and Rohingya for a while. Let us put some logical arguments. Everyone will agree if we say that there were the periods called Dhannyawadi and Vesali in the history of Arakan. No one will deny this. OK, then. Can anybody tell us that the kings or rulers in these two historical periods, which dated back to more than 2000 years, belonged to which stocks of human race, Indo-Aryan (i.e. Indian-look-alike people) or Mongoloid (Mongolian look-alike people)? What are the meanings of terms Dhannyawadi and Vesali (Vaishali)? From which language these terms were derived from? In which stock of human race did Siddartha Gautama Buddha and most of earliest followers, because of whom Buddhism had spread throughout the region, belong to? 

In Arakan history, there were a people called Rakkhasha (in Pali meaning Cannibals) who used to eat even human beings who are strangers to them. The word has varied through historical periods from Rakkhasha to Rakkha to Rakkuain now to Rakhine. According some other people, Rakhine was derived from Pali word Rakkhita (meaning people who look after and take care of their race). Yet, it doesn't matter to us. According to the historians, the place was called Rakkhapura (again in Pali). (, 2012) Has the whole region of Arakan including Chittagong area been called so? Have the cannibals used to live throughout the whole region? 

How did these Rakkhasha people look alike, mongoloid, aryan, caucasians, negroid? Why was a Pali word "Rakkhasha" used to address cannibals? Who named these cannibals as Rakkhasha by using a Pali word? Weren’t there be a parallel people to Rakkasha, who named them so using Pali word? Or have they named them "Rakkhasha" (cannibals) by theirselves using a Pali word? Was Pali the language of cannibals? Wasn't Pali an Indian literature and language? Isn't it originated to India? Arakan was the name of a land, not that of people or race. The word Arakan is the plural form of the Arabic word "Rukn" as well. But I don't mean that Arakan was derived from the Arabic word. It might or might not be. 

Mohammed Sheikh Anwar is an activist, studying Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies at Westminster International College in Malaysia.

  1. Liars dislike to tell the truth....

    The existence of the Rooinga (English form of Rohingya) people in Arakan (Rakhine) State was historically documented in a late 18th century report published by the British, Francis Buchanan-Hamilton. In his 1799 article “A Comparative Vocabulary of Some of the Languages Spoken in the Burma Empire,” Buchanan-Hamilton stated: "I shall now add three dialects, spoken in the Burma Empire, but evidently derived from the language of the Hindu nation. The first is that spoken by the Mohammedans, who have long settled in Arakan, and who call themselves Rooinga, or natives of Arakan" ( This is the unbiased historical evidence that the Rohingya or Rooinga had lived in Arakan (Rakhine) State before 1824, and therefore, they are one of the original races of the Union of Myanmar. Henceforth, it must be noted that the Rohingya ARE NOT Bangalis, who recently illegally penetrated Myanmar after its independence from the UK in 1948, and that the term Rohingya was NOT INVENTED by Bangali immigrants in 1950s. The term Rohingya was used in 1799 by the natives of Arakan, who were of Mohammedan (or Islamic) faith.

    According to a scientific discovery published in the prestigious magazine,
    Science on Oct 15th, 1999 (volume 286(5439): pages 528-30), the modern human beings originated in Myanmar about 45 million years ago. Thus, the Rohingya and the Bangali races are derivatives of the Rakhine and Myanmar races; in other words they are cousins of each other. Therefore, the Rohingya are not illegal immigrants of Myanmar, but are one of the original races of Myanmar. In other words, the Rohingya did not migrate illegally from Bangladesh into Myanmar, but the Bangalis migrated out of Myanmar into present-day Bangladesh. Thus the Bangalis are as well an original race of Myanmar, even though they migrated west to present-day Bangladesh millions of years ago.

    The international community has a responsibility to protect the Rohingya from systematic state-sponsored genocide by the Rakhine and the Maynmarese races. Available evidence indicates that the Rohingya are the most persecuted minority (UN report). The Rohingya are the unfortunate victims of the brutal aggression of the Rakhine and Myanmar regime.To falsely associate them with extremism and terrorism is not only preposterous, but amounts to moral irresponsibility and ethical crime. In stead of raising concern and awareness about the severe abuses of Myanmar military regime, chastising the Rohingya for their sufferings is inhumane. They have been living in Arakan (or Rakhine) State since 8th century. They were Burmese citizens at the birth of the Union of Burma on 4th of Jan 1948. Since 1982 they have been illegally deprived of their lawful citizenship by Ne Win’s military regime. In Myanmar, the Rohingya have no freedom of speech, worship, movement or marriage. They have no access to education or healthcare. Thus we, the civilized world, who are privileged to enjoy these freedoms, must intervene to prevent them from becoming extinct. We must speak up and TAKE MEANINGFUL ACTION for restoring the lawful Myanmar Citizenship without any prejudice  to the Rohingya, granting them basic human rights and civil liberties, similar to those granted by the Constitution of the United States of America to all its Citizens without any discrimination based on race, religion, color or national origin.

  3. အာရီယာန္ ျဖစ္ခ်င္ၾကေသာ မြန္ဂလြိဳက္(ေမာဂ္လူမ်ဳိး) မ်ား ဆက္လက္ျပီး

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