To better understand towards the Arakanese Rohingya plights of ethnic cleansing, displacements, unavoidable migrations and consequences, the occasions from 1784 up to year 2001 are compiled as follow.
(1) 1784-1824- The 40 year Burmese tyrannical rule of Arakan:
1784- Burman King Bo Daw invasion of Arakan took the lives of tens of thousands of Arakaneses of all faiths were massacred.
Again in 1794-96, the revolution to over throw Burman ruler resulted another massacred..
The both crises sent almost two-thirds of both muslims and Buddhists about 200,000 people into Cittagong area, or today's Cox's Bazzar in Bangladesh, which was then controlled by the British.
The Burman forces demolished mosques, temples and shrines and stole the treasures of Arakan including the Mahamuni statue. They conscripted and enslaved many, some of whom died out of fatigue and hunger while the living ones were settled at other parts of Burma.
After British rule installed in 1824, some of the both groups were able to return but it was largely happened in 1885- after 80 years so. Those returnees were second or the third generations of those fled in 1824 and 1796.
Would the both groups of Rohingyans and Rakhines be considered as British brought migrants?
(2) 1942- Massacre:
During the British troops were retreating to India, communal violence erupted in Arakan. Attacks were made against those groups that had benefited from British colonial rule. Burman nationalists attacked Karen and Indian communities, while in Arakan Rakhine and Rohingya villagers attacked one another causing a displacement of Buddhist villagers to the south and Muslims to the north.
The British handed over the power to commissioner U Kyaw Khiang then ruled Martial Law. British soldiers left arms reached to the hands of Rakhines and started massacred against Rohingyas. The pogrom was instructed by the order of Arakan state Tha-khin leaders and organized by Commissioner U Kyaw Khine.
· On 28 March, the massacre started in Chinbili village of Minbya township and escapee Rohingyas about 15,000 were slaughtered on their arrival to Thaungyi Nyo.
· Again, about 10,000 Rohingyas who passed Apawa were also killed in the same way.
· On1st April, 15,000 Rohingyas were killed in Raichaung and Pankha villages of Myebon town.
· It continued to Kyauknimaw village of Rambree town but saved in miraculous way. Rohingyas in Kyaukpyu were were given protection by British forces.
· On 8th April, continuously slaughtered in Kyauktaw, Mrohaung, Pauktaw and Rathidaung.
· End of April, onslaught swept over Rathidaung and Buthidaung and three fourths of Rohingyas were killed.
· In Akyab, Rohingyas acquired arms and the conditions was both defensive and offensive operation under leader Sultan Mohammad.
This campaign caused total 294 Rohingyas villages destroyed, about 100,000 Rohingyas massacred and some 80,000 Rohingya uprooted to Raungpur refugee camp of Bangladesh.
The dead bodies of Rohingya children during 1942
The region remained under the Japanese control until the British rule installed in 1945. Prior to invasion, the British- seeking to bolster support for their forces had promised to form the Rohingya autonomy in the northern Arakan. But it was not honored except from assisting for returning of Rohingya refugees those refuged in East Pakistan (present Bangladesh).
(3)1949- the Burma Territorial Force (BTF)
It was organized in 1949 to suppress the Rohingyas. Most of BTF members were extremist Rakhine people. The measures of BTF period and their brutality still shudders the conscience of every living Rohingya till today. BTF unleashed a reign of terror in North Arakan under the director of U Kyaw Oo, the firebrand Rakhine Deputy Commissioner of Akyab district.
This pogrom escalated killing of hundreds of people and burning several villages, thousands of Rohingyas were homeless and nearly 50,000 had fled to the East Pakistan.
Maung Gri was the first commanding officer in 1950; Capt Saw Hla Aung was replaced and then transferred them to Union Military Police (UMP). There were many cases of rapes on innocent ladies were taken outside of their homes and taken away for some days and returned later. Even elderly women were not left untouched in the villages where the BTFs and UMPs were moving.
1958-60 during the Ne Win’s Care Taker Government,
27 villages of Maungdaw northern side of Arakan State were uprooted by army led by Bo Tin Kyaw and drove the villagers into the then East Pakistan.
While in Shan state, martial Law was declared and combating against indigenous civilians and Chinese ethnic armed group.
Later, the government reached the agreement to repatriate Rohigyas those fled into East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) and India.
However, those did manage to return were considered as illegal Pakistani immigrants. The properties and lands of all these refugees have been confiscated. The immigration authorities imposed limitations of movement upon all muslims from northern Arakan regions. And Rakhines authority corporately with the government control many town through Arakan.
Therefore an armed group of Rohingya led by popular singer Jafar Hussain and his group did stand against the government. Anyhow, it gained influenced against the central government thereupon the government finally came to share- “equal opportunities such as recognition of their rights, some governmental posts, airing Rohingya language via Burmese Broadcasting Service-BBS, forming special ‘Mayu Frontier District’ consisting Maungdaw, Buthidaung and some part of Rathedaung- directly administered by central government”.
The government also severally announced recognition of Rohingya through local Burmese newspaper.
Prime Minister U Nu and U Ba Swe, announced, “The Rohingyas are equal in every way with other minority races like the Shan, Kachin, Karen, Kayah. Mon and Rakhine. They have lived in Burma for ages, according to historical facts. They are of Islamic faith. There is historical evidence that they have lived faithfully and harmoniously with other races of the Union.”
U Soe Shwe Thaike, the first President of the Union of Burma also told, while he was in the highest office, that “Rohingya is and indigenous race as he himself (a Shan) and there is no different between Rohingya and Shan in the case of Nationality.”
Rohingyas participated in official “Union Day” celebration of Burma’s racial groups in the Burmese capital (Rangoon) every year.
However, all of those rights were dismissed progressively since military coup Ne Win took over the power from civilian government U Nu from 2nd March 1962.
(4) 1967-68- Ngazinka Operation:
The authority sent several ships to Kyauktaw township and Rakhines were chanting to cleans kalars.
That began with slaughtering some Rohingyas captured outside and looting properties and seizing lands.
The situation was not much worse but most of them had experienced in 1942 and tended to escape by yachts and boats. Some of them returned from Bangladesh after a year and some of the rest those remained were travelled for other countries.
· Muslim houses in Manaegya fara (market area) in the main area of the town, were reduced slowly by replacing Rakhines, monasteries and expansion of market lots from 1967.
· Rungsu fara in Dok-kan-chaung Rakhine village and Borgua fara in Boseingya village with mixed of a few Hindu residents, were replaced with Rakhines in 1967. And many farming lands in Dokkanchaung, Ambare, Boseingya villages were confiscated. Some half of the Ambare lands were retained later after one of the villager appealed to central administration.
(5) In 1977-78- Nagamin Operation(King of Dragons):
The program is a census operation to check immigration status and to take “actions against who found to be foreigners”. The program was wide scope in Arakan and it degenerated into brutal abuses followed by arbitrary prosecutions, violences including rapes and vandalizing by both the army and local Rakhines.
· On Feb 6 of 1977, the operation introduced firstly in the biggest Rohingya village Thakaybyin (Sakkipara) of Akyab and started mass arrests and killings.
· On 11 Feb, hundreds of Rohingyas from Akyab were loaded by ships and sank into Akyab-bay.
· On March, it reached at Buthidaung and Maungdaw and started rappings, killings, imprisonments.
· In Kyauktaw, several ships led by immigration authority landed to load Rohingyas. Rohingyas resisted some how therefore some de-factor Rakhines collaborated with authorities that caused about hundreds of Rohingyas deaths.
Within 3 months over 300,000 Rohingyas crossed into Bangladesh where about 200,000 Rohingyas took shelter in makeshift camps erected by Bangladeshi government.
Most of them about 200,000 Rohingyans were forcefully repatriated after 9 months of arrival under the bilateral agreement singed on 9 July 1978. Half of those remained in Bangladesh travelled for other countries. The rest about 40,000 mostly women and children were died from illness and severe malnutrition after rations were cut to compel them to leave the refugee camps.
Because of bilateral agreement which did not meet intl standard, Rohingyas had to languish again without land and recognition of their status, as well as, various restrictions engaged upon their return. They had been randomly settled within Maungdaw township and desperately languished there.
Again in 1982, the government introduced new citizenship act that strucked-off the Rohingya from citizenship and officially rendered as stateless that based on the changes of Arakan & Arakanese to Rakhine in 1974. Further complexities are requirement of speaking national language and evidence of residing in Arakan prior to 1823 (before British Intervention).
At the time no Burmese had citizenship IDs so who else had such prove? Not speaking Burmese language which prescribed as national language from 1984- would be disqualified from citizenship? Only evidences are ancestral lands and historical existences but they were also confiscated and demolished and then officially registration was banned for Rohingya in the ahead of such Laws changes?
By 1983, Gwa, Taungup, Tandwe and Ponnagyuan townships defined as muslim-free-zones by the government. It is tantamount to official killing license offering to Rakhines. Since then, muslims those captured in these regions are judged by Rakhine people. In this manner, hundred of muslims those found and captured in these regions were took over by Rakhine people and brutally killed.
Confiscation and Destructions: There were many villages and lands confiscated. A few of those escalated are as below.
· An ancient shrine Buddar Mukan (Bodumuhun) mosque situated near Akyab/Sittwe Point and ancient Baziaraa mosque situated the southern part of Akyab/Sittwe Lake (Kandawgyi), were confiscated and authority and monks are trying to change the mosque to monastery by painting yellow colour and putting idols, placing the images of their Gods and building small temples.
· Rohingya farming lands from today call Ye new Su (Derum fara) of Akyab/Sittwe town, were confiscated in 1978 and replaced with Police Residential Area from later of 1990.
· Sangadaung village of Kyauktaw town, was demolished in 1976 and replaced with the Sugar Mill in 1982 that is the only Sugar Mill for western Burma. The villagers were relocated to Falom fara.
· Again in 1995, both new settlers of Sangadaung and the villagers of Falom fara were forcefully removed to 7 miles farer area. But, all villagers came back and settled near by the edge of the old Falom-fara village.
· Maung Tha Gon (Rwa Handaa Fara) village including ancient Musa Pali mosque of Mrauk Oo town, were demolished in about 1983. The villagers were relocated in Kan Paw village and their lands were used for model village of Rakhines and military purposes.
(Stone stucture Majah Pali (a) Musa Pali Mosque, built in1513-1515)
(6) Pyi Tha Ya Operation in 1991:
Rohingya who had fled to Bangladesh were the first to report a dramatic increase in the number of soldiers being posted to northern Arakan state and up-surged
inhumane abuses of executions, rapes, tortures and prosecutions including forced labour to build barracks and bamboo fences, new roads and bridges, dig environmental ponds and scout sentinel.
The biggest Rohingya village Sakkipara/Thatkaybyin of Sittwe/Akyab, was demolished as a ahead of operation..
Along the operation, hundred of model village settlements had been located on the lands of Rohingyas in all over Northern Arakan state and the rest dozens were located in Southern Arakan from 1991..
In May 1991, the first of some 100,000 Rohingya refugees had arrived in Bangladesh and the numbers raised at total 270,00 by March 1992, and increased as total 268,000 in the middle of 1992 and hosted in 20 refugee camps. Most of them were from Maungdaw, Buthidaung, Rathidaung and Akyab towns.
After bilateral agreement was signed between GoM and GoB, forceful deportation started with the title of repatriation from 1992 September regardless of the refugees' dignity, rights and recognition guarantee.
The first group of 15,000 Rohingyans repatriated by Dec 1992 and dozens were killed for military unit's harshly intervention in deportation.
On the second time, UNHCR achieved agreement with GoB and repatriated 35,000 Rohingyans by Nov 1993 that enabled to close 3 camps.
Despite repatriated refugees turned back to Bangladesh, UNHCR upheld similar task and directly made agreement with GoM in order to repatriate large scale of remaining 190,000 Rohingya refugees with the date line- Dec 1995 and proclaimed that the situation in Arakan is conductive to return. As well as, Relief operations were suspended to compel refugees to leave the camps.
Most of repatriated Rohingya refugees turned back the second time into Bangladesh but they didn't approach refugee camp for fear of similar forceful deportation..
Deportations were continued up to 1998 and reached in aggressive in some points. In the mid July 1997, a group of 350 refugees mostly women and children were rounded up midnight and deported under gun-points.
That made Refugees themselves had to set up strong community in order to avoid forceful deportation. Finally by Oct 1998, Bangladesh security forces took over control of refugee camp and arrested all acting Rohingya leaders who were defending from disposing refugees into danger. Many of whom remain in the prison today.
By March 1998, another 64 group of Rohingyans were jailed with the charges of arming weapons after reported 'armed refugee militants in the refugee camp'.
A memorandum submission of the All Burma Democratic Force-ABDF at Bangladesh embassy in KL- Malaysia on 14 Jan 2009, raised concern regarding those Rohingya prisoners. However, no attention has been paid.
From 1992 in Northern Arakan, Rophingyas were compelled to accept white colour “Temporary Registration Cards-TRCs”, locally known as "white cards"- that written Bengali race and that acquired to attain Travelling Permit form(4) for travelling purpose, even village to village. This was nothing but a design to degrade their national status and put them in a state of uncertainty.
Coercion reports of huge payment for attaining travelling permit, taxation in at least eight gates for one way to Sittwe from Maungdaw, arbitrary punishment and fine in case failed to report on time and extortion, were uncountable. Upon arrival in other town, needing again to report at 12 quarters..
17 Nov 1994, there was a communal violence in Akyab, in which at least 2 Rohingyas were killed, one of them was a pregnant woman and several others were wounded.
In 1994, about 4,000 young Rohingyas from all over Maungdaw and Buthidaung towns were taken away by military intelligence under the command of former Gen. Khin Nyunt- the Secretary (1) and all of them were killed in cool blood. No one has ever returned to his families, even where about dead bodies were not known.
Home Minister’s verdict (1996): Lt. Gen. Mya Thinn, Home Minister, recalled the Muslims population of Rakhine State was not recognized as citizen of Myanmar under the existing naturalization regulations and they were not even registered as so-called foreign residents.
Consequently, the Minister added, their status situation did not permit them to travel in the country---They are also not allowed to serve in the state positions and are barred from attending higher educational institution quoted by Special Rapporteur Professor Yozu Yokota.( Feb.1996).
The quotations of former chief of military intelligence, U Aung Lin Tun who takes refuges in USA in July 2011, had already quoted about the general Than Shwe's directl instruction to the Secretary-3(general Win Myint) to execute Rohingyans in once. Four grandsons of Maung Kyaw Nu, leader of Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand were among the deaths.
In Mrauk Oo and Minbya townships the SLORC troops had uprooted the Rohingya villages.
In 1992, Aung Daine village and Nyung Pin Zay village near by jetty and selectively Rohingya houses from Shit Taung including Shwedah Qazi Mosque, were demolished. The villagers were removed to Kwan Lon (Kha-wa-lon@Mandarabyin) village. And the places were replaced with Electric Station and barricades.
By July 1994, of Nala Fara of Minbya township and Min Thara Pyin, Aa-Lae-Zay@Shwe Gu Daung , Ponna Mraung villages of Mrauk-U township, were demolished by Military forces-540.
Nala Fara villagers were firstly sent to Maungdaw town and secondly others. In this manner, about
10,000 Rohingyas of these villagers were brought to Maungdaw township. Mr Dil Mamad now living in Darwin town of NT, Austrlaia, was one of the victims.
Rohingya villagers from Kyauktaw town had been ordered to quit their villages since then. Thousands of them were herded into boat and carried to Maungdaw north and south starting a fresh drive to Bangladesh.
From 4 Jan 1995, the government authority forced to relocate Rohingya villages of Paiktay (Fishing village). When Rohingya refused to move, police and military forces were heavily deployed and several ships were landed to load the villagers. Such occasions were recurred again and again and many Rohingya were also detained.
A well respected Rohingya leader who defended in every occasion is now taking now taking refuge in Malaysia.
1996-97 Refugees influx:
In 1996, the UNHCR estimated that 5,500 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh while other relief agencies said there might be 10,000. They fled because of forced labour, lack of freedom of movement, and the forcible disappearance of family members were the main cause of leaving Burma.
In 1997, about 10,000 to 20,000 Rohingya refugees entered Bangladesh because of increased of forced labour, heavy taxation and some instances of rape. Both of the refugee influxes did not get refugee status from Bangladesh government nor UNHCR. So, they have been living in rural area of Bangladesh, particularly in Cox’s Bazar District.
In early 1998 in Sittwe, a sectarian attack was sparked from confrontation between Rohingya and Rakhine students in a tea shop of Minbargyi Road. Despite the fight was over, the street people Rakhines gangly came to attack the village at nights. Rohingya people were came out and resisted against Rakhines. The attacks were continued nearly a week and both sides suffered injuries but the news of Rahkhines hurt was spilled across the town when Rohingyas can not lodge a report.
As demand made by Rakhine community, Police authority of No(1) Polcie station started arresting of Rohingyas who ever found during the night around Ambarlar. At least hundred of Rohingya youths were arrested and released by ransom payment after tortured days to weeks. Poor Rohingyas those unable to made payment were asked to finger rich-man Rohingya and released after weeks of detention.
The Akyab Massacre in 2001: The genocidal rampage was started on 4 Feb 2001 in Akyab/Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State, at the very presence of military personnel and police.
The monk U Pinya Zyara who entered lately from Bangladesh was organizer for this riot.
In the riots, some Rohingyas were killed and wounded. And some houses, shops and hotels owned by Rohingya were burnt down into aches by the unruly Buddhist mob. 4 houses from down town Ambarlar (Aungmingala area) including Ali Hussein's house and 21 houses from Nazi village were burnt down.
Police and soldiers reportedly stood-by and did nothing to stop the violence initially. It was several hours before they intervened. None of those Rakhine perpetrator was arrested. Instead, police authority arrested about hundred of Rohingya youths including acting leaders.
Those burnt down lannds in Nazi village were seized and replaced with new Enterprises and the villagers were relocated in Santole and new Thatkaybyin villages. A month later, the monk U Pinya Zyara was imprisoned but released shortly after one year.
Rohingyas from Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships are totally barred to travel to Akyab since the riots. Later, Rohingya Muslims from other townships of Arakan State are not allowed to travel to Akyab.
In 2007, some thousands of Rohingyans from Northern Arakan-NRS had been issued 'Temporary Registration Certificate-TRC by immigration authority with involvement of UNHCR, regardless of ethnic identity and dignity because the measure was only to tackle to reduce statelessness. TRCs issuing started again from September 2009.
Since the white cards issuing had been largely succeeded in NRS, it came to introduced at the Southern Arakan-SRS and many acting Rohingya leaders from both Southern and Northern Arakan were detained for refusing it.
In Kyaukatw, the unlawful order was instantly released by Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) authority, U Aung Kyaw Oo followed by departments of Immigration, Police, Municipal and Local groups for urgent relocation of the Fishing village (Paiketay Yat) as a result of their refusal to accept Temporary Registration Card or Foreigner Censorship Card.
The first protest groups of 30 Rohingya villagers are detained in Police custody of Kyauktaw Township on 7 October 2009.
Confiscation, Destructions and Model Village Settlements:
There were many villages demolished, many lands confiscated and hundreds of model villages of Rakhines were relocated on the lands of Rohingya in all over Arakan and most of them can be seen in Northern Arakan-NRS. In 2004 alone, about 40 model villages were built on Rohingya people lands in Northern Arakan. According to Mr Mamad, former senior staff of WFP for Buthidaung town, the total number of model village settlements could be about 80 in Maungdaw town and about 20 in Buthidaung town. A few of those escalated except from Northern Arakan-NRS are as below.
In Sittwe town;
1. The old Thatkaybyin (Sakki Fara) village demolished in a ahead of Pyitaryar Operation-1991 when Win Myint promoted as a Rakhine state command-commander who later became the third secretary of Burma and died in an accident in Mawlamyine. The village was replaced with Military Missile Force, (818)-Military Camp, Military Communication Camp(4) and Training Field.
2. The old Santole<