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Rakhaing Guardian

Vol.3, No.4 ISBN-1096-438X January 12, 2013 A PUBLICATION OF BUDDHIST RAKHAING CULTURAL ASSOCIATION NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA www.rakhaingguardian.org

In Defence Of Our Land - The Patrimony Of Rakhaings ----------------------------------------------------------HONOURED VISITOR


By Maung Tha Hla Nearly two months after the much heralded visit of Barack Obama, the first ever by a sitting United States president to Myanmar, a good deal of adverse comment caused by his pro-Bengali speech still persisted in the social media of the land, where private newspapers are yet to be restituted after decades-long ban imposed by the military government. What had sparked the public outcry was his speech which was lopsidedly devoted to the interests of illegal Bengali Muslims portraying them as innocent victims being subjected to human rights abuses and violence. That's provocative enough; but more was his stance to tout the fictitious name,"Rohingya". The terminology was interdicted in the country for the underlying intent that inspired the creation of an Islamic state through a political agenda, having implanted an Islamic foothold and established progeny in the Rakhaing state, which in the past decades was implemented via mass immigration plus the prolific reproduction, compounded with the persistent attrition of the natives, which virtually produced the Bengali Muslim majority ( 97% to 3% ) over indigenous Rakhaings, in the previously Buddhist dominated area of Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships adjoining modern Bangladesh. The massive swamp of Bengali Muslims roused the fears of the natives that their land would be Islamized sooner than later. The nationwide rejection of the term "Rohingya", given its fundamental tenor, explains the visceral appeal of patriotism and solidarity against the Islamic invasion and devotion to the cause of safeguarding the national security and territorial integrity. What is Reconquista to the United States, "Rohingya" is to Myanmar. Reconquista as implied is retaking by Mexico, via massive immigration, of the territories of California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico which, the radical Hispanic activists claimed, were stolen by the Europeans. However, in the case of "Rohingya", which is conceptually infused with Islamic separatism had no lost territory to be reclaimed; on the contrary the proponents are no other than pugnacious squatters, the majority of them were

imported by the British colonialists and those who sneaked into the Rakhaing land in the opening decades of national independence. Regrettably, Obama unfairly sided with the divisive-spirited illegal Bengalis in the intercommunal violence and placed the blame for the Muslims on the Buddhists regardless of the fact that the Bengali problems were attributable to their own actions, the long festering offences which have been simmering for seven decades. Moreover, the natives were accused of promulgating hatred; the stark reality, however, is that the hatred is precisely what the Bengalis themselves promoting. They were avowedly dedicated to the Islamic nationalism and selfidentification of them as a political polity, who having stuck to the Bengali dialect and tenaciously resisted the native culture, stoked up fires of animosity against the natives. The Rakhaings were victims of the hideous crimes perpetrated by the horrific Bengalis, which included the human rights abuses and the ruthless slaughters, other than the alien encroachment upon their ancestral land. Yet, the illegal Bengali immigrants slavishly disseminated negative messages around the world to arouse resentment against the host country, playing the race and religion card. The immigration question has been a major issue in many nations across the globe, which calls for anti-immigrant legislation and tightening of borders. The United States, which is an immigrant nation, still struggles with immigration issues and anti-immigrant arguments are as old as the nation itself. As much as controversial is the immigration question today, wrangling in the Congress, no less intensive was the polemic in the past. In 1751 Benjamin Franklin called the Pennsylvania Germans a "swarthy" group. He complained, " Why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlement and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion." Besides, the gross injustice as well as violation of human and civil rights based on race and colour of skin is manifest in the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the Chinese Exclusion of 1868-82 and Japanese/Korean Exclusion of 1906-24. History shows that no country is entirely exonerative of human rights violations or racism. The United States makes its name for the policy of regime change in foreign lands through the gunboat diplomacy; nevertheless, the Obama Administration went a step further to alter the composition of indigenous ethnic groups of Myanmar. The manipulation was engineered via the "Background Note: Burma" published by the U.S. Department of States in August 2011. "PEOPLE : The majority of Burma's people are ethnic Burman, Shan, Karen, Rohingya, Arakanese (Rakhine), Kachin, Chin, and Mon, together smaller indigenous ethnic groups, represent about 30% of the population. Indians and Chinese are the largest non-indigenous groups."

Whereas, the main indigenous ethnic groups as enshrined in the 1947 Constitution, upon which the Union of Burma was founded, and its successors are as follows: Burmese, Shan, Karen, Rakhaing (Arakanese), Kachin, Chin, Mon and Kayah, each group is indigenous to the respective tribal land. The Indians (Hindus and Muslims, including the Bengalis in question) and the Chinese were explicitly featured as foreigners to the land. It could well be opined that the unscrupulous maneuver substituting the ethnic Kayah with the alien Bengali "Rohingya", was not out of non-conversant with the history of Myanmar, but politically in line with Obama's obsession with the undermining sentiment of "CHANGE", which later became the motto of his reelection campaign. It is hard to avoid observation that charismatic Obama asserted his position as the president of the super power in order to boost the legitimacy of the Bengali claim to being an ethnic group of the land, and to put pressure on the Government as well as the Opposition to attend to the human rights of the jihadist separatist Bengalis and grant them full citizenship; thereby accomplishing his mission as a faithful surrogate of the Muslim world which had failed to realize the Islamic political agenda by itself. None the less, any measure under foreign pressure, as was evident in the instance of OIC and ASEAN, could prove counter-productive. Gambling with Bengali immigrant issue is definitely not the option if someone was looking for a way to appease the Muslim world. Make no mistake about the ethnic nationalities of Myanmar; they are not to be coerced. So too is the Union not to be blackmailed. The Union of Myanmar, which is a sovereign nation, will never ever countenance part of the Rakhaing state being created as an Islamic enclave located right on the common border with the very Islamic country, the former homeland of the jihadist separatists, whereto they pledged to accede, nor would it be forced to pardon all the illegal Bengali immigrants under a blanket citizenship programme. As a matter of fact no country welcomes just anybody who makes it across the border, or permits the kind of unrestricted mass immigration and unscreened citizenship that the radical fringe of the Muslim world and the human rights fanatics and multicultural zealots of the West demanded Myanmar to carry through. Those who have good claim will be considered for the citizenship in accordance with the provisions of the 1982 Citizenship Law which is consistent with the contemporary norms. Just because the Bengali immigrants are inside the country they do not earn the right to become bona fide citizens of Myanmar no matter how long they have lived in the country, let alone to be recognized as a national race of the land, notwithstanding whatever name of figment hankered after. The parasitic "Rohingya" are inherently foreign and alien to Myanmar. ************ The writer is founding president of the Buddhist Rakhaing Cultural Association of the United States of America, a non-profit organization in New York City.