Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Some Sanskrit Inscriptions of Arakan

Some Sanskrit Inscriptions of Arakan

By E. H. Johnston
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 11, No. 2. (1944), pp. 357-385.


PROFESSOR E. H. JOHNSTON'S sudden death in October, 1942, was a grievous blow to Oriental research. Sir Richard Burn, called in by the authorities of Balliol College to go through his papers, found amongst them a rough manuscript article and other material on the Sanskrit inscriptions of Arakan, together with correspondence on the subject with Mr. G. H. Luce and other scholars who had supplied him with rubbings and photographs. As will be seen from the following letter to Mr. Luce, dated the 15th August, 1942, Professor Johnston was contemplating the preparation of this work for publication:

“I have not yet heard what is your opinion about publishing some of the Arakanese results now. Life is short and uncertain these days, and it will hardly be possible to get anything out in Epigraphia Birmanica for years to come. What I should like to do is to publish Anandacandra's inscription, omitting all I have said in the draft about the paleography and just mentioning the others, with a brief account of the coins and of the historical conclusions. For one thing it might attract the attention of linguists and lead to some ideas about the vernacular names; e.g. what language is, Sevinren, assuming my reading to be correct? The fuller consideration of details could then be reserved till Epigraphia Birmanica is ready to come about. "

“I am hopeful that some day I may get more out of some of the other inscriptions than I have so far, e.g. I was looking the other day at what I called in my draft paper the `separate inscription ' and realized at once that it has a name Prabhacandra in the first line (I suspect that this is not the beginning of the inscription), and about the middle I can read bhupalah 8Sri Candakeyura varmma. Who were these people? Local lords in the interregnum between the Candra dynasty and Vajrasakti ? Quite possible palaeographically on my dating of it. One day I may get a few consecutive words out of several other lines. I suspect it of containing some sort of genealogical list.

“The coinage I am still in difficulty about. The typical Candra coinage is certainly connected with Vengi, and it is the earlier conch-shell and vardhamana coins that beat me. The two I put at the head of the photograph are certainly the original design, but the actual specimens may be much later. The type seems to occur all over Burma and even in Siam, and it seems, from Sir R. Temple, in the Indian Antiquary for 1927 and 1928, that similar coins were struck in Calcutta for a king of Burma some time before 1823 ; but I have not checked his references yet. Do you know a pamphlet he refers to by Captain C. H. White, printed at Akyab in 1892, `Notes and References to a Selection of Symbolical and Historical Coins of Arakan '? Temple says it is in the India Office, but probably it is quite ungetatable at present. What I have written about these coins wants much reconsideration. I have got evidence from Madras of the association of the vardhamana and conch-shell with Laksmi, unfortunately only about the ninth century A.D."

Professor Johnston had not put the finishing touches to his work, and it would not have been possible to publish his MS. but for the generous labour of Mr. Luce and Dr. Barnett. Mr. Luce deciphered the often difficult handwriting and made a clean typescript copy, querying anything .about which he was doubtful. Dr. Barnett checked Professor Johnston's reading of the inscriptions and provided English translation and necessary notes, which are all marked by enclosure in square brackets.

Professor Johnston's article, besides its palaeographic interest-his remarks on this subject have not been omitted-is of historical importance, as giving the first solid foundation for the study of ancient Arakan, and as indicating the valuable results likely to be achieved by full-scale archaeological excavation at Vesali, Mrohaung, and other sites.

J. A. S.


The early history of Arakan is still a complete blank in the histories, all that is known of it being dynastic lists in late Chronicles, which, as will appear below, cannot be relied on for either names or dating, and the coins of a few kings which have yet to be arranged in chronological order. If scholars have neglected this province hitherto, that is largely due to its geographical position on the confines of India and Burma. Not unnaturally the historians of the latter country have hitherto directed their efforts to elucidating such facts as can be ascertained about Burma proper, and the scanty resources available to the Burmese Archaeological Service have not been adequate to undertaking serious excavations in Arakan. Indologists on the other hand have felt little interest for an area in which, even at the period dealt with here, Indian civilization was not a natural product, but was imposed on the country from without. The existence of one long inscription in Sanskrit, however, has been known for some time, though it has not yet been edited, and it is proposed to bring together here such epigraphic and numismatic material as is available for the period previous to A.D. 1000.

The following inscriptions in Sanskrit have been examined by me, all in rubbings belonging to the Rangoon University, except that from the Sandoway district, which I have read from the original stone :

(1) A votive inscription in two lines on a monastery bell found at Vesali near Mrohaung (Plate IV, 1); for establishing the reading of certain doubtful characters use has been made of photographs supplied by the Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey, Burma. The bell has been damaged in two places, so that the name of the donor is illegible and one other character is destroyed. It is said to be now at Akyab in the charge of the Honorary Archaeological Officer.

(2) A votive inscription on a stone obtained by Colonel G. E. Fryer in 1872 from a cave near Nga-lun-maw, Kwelu circle, Sandoway district, and published (but not read) by him with a very poor eye-copy in the Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1879, p. 201. The stone, which measures approximately 17.4 x 14 cm. and is 2.4 to 2.7 cm. thick, passed at his death to the Royal Asiatic Society, who have recently deposited it on loan in the Museum of the Indian Institute, Oxford; another stone from the same neighbourhood with the ye dharma verse on it should also be with the Society, but has not been traced so far. The surface of the stone has scaled off in parts, making it impossible to be sure about the reading of the fifth line (Plate IV, 2).

(3) The ye dharmda verse inscribed round a small stone stupa at the northwest entrance of the Tejarama monastery, half a mile north of Mrohaung. Apparently the whole verse was inscribed in two lines, but only a portion of the first line is legible with certainty.

(4) A thirty-line inscription, now in the inscription-shed at Mrohaung, which was found half a mile east of that town, two furlongs east of the Middle Bazaar, at Wunhtitaung Hill. Part of the inscription is irretrievably lost, and I can only read occasional words of the rest with any certainty, not enough to determine the nature or object of the record; unfortunately no proper name has been identified by me, but an attempt to read it from the stone, instead of from a rubbing, might conceivably lead to greater success. (5) Most important of all are the inscriptions on a pillar now at the Shitthaung pagoda at Mrohaung, its original position being unknown. The oldest inscription, of about 100 lines in a small neat script, is on the east face; some of it is destroyed, and the rest is so rubbed that nothing consecutive can be made out from the rubbing, though prolonged examination of the actual stone might produce a tolerable reading for the lower part. Of about the same date are four lines on the top end of the north face. The west face has a prasasti of 71 ½ lines in honour of a king called Anandacandra, which is fairly well preserved and can mostly be read with certainty. 'A short account of it, based evidently on an inferior rubbing, was given by Hirananda Sastri in the Annual Report of the Archaeological Survey of India for 1925-6, pp. 146-8. I should acknowledge here the help I have received in reading this inscription from a reading of the last fifty lines prepared some years back by Dr. N. P. Chakravarti, Government Epigraphist for India, for the Archaeological Survey of Burma, which was unfortunately never revised for publication.- I have therefore thought it proper not to quote it when our results differ. This record is of capital importance for the early history of Arakan, as the correctness of the dynastic list which it gives is corroborated by the coins to a considerable extent; we thus have a reliable skeleton framework, going back 359 years from some date early in the eighth century A.D., with some information, possibly not equally sound, for the preceding 188 years. For reading this inscription, I have made use of two excellent rubbings belonging to the University of Rangoon; in a number of cases, where one is not clear, the other gives the doubtful character more legibly. I have also had at my disposal photographs taken many years back by the Archaeological Survey, but these appear to have been taken after the marks on the surface had been filled in with some white substance for greater legibility, and this process was not carried out with sufficient accuracy for the photographs to be usable with safety, except in a few instances, where their indications have corroborated readings of which I might otherwise have been in doubt. In a few lines the last few characters have been cut away at some later date, perhaps when the pillar was removed from its original site and had to be fitted into a new position (Plate III). Beneath this inscription are two short lines in a later hand (about tenth century?), whose purpose is not clear to me. On the north face the early inscription is followed by several later inscriptions, in an untidy hand of the tenth century, which have been considerably damaged, and though I have read a number of words, these are not enough to enable me to attempt a reading of them; as in the case of the east face, much more could probably be done by expert examination of the actual stone. The total number of lines in these is sixty-nine. Finally there is an inscription, almost entirely illegible, on the top of the pillar, but the very few readable letters on it do not justify any positive conclusions about its date, except that it is probably not distant in time from those just mentioned on the north face.1

The palaeography of these inscriptions is of considerable interest, and allows certain inferences to be drawn as to the nature of Indian influence in Arakan. When these inscriptions are compared with the few which have been published from Burma proper, the curious point arises that the scripts used in Arakan, unlike those in Burma, all find close analogies with those current in North-Eastern India, and I propose dates accordingly in this paper in consonance with the principles which would be applied to inscriptions from that part of India. The justification for this procedure lies in the results, namely, a logical development of the alphabets and a coherent scheme of dates, covering a number of centuries; the parallelism is so exact that we need hardly assume any substantial " time-lag " for the introduction of changes; that assumption would in the circumstances make it necessary to postulate a time-lag of similar length in all cases throughout a period of five centuries.

The first three inscriptions, which are of a purely religious character, belong to a tradition other than that which characterizes the remainder; the traces of this tradition in Eastern India have not hitherto been fully recognized.2 The bell-inscription, which I take first, is shown by its forms for

1 [Prof. Johnston succeeded in deciphering many letters of the inscription on the north face, but his results were too fragmentary to be published.]

2 For these three the plates in the excellent paper by Dr. S. N. Chakravarti, JASB., iv, 1938, pp. 352-391, on the development of the Bengali character should be consulted. But his view that inscriptions can be dated by consideration of one or two crucial characters is only valid when datable records are available in such numbers that development can be traced from

the letters ka and sa and its tripartite ya to be probably not later than A.D. 650. Other indications, particularly the forms of sa and ma, suggest the unlikelihood of its being much earlier, but the script has some unusual features, partly archaic. Da has the curve rounded, without the point on the left of the curve or the later short cross-stroke at the end of it, and dha is a small complete circle. The vowel u is added to t by bringing the end of the consonant round in a curve and up to the top line, a development of a form hitherto best known from earlier inscriptions in Central and Southern India, 1 but, as will be shown, characteristic of this epoch in Bengal. For ma the left-hand down-stroke turns to the right almost at once, and the short stroke at the bottom left-hand corner, which is usually horizontal, slopes upward so as to form a sharp re-entrant angle with the down-stroke. The letter sa has at the left a triangle, much larger than in Buhler, Pl. IV, cols. 11 and 12, so that the top of it reaches the cross-line at the top of the letter. Initial i consists of two dots or small nicks, one vertically above the other, which are clearly visible in the photograph but hardly to be distinguished in the rubbing, followed by a member closely resembling da. Unfortunately there are no examples of la and ha, which have marked peculiarities on the Sandoway stone, but the one occurrence of jna suggests the possibility that ja was beginning to undergo the change of shape which occurred in the second half of the seventh century.

This script is closely akin, both in general character and in respect of these peculiarities, to two of the Faridpur copperplates, Nos. 1722 and 1724 of Bhandarkar's list. The authenticity of the two latter, as well as of a third, No. 1723 of the same list, which was doubted at one time, appears now to be generally accepted ; I confess, however, to feeling doubts about No. 1723. No. 1722, issued by Dharmaditya in the year 3, and No. 1724, issued by Gopacandra in the year 19, should be genuine in view of their peculiar relationship to the bell-inscription, and Gopacandra's may perhaps be the earlier; but No. 1723, issued by Dharmaditya without any mention of the year, differs considerably in script, and I do not take it into consideration here, though I would not venture without a personal examination of the plate definitely to stigmatize it as a later forgery. 1722 has to in the form mentioned above, the two places where it should occur in 1724 being illegible in the reproduction, and the same form of u is found in 1722 for du and Au. In 1724 dha (11. 19 and 22) is circular, but larger in proportion to the other letters than on the bell ; but in 1722 it is usually slightly elliptical, e.g. 1. 21, but less often it is a semi-oval (both forms in 1. 2). Sa has the triangle on the left in both plates; but while it is normal in Gopacandra's, there are two instances, 11.14 and 19, in 1722, where the triangle is enlarged and the apex reaches right up to the top line, as in the bell. Ma is nearly normal in 1724, but shows the beginning of the

decade to decade ; this condition is not satisfied for the period in question, and in general it is desirable to take account of as many letters as possible.

1 Buhler, Ind. Palaeogr., pl. iii, cols. 17 aMd 19, and pl. vii, cols. 1 and 11 ; see also D. C. Sircar, Successors of the Satavahanas (University of Calcutta, 1939), pp. 328 if., a second century inscription from Ellura in H.H. the Nizam's Dominions.

process whereby the bell form was reached ; 1722, on the other hand, has it in a form even more exaggerated than the bell, and in 1. 20 for instance the point of the angle is only just below the main line, being thereby related to the occurrences on the Sandoway stone which will be discussed later. In both plates va is more or less triangular in shape; while, however, in 1722 the apex never reaches the top line, in 1724 occasionally, e.g. 1. 3, it not merely reaches the top line, but shows a tendency for the two sides not to meet on or before reaching the top line, thus resembling rvva of the bell, but in no case so pronounced as in the va of avaptaye. There are also certain differences : in 1724 ha has a normal form with rounded top (Biihler, Pl. IV, cols. 5 to 10), but in 1722 the central bar is curved upwards at each end, so as to give the top half of the character the shape of a horizontal oval. Initial i occurs in the archaic form of Biihler, Pl. IV, col. 5, consisting of two small circles followed by a downstroke with a short crosspiece at the top. The interesting forms of la and ha are discussed below in connection with the Sandoway stone.

It would have been desirable also to compare the scripts of the Damodarpur copperplates, Nos. 1272, 1286, 1307, and 1550 of Bhandarkar's list, bear dates running from 124 to 224 of the Gupta Era,,but the photographs published in Epigraphia Indica, xv, so seldom enable the letters to be seen clearly, that the use of this evidence is hazardous. Of letters whose shapes can be accurately determined, Plates I, III, and IV, all have to in the form discussed above, except that in Plate I the bottom of the u is square, not rounded, and the same to recurs in the Nandapur copperplate (G.E. 169, Monghyr district of Bihar, Ep. Ind., xxiii, pp. 52 ff.) ; the u of nu on Plates III and V is indicated, as in the bell and in 1. 18 of Dharmaditya's plate of the year 3, by prolonging the downstroke of the consonant in a straight line instead of making it curve left-handed. For the peculiar initial i of the bell I can only quote an inscribed brick (Ep. Ind., xxiv, pp. 20-2), recently discovered at Nalanda, which is dated 197 (evidently Gupta Era) and which proclaims its eastern origin by its forms of sa, sa, and ha, thereby differing from the similar bricks previously discovered at Nalanda and Gopalpur (Ep. Ind., xxi, 19f if., and JRAS., 1938, 547 ff.). Here the letter is identical with that on the bell. Tu does not occur on the brick, which, however, has a similar u in du, as in 1722. As is pointed out below, this initial i recurs on the Sandoway stone and in Anandacandra's prasasti, but with the members in the reverse order.

These comparisons are sufficient to prove that we are dealing in the bell with a script which was derived from Eastern Bengal, descending possibly from a variety slightly later than any of those described. No help can be derived from the shape or ornamentation of the bell in the present state of our archaeological knowledge, and I would suggest that, if the date is fixed on the palaeographical evidence as somewhere in the first half of the seventh century A.D., the margin of error is likely to be small.

The stupa-inscription is so badly preserved that caution is necessary in drawing conclusions, and it may have been incised by a somewhat careless workman. The letters ya, bha, and va appear to be exactly as in the bell; dha is probably a narrow upright semi-oval, and the exact shape of rmma is obscure on the rubbing. The letter pa was evidently rounded at the bottom left-hand corner, while in the bell it is rounded in two cases and squared in the other two. It is better to deal with ha under the Sandoway stone, but tu was probably as in the bell, if we may presume that the end of the u has been lost. The indications of letters in the second line are quite uncertain, and my suggestions in the reading below may be mistaken. The date is probably about the seventh century.

The Sandoway stone comes from an area which is and has always been less subject to the influence of India than the Akyab district, and this is apparent in the paleography of the inscription, whose script clearly descends from that of the bell or from a similar type, but has developed on lines of its own in a new environment. The letter dha remains the same small circle, the u of to is indicated in the same way, and there is the same alternance of the squared and rounded pa. Ta consists of two straight downstrokes proceeding from the top line and slightly sloping, a form which develops out of the letters ta, tra, and tna as seen in 1. 21 of Gopacandra's inscription, where the two lines meet at the top with a tendency to separate ; much the same shape is to be found in Niticandra's coins (Pl. V, Nos. 6-9). The peculiar forms of ma and sa evidently derive from the script of the bell, and ya is a hitherto unknown development of the tripartite ya, with the peculiarity that in 1. 1 the left-hand member has been turned the wrong way round, as may be seen by comparison with the occurrences in 11. 2 and 6. In 1.4 I read initial i, taking it to be the form found on the bell with the members reversed, as this development is found in the last line of Anandacandra's inscription. The two short horizontal strokes after yi in 1. 6 I understand as final m; at least there seems to be no other possible explanation of them. The one letter which shows a more modern style, and is not merely a deformation of an older form, is bha in 1. 1, which belongs to the type found in Anandacandra's inscription. The most interesting letters are ha and la. The four occurrences of the former are all slightly different: three have a straight downstroke, one with an upward hook to the left from the bottom, and the other two more rounded so as somewhat to resemble a capital J, while the fourth has a slightly curved downstroke with an upward curve to the left at the bottom rather like the two preceding cases. Evidently we have here a derivative of the archaic forms depicted in BUhler, Pl. III, col. 17, and Pl. IV, col. 1, where ha has very much the shape of the figure 5; it still survives not only in Bhimavarman's Kosam inscription (Ind. Culture, iii) pp. 177 if., G.E. 130), but also, somewhat modified, as late as the Nalanda brick of G.E. 197. The down-curve straightens out in the Paharpur copperplate (G.E. 159, Bhandarkar's list No. 2037), the Nandapur copperplate (Monghyr district of Bihar, G.E. 169, Ep. Ind., xxiii, pp. 52 ff.), the Gunaighar grant of Vainyagupta (G.E. 188, from Tipperah, Bhandarkar's list No. 2038), and the Faridpur copperplate, while Dharmaditya's plate of the year 3 has a normal western form (cf. Buhler, Pl. IV, cols. 7 and 8) ; Gopacandra's grant shows in 1. 24 a form in which the downward stroke is nearly straightened out like h in hya on the stone, and in 1. 22 one in which it is quite straightened out so as to resemble h in the first he of the stone. The lineage of this letter is thus quite clear, and the same shape has been recognized in the inscription on a Buddha-statue found at Hmawza (Ann. Rep. A.S.I., 1928-9, p. 108, and Pl. LI (b)). Similarly the letter la retains essentially the older form given by Buhler, Pl. IV, cols. 1-3 and 5-6, and S. N. Chakravarti, fig. v, col. 1. The Faridpur copperplates usually have a more modern form, but the older type occurs once at 1.12 of Dharmaditya's inscription of the year 3. The script of the stone thus clearly derives from scripts current in Eastern India during the Gupta period, and shows no novelty except the bha, which probably originated in India about A.D. 650; the difficulty in dating it lies in deciding how long it would have taken for the script in isolation to have developed its marked peculiarities. On the whole I consider it might be as late as A.D. 800, but hardly later, since the other stone from the same locality, now missing, shows according to the eye-copy a script which has been determined by later influence from Bengal, and there should be a substantial gap between the two.

The remaining inscriptions contain fewer peculiarities from the Indianist's point of view, but one curious feature is the tendency of the letters to grow larger in the course of time. Those on the west face of the pillar measure 8-11 mm. in height, and on the separate inscription about 9-13 mm., while the height on the earlier inscription of the north face is 12-16 mm., on Anandacandra's 16-19 mm., and on the later inscriptions of the north face, where the variation in size is considerable, about 21-29 mm. To fix the date of the earlier inscriptions by palaeographic considerations is not possible, as I cannot read enough of them to form a complete alphabet. The script of the west face seems fairly close to that of the Maukhari inscriptions as given by Buhler, Pl. IV, cols. 11 and 12, and it probably belongs to the sixth century A.D., though it might be as late as early in the seventh century. The same remark applies to the other two, though I should expect, if they could be read more fully, that they were slightly later. All that can be said about these inscriptions is that there appears to be nothing in them which would surprise us in an inscription originating from Eastern India; thus the inscription on the west face of the pillar and the separate inscription both write a tripartite ya with the left-hand member curling round outwards instead -of inwards as-in the , Rajshahi district, 188, from Tipperah, No. 2038), the Amauna grant of Nandana (G.E. 232, Gaya district of Bihar, Bhandarkar No. 1310), the Nalanda brick of G.E. 197 referred to above, and the Arakan coin of Dharmavijaya discussed below ; and tu, if rightly identified by me on the west face of the pillar, appears also in the same form as on the bell and the other inscriptions already discussed. The eastern bipartite form of ya with the bulge at the bottom evidently developed from a cursive form of the outward-curling tripartite ya, as appears from the form in line 29 of Gopacandra's copperplate. The short inscription on the top end of the north face seems to write ya with the left-hand loop curling inwards and with the same ma as on the bell; these two points and the larger size of the letters lead me to infer a somewhat later date for it than for the other two.

It is, however, fortunately easy to place the important inscription of Anandacandra. Obviously it is closely related to, but later than, the Aphsad inscription of Adityasena (Corpus Incr. Indicarum, iii, pp. 200 ff.); the substantial difference is in the form of ja, which at Aphsad shows the first beginning of the change effected in the second half of the seventh century, whereas on the Mrohaung pillar the change has been carried through. The script of Yasovarmadeva's inscription at Nalanda, which belongs undoubtedly to the first half of the eighth century (vide Bhandarkar's List, No. 2105), is almost entirely identical with that of Anandacandra's inscription, both in the form of the letters and in style of writing. The most substantial difference is in the form of jya, which in the Nalanda inscription is of the older type, whereas in the other the resemblance to an ordinary ya is most clearly brought out in the example at the beginning of 1. 45. This script, as has been pointed out by others, goes back to the Bodhgaya inscription of Mahanaman (CII., iii, pp. 274 ff. ; G.E. (?)269). Among noteworthy peculiarities are the peculiar forms given to consonants when they occur at the end of a hemistich, in place of the virama used at Nalanda. Thus k, 1.23; t, 11. 26 and 38; n, 1. 36; m, 1. 31. As precedents for this I can only quote the Bodhgaya inscription of Mahanaman, 11. 2 and 6, for final m, and 1. 14 for final t, and the Paharpur copperplate of G.E. 159 for final m. Initial i, 11. 29 and 39, consists of two small circles with what more or less resembles a modern Devanagari subscript u below and a crescent above the line. There is only one instance of initial i, namely in the closing word of the inscription, whose shape has already been described and appears to be a specialty of Arakan. These considerations would naturally lead us to place the inscription in the first half of the eighth century, and for other reasons probably fairly near the beginning of the century. For we have coins of a number of the kings mentioned in the inscription, and two of those, those of Devacandra and Dharmavijaya, can be approximately assigned on palveographic grounds to the first half of the fifth and seventh centuries respectively. Now Deva is recorded as ruling twenty-two years; the interval from his death to Dharmavijaya's accession is 177 years; Dharmavijaya ruled thirty-six years; and Anandacandra succeeded nineteen years after his death and had completed the ninth year of his rule at the time of the inscription. The maximum interval between the coins of Devacandra and Dharmacandra is 235 years, and between the coins of Dharmavijaya and the inscription of Anandacandra is sixty-four years. It seems, therefore, hardly possible to put the latter much later than A.D. 700. Further, if we compare this script with that on the coin of Dharmacandra, father of Anandacandra (Pl. V), the difference is such that we must infer that it was a recent importation into Arakan, probably direct from Nalanda. There are moreover four later coins, which used to be in the cabinet of Mr. Prafulla Nath Tagore, but whose whereabouts are unknown; they were published by R. D. Banerji in JASB., Numismatic Supplement XXXIII, vol. xvi N.S., 1920, with poor reproductions and readings which are decidedly speculative. So much of the script as can be clearly determined from the plate appears to be in direct continuation of the Anandacandra tradition.

The later inscriptions on the north face of the pillar are in a Bengali script of the tenth century A.D., very similar for instance to Biihler, Pl. IV, col. 23, which should be dated A.D. 931 in accordance with Bhandarkar's list, No. 53: some forms resemble those of Mahipala's Bangarh copperplate (Ep. Ind., xiv, 329 ff.), but in the main the script has a more antique appearance. I cannot, however, discuss it in detail, as I have been unable to form a complete alphabet from the inscription, in which also the letters are badly cut and vary considerably in shape. A characteristic letter of the inscriptions is ra, a downstroke with a sharp hook at the bottom to the left ; this form appears to have been in use for a relatively short period, as may be seen from S. N. Chakravarti, loc. cit., fig. v, col. 8.

The inferences to be drawn from the somewhat complicated paleography of these inscriptions are best considered at a later stage, after their language and contents have been treated. The bell-inscription follows a common Mahayana formula, which can be traced from the sixth century onwards for as long as Buddhism prevailed in India. It is unfortunate that the bell has been badly damaged just where the donor's name is written, but if I am right in reading the first syllable as Mya, it would seem unlikely that the name was Sanskritic in form. The stnpa-inscription has the well known ye dharma verse, and is not well enough preserved to show any peculiarities there might be in it. On the Sandoway stone the ye dharma verse is in Sanskrit, but so incorrectly written as to imply that Sanskrit was little known in South Arakan. The dedicatory lines are unfortunately difficult to read; the donors' names are uncertain, but clearly not Sanskritic in form, and it is impossible even to conjecture what the object dedicated was. The language of this part is presumably meant to be Pali, to judge from the verb akarayi ; but even the form of this word is uncertain, as the two short parallel horizontal lines after the last letter might indicate m, and if so, it should be conjectured that a su has been omitted. Kusala for kusala should also be noted. If the language is Pali, we can only conclude that South Arakan, unlike north, had derived its Buddhism from Burma proper.

Nothing to the point can be said about the other inscriptions earlier than Anandacandra's, except that the few words I have read show them to be in Sanskrit; these do not indicate their substance, and I have been unable to detect any certain proper names. In the separate inscription, 1.11, there may be a proper name before the words bhupa[tih] pr[thivz], which are legible, but I cannot make anything out of it that will hold water. Anandacandra's prasasti consists of sixty-five versese, in a rather doggerel style marred by several solecisms ; a prose sentence is interpolated between verses 45 and 46. Not enough of the first verse is legible to be worth recording; the second appears to be in ordinary anustubh sloka, as are all the rest, except verses 40, 61, 63, 64, and 65 in upajati, 52 and 59 in mixed indravamsa and varnsastha, and 32, 42, 44, and 62 in vasantatilaka. By a licence which Asvaghosa also allowed himself (Saundarananda, vii, 48 c), pada 2 of verse 44 in vasantatilaka metre ends in a short syllable instead of a long one. A short vowel remains short before sv in verse 24, before tr in verse 32 as emended by me in the notes, and before sr in verse 51. The first pada of verse 20 is hypermetric. In verse 21 nagara is treated as masculine, and in verse 30 upabhoga as neuter. In verse 18 the r in °kartrnam has been shortened for metrical reasons. There are some cases of double sarimdhi, in one of which a long syllable has also been shortened, again to suit the metre, namely verse 46, viharaneka for vihara anekah, verse 49, pasadarumaydnekd for °maya anekah ; and in verse 51 the compound °rajatanekan is presumably meant for °rajatan anekan.1 In two cases, again because of the metre, the nominative ending -o has been shortened to -a, verse 44 Anandacandra for °candro, and verse 62, ritamrapattananaradhipa for °-po ; in 42, therefore, one should probably understand Vajrasaktisuto vira° for °sutavira°, and I am not sure that the following line should not be divided 9ridharmacandra (i.e. for °candro) mahimaprathitaprabhavah, except that there is no authority for prath with a later than the Rigveda.2

For convenience of reference I have numbered the verses and assumed that the double danda after the eighth character in line 3 marks the end of the second verse ; if there were only one verse it is difficult to find a long metre ending - - - - -, and we should have to presume an introductory sentence in prose, followed by one invocatory verse. From the remains it seems that if I am right in counting two verses, the inscription started with two invocatory stanzas, one perhaps to the Buddha, and one to Hindu deities, as trilocana should refer to giva. The indications in the first line are consistent with reading Bodhisatva near the beginning of the first line, but only the letter sa is certain. The next forty-three verses give a list of the kings of Arakan, divided into. three periods, early (partly at least mythical) in sixteen verses, the thirteen kings of the Candra dynasty in fourteen verses, and the later kings in thirteen verses. The length of the early period is given as 1,060 years, taking saddasadhikam to mean " plus 60 " ; if " plus 16 " had been meant the reading would have been sodasadhikam, and we are authorized to take dasa in the sense of " decade " by Manu, vii, 116. In either case, however, it is impossible from what can be read to say how this total was arrived at. Much of the earlier part is illegible, including verse 3 dealing with the first reign. Then follow

1 [In v. 49a the poet may possibly have meant to write °maya naikah., and in v. 51a rajatan naikan. But in v. 46b, even if we correct to naika, we cannot save him from the reproach of barbarism.]

2 [See notes in loco and translation.]

five reigns of 120 years each ; the only certain names of kings are the fourth and fifth, Bahubalin and Raghupati. The next king appears also to have reigned 120 years. We then probably leave the region of myth with Candrodaya, who is said to have reigned twenty-seven years, and it is tempting to equate him with Candrasiirya of the Arakan Chronicles, which give his accession date as A.D. 146; if the length of reigns in the inscription is to be trustedand it should be in my view, at least from the Candra dynasty onwards-the date of his accession ought on the chronology accepted here to fall in the last quarter of the second century. The Chronicles may have preserved some recollection of fact at this point, but the names of Candrasnrya's successors, all beginning with Surya and reigning till 788, are clearly mythical. After Candrodaya the Annaveta kings reigned for five years; the name suggests indigenous rulers. The name of the next king is lost, and he is said to have reigned for the improbable period of seventy-seven years. Of the following names some are doubtful readings, and several are un-Indian, the list running
Rimbhyappa (?), 23 years.
Knverami or Knvera, a queen, 7 years.
Umavirya (?), husband of the preceding, 20 years.
Jugna (?), 7 years.
Lafnki, 2 years.1
If we have at present no means of checking the historicity of this list, the case is quite different with the Candra dynasty, the coins of six of them having been found as described in the Appendix, and it is to be hoped that when excavation is regularly undertaken in Arakan, the series will be completed. The founder of the dynasty had the curious name of Dven Candra, which perhaps survives in the word Taing, prefixed in the Chronicles' account to the name Candra for the first nine kings of the line, as its Sanskrit equivalent would apparently be Tuin. The Sanskritic names of all the kings, except 'the first, and the scripts used on their coins suggest that they maintained close contact with India. On the other hand the type of the coinage has no parallel among Indian coins, and the only changes that it shows are of minute details. The first king is recorded in the inscription as embellishing and fortifying the capital; but no name is given to it. If we are to follow the Chronicles, its Indian name was Vaisali, which is perhaps suggestive of the part of India from which the ruling family came. The probable date for the beginning of the dynasty is between A.D. 330 and 360; it may be therefore that we are dealing with a family of adventurers who left North Bihar when the Guptas had finally established their dominion there. The list of the kings is as follows:

1. Dvefn Candra, 55 years. He is said to have conquered 101 kings.
2. Rajacandra, 20 years.
3. Kalacandra, 9 years. Taw Sein Ko reported the existence in the Phayre

1 [See notes below.]

Coin Cabinet of a coin bearing this name (Ann. Rep. A.S.I., 1910-11, p. 92). The name is given as No. 5 of the Chronicles' list for this dynasty, where also he is said to have reigned 9 years.
4. Devacandra, 22 years. Coins of this king, inscribed Deva (misread by Phayre as Dama), are extant.
5. Yajiiacandra, 7 years.
6. Candrabandhu, 6 years. The name suggests some doubts about his legitimacy.
7. Bhnmicandra, 7 years.
8. Bhnticandra, 24 years.
9. Niticandra, 55 years. The coins of this king, inscribed Niticandra on the large coins and Niti on the smaller ones, occur more frequently than those of any other king. Probably he was the most powerful king of the dynasty.
10. Viryacandra, 3 years. On the coins his name is given as Vira.
11. Priticandra, 12 years. Coins of this and the next two kings exist.
12. Prthvicandra, 7 years.
13. Dhrticandra, 3 years.

The dynasty of thirteen kings thus lasted for 230 years, and though the only kings who can be tentatively identified in the account given by the Chronicles are Dven Candra and Kalacandra, yet we find there the same length given to the dynasty, 230 years, from 788-1018; twelve kings are named, but the title Candra is not given to the last three, in whom is possibly preserved a muddled recollection of later kings. It would seem that the Chronicles derived ultimately from an authentic list, which- has survived in a form corrupted beyond hope of restoration.
The inscription suggests that after the fall of the Candra dynasty conditions were confused in Arakan, with the rule reverting partly to indigenous kings. First comes Mahavira, king of Pureppura, who ruled for twelve years. The name of the town is of great interest, as it appears to give us the correct form of a place mentioned in the Pali Niddesa. The passages in question were discussed by S. Levi in an article in Etudes Asiatiques, vol. ii, pp. 1-55. Mahaniddesa, pp. 154 and 415, has a list of places, part of which Levi successfully identified by comparison with Ptolemy on the coast of Burma. One of these places, which he could not identify (p. 25), is given in the edition according to the Sinhalese MSS. as Naranapnra, 1 but the Burmese MSS. read Purapura and Parapura, and the Siamese have Parammukha and Parapura. It can hardly be doubted that this place is that called Pureppura in this inscription, and the retention by the Burmese MSS. of a form so close to the later name reinforces the view that insufficient value is often given by editors of Pali texts to the readings of Burmese MSS.2 The best authenticated form of the variants is Parapura, and that this was the real form of the name in earlier

1 Neither this name nor its variants are recorded in Malalasekhara, Pali Proper Names Dictionary.
2 For another case, also a proper name, see JRAS., 1939, p. 225, n. 2.

days is suggested by a comparison with Ptolemy. Levi (p. 22) took the view that the name of Ptolemy's river Katabeda survives in the name of the island of Kutabdia. Immediately below this on the coast Ptolemy places a centre of commerce called Barakura, which may reasonably be equated with Parapura ; an exact identification of the town is a matter for the excavator, who should look for a site between Akyab and Kutabdia (what about Pruma ?) with remains going back to the beginning of the Christian era.
Mahavira was succeeded by two kings whose names indicate a non-Indian origin, Vrayajap (or Brayajap), twelve years, and Seviinrein (?), twelve years. The latter is accorded the curious epithet of Mavukaghatin, for which a conclusive explanation is not forthcoming. I would suggest that Mavuka is a term of kinship and indicates the previous king, Vrayajap. The next king is called Dharmasura ; he reigned for thirteen years. There is no trace of any of these four kings or of their successors down to Anandacandra in the Chronicles, unless they have some connection with the last three kings of Vaisali, who do not bear the name of Candra. Or it may be that Vaisali ceased to be the capital of a large kingdom after the collapse of the Candra dynasty and that the later kings were merely petty local lords, the stronger of who asserted their right to issue coinage. In any case the Chronicles had allotted so much space to a fictitious dynasty of Dhanyavati that they had to place the Candra kings more than four centuries too late and left themselves no room for the later rulers.
The next king, Vajrasakti, sixteen years, is,the first of the family to which Anandacandra belonged. He is described as originating in the deva family, which is more fully described with reference to Anandacandra in verse 62 as the devandaja family, and in verse 63 as the Soridharmardjdndaja family. The exact meaning of these terms is far from clear, but it is natural to refer the last-mentioned one -to the egg of Brahma, and to deduce an origin for the family from Brahma and Manu, the latter being the traditional progenitor of the ten lines of kings. The epithets then would do no more than claim, a pure Ksatriya origin for the dynasty. 1 The word ddnasilddisamyukta recalls the six Paramitas and suggests that Vajrasakti was a follower of the Mahayana. Vajrasakti was succeeded by gridharmavijaya, 2 who ruled for thirty-six years; the coins with the mutilated inscription rmmavijaya should evidently be ascribed to him. He also is shown to have been a Buddhist by the allusion to his reverence for the Three Jewels in verse 40. The last line of this verse records that after death he went to the Tusita heaven, and possibly we ought to see here a suggestion that the king was a Bodhisattva incarnate; this idea recurs frequently in the Buddhist countries to the east of India. 3 The next king was Narendravijaya, son of the last, who ruled only two years and nine months and was succeeded by a son of Vajrasakti. Verse 42 leaves his name uncertain;

1 [This is an error. Andaja = Khacara = " bird ", and Andaja-varhsa is synonymous with Khacara-vamsa or Jimutavdhananvaya, a race on whom see E.I., xix, pp. 179 ff.]
2 [.Sri is only a prefix : the real name is Dharmavijaya.]
3 Cf. La Vallee Poussin, Melanges ch. et b., i, p. 378.

it might be either Viranarendracandra or Sridharmacandra.1 The latter, however, is indicated by the coins labelled Dhammacandra. The Prakritic form Dhamma is odd ; no sign of a superscript r is traceable, but Candra appearing in Sanskritic form does not correspond to Dhamma. He reigned sixteen years and died after nominating his son Anandacandra as his successor. The rest of the inscription recounts the virtues and good deeds of this king up to the ninth year of his reign, and presents a number of interesting points. He was evidently a Buddhist by personal religion and calls himself an upasaka in verse 54, but following the Indian tradition of religious impartiality he did not neglect the Brahmans in his display of liberality. Moreover the references to Bodhisattvas in verse 47 and to danapdramitd in verse 54 show that he was a follower of the Mahayana, as was clearly the case also with his grandfather Vajrasakti and with Sr! Dharmavijaya. This confirms the evidence of the bell-inscription that the Mahayana prevailed in North Arakan ; incidentally it should be noted that no information on this point is to be obtained from the Chinese pilgrims Hsuan-tsang and I-tsing. The orthography of the purely religious inscriptions suggests that this form of religion had been introduced from Eastern Bengal, and possibly the reference to the Tusita heaven, where Maitreya resides, in verse 40 should be held to show the influence in this area of the Vijnanavada school, who were especially devoted to him. The mention of Cunda and the rest in verse 47 probably refers to the chief srdvakas ; while Cunda is, significantly enough, omitted from the list in Anguttara Nikaya, i, pp. 23-6, he appears in Asvaghosa's list in Saundarananda, xvi, 91. Of the schools which know three or four chief Sthaviras, only the Sarvastivada includes Cunda in this group, 2 thus assigning him a place which justifies the expression of our text. It seems then that the Mahayana in Arakan was represented either by Mahayanist Sarvastivadins 3 or by a Mahayanist school which derived ultimately from that sect, such as the Vijnanavadins, who took from it much of their dogmatics. Anandacandra also followed a practice, which is well known from further east, in giving his own name to new foundations: thus the Anandodaya vihdras of verse 46, and the Anandamddhava and Anandesvara mathas of verse 56. The inscription recounts at length all the different materials of which he had Buddha images made; among these is a reference to countless images of clay, presumably of the same type as the votive plaques which have been found in such numbers in Burma. Verse 52 is not clear because the essential word, tandaka, is not known to have any meaning suitable to the context; the reference is clearly to something, in the course of which or after which there was religious teaching, and this suggests either some form of theatrical representation or religious dance, or else feasts given to the religious community. 4 The names of several places at which religious buildings were erected or tanks dug are mentioned
1 [Or rather, Dharmacandra.]
2 Przyluski, Le Concile de Rajagrha, p. 302.
3 Of. Przyluski's discussion of this point, op. cit., pp. 362-5.
4 [See, however, note in loco and translation.] VOL. XI. PART 2. 24

in verses, 56-9, which are mostly non-Sanskritic in form and presumably unidentifiable nowadays.
Two kingdoms are mentioned with which Anandacandra had relations. Verse 61 records gifts to the bhiksus in the country of king gilamegha, who is otherwise unknown, 1 and verses 62 to 65 describe twice his marriage to Dhenda, daughter of a ruler who is said to be king of Sritamrapattana in 62, but of the land of Sripattana in 65 ; his family is named as gaivandhra, possibly suggestive of an origin in the Deccan. 2 The manner in which this marriage is mentioned shows that it was a matter of exceptional importance, and makes it therefore possible that the. king of griksetra is meant ; but a definite identification cannot be put forward at present. Alternatively, is Ptolemy's Sambra a mistake
for Tambra, and if so, does it indicate gritamrapattana ?

Immediately below the inscription are two lines in a later hand, more or less contemporary. with that on the north face of the pillar. Whether they are
intended to have any connection with Anandacandra's prasasti is not clear. The form ekddasama is odd ; but similar forms are found in the other late inscriptions, and it possibly shows Prakrit influence.3

After Anandacandra there is a gap of at least two centuries before the inscriptions on the north face of the pillar, and the only material that falls within this period consists of the four coins already mentioned, formerly in Mr. P. N. Tagore's cabinet, which may follow fairly close on Anandacandra, and of the coin, No. 22 of Plate V, which shows a different type of script.
Unfortunately it cannot be read with certainty : Phayre (Coins of Arakan, Pl. II, No. 10) suggested Yarikriya, and V. Smith (Catalogue of Coins in the Indian Museum, Pl. XXX, 11) Yarikriya ; but the first letter cannot possibly be Yd. The next two letters may well be rikri and the last may be ya, as in my plate, or ma, as in V. Smith's reproduction. Till a better specimen is found it is best to leave the reading as an unsolved problem, and not to suggest any date for it. From the evidence, however, it does look as if there were a gap in the kings of Arakan at some time in this period, which may have been due to Nan-chao domination ; but this is not a point on which I am competent
to express a definite opinion.

Turning now to the remaining inscriptions, that on the top of the pillar has very few letters at all visible, and all that can be said of it safely is that the script is undoubtedly late. On the north face below the four lines of the earlier inscription, there is a series of inscriptions, amounting to sixty-nine

1 [This name seems to point to Ceylon, where Sildmeghavanna (in Sinhalese Salamevan) was a title borne by several kings.]

2 [See the translation below. The .4ri prefixed to the name of the city is unessential : the name is Tamrapattana, which conceivably may be Tamralipti. griksetra seems to be out of the question.]

3 Cf. Pischel, § 449, who says these forms are only authenticated so far in Jaina Prakrit
works. For other instances note the apparatus criticus of the colophons to Saundarananda, xi and xviii, and Varangacarita (ed. A. N. Upadhye, Bombay, 1938), colophons tQ_ xi, xii, and xiii.

lines, when counted on the right side. Parts of them are entirely gone; the rest is written in a slipshod hand, sufficiently rubbed to make reading of it chancy. There appear to be at least three inscriptions, all in much the same script. The first occupies the first seven lines, only the last few letters of each line being at all legible. The third line ends caturddasame, the fourth Simgha(or ha)vikramasura, and the last word of the inscription is krtarajyah. The next inscription begins in 1.8 with svasti sri and then apparently the name of a town, which with great reserve might be read as Avayapura. Line 9 has a proper name, the certain letters being tisuracandra(m ?) de . thara ; earlier in the line the remains suggest ,Sri Simghag(?)anap(? )a before ti. That we are dealing with another inscription about Buddhists appears from 1. 10, where can be read samghagata b(?)auddha, preceded perhaps by aryya. In the next line we have, certain but not very clear, caturddasame bde krtardjya, and in 1. 12 Siha(or gha)vikramasuracandr(aya vi ?). There is a certain parallelism in phrasing therefore between the two inscriptions, but the second is slightly fuller than the first. The remains are too small for exact inferences to be drawn; it is not clear if the phrase “in the fourteenth year ", in which the same irregular ordinal occurs as at the foot of Anandacandra's inscription, applies to Simghavikramasnracandra or his predecessor, Sirhghaganapatisnracandra. From this point very little can be read with certainty, and it is not clear where the second inscription ends. That a new inscription does begin some lines later seems a reasonable inference from the fact that from 1. 23, if not earlier, the writing is in three columns, each containing seven or eight characters in a line; the arrangement is perhaps clearest in 11. 34 and 35, where vinmukhikr ends 34 and tasatruh, the rest of the compound, is to be found in the letters seventh to fifth from the end in 35. The division of the text was not accurately judged, with the consequence that the right-hand column continues for five lines below the other two. A competent epigraphist, working on the stone instead of on rubbings, should be able to produce a fair reading of the right hand column from 1. 30, and of the other two from about 1.40. The contents of this last inscription may be somewhat unusual, as I read in lines of the left-hand column lupati I idam mayor krtam. In these circumstances all that can be deduced for the present from these inscriptions is that North Arakan again produced in the tenth century a dynasty of some importance, whose personal names ended in 95racandra, and two of whom were probably called Simghaganapatisnracandra and Simghavikramasnracandra.

A. Inscription on Western Face of Pillar at the Shitthaung Pagoda, Mrohaung, Arakan

Note.-Doubtful letters are enclosed in square brackets, and letters which cannot be read are replaced by a dot. Omitted characters, when restored, are shown in angular brackets : thus, < >. For convenience of reference, while the text is arranged and numbered marginally according to the verses, the line of the inscription is also noted in brackets in the body of the text. [To mark the elision of initial a- after a final -o a raised comma has been used, e.g. 'tinitiman (v. 23d).]

[Verses 1-3 are not transcribed.]

4…. (4) tato ri[sya ?] d…. jagata …..|
……..1 bhupalo varsa[m] viiinsadhikam satam ||
5. [.arvaryavi ?] 2 mahipalo (5) lokanugrahatatparah |
Rajyam tena krtam [tasm]ad varsavirinsottaram satam ||
6…. . nama tato raja lok . . jani ... (6) vat |3
Cakara4 ... rajyam varsa[ril] vimsadhikam satam||
7. Tasmad Bahubali bhnbhrt [pu]nar dhairyyavisaradah
Krtam ca krti- (7) na tena rajyam virnsa[bd]ikarn5 satam ||
8. Tato Raghupati[r]6 bhupah surupo nitivi[kramah]|
[Cakara] ... [tam] rajyam va[rsa]- (8) vimsottaraiii satam ||
9. Ta[sya] vi 7 ... amra[tya]po 8 mahabalah |
Vimsabda[ny] ... . [rajyam] ... . kr[tam] ||
10. (9) Tatas Candrodayo nama bhupalah sadhusammatah |
Saptavimsati varsani rajyam atmasatkrtam 9 ||
11. Annaveta- (10) mahipala danam datva tv anekadha |
Bhuvi lokasukham jiiatva [pamcabdani] 10 divam gatdh ||
12. Tatpascan nrpavara ... (11) caryasu visaradah |
Cakara mati[mam] rajyam abdani saptasaptatih ||
13. Rimbhyappo bhupatis tasmac caran dana ... (12) tih |
Tryadhikam vimsad abdani rajyam punyena nitavan||
14. Kuverami 11 tato devi danasila ... . |
(13) Saptabdani tato rajyam cakararivivarjitam 12 ||
15. U[mavirya]patis 13 tasyas tato bhupo 'tiniti
(14) jyam vimsati varsani cakara mahimakrti 14||
16. J[u]gnah[vayas 15. bhu]bhrt sarvasatvahitarthakrt |
Sa[pta] (15) tsarany evaril tads rajye pratisthitah ||

1 The name looks like Narappagmasva.
2 [Possibly the true reading may be Purvarthe 'pi.]
8 [For vat Professor Johnston gives an alternative kam.]
4 [A possible reading here is cakararimtapo. There is no clear trace of a long vowel after the first r, and ri would be a mistake for ri.]
5 Alternatively the reading in d is vimiadhikam, in which case there is no word for "year”.
6 Presumably read Raghupatir.
7 [Traces of the eight letters of the first pada survive. The second is ta, the third perhaps sya, the fourth vi, the last two apparently devah.]
8 [The first syllable of this pada is possibly vam, the second perhaps ka.]
9 [As the rubbing shows, the true reading is definitely tenatmasatkrtarh.]
10 [There seems to be no trace of a vowel i on the rubbing.]
11 [Possibly Knverapi.] 12 Read °vivarjitam in d.
13 [The first two letters of this pada look more like Orhppa-. Possibly, too, the stone-cutter has omitted a visarga before patis.
14 Mahimdkrti is an odd compound. [Comparison with verse 42d (see note on latter) suggests that the poet wrongly took mahima as a fem. vowel-stem.]
15 If the pillar has been correctly read in a, it should read Jugnahvayas. [It has Jugnahvayas tato bhnbhrt.]

17. Lankinama 16 tato raja krtva varsadvayarh krti |
Rajyarh v[ipu] 17 (16) virah kramena tridiv[ah]itah 18 ||
18. Kathyate varsasaThkhyatra devanarir kulakartrnam |
Etesarii bhubhrtam n[u]n[arn] (17) sahasraih saddasadhikam 19||
19. Tatpascad apare We punyalaksmiyuto bali |
Dven Candranamako dhimarh (18) yo 'bhnt bhubhrtam patih 20||
20. Nrpaikottarasatarir jitva punyato bahusalina
Prakarakhatasarhyuktarh (19) nagara[bhnsa]narh krtam 21 ||
21. Tena nispadya nagararh svarggasaundaryahasinam|
Parircaparircasad abda- (20) ni krtarir rajyam yasasvina 22 ||
22. Rajacandras tatah srima- it vimsavarsani rajyakrt |
Evarir svargasukharrt (21) jnatva divam yato mahipatih ||
23. Tasman navabdiko raja [K]alacandro 23 mahardhikah |
Krtva kirttimayI (22) ma[l]arir svargaih yato 'tinitiman ||
24. Devendreva Sa[kr]o 24 'bhnd Devacandro mahipatih |
Tato dvavirirsavarsani (23) rajyam krtva to svargabhak ||
25. Saptavarsikas tasmad 25 Yajnacandrah prakirttitah |
Candrabandhus tato loke satsa-(24)mvatsararajyabhak ||
26. Prthivyam uditas candro Bhumicandras 26 tato 'parah |
Sapta samvatsarany eva rajyam punyena (25) to nitavan 27 |
27. Caturvitsati varsani rajyam sambhujya nitiman |
Bhuticandras tato yato divyam sukham avaptaye||
28. (26) Niticandras tatah khyato nityutsaritavigrahah |
Pamcapamcasad abdani so 'bhnd raja Mahendravat ||
29. Abdatra-(27)yikas tasmad 28 Viryacandro naresvarah |
[Ta]to dvadasa varsani Priticandro mahipatih||
30. Saptarhvatsarany a-(28)smat Prthvicandrena bhubhuja |
Rajyopabhogarh sarnbhuktarir nityam dharmanuvarttina ||

16 [The rubbing seems to give Linki°. The first vowel is a short curve above the 1 to the right, somewhat like the i in sphita° in the inscription of YaAovarman, line 12 (E.I., xx, p. 43.)]
17 [The stone seems to have prapa-.]
18 In d possibly tridivan gitala ; in any case read tridivan gatala.
19 Saddasadhikaoh presumably means "+ 60 ", not " + 16 ". In either case it is not clear how the total is made up from what can be read of the inscription.
20 The reading in b looks like yo bhut bhu°, and it is not certain what the correct reading is.
[The stone certainly has yo bhut bhu°, but a syllable is lacking to make up the metre.]
21 Pada a is hypermetric. In d the consonant fourth letter is either bh or s, and the next syllable should contain either r or s because of the following na, but looks more like sva than anything else. The reading adopted seems the only possible one, though abhusana in this sense is unrecorded. [The rubbing is in favour of reading nagarasutranaiix, which may be an error for nagarasutranaoh.]
22 Read yasasvina in d.
23 The k in Kalacandro is badly formed, but the reading is definitely not Balacandro; Ralacandro is just possible.
24 Read Devendra iva Sakro. 25 [A syllable is lacking in this pada.]
26 Read Bhumicandras.
27 Line 26 begins tanitavan, but to is marked above for erasure. [Line 26 begins naaitavIcdi.]
28 [This pada is a syllable short.]

31. Jagaddhrtirii karoty a[sma] Dhr-(29)ticandro naradhipah |
Prajam apalayat tasmat trbhir 29 varsair divath gatah||
32. Isanvayaprabhavarh sodasa (30) bhupatinam
Candrabhiramayasasam 30 iha Candranamnam|
Trirnsa[dh]ikarh praganitani satadvayam 31 syad
Varsani rajya9ubha-(31)bhogakrtani nunam||
33. Tatah pascan Mahavirah Pureppuranaresvarah 32|
Tena dvadasavarsani dharmarajyarh (32) krtaiii tada ||
34. Vrayajapnamapi [so] 33 raja dvadasabdani bhnvibhuh 34|
Bhuktva rajyasukhaiii viras tata svargopa-(33)bhogabhak||
35. [Sevirirern] bhupatis tasmat smrto 35 dvadasakarsikah 36
Rajyasampatsukharir tena bhuktam Mavukaghatina 37 ||
36. (34) Ksitirh raraksa dharmena Dharmasuras tato nrpah |
Trayodasabdasaihpurnne svargam ya[t]o maharddhikah ||
37. Bhaktiman iva bhaktya (35) vai 38 yo vajriva mahibhrtdih |
Vajrasaktis tata 39 [kh]yato raja devanvayodbhavah ||
38. Pratipalya jagat sarvath rajyaiii so-(36)dasa 40 vatsaram
Danasiladisaihyukto devalokaih sa yatavan ||
39. Sridharmajayasarnyukto lokanugrahatatparah I
(37) Tatpascad abhavad dhirah Sridharmavijayo nrpah ||
40. Sattririrsad abdany upabhujya raj yam
Dharmena nitya ca jayena caiva
Sa devalokarii Tusitaih prayatah 41 ||
41. Narendravij ayenapi tatputrena mahipat 42|
(39) Navamasadhikaih rajyaih bhuktam varsadvayaih sata ||

29 Read tribhir.
30 A character has been erased after isanvaya. In a read Isanvaya prabhavatrayodasabhupa-tindm, and note a short before tr. In b read °yaaasam. [We should read °sodasa. The emendation -trayodaga- would gratuitously introduce a short syllable before tr- and make the pada a syllable too long. The better course is to read sodasa and risk the possibility that the author's reckoning was wrong; moreover, he may have intentionally omitted the names of some kings who were too insignificant for mention.]
31 [Read satadvayam.]
32 Just possibly one should read Purempura-, instead of Pureppura-. [The rubbing definitely gives Purempura-.]
33The inscription in a has Vrayajapnamapi so, with marks above pi to cut it out. It should probably read Vrayajapnamako. [So would be ungrammatical. Read °ndmdpi yo rdjd. The pada is hypermetric.]
34 [The rubbing gives bhovibhula.]
35 [In a the name may be read as Dovinren. In b the letters on the stone may be read as either smrto or smrta ; they should be smrto.]
36 Read °varsikah.
37 lllavuka may be a proper name or a word indicating kinship.
38 Possibly yo, not vai.
39 Read tatah. 40 Read sodasa.
41 [The stone has praydt, with a final t.]
42 Mahimat. is also possible, and there may be a r or u below p or m. One would expect mahibhrta. [The rubbing gives mahipat-, with possibly faint traces of -eh.]

42. Tsanvayah samabhavad vijitarivargah
Saktitrayapra 43-(4O)ya1abdhamahapratapah|
Yo Vajrasaktisutaviranarendracandrah
Sridharmacandramahimaprathitaprabhavah 44 ||
43. Srima-(41)n sodasa 45 varsani bhuktva rajyasriyam nrpah|
Datva sutavare rajyat pascat svargath prayatavan ||
44. Yas tatsu-(42)tarn46 pranatabhupatimaulimala
Ratnadyutiprasarararnjitapadapadmah |
Anandacandra bhuvanaikaya9o-(43)'titunga
Anandayarn jayati vairitamovibhuma 47 ||
45. Dane Karnnasamo raja satyenapi Yudhisthirah |
(44) Pradyumnaiva 48 rupena tejasa bhanuvad bhuvi ||
Tena maharajadhirajena parahitotsukadhiya svara-(45)jyaprathamasamvatsaratah prabhrti yavad a navamabdat svakrtakaritanumoditani sucaritani sa-(46)tvanarn darsanaprabodhanumodanapunyavistaram icchata pravaksyamte
46. Anandodayanamano vihara-(47)neka karitah|
Dasadasibhih sampannah ksetragomahisaih saha ||
47. Sugatabodhisatvanarir (48) Cundadinarh ca saktitah|
Pratimadhatumaccaityah karita raukmarajatah ||
48. Ritimayani bi-(49)mbani kansatamramayani 49 ca|
Karitani munindrasya bharasarnkhyapramanatah ||
49. [Pasa]daru-(50) mayaneka 50 pusta[s]ailas 51 tathaiva ca |
Sugatapratimah saumyah karitas [sa]dhucitritah 52 ||
50. [Mrtpa]. 53 (51) krtasaihkhyani bimbani caityakarmanah |
Saddharmapustakas capi lekhita bahusah sata ||
51. Sau-(52)varnnarajatanekan padman sadratnakarnnikan|
Nityarir sridhatupujartham adad bhupo 'tisraddhaya ||
52. (53) Dadau prahrstah suvisuddhacetasa 54

43 [At the end of line 39 there seems to be a faint trace of na.]
44 [See note on v. 15d above, p. 374. Apparently our poet treated O'ridharmacandra as a nominative. Cf. notes on v. 62c, p. 379, and on v. 64c, ib.
45 Read sodasa.
48 It should presumably be tatsutah.
47 [Apparently to be corrected to -vibhium¢.]
48 Read Pradyumna iva.
49 Read Kar sya°.
50 Pasadaru may be the name of a particular kind of wood, or it may be a compound implying images made of leather (?) and wood. [Read in a mayanekah or mays naikah (see above, p. 367 n.1).]
51 Pusta is presumably “plaster " here, and saila " stone ".
52 [The stone has karitasadhu°. Read karitah.]
53 The rubbing shows mrtpaha with the ha marked for omission; the following character is only faintly indicated on the rubbings. Perhaps nlrtpakva°. [The reading of the rubbing seems to be mrtsarhha°.]
54 [The rubbing seems to give suvisuddha° by error.]
Saddharmapujam prati tandakan 55 bahun |
Dine dine sarvajana-(54)numoditan
Naradhipo dharmakathanuragatah ||
53. Lauhapatrany anekani sannetracivarani 56 ca |
Na-(55)nade6agatanam ca bhiksunam gauravad dadau ||
54. Danaparamita hina ma me bhavatu jantusu|
Tasmad upasa-(56)kenapi sarvasatvahitesina 57 ||
55. Patncasadbrahmanavasaih ksetrabhrtyasamanvitath|
Vadyavadakasamyuktam ka-(57)ritaih mathacatustayam ||
56. Somatirthadvijavase mathas canandamadhavah|
Anandesvaranamapi 58 (58) Naulakk[e] ca matha smrtah 59 ||
57. Pilakkavanak[u]hve 'pi Domaghe purvanamakau 60 |
Vithika vividharam 61 (59) karita setusamkrama 62 |
58. Pratyaham bhaktasalayarn sada satrarh pravarttitam|
Ativadhyas ca karunya- 63(60)t pranino mocitasadah 64 ||
59. Da[ih]kanga margafiga d[u]varasamjnite
Bhurokanaulakkalavarakahvaye |
Manapavapy[au] 65 nijakhana bhupatih 66 ||
60. Purvarajakrta ye'pi devapra-(62)sadatirthika 67|
Nasta nispaditas tena sarvatha dhimata punch ||
61. Dharmasanarh hastiniko-(63)ttamaika
Bhupena netrojvalacivarani |
Bhiksvaryasamghasya hi na[y]itani 68
Dee gild-(64)meghanaradhipasya ||

55 None of the recorded meanings of tandaka fits here; possibly for tandavan. [The actual reading of the rubbing seems rather to be vantakan, though the letter below n is not clear. Vantaka, "share" (found in Sanskrit and Kanarese lexx. ; from -,/vant, whence Hindi bant) occurs in the sense of a holding or portion of land forming part of an estate in the Yadava Ramacandra's Thana grant of 8aka 1194 (E.I. xiii, p. 199).]
56 The first certain instance of netra in the sense of silk ; cf. Raghuvamsa, vii, 36.
57 Read °hitaisina.
58 [The p has been almost entirely out out.]
59 [Read mathah.] Apparently these two mathas are in addition to the four of the previous verse.
60 In a presumably read °vanakahve, and in b read °namake. [The reading of the rubbing is possibly °vadakuhve and Daumaghe.]
61 [The -a of the last syllable is fairly certain ; and the stone-cutter probably did not add -h to it.]
62 Samkrama, feminine, is odd ; or should it be °sarhkramah ? [The latter alternative is preferable.]
63 -A- is missing through breakage of stone.
64 Read sada, as mocitasadah as a compound is hardly possible. [Also read mocitale.]
65 [The rubbing gives -vapyo.]
66 Read nicakhdna.
67 Read °tirthikah in b. [Tirthikah can only mean .1 heretics ". Probably the poet meant to write tirthakdh, in the sense of tirthah.]
68 I do not know. if hastinika is to be taken literally. In b read netrojjvala°. Nayitani in c is odd, and dapitani would be better.

62. Vikhyatasauryagunadharmayasonuragad |
Sritamrapattananaradhipa bhaktinamro 69
Dhenda[rh] dadau sva-(66)tanayam paramadarena |
Apararin ca |
63. Anandacandraksitiparthivasya
Sridharma (67)rajandajavarhsajasya|
Srutva vaco dharmahitarthayuktam|
Sauryanvayatyagaguna[dh]i-(68)kam ca ||
64. Bhaktipranamena prakurvatajfiam
Srima . . 70 (69)nodhiramaharddhikena
Kalyanamitratvam upagatena ||
65. Vapiviharau tvaritena (70) krtva
Sripattanatmiyamahipradese |
Striratnadhenda svasutatibhaktya
Sarhpresite-(71)hasamabhutiyukta|| -iti 71
(line 72) sri [ki]rttisarhpu[rna] vijaya
(line 73) ekddasame 'bde
(Verse 4) ... the king [reigned] 120 years. (V. 5) [There was] a king… zealous in doing kindness to the world; he reigned afterwards for 120 years. (V. 6) Then ... a king named... reigned for 120 years. (V.7) After him again [was] King Bahubali, eminent for stoutheartedness ; that able man ruled for 120 years. (V. 8) The king Raghupati, fair of form, heroic in policy, reigned ... 120 years. (V. 9) His... puissant ... reigned [1]20 [years]. (V. 10) After him [was] a king, Candrodaya by name, approved by the good; he held the kingship for 27 years. (V. 11) The Annaveta kings, bestowing bounty in manifold wise, after experiencing worldly pleasure on earth for 5 years went to heaven. (V.12) After that an excellent king ... eminent in religious practices, possessing wisdom, reigned for 77 years. (V.13) After him, King Rimbhyappa, practising bounty reigned in righteousness for 23 years.

69 One must understand that °naradhipo bhaktinamro, which is impossible metrically, is indicated.
70 No doubt Srimanmano°. [Apparently Manodhira is the king's name (see translation, below). This name is rare; but it was borne by, e.g. the composer of the Veliirpalaiyam plates.]
71 The letter before iti is not clear, but is similar to the character found in the same position in the bell inscription. [How and where Professor Johnston found the word iti is not clear, for it is not on the rubbing. Anandacandra's inscription ends with the word bhutiyuktd followed by three double dandas, between the first pair of which there is a Garuaa-symbol (see Plate I), which is appropriate in the edict of a king claiming to belong to the "Bird-tribe ". Another example oi, this symbol occurs, e.g. in Govindacandra's Saheth-Maheth plate (E.I., vol. xi, pp. 20 ff.).]

(V.14) Then Queen Knverami (? Kiivera), [practising?] bounty and good deeds, for 7 years after him made the kingdom free from foes. (V. 15) Then Umavirya (?), her husband (?), a very politic king skilful in his majesty (?), ruled for 20 years. (V.16) After him a king named Jugna, who benefited all beings, was then so established. on the throne for 7 years. (V.17) Then the able king named Lank! (? Linki) after reigning 2 years, … a valiant man, in course of time went to heaven. (V. 18) Here is stated the number of years of the ancestral monarchs: [the number of years] of these kings verily is 1,016 (? 1,060). (V. 19) After them [there was] in later time one who possessed righteousness and fortune, puissant, sage, Dven Candra by name, who was a lord of kings. (V. 20) He, strong of arm because of righteousness, conquered 101 kings, and built a compact 1 (?) city furnished with walls and moat. (V. 21) He, possessing glory, having constructed the city, which laughed at the beauty of Paradise, reigned for 55 years. (V. 22) Then the fortunate Rajacandra reigned 20 years ; having thus known the pleasure of Paradise, the king went to heaven. (V. 23) After him, Kalacandra (?), a very prosperous and exceedingly politic king, who reigned 9 years, went to heaven after making [for himself] a garland of glory. (V. 24) Like Sakra the Lord of the Gods was King Devacandra, who then after reigning 22 years enjoyed heaven. (V. 25) After him Yajiiacandra was renowned, reigning 7 years. Then Candrabandhu a reign of 6 years in the world. second moon, on earth ; he reigned with righteousness for 7 years. (V. 26) Then arose Bhnmicandra, a (V.27) The politic Bhrticandra, after enjoying kingship for 24 years, then departed to gain celestial happiness. (V. 28) Then there was the renowned Niticandra, who removed strife by policy; he reigned like Mahendra for 55 years. (V. 29) After him King Viryacandra reigned for 3 years; then -King Priticandra [ruled] for 12 years. (V. 30) After him King Prthvicandra, constantly following religion, enjoyed the pleasures of kingship for 7 years. (V.31) King Dhrticandra after him supported the world ; he protected [his] people, and then after 3 years went to heaven. (V. 32) The years spent in happy enjoyment of kingship by the 16 monarchs sprung from the lineage of the Lord (Isa = Siva), who bore the name Candra and had glory delightful as the moon, when counted up will verily be 230. (V. 33) Afterwards Mahavira [was] king of Purempura (?); he then had a godly reign for 12 years. (V. 34) Also the king named Vrayajap, a valiant lord of the earth, after tasting the happiness of kingship for 12 years, thereupon enjoyed the pleasures of Paradise. (V. 35) After him King Sevilireli (?) is remembered as having reigned 12 years; slaying Mavuka (?), he enjoyed the happiness of prosperity in kingship. (V. 36) Then King Dharmasura protected the earth in accordance with religion; highly prosperous, on the completion of 13 years he went to Paradise. (V. 37) Then [was] the indeed devout famous king sprung from the gods' lineage, Vajrasakti, who because of devotion was like a Vajrin (Indra) among monarchs. (V. 38) Possessing bounty, virtue, and other [qualities], he went to the world of the gods after
1 See above, note on text.

protecting the whole universe in a reign of 16 years. (V.39) After him there was a brave king, the fortunate Dharmavijaya, attended by fortune, religion, and victory, zealous in doing kindness to the world. (V. 40) After enjoying kingship for 36 years because of religion, policy, and victory, zealous in doing kindness to the world. (V.40) After enjoying kingship for 36 years because of religion, policy, and victory, through practising remembrance of the Three Jewels he passed away to the Tusita heaven. (V. 41) That king's good son Narendravijaya enjoyed the kingship for 2 years and 9 months. (V. 42) There arose one belonging to the lineage of the Lord (Isa = Siva), a conqueror of troops of foemen, gaining great majesty by manifestation of the three powers,1 a moon of valiant kings, son of Vajrasakti, the fortunate Dharmacandra, having majestically illustrious puissance. (V. 43) The fortunate king, after enjoying a prosperous reign for 16 years, made over the kingdom to [his] excellent son, and afterwards passed away to Paradise. (V. 44) His son Anandacandra is victorious, having the lotus-flowers of his feet ruddied by the outpouring of gleams from gems in the garlands of diadems of reverently bowing monarchs, exceedingly lofty in glory unique on earth, causing gladness, potent over (?) the darkness of foemen. (V.45) [He is] a king equal to Karna in bounty, likewise a Yudhisthira in truthfulness, like Pradyumna in beauty, in splendour like the Sun on earth.
The good deeds done by that Emperor, whose thought yearned for the welfare of others, from the first year of his reign until the ninth year, whether done by himself or caused to be done and approved [by him], because he desired for living beings an abundance of merit through enlightenment of vision and acceptance, will be declared.
(V.46) There have been built many monasteries named Anandodaya, provided with men and women slaves, together with lands, kine, and buffaloes. (V.47) There have been made golden and silver chapels containing images and relics of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and of Cunda and others according to power. (V.48) There have been made images of the Lord of Sages (Buddha) composed of brass, bell-metal, and copper according to the measure of weight and number. (V.49) There have been made many pleasing [and] well decorated effigies of the Buddha composed of wood, plaster, and stone. (V. 50) Innumerable (?) clay ... effigies of a chapel-structure [have been made], and also books of the Holy Law have been caused to be written by the good [king] in large numbers. (V.51) The king with exceeding faith has constantly given for the purpose of worship of the blessed relics many lotus-flowers made of gold and silver and having pericarps of goodly gems. (V. 52) The king, rejoicing with very pure spirit, because of his delight in religious discourses bestowed day after day many shares [in land-estates ?] approved by all people for the purpose of the worship of the Holy Law. (V. 53) He has out of reverence given many copper bowls and robes of good silk (?) to friars coming from divers places. (Vv. 54-5) "Let not the perfection of bounty towards creatures fail me”: [with this intention] therefore he, seeking the welfare of all beings, though he was only a lay-worshipper, caused to be built four monasteries

1 Viz. lordship, counsel, and enterprise.

lodging 50 Brahmans, provided with lands and servants, furnished with musical instruments and musicians. (V. 56) The monastery [named] Anandamddhava at the residence of the Brahmans of Somatirtha and also the monastery called Anandesvara at Naulakka are recorded. (V. 57) At [the place] called Pilakkavanaka, formerly named Domagha (?), also there have been constructed streets, various pleasances, causeways and passages. (V. 58) Every day a session has constantly been carried on in the dining-hall; and because of his mercifulness capital offenders have always been released. (V. 59) At [the place] styled Dankangamargaingaduvara (?) [and] that named Bhnrokanaulakkalavaraka (?) the king has dug two delightful wells entitled Pundiinga and Somasafngha (?). (V. 60) Gods' temples and holy places built by former kings which had perished have also been completely restored by this wise [king]. (V. 61) A pulpit, an excellent cow-elephant, [and] brilliant robes of silk [?] have been dispatched by the king to the noble congregation of friars in the land of King Silamegha. (V. 62) From love for the renowned quality of valour, religion, and fame of the monarch sprung from the divine Bird-lineage, the king of the fortunate Tamrapattana, making devout obeisance, gave [to him] with the highest respect his daughter Dhenda.
(Vv.63-4) On hearing the speech of Anandacandra monarch of the earth, scion of the Bird-lineage of fortunate righteous kings-[speech] fraught with meaning helpful to religion and abundantly marked by the qualities of valour, [high] descent, and bounty-the king sprung from the Saiva-Andhra lineage, the fortunate highly prosperous Manodhira,l fulfilling his command with devout obeisance, entered into happy friendship [with him]. (V. 65) Having promptly made a well and a monastery in the district belonging to his fortunate city, he sent here with extreme devotion his daughter Dhenda, a gem among women, provided with peerless ornaments.]

B. Inscription on Bell from Vesali

This is a votive inscription on a small bell found at Vesali, near Mrohaung, Akyab district, Arakan, and now preserved at Akyab, in the keeping of U San Shwe Bu, Hon. Archaeological Officer for Arakan.
1. deyadharmmo `yam Sakyabhikso ... yac atra 2 punyam tad bhavatu matapitfpurvvaingamam krtva
2. caryyopadhyayanam sarvvasatvanan ca anuttarajnanavaptaye ti 3
[Translation.-" This is a pious offering of the Buddhist friar ... May the merit that is therein be for the gaining of supreme knowledge by teachers, tutors, and all beings, in company with [his] mother and father."]

1 It seems necessary to take manodhira thus as a proper name, regarding maharddhikena as qualifying it (cf. narddhipa bhaktinamro, above, verse 62).
2 [Read yac cdtra.]
3 [The letter before ti is certainly i, though of an unusual type, resembling a u. A similar letter occurs in Incr. C below, line 4.]
C. Inscription on Stone from Sandoway

This is a votive inscription on a stone obtained by Colonel G. E. Fryer in January, 1872, in the cavity of a hill near Ngalunmaw, Kwelu circle, Sandoway district, Arakan (vide Proc. As. Soc. Bengal, 1879, p. 201), and now on loan from the Royal Asiatic Society at the Museum of the Indian Institute, Oxford.

1. ye 1 dharmma hetuprabhava hetu
2. tesam Tathagata by avocat 2 tesaii ca yo
3. nirotha evarimvadi mahasrana ||
4. upasak[a] 3 Ma[i]ga upasa
5. k. [Sa]koma[vamma]m akara
6. yi = matapitaku
7. Sala ||

[Translation.-" The Buddha has declared how the consciousness-moments arising from causes are caused, and how they are to be suppressed : thus spake the Great Ascetic. The lay-worshipper Maiga (?) [and] the lay-worshipper Sakomavamma (?) caused to be made [this object] for the welfare of [their] mother and father."]


Only small numbers of early Arakanese coins in situ have been discovered hitherto, and the best collection is in the British Museum, a representative selection of whose coins is reproduced in Plate V by permission of the Department of Coins and Medals. The majority of them, figs. 5-21, are of the same general type : obverse a humped bull lying down with the name of the king above, placed in a circle with a row of beads outside ; reverse a pattern, of which more later, with the sun and moon above, again in a circle with a row of beads outside. The bull, except in figs. 5 and 20, has a row of beads round its neck, the number varying for each king. Similarly there is a line of a varying number of beads below the pattern on the reverse. The shape of the pattern on the reverse shows a continuous development which, even without the dynastic list in Anandacandra's prasasti, would enable them to be placed in chronological order. This list, palaeographic considerations and the details alike prove Deva's coin (fig. 5) to be the oldest of the series. In this case, and in this alone, the bull has been placed in the centre of the obverse, and leaves insufficient place for the inscription, which accordingly has the appearance of having been added as an afterthought. Further, there is no chain of beads round the bull's neck, but the symbols of the sun and moon appear, though now much worn and indistinct,■bn the reverse. There remain to be placed f i gs. 1-4. At the top of the obverse, squeezed in between the beading and
1 [This formula should read thus: Ye dharmma hetuprabhava hetum te95m Tathagato by avocat tesaf ca yo nirodhah evamvadi maha3ramanah.]
2 [The stone has only avoca.]
3 [The stone reads upasaka.]

the central figure on the last of these, there is an inscription of four characters, hitherto unnoticed, which is not as clear in the plate as on the coin itself, but is far more obvious in Phayre's reproduction (Coins of Arakan, Plate II, fig. 11). The first two letters give Deva, in exactly the same script as in fig. 5; the last two are not clear, but are probably candra. The reverse has the sun and moon symbol of the Candra dynasty. The manner in which the inscription is inserted on figs. 4 and 5 makes it probable that Devacandra was the first king of Arakan to place his name on the coinage. This reason alone is enough to justify the conclusion that Taw Sein Ko was wrong in reading Kdlacandra on the coin mentioned above (p. 368 f.). Fig. 3 is closely related to fig. 4 in general pattern, but has no inscription on the obverse ; the symbols of the sun and moon appear to be discernible on the reverse. This coin must therefore be very close in date to No. 4, and may belong to Kala or Deva Candra. Discussion of Nos. 1 and 2, very similar coins and in particularly good condition, is more speculative. The obverse has a conch-shell in a circle of beads ; in No. 1 the turn-in of the shell has teeth-like markings, absent in No. 2, and there are two loops of what is apparently a ribbon at the top of the shell, this feature being almost obliterated in No. 2. The reverse has a pattern, which is familiar to us on many of the more ancient Indian monuments, such as Sanchi, and which I have tried to show elsewhere 1 to be a vardhamdna. In the centre is an ankusa (?) with a disproportionately long hook, and No. 2 has also a small crescent on the right of it, resembling the moon in the other coins. For the vardhamdna in this form I may particularly compare the specimen in the right hand quarter of the dydgapatta figured on Pl. IX of V. Smith's The Jaina Stupa and other Antiquities of Muttra, 2 which shows in the interior something like a bud on a stalk in place of the ankusa. It may be more than a coincidence that a good relief of a conch-shell was found also at Muttra, illustrated ibid., Pl. LXXI, fig. 7. If we compare the reverses of Nos. 1 and 2 with that of No. 3, is it not clear that the latter has developed out of the former ? The relationship is obvious, and the close connection between the reverses of No. 3 and Nos. 5 if. do not allow room for Nos. 1 and 2 to have developed out of the remaining coins, as can be seen from the latest stage of the evolution, as known to us at present, in Nos. 20 and 21. With this result assured, we can then realize that the obverse of Nos. 3 and 4 is merely the shell of Nos. 1 and 2, turned the other way up and stylized with much extra embellishment. Accordingly coins Nos. 1 and 2 must be the earliest of the series. This conclusion is corroborated by a coin which is intermediate in type between Nos. 1 and 3; there is no specimen of it in the British Museum, and I only know it from the indistinct illustration in Phayre, _ibid., Pl. II, fig. 9, and cannot therefore discuss it in detail.
As regards the origin of this coinage, it is remarkable how few Indian coins present any analogy with it. One might compare the reverse of No. 5
1 JRAS., 1931, 588 ff. ; 1932, 393 ff. ; and 1933, 690.
2 Also Vogel, La Sculpture de Mathura, Pl. LIV b.

with the appearance of a similar symbol on the Kulnta coin of Virayasas, reproduced on Pl. XVI, 4, of Allan, British Museum Catalogue, Coins of Ancient India ; but if the latter is rightly assigned to the first century A.D. there is a gap of some three centuries between them. The recumbent bull, presumably a gaivite emblem, is also rare on Indian coins ; of early ones I can only quote the Malaya coins, particularly V. A. Smith, Catalogue of Coins in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, i, Pl. XX, 18, while those of gasanka (ibid., Pl. XVI, 12, and Allan, B.M. Cat., Coins of the Gupta Dynasty, Pl. XXIII, 14, 15, 16, and Pl. XXIV, 1) are much too late.

The coins shown are as follows :
Nos. 1-2. The earliest coins, discussed above.
No. 3. Early coin of the Candra dynasty.
No. 4. Deva Candra. Similar to preceding.
No. 5. Deva. Earliest coin with the bull on obverse.
Nos. 6-9. Niti Candra and Niti. There are numerous types, with two main divisions, those with the bull headed to the left on the obverse, and those with the bull headed to the right ; the emblems of the sun and moon are similarly transposed on the reverses. There is a large silver coin resembling No. 6 in the possession of the Archaeological Survey, Burma, with the bull headed to the right (P1. V, No. 22).1 In the coinage of the other kings the bull is invariably headed to the left.
No. 10. The smallest coin of the series, with apparently no inscription. From the type of the reverse it seems to belong to Niti Candra.
Nos. 11-13. Vira Candra and Vira. The moon is to the right on the reverse in Nos. 11 and 12, and to the left in No. 13.
Nos. 14-15. Priti. Moon to the right. No. 16. Prthvi. Moon to the right.
Nos. 17-18. Dhrti Candra and Dhrti. Moon to the left.
No. 19. -rmmavijaya (read Dharmmavijaya).
No. 20. Dhamma Candra. Note the increased stylization, the absence of the bead necklet on the bull, and the curious shape of the hump. Moon to the left.
No. 21. Reading of inscription uncertain. Note the curious shape of the bull's hump, only paralleled in No. 20; this is also the only coin showing the bull's tail turning back at the end, instead of under the rump as in all other cases. Moon to the right.
[No. 22. Niti Candra. See above.]
1 [This coin was presented to the Phayre Museum by Maung Kyaw.]

Response to the Press Release of the ‘Rohingyas’

Response to the Press Release of the ‘Rohingyas’
By Khin Maung Saw (Berlin, Germany)

I. Introduction:

After reading the press release of the ‘Rohingyas’ (see the other attachment), as a Rakhaing I am obliged to write the real Arakanese History during the Mrauk U Dynasty. Apart from that, I like to give some responses to that press release:

First of all, in any case, the racial remarks of the Burmese Consul General in Hong Kong must be condemned, whoever these 'Rohingyas' are.

In the mean time a new article appeared in Irrawaddy on 16th Feb. 09, mentioning that those ‘Boat People’ sailed from Bangladesh and not from Arakan as the media informed. They were caned by the sailors who took them to Thailand (See the attachment, migrants ---). Now it appears that these ‘Boat People’ have something to do with human trafficking. They are rather illegal immigrants seeking better fortune in more prosperous countries, the so-called “economic refugees” and NOT the political refugees of an ethnic minority group who were tortured and discriminated in their ‘Mother Land’.

Here I would like to suggest all media, Burmese Oppositions, including Irrawaddy, Burma Digest and other newspapers or journals should study the Arakanese History as well as the reports of the British Colonial Officers of the then British India (i.e. including Burma as a part of British Indian Empire) because they were neither Burmese, Arakanese nor the people of the Subcontinent but British, that means they were neutral persons and most of their contributions were for administrative purposes and/or for scholarly researches, needless to say they were objective.

In this paper, the present author will scrutinize all available authentic historical and etymological facts and answer the statements in their press release scholarly without any prejudice by using compare and contrast method.

II. Responses to the press release:

In their Press release, the 'Rohingyas' claimed that Muslims were in Arakan since the10th Century:

1. Maurice Collis, however, wrote in his paper Arakan's Place in the Civilization of the Bay: "Bengal was absorbed into this polity [that is, Islam] in 1203 A.D. But it was its extreme eastern limit. It never passed into Indo-China; and its influence from its arrival in 1203 till1430 was negligible upon Arakan".

2. In the 10th century A.D., even the biggest country in Southeast Asia with the world's largest Muslim population, Indonesia, was under the Sri Vijaya Empire, which was a Hindu-Buddhist Empire.

3. In the tenth century A.D. Arakan was ruled by the Buddhist kings of the Dhanyawaddy Dynasty and that old city site can still be seen near the small town Kyauk Taw. There is not a single evidence of Arabic culture or Islam faith there. The only non-Buddhist evidence found there are the Hindu deities.

4. If their claims that their forefathers lived in Arakan since the10th Century AD are true, there is no doubt that their descendants who stayed in Arakan at least ten centuries might have spoken Burmese/Arakanese fluently and known native traditions and cultures like the "Burmese Muslims" in Shwebo District, "Myay Du Muslims" in Thandwe District and "Kaman Muslims" in Arakan. Even the Arakanese (Rakhaings) living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts nowadays, where Bengali plays the role of the official language, can still speak, read and write Burmese. Unfortunately, however, the people who are now calling themselves "Rohingyas" do not know any Arakanese/Burmese language and culture. The only language they speak is Bengali Chittagong dialect and the only culture they know is Bengali Culture of Chittagong Area.

III. Was Arakan A Muslim State?

Arakan was and is not a Muslim state. All Arakanese (Rakhaings) were and are devout Buddhists. The history of the Holy Maha Muni Image was and is a proof. Maha Muni Image, a colossal image cast in bronze and inlaid with gold, became the envy of almost all Burmese kings. Whenever they expanded their empire, they tried to rob this holy image. Starting from Anawratha (11th Century AD) to Bodaw U Waing (18th Century AD), most Burmese kings tried to snatch this statue. The Burmese Royal Armies looted this colossal image from the Arakan City or Mrauk U after the Burmese conquest of the Rakhaing Kingdom in the late 18th Century. They used the Arakanese prisoners of war, about thirty thousand including the last King of Arakan, Maha Thamada, as slave labour to carry that colossal image across the mountain range and for other slavery works like the reconstruction of Meikhila Lake, the aborted war against Siam etc. etc. Till now some Arakanese, especially from Sittwe and Mro Haung call the Burmese as "Robbers and Thugs of the Holy Image, Maha Muni", 'Phaya Thukho, Phaya Damya'.

Arakan was well known to be "the Land of Pagodas and Temples". There is a famous Arakanese verse: Thazun pan Khaing ta mraing mraing Rakhaing Phara paung", which was nicely translated into English verse by Maung Tha Hla as: "The Thazun (a type of orchid) sprigs in sheer clusters, Sum the total of the pharas grandeur". According to this verse, there were 6352755 Pharas (Buddha Statues) in Arakan.

Maurice Collis described the situation of Buddhism in the year 1630 during the reign of Min Hayi (Man Hari) alias Thiri Thudhamma (Sri Suddhamma) who bore the Muslim Title Salem Shah the Second. In his book The Land of the Great Image in page 168 where it was written: "The Buddha had died in 543 B.C. Altogether 2173 years had elapsed since then, and for that immense period the image of the Founder of the Religion had remained on Sirigutta, the oldest, most mysterious, the most holy object in the world. The relics detailed to the disciples on Selagiri had all been found and enshrined. Arakan was a sacred country; it was the heart of Buddhism; and he (King Thiri Thudhamma) as its king, was the most notable Buddhist ruler in existence. Grave indeed was his responsibility. He had not only to maintain the state as the homeland of the Arakanese race, but as the one place on earth where an authentic shape of the Tathagata was preserved, a possession of greater potency then the most precious relics".

A. The Mrauk-U Dynasty

In the year A.D 1404 the king of Arakan was Min Saw Mun (Man Saw Muan) and the capital city was Longkyet (Longkrat). He liked the very beautiful wife of a minister and requested that minister, his wife to be presented to the king and in exchange the minister would receive two pretty maids of honour. When the minister refused, the king offered to give four maids of honour as an exchange, but all in vain. Hence, the king took the minister’s wife by force. Committing adultery with a married lady is always a big scandal for a Buddhist, especially for a king. The husband of that lady and her brother went to Ava, the Burmese capital, and requested Min Gaung (Man Gaung), the Burmese king, that he should overthrow the disgraced Min Saw Mun (Man Saw Muan) of Arakan. The Burmese kings of the Ava Empire, especially for King Min Gaung (Man Gaung), automatically considered Arakan as their vassal state because Arakan was feudatory to the Pagan Empire of the Burmese, and apart from that Min Gaung was a war-like king. During the reign of his father King Swa Saw Ke, the young prince Min Gaung personally did lead the Burmese invasion armies to Pegu, the Mon kingdom ruled by King Razadiriz.

So, in the year 1406, Min Gaung (Man Gaung), the king of the Burmese, sent his warrior son Min Ye Kyaw Zwa (Man Ree Kyaw Zwa) with a big army. Min Saw Mun (Man Saw Muan), the king of Arakan fled the kingdom and took refuge in Gaur, the capital of the Sultanate of Bengal. In this way Min Saw Mun (Man Saw Muan) became the last king of the Longkyet (Longkrat) Dynasty and was given a nick name by later historians as "the King who took refuge in the Land of Kalas (Indians)".

The Burmese let their viceroy, a son in law of the Burmese king Min Gaung, rule Arakan. The Arakanese king's younger brother Min Kayi (Man Kari), "Duke of Thandwe", the crown prince then, went to Pegu, the Mon capital, and requested the Mons, archrival of the Burmese, for help. With the help of Razadiriz (Raja di Raja), king of the Mons, he liberated Longkrat, killed the Burmese viceroy. He also sent Min Gaung’s daughter to Pegu as a gift to the Mon king. He could rule Arakan on behalf of his brother, but only for a short period. The second Burmese invasion in A.D 1408 headed by Min Ye Kyaw Zwa (Man Ree Kyaw Zwa) followed. This time the Burmese armies invaded Longkrat, Thandwe and the Kingdom of the Mons simultaneously. The Mon armies in Arakan had to go back to defend their own kingdom. The Arakanese king’s younger brother Min Khayi (Man Khari), the prince regent then, had to take refuge by the Mons while his elder brother took refuge by the Sultan of Gaur.

Min Saw Mun (Man Saw Muan) stayed in Gaur for more than 22 years. With the help of the Sultan of Bengal he regained his throne in A.D 1430, and built the new capital of Mrauk U, while the Burmese were very busy having wars against the Mons.

To show his gratitude to the Sultan he asked what he could do. The Sultan persuaded him to be converted into Islam but he refused; however, he promised the Sultan that the Arakanese kings would bear Pseudonym Muslim Titles.

The warrior Burmese prince Min Ye Kyaw Zwa (Man Ree Kyaw Zwa) was seriously wounded in a battle against the Mons and died later. Min Saw Mun’s (Min Saw Muan) younger brother and throne successor Min Kayi (Man Kari) met his Burmese counterpart then, Narapati Gyi (Narapati Gri) of Ava at the border between two kingdoms and signed a friendship treaty with the Burmese.

B. Buddhists kings with Pseudonym Muslim Titles:

The 'Rohingyas' claimed that Arakan was ruled by the Muslim kings from 1430 for about 100 years.

In fact, the Kingdom of Mrauk U was not established by the 'Rohingyas'. All kings of the Mrauk U dynasty were Buddhists. Some kings had assumed Muslim Titles because, as mentioned above, Min Saw Mun (Man Saw Muan), the founder of the Mrauk U City wanted to show his gratitude to the Sultan of Gaur who helped him to regain the Arakanese throne in 1430. Hence, he promised the Sultan that the Arakanese kings would bear Pseudonym Muslim Titles. But in fact, all of the Arakanese kings were donors of many temples in Mrauk U as well as in the other parts of Arakan. They did make coins, one side with Burmese/Arakanese scripts and the other side with Persian (NOT Bengali).

For example: Min Saw Mun (Man Saw Muan), the founder of the Mrauk U City with the assumed Muslim Title 'Suleiman Shah' built seven Buddhists temples in Mrauk U. One of them was Laymyetna Phaya (Leemyatna Phara) in Mrauk U (now Mrohaung). His successor and younger brother Min Khayi (Man Khari), who had an assumed Muslim Title 'Ali Khan', erected the Nyidaw Zedi, which can be roughly translated as 'The Pagoda built by the Younger Brother'. His son and successor King Ba Saw Phru alias Kaliman Shah constructed four Buddhists temples including the Maha Bodi Shwegu Pagoda. His son Dan Ugga alias Daluya, who bore the Muslim Title Moguh Shah, was the donor of Thongyaik Tasu Temple (meaning the temple of Thirty One Buddhas). His successor Min Yan Aung (Man Ran Aung) alias Narui Shah founded the Htupayon Pagoda. Min Bin (Man Ban) had an assumed Muslim Title of Zabauk Shah; and was the donor of seven temples including Shit Thaung Phaya (Shite Thaung Phara) or the Temple of Eighty Thousand Buddha Statues. Min Phalaung (Man Phalaung) alias Secudah Shah was the donor of six temples including Htukkan Thein, his son Min Yaza Gyi (Man Raza Gri) with the Muslim Title Salem Shah donated Phaya Paw (Phara Paw) Pagoda and Pakhan Thein in Mrauk U and also Shwe Kyaung Pyin Monastery in Thandwe. Min Khamaung, who subjoined the Muslim Title Hussein Shah constructed Yatanapon (Ratanabon) and Yatana Pyethet (Ratana Prethat) Pagodas and his son Thri Thudhamma (meaning the Protector of Buddhist Religion) alias Salem Shah the Second, erected the Sekkya Manaung (Sakkya Manaung) Pagoda.

Muslim Sharia Law dictated the Muslim community to convert all 'infidels', i.e., all who supported any other religions except Islam. A Muslim who converts to another religion can be punishable with a death penalty. If those kings of the Mrauk U Dynasty were Muslims, they would have been condemned to death by the Mullahs for breach of the Islamic faith.

There was and is no Muslim ruler who undertook or undertakes to promote Buddhism or Christianity or any other religion. The Crusade Wars had proven this in history. In 2000, the Talibans of Afghanistan destroyed two 2000 years old gigantic Buddha Statues despite of the protests from the whole world. They could not keep those statues even as historical monuments. For them, those statues were the “Idols of the Infidels”!

See also: Jacques Leider, “Those Buddhist Kings with Muslim Titles”, Scholars Column, www.rakhapura.com.

Taking assumed Muslim Titles or a Muslim name did not and does not mean that that person must be a Muslim. Even President Obama of USA, a Christian, has a second name Hussein. One of the famous singers of the Burmese Classical Songs during the late Colonial Era and in the early 50’s bore the name U Ali, but he was a Buddhist. Many people of Burma took and still have some Christian names though they were and are devoted Buddhists. The late Daw Khin May Than, wife of the late Dictator General Ne Win bore the Christian name Kitty Ba Than. A son of the first President of the Union of Burma, Sao Shwe Thaik, a Shan and a devout Buddhist had the name Eugene Thaik. Even the Prime Minister of the NCGUB, Dr. Sein Win, was called John Ba Win until 1959 in the then St. John’s Diocesan Boys’ School, Rangoon, though he is a Buddhist and his parents were devout Buddhists. His former classmate, the present author too has also a Christian name Peter Saw Maung, though I am a Buddhist and my parents were Buddhists.

There are many reasons for bearing a foreign name. It may be because of friendship, in some cases just for courtesy and sometimes just to show respect for that society. All members of ‘the Thirty Comrades’ had Japanese Pseudonyms. For example: Omoda (Aung san), Tani (Let Ya), Tagazuki (Ne Win). Most of the Burma Scholars of Foreign Origin have Burmese names. For Example: U Hla Thein (Prof. John Okell, London), Daw Khin Khin Chaw (Prof. Anna Allot, London), U Ba Tin (Prof. Vadim Kasevitch, Russia), Daw Hnin Si (Dr. Annemarie Esche, Germany), Daw Than Than Win (Dr. Uta Gaertner, Germany).

IV. British contributions about Muslims in Burma:

I searched for the ethnic group ‘Rohingyas’ in all history books, literature, encyclopaedias and other publications published before 1953 and written by foreign scholars. Unfortunately, I did not find any. None of the British Colonial Officers recorded the name 'Rohingya, neither in the Indian Subcontinent nor in Burma.

To be honest, I had never heard of the word "Rohingya" until the late 1950's.

1. "The fact that there has never been a "Rohingya" ethnic group in Burma is quite evident. There is no such name as "Rohingya" in the Census of India, 1921 (Burma) compiled by G. G. Grantham, I.C.S., Superintendent of Census Operations Burma, or in the Burma Gazetteer, Akyab District (1924) compiled by R. B. Smart.

2. Even in Hobson-Jobson. "A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo Indian Words and Phrases, and of Kindred Terms, Etymological, Historical, Geographical and Discursive" published by British Colonial Officers of British East India Company, Col. Henry Yule and A. C. Burnell (First Published 1886) the word "Rohingya" was not mentioned. Since this book was published by the Bengal Chamber Edition, Calcutta, India, and is an indispensable dictionary for those who want to study the history of India during the last 300 years and its impact on the East and West, it should be considered as a standard literature.

3. The well known author and scholar, Maurice Collis, who wrote many articles and books about Arakan, also never mentioned the word "Rohingya".

4. None of the British Colonial Officers' contributions about Burma and India mentioned that word "Rohingya", however, they mentioned about 'Zerabadi' the Indo-Burmese Hybrids or "Burmese Muslims", the Muslims in Shwebo and Yamethin Districts in Burma Proper, "Myay Du Muslims", "Kaman Muslims" and Bengali Muslim Settlers of Arakan.

A. Kaman Muslims

Some Muslim settlement began only after Min Saw Mun (Man Saw Muan) regained the throne of Arakan in 1430 with the help of the Sultan of Gaur. There were some Muslim troops in Mrauk U to protect Min Saw Mun (Man Saw Muan) from the Burmese invasion. About two hundred years later, some followers of Mogul Prince Shah Shuja, who took refuge by the Arakanese king Sanda Thuddhama, joined the descendants of these soldiers. These groups of mercenaries were Afghans, Persians and Moguls. They were called "Kamans", meaning archers in Persian language. Their descendants still live in the Rakhine State, particularly in Akyab (Sittwe) District and Rambree Island. Now they are assimilated into the Arakanese society. Only in religion and complexion do they differ from the Arakanese (Rakhaing/Rakhine), they know the Arakanese language, literature and Buddhist traditions very well. Most of them have Burmese/Arakanese names. They rarely used their Muslim names.

B. Myay Du Muslims

There are some Muslims living in Thandwe District. These Muslims are called "Myay Du". They are the descendants of the former "Pagoda Slaves". When King Min Bin (Man Ban) alias Min Bargyi (Man Bargri) reoccupied the Chittagong District in A.D. 1533, he brought back some Bengalis as prisoners of war and let them work as menial workers at Andaw, Nandaw and Sandaw Pagodas in Thandwe. Since they had to do menial works and were not free people anymore, they were called "Pagoda Slaves". In the year 1624, these Bengali "Pagoda Slaves" supported the 'Palace revolution' lead by the 'Duke of Thandwe' and the crown prince then, Min Khamaung, against his own father King Raza Gri. After the aborted revolution against the Arakanese king these 'Bengali Pagoda Slaves' and their families, all together about four thousand people, escaped to the Burmese kingdom of Ava to take refuge. The Burmese king accepted them as his subjects, gave them their freedom by royal orders declaring that they were no longer "Pagoda Slaves", and let them settle in the small town Myay Du. That's why they were known as "Myay Du Muslims". These "Myay Du Muslims", generation by generation, served in the Burmese Royal Army. When Bodaw Phaya's armies invaded Arakan in1784, the descendants of these "Myay Du Muslims" came together with the Burmese Army at Thandwe front. When the Burmese occupied Arakan they let the "Myay Dus" resettle in Thandwe and nearby villages. Since these people had lived about 150 years in Upper Burma, these "Myay Dus" were assimilated into Burmese society. Although their descendants live in Thandwe District, they speak Burmese central dialect instead of Arakanese Thandwe Dialect. Only in complexion and faith do they differ from the Arakanese and Burmese, yet they know the Burmese language, culture and traditions very well. Officially, they have Burmese/Arakanese names. They rarely use their Muslim names in public. See also: Tydd, W.D., Burma Gazetteer, Sandoway District, Vol.A, Rangoon, 1926.

C. Bengali settlers after the British annexation of Arakan in 1826:

Since Arakan has a direct land border with East Bengal many Chittagonian Bengalis were brought to Arakan by the British as cheap labourers. These latter settlers are called "Khawtaw Kalas" in both Burmese and Arakanese.

Some settlers learnt Arakanese and Burmese; hence, some of them were assimilated in the native society. However, these Chittagonian Bengalis differ from the Arakanese in their features, complexion and religion as well as in some customs which their religion directs; in writing they use Burmese but among themselves employ colloquially the language of their ancestors, either Urdu or Bengali. They never named themselves ‘Rohingyas’ but ‘Arakan Muslims’. Since they were assimilated in the native society, Burmese as well as Arakanese (Rakhaings) did not call them Khawtaw Kala any more, but used the term Muslims, just to differentiate them from the natives who are Buddhists, Kamans and Myaydus. Though Kamans and Myaydus are Muslims they were already assimilated in the native society. When one hears the name Kaman or Myaydu, one knows automatically that they are Muslims.

Unfortunately, however, many latter settlers never tried to assimilate into the native society and therefore they were and are never welcomed by the natives, neither by the Burmese nor by the Arakanese society. Nor could they join even in the society of "Indigenous Muslims of Arakan", the "Kamans" and the "Myay Dus". That was the main reason why racial riots happened often during the whole colonial era and also in post-colonial era, especially in Northern Arakan. Burmese and Arakanese (Rakhaings) called them either Khawtaw Kala or Sittagaung Kala.
D. Mujahid Rebels

After Burma had regained her independence, these settlers wanted to turn northern Arakan into an autonomous Muslim state. "Some members of the 'Juniyatu Olamai' religious association went to Karachi on a delegation to discuss the incorporation of Butheedaung, Maungdaw and also Rathedaung townships into East Pakistan. Some of them went underground and called themselves "Mujahid" rebels. The leader of the "Mujahids rebels was Mir Cassim, an uneducated fisherman. It was only an illusion of an uneducated man like Cassim who wanted to turn a traditionally Buddhist land like Arakan into a Muslim state". As a result, in the 1950's these rebels were totally crushed by the Burma Armed Forces. Some surrendered while some fled to East Pakistan. Cassim fled to East Pakistan and he was shot dead in Cox Bazaar by an unknown person in 1966.

Both surrendered Mujahid and Bengali Muslim Settlers did not want to be called Khawtaw Kala or Kala which according to their own interpretation supposed to be derogatory because ‘Kala’ means ‘dark’ or ‘Coloured’ or ‘Blackie’ in the languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Bengali . In fact, the literal pronunciation of the Burmese as well as Arakanese word ‘Kala’ is ‘Kula’ and also written as ‘Kula’. This term was derived from the Pali or Sanskrit word ‘Kula Puttra’ meaning ‘the son of a noble race’ because Lord Buddha himself was an Indian. Both Po and Sagaw Karen word for Indian is ‘Kula’ and the Thai word for Indian is ’Kal’. Hence, it is not derogatory instead it is ‘a word of courtesy’!

Anyway, Bengali Muslim Settlers did not want to be called ‘Kala’. As a result, they settled for the name "Rohingya". In the late 1950"s, the demand for the statehood of the Rakhaings (Arakanese) and the Mons was at the peak. The Bengalis who started calling themselves "Rohingyas" asked for the same status as the Arakanese (Rakhaings). When their demands were turned down by the Burmese government on the grounds that they were not an indigenous race of Arakan, some educated Bengali Muslims like M. A. Tahir, well known through his Burmese name Ba Tha, Maung Than Lwin and some Bengali Muslim students from the University of Rangoon began to fabricate historical facts to prove that they were "Indigenous Arakanese Muslims" and started to fabricate stories that they and their ancestors belonged to Arakan historically.

V. Evolution of the word ‘Rohingya’

There are many stories fabricated by educated Bengali Muslims to prove that their ancestors were the indigenous ethnic minorities of Arakan but all of them are baseless.

The real etymology of the term ‘Rohingya can be traced as follows:

After the Second World War when British Administration restarted in Burma, all Bengalis who went back to Bengal during the war came back to Arakan. They brought many new settlers with them. Because of their immigration waves many Arakanese left their villages in Northern Arakan and moved southwards. These villages were named "Old or Deserted Villages", Ywa-Haun in Burmese (Rwa-Haun or Ra-haun in Arakanese pronunciation). The villagers of Ywa-Haun were called Ywa-Haun-Tha in Burmese (Ra-Haun-Tha in Arakanese pronunciation). Those Bengali new settlers could not pronounce 'Ra-Haun' as well as Ra-Haun-Tha properly and called with their Bengali accent "Ro-han" and the “Ro-han-za”, respectively. Later it deviated to ‘Ro-han-ja’ and then ‘Ro-hin-gya’.

A. Political way out of the AFPFL

U Nu’s government had a lot of political problems in the 50’s. The political wing of the Rakhaings supported the oppositions. Just to punish the Rakhaings, U Nu and his deputy then U Ba Swe promised to grant the Ra-Haung-Tha, all together more than one hundred thousand people, Burmese citizenship. After that, with these newly granted Burmese citizens’ votes some educated Bengali Muslims such as Mr. Sultan Mahmud, Mr. Abu Bawshaw, Mr. Abu Kai and Mr. Abdul Gahfar became MPs of U Nu’s party from all constituencies of the frontier districts in 1956 elections. These four Muslim Members of Parliament neither named themselves nor their followers ‘Rohingyas’ at that time, instead they called themselves ‘Arakan Muslims’.

U Nu and U Ba Swe started using the term ‘Rohingya’. Since the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister started using the term ‘Rohingya’ others too started using this term. Even the famous history professor, Prof. G. C. Luce started using the term "Rohingyas" in his lectures for the Bengali settlers living in Northern Arakan, although he has had never mentioned this terminology in his lectures in the pre-war days, and also in his books published before 1955.

There were two Muslim ministers in the AFPFL government. U Rashid was very close to U Nu and U Latiff alias U Khin Maung Latt was a protégé of U Ba Swe and U Kyaw Nyein, the First and the Second Deputy Prime Ministers. Hence, the AFPFL government wanted to grant Burmese citizenship to more Bengali settlers, if they fell under the category of ‘Yaw-haun-Tha’ (Ra-Haun-Tha).

Since that time, all Chittagonian Bengalis, whether their ancestors had lived in Arakan before the Second World War or not, if they wanted to get Burmese citizenship they used the term "Rohanja"or ‘Rohingya’, which according to their pronunciation meaning Villagers of Rwa-Haun or ‘Ra-Haun-Tha’.

The surrendered "Mujahids" too adopted that name to prove that they were the villagers of "Rahaung" (Rohan in their pronunciation), that means they had lived there since before or after the second world war so that they could claim Burmese citizenship.

B. Premier Nu’s ‘Pendulum Tactics’ to remain in Power:

U Nu and U Ba Swe might have planned to accept the name "Rohingyas" for the Chittagonian Bengalis who became Burmese citizens eventually with the hope that these people will vote for their party, however, they were afraid to accept them as an indigenous race of Burma.

Before all these could happen, however, the ruling party, the Anti-Fascist Peoples' Freedom League (AFPFL) split into two factions, the Clean AFPFL headed by U Nu and the Stable AFPFL lead by U Ba Swe. U Ba Swe's fraction (the Stable) was supported by the majority of the AFPFL members of parliament (i.e. the ruling party). Seeing his danger by vote of no-confidence by his former comrades, U Nu promised to grant States for the Arakanese and the Mons, and he also promised to the "Arakan Muslims" leaders that he won't forget their gratitude if they could help him during that political crisis. In June 1958, U Nu's fraction narrowly escaped the vote of no-confidence submitted by U Ba Swe's fraction in the Burmese Lower House because the "Arakanese National Union Party", the party of the Mons and "Arakan Muslims" MPs together with the MPs of the main opposition party then, the leftist National United Front (NUF) party, voted for U Nu's fraction.

U Nu showed his gratitude by appointing his supporters as ministers in his new coalition government. Two NUF MPs called U Thein Pe Myint and Dr. E Maung, one Arakanese MP U Hla Tun Phru, one Mon MP U Mon Pho Cho and one "Arakan Muslim" MP Mr. Sultan Mahmud became ministers in this cabinet. Here, U Mon Pho Cho and U Hla Tun Phru were named Minister for Mon and Arakanese Affairs respectively apart from their other posts as the minister of their other ministries. Mr. Sultan Mahmud, on the other hand, was only the replacement for the other Muslim minister U Latiff alias U Khin Maung Latt who sided with the Stable Fraction of the AFPFL and voted against U Nu. Mr. Sultan Mahmud wanted to make hay while the sun shines, expected to get the lion’s share and requested U Nu to name him “the Minister for Arakan Muslim Affairs”. His request was turned down by U Nu on the grounds that the “Arakan Muslims” were in fact Chittagonian Bengalis; hence, their ancestors were settlers only and were never of the indigenous race of Arakan.

On 31st July 1958 U Nu offered an amnesty to all insurgents who would surrender themselves. Some Mujahids surrendered. They and other Bengali settlers ask for citizenship. However, this government did not last long to grant them citizenship. The government was in power for three months and seventeen days only.

In September 1958, the three leading officers from the Burma Army, namely Brigadier Tin Pe, Colonel Aung Gyi and Colonel Maung Maung went to Premier Nu's resident and demanded to transfer power officially to the military or otherwise they could not prevent the military coup planned by other officers. In the mean time Brigadier Aung Shwe (now chairman of the opposition NLD Party, the party of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi), the then commander of the Southern Command ordered some of his troops to occupy the Mingaladon International Airport and Insein Town, both of them are only ten miles away from Rangoon City Centre. Prime Minister U Nu had no other choice, but to surrender power to a Caretaker Government headed by General Ne Win constitutionally through the parliament just to prevent the army coup dé tat. The Caretaker Government ruled Burma until March 1960. The multi-party election was held in February 1960 in which U Nu's party won with landslide majority.

C. The first attempt of Bengali Muslims for the acceptance as an indigenous ethnic group

Those Bengali leaders tried again to have their group accepted as "Indigenous Muslims" or as an "indigenous ethnic group" of Burma as well as many people to be granted citizenship again. This time they generally used the name "The Arakan Muslims", however, occasionally they also used the name "Rohingyas" as an attempt to prove” that they are an “indigenous ethnic group” of Arakan. Unfortunately, the population of the "Rohingyas" given by them was much higher than the registered "Surrendered Mujahids" and the former villagers of Rwa Haung or Ra-Haun-Tha. The government answered that citizenship will be considered only for the people who were eligible, that means the former villagers of Rwa Haung, the former "Mujahids" and their descendants but not for the latter settlers. Their demand for an "indigenous ethnic group" was turned down again on the ground that Chittagonian Bengalis were never of the indigenous race of Arakan and they and their ancestors were settlers only, and therefore they could be considered in the same category as the Indians, the Pakistanis and the Chinese immigrants. Then their "History Professors" like Ba Tha and Maung Than Lwin began to fabricate the "Histories" as mentioned earlier.

The name "Rohingya" disappeared during the Caretaker Government. It reappeared in April 1960 when U Nu was re-elected as Prime Minister. U Nu, just to please the Arakan Muslim MPs and their followers who supported him in the election, allowed broadcasting in the "Rohingya" language in the Burma Broadcasting Station (BBS) under the Foreign Languages Programme in addition to English and Hindustani, but never allowed it in the National Languages Programme. In fact, the "Rohingya" language is a Bengali Chittagong dialect.

To regain back his power, U Nu had promised many things before the election which later became contradictory to each other. For example he promised to declare Buddhism as the State Religion without considering the fact that there are two Christian majority states in Burma, namely the Kachin and the Chin States, where at least 60% of the population are Christians. The Karen (Kayin) state, however, was and is not a Christian majority state. Only 30% of the Karens in Burma are Christians. At least 35 % of Karens are Buddhist and the rest are nature worshippers. When the MPs discussed in parliament to declare Buddhism as the state religion, his own party members of the Kachin and Chin States as well as his good friend the Muslim Minister U Rashid protested and voted against it, however, the majority of the MPs voted for it and Buddhism became state religion. After that many riots started between Buddhists and Muslims and also it was the ‘Birth of the Kachin rebellion K.I.A (the Kachin Independence Army)’.

He promised to grant statehood to the Rakhaings and Mons, in the mean time he wanted to grant citizenship to many illegal Bengali Muslim immigrants with the name ‘Rohingya’, just to console his Muslim minister and MPs.

In the mean time the Shans and the Kayahs, due to their rights signed in the Panlong Conference in 1947, demanded to make some amendments in the constitution so that the States in the Union of Burma have more autonomy, have equal rights and become federal states.

There was political turmoil in Burma and U Nu was totally trapped in his own promises which he could not solve easily. It became the ‘Golden opportunity’ for the Usurper General Ne Win ‘to make hay while the sun shines’ and took the ‘Lion’s Share’ and ´carried out the Army coup de tat on 2nd March 1962.

At the beginning all foreign media were trapped by Ne Win. Many British and American sources wrote Ne Win’s coup dé tat was necessary because the country was in a political dilemma.

When U Nu's government was overthrown by General Ne Win through a military coup in March 1962, the constitution was suspended. Buddhism was no more state religion, the name "Rohingya" disappeared from the Burmese political scene again. Hindustani and "Rohingya" broadcasts ended.

In 1972 the name "Rohingya" reappeared inside Burma, when the Revolutionary Council Government formed a commission called the Constitution Commission and this Commission requested citizens for suggestions. The "Rohingyas" took the opportunity and responded immediately by sending suggestions and proposals to grant them the rights of ethnic minorities and requested for an autonomous Muslim State in northern Arakan. They presented those "stories" and "created history" again. Their demands were turned down again on the ground that they and their ancestors were neither "Indigenous Muslims" nor Indigenous ethnic group of Arakan nor Burma. Some of their leaders went to Former East Pakistan and established the "Arakan Rohingya Liberation Front" under the slogan of "Rohingya National Liberation" on 15 July 1972. This "front" has very few members, not more than two hundred. They got a few help from fanatic Muslims and some rich Muslim countries but neither from the Pakistani nor Bangladeshi governments directly. After that nobody heard the name "Rohingya" again until 1978 after the first aborted ‘Naga Min Operation’. Then, the name ‘Rohingya’ reappeared in 1991, after the second aborted ‘Naga Min’ Operation.

D. ‘Rohingya’ population growth

The population growth of the ‘Rohingyas’ is really a miracle.

Since the word "Rohan" is neither Arakanese nor Bengali word, but only the Bengali pronunciation of Ywa-Haun (Ra-Haun), today nobody can guess what this word means unless one knows the back ground of this word.

Most of the "Rohingyas" nowadays are no more the descendants of the ‘Ra-haun-Tha’ and the surrendered Mujahid Rebels, instead real illegal immigrants coming from Bangladesh for various reasons, settled down inside Burma in 1970 during the Bangladesh Liberation War and later.

Their population growth is a miracle and always happens after a cyclone hits Bangladesh. Most of them are illiterates, know nothing about history but have only heard the name "Rohingyas" and claim to be. Some Muslims in Burma and Bangladesh helping them also don't know the origin of this word and created fanciful stories. They even misinterpreted the word "Rohan" as the whole Arakan and wrote in their journals that "Rohan" means "Arakan" in Arabic; they were the founders of Arakan and so forth.

VI. Are the following Racial Statements or Comparing and Contrasting two groups of peoples?

Time has changed and the ideas and thinking of people has changed. The terms once considered as ‘normal’ has become ‘politically incorrect’ and terms once considered derogatory can be normal nowadays. Now I would like to cite the following statements written by some British writers comparing the peoples of Burma and the peoples of the Subcontinent (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh). What kind of comments can we give nowadays? Are they racial statements or comparing and contrasting two groups of peoples?

1. The Report of the Joint Select Committee on the Government of India Bill. 1919, III. Clause 41: where it was written that "after hearing evidence the Committee have not advised that Burma should be included within the scheme. They do not doubt but that the Burmese have deserved and should receive a Constitution analogous to that provided in this Bill for their Indian fellow-subjects. But Burma is only by accident part of the responsibility of the Governor General of India. The Burmese are as distinct from the Indians in race and language as they are from the British".
Please note that, here the British used the term 'the Burmese', which according to their definition, represents all peoples of Burma including Arakanese. They did not use the term 'the Burman', which according to their definition, represents only the majority ethnic group, the Bamas.

3. The Report of the Indian Statutory Commission vol. II London, 1930, vol. II § 224: In 1927, The Indian Statutory Commission, popularly known as the "Simon Commission", was appointed under the chairmanship of Sir John Simon. This Commission gave its opinion that "we hold that the first step towards the attainment of full responsible government in Burma is the separation of Burma from the rest of British India....We would add that Burma's political connection with India is wholly arbitrary and unnatural. It was established by the British rulers of India by force of arms and being maintained for the sake of administrative convenience. It is not an association of two peoples having natural affinity tending towards union ... there is nothing common between the two peoples.

4. Captain Symes who was sent by the Viceroy of India on Embassy to the court of Bodawphaya in 1795 wrote: "The general disposition or temperament of the Burmese is strikingly in contrast with that of the natives of India from whom they are separated only by a narrow range of mountains. The physical difference between these nations is also very great. The Burmese are lively, inquisitive, active, grace, hot-tempered and impatient. The unworthy passion of jealousy, which makes most nations of the East hide their women within the walls of a harem and surround them with guards, seems to have no place in the minds of this extraordinary and more liberal people. Burmese wives and daughters are not concealed from the sight of men, and are allowed to mix as freely with the latter as in Europe. ------- Women in the Burman country are not only good housewives, but also manage the more important commercial affairs of their husbands and attend to their outdoor business matters. They are extremely industrious and are said to be good mothers and faithful wives."

VII. Analysis of the ‘Rohingya Problem’

A. Why some writers were trapped by "Rohingyas":

If one carefully scrutinizes all available authentic historical and etymological facts it comes out clearly that there was no ethnic group called "Rohingya" in Arakan as well as in Burma, and it is only an invented name in the late 1950's. Arakan was and is not a Muslim state. The Kingdom of Mrauk U was not established by the ‘Rohingyas’ as they claimed. All kings of the Mrauk U dynasty were Buddhists. Some kings had assumed Muslim Titles but all of them were donors of many temples in Mrauk U as well as in other parts of Arakan.

Even though, some of the international journalists favoured the dishonest claims of the ‘Rohingyas’. Why?

The answer is very clear. Most of them are only writers and neither etymological scholars nor historical researchers. They don't know the real history of Arakan as well as the history of Burma, however, they made their conclusions based only on many correct points; that the present government in Burma (SLORC earlier and SPDC later) is a military dictatorship, did not surrender the power to the party who won in the election in 1990, put the opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for no reason, discriminating other ethnic minorities of Burma and violating a lot of human rights. The news about the military abuses against the ‘Rohingyas’ was also more or less true. Hence, they concluded that all claims of the ‘Rohingyas’ to be the truth.

B. Bad Image of the various Burmese Military Governments since 1962

The various Burmese Military Governments of Burma since 1962 have and never had a good reputation and image, neither in the internal nor in the international media. They are well known for never respecting human rights. To maintain their power, the various military authorities in Burma used and still use tanks and machine guns to brutally crush down any anti-government demonstration of the majority population and students even those demonstrations organized, led and participated in by Buddhists monks.

On this basis the international media neither trusted the SLORC/SPDC nor the various Burmese Military Juntas, even if sometimes, though very rarely, the statement of the junta could be true.

Therefore, it is no wonder; some of the writers unwittingly supported the "Rohingyas" and their claims. Some Muslims backing them were also trapped, when they issued their "fantastic historical claims".

C. Who immigrate to where:

If we compare Burma and Bangladesh by means of population density, we will see that Bangladesh has one of the highest in the world while Burma has a very low one. Natural catastrophes, like storms, cyclones and floods hit Bangladesh every year, but rarely Burma. Soil fertility in the Rakhine State is much better than that of Bangladesh. Burma was a very rich country compared to East Pakistan (later Bangladesh). Even now, although Burma has become a poor country, the way of life in Burma is much easier than that in Bangladesh. Besides, Burma has more space, so logically who immigrates where does not need to be explained.

During East Pakistan's struggle for independence from West Pakistan to establish a new nation which is now Bangladesh, many war refugees ran to Arakan (the Rakhine State of Burma). It was the main reason why Burma immediately recognised the new nation, disregarding the anger and objections of Pakistan. As usual, however, the then military government of Burma (The Revolutionary Council headed by Gen. Ne Win) did not like any UN observers, particularly from the UNHCR, coming to Burma. So, they did not report anything about the refugees, preferring a solution through bilateral agreements. Some refugees returned to Bangladesh as a result, but eventually they went back to the Rakhine State of Burma (Arakan). Many of them were arrested as illegal immigrants. Almost all of them had to learn the Burmese language in the jails because they could not speak Burmese as well as any other language of Burma, although Burmese language is the official language of Burma as well as the ‘Lingua Franca’ or ‘the Language of Communication’ between one ethnic minority group to the other group. The only language they could speak was Chittagonian Bengali!

Since the border of Burma was neither properly controlled nor well guarded with barbed wires and walls, nobody can say when they came over to Burma or since when they have lived there. Had they invited UN observers during the time of the civil war in East Pakistan, this problem would not have evolved.

Both "Rohingyas" problems, 1978 and 1991, came about a few months after a cyclone hit Bangladesh. Even India, the world's largest democracy, whose people are of the same historical and racial background as those people from Bangladesh, raised barbed wires along their borders with Bangladesh to prevent illegal immigration towards their side.

In the case of the ‘Boat People’, it is human nature for the people of a poor country to seek their fortune in a more prosperous country. Nowadays, there are about two million Burmese and other ethnic minorities working in Thailand and Malaysia either as legal or illegal immigrant workers.

Many Mexicans entered into USA illegally, African Boat People wanted to enter one of the soils of EU, many Afghans, Chinese and Subcontinent people were taken by human traffickers as illegal immigrants to Western Europe, USA, Canada and Australia.

Bangladesh is a poor country and very overpopulated. Malaysia is the nearest rich Muslim country. Hence, no wonder, most of the poor Bangladeshis wanted to go to Malaysia to seek their luck. If they said the truth that they were from Bangladesh, they would be considered only as illegal immigrants and turned back. Since ‘Rohingyas’ speak the same language and have the same culture as the Chittagonian Bengalis, it is ‘the golden opportunity’ for them to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ and claimed to be ‘Rohingyas’ as they were taught by the human traffickers.

Similarly, some asylum seekers in Germany coming with Burmese Passports, claimed to be from the Shan State of Burma, however, they could neither speak Shan nor Burmese, the only language they could speak was Chinese! Later, it appeared that they came from China, bought fake Burmese passports and asked for asylum. This happens only because the military government of Burma has a very bad image which many people from contiguous countries can take advantage of.

D. ‘Rohingyas’ for Burmese Citizenship:

Some liberal foreign journalist, Burma Scholars, politicians and writers argued that the "Rohingyas", even if most of them were the descendants of illegal immigrants and many war refugees of the East Pakistan Independence War in 1970, deserve to have the right to be naturalized as citizens of Burma since they have lived inside Burmese territory for more than ten years.

To that suggestion, the present author personally have no objection as long as the ‘Rohingyas’ want to live peacefully side by side with the Buddhists Rakhaings who are the natives of Arakan and ‘Bummi Puttras’ of that region and as long as ‘Rohingyas’ do not make dishonest claims and want to turn the traditional Buddhist land into a Muslim state. I don’t know what the majority of Rakhaings would say. I don’t represent any organisation and therefore I cannot speak for them, but can only suggest. I hope it may also be possible that many Rakhaings would share my view. However, it will not be easy under this present government. The present Military Junta is well known as hard liners, very xenophobic and too ethno-centric. It may be easier to do this under a democratically elected government through “give and take” policy.

In any case, one should not forget the fact that every sovereign nation has their own immigration and naturalization laws which others should respect, for example Malaysia has the ‘Bummi Puttra’ law. We should not forget the fact that Burma is not an immigrant land. In spite of that, in the past, in 1950's U Nu was so generous and had granted about 150000 (one hundred and fifty thousand) illegal immigrants of East Pakistan Burmese citizenship and the rest were tolerated to stay in Burma without any identity or as foreigners.

Even "the most democratic country on the earth", the United States of America" do not grant citizenship automatically to many offspring of the Mexicans who were born inside the U.S.A., because their parents came illegally to the U.S.A., and lived there as illegal immigrants. They usually live in California, Arizona and Texas, and everybody knows that these territories historically belonged to Mexico.

It is also a similar problem for the People of the Subcontinent, Sri Lanka and the West Indies who reside in The United Kingdom, "the Mother of Democracy” although these people belong to the "British Common Wealth". Many of them demonstrated in the U.K. with the slogan "We are here because you were there!"

So do many Turks in Germany. Some of them came to Germany as ‘Guest Workers’ invited by the then West-German Government in the 1950’s. Some of them live there more than 40 years and their children were born in Germany, however, these children won’t be granted German citizenship automatically, unless or otherwise they apply for that and go through some legal procedures.

Here, the present author likes to point out a very similar situation. There are two Muslim-dominated districts in Berlin, namely Kreuzberg and Neukoelln Districts. Assuming, the Turks had asked for the rights of ‘Indigenous Muslims of Germany’, their Autonomous Region and issued fabricated histories such as they had established the above mentioned two districts because Muslims lived in Berlin since the time of German Emperors because Ottoman Empire and German Empire (Deutsche Reich) were Military Allies and so on, how would the German populace react?

E. Liberal groups of "Rohingyas", their approaches and responses:

Some liberal groups of "Rohingyas" have changed their tactics. They admitted that the term "Rohingya" was not a historical name instead it is an invented name in the 1950's. However, they wished that the new or the invented name "Rohingya" should be accepted because the name of an ethnic group can be changed if that group wishes. They argued that the ethnic group who used to be called "Talaings" by the Burmese in the Burmese chronicles are now called ‘Mons’ due to their request, and also an ethnic group called "Shan-Tayok" (Tai-Chinese) are now renamed as "Ko-kant". Therefore, Chittagonian Bengali Muslims could be accepted as "Rohingyas", a new indigenous ethnic group in Burma.

They tried to make emergency courses for these ‘Rohingyas’ to learn written and spoken Burmese which is the official and language of communication in the Union of Burma, to enable their people to communicate with other Burmese citizens and assimilate with other peoples of Burma, because till now almost all ‘Rohingyas’ can speak only their mother tongue which is the Bengali Chittagong Dialect. Apart from that, many of them are illiterates.

For that issue, not only the Military Government, but also many people of Burma, especially the Buddhists, particularly the Rakhaings, on the other hand, counter-argued that the "Rohingyas" do not fall in the same category as the Mons and the Ko-kants because they were and are not an indigenous ethnic group of Burma like the Mons and the Ko-kants. Mon is the historical ethnic group of Burma. They came to Burma even earlier than the Burmese, had the civilization and established Mon Kingdoms in the place called Lower Burma nowadays. Burmese adapted Theravada Buddhism as well as scripts from the Mons. The names Mon and Talaing were parallel used since the Pagan Dynasty. Hence, if they do not like to be called Talaings but only Mon, it is their wish and it must be accepted. Ko-kants People are named due to the region where they live. However, ‘Rohingya’ is neither the name of the region of their origin nor a historical name.

‘Rohingya’ people were new settlers and therefore their descendants can be considered to be citizens but not as an indigenous ethnic group. This is very similar to the "Bhummi Puttra" (literally, "Son of the Motherland", here it means indigenous ethnic group) Law in Malaysia.

Hence, according to them, the name "Rohingya" could be accepted as an ethnic group now living in Burma like Chinese, Indian, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, but neither as a historical ethnic group nor can be recognized as an indigenous ethnic group of Burma.

Hence, the solution to the ‘Rohingya’ problem may be easy to say, however, difficult to manage. Both sides have to compromise, otherwise it will be a political dead-end.

VIII. Conclusion:

If one carefully scrutinizes all available authentic historical and etymological facts it comes out clearly that there was no ethnic group called "Rohingya" in Arakan as well as in Burma, and it is only an invented name in the 1950's. All claims of the "Rohingyas" are baseless and found out to be incorrect.
Boat People came direct from Bangladesh and not from Arakan. They were caned by the human traffickers. Just to get asylum in an ASEAN country they have to fabricate some tragic stories and had to claim to be ‘Rohingyas’.

In any case, I have to be very careful to present this article in a very neutral way so that the paper does not read either as an attack on "Rohingyas" or as a polemical piece aimed at "Rohingyas", nor be seen as a racial writing. The biggest worry for me is: This article might be misinterpreted as an indirect support for the position of the very brutal Burmese Military Junta.

Here, I sincerely suggest to the "Rohingyas" to change their tactics. Instead of attacking all people who do not support their dishonest claims they should attack the Burmese Military Junta only. In the mean time they should learn to speak, read and write Burmese, especially the Rakhaing Dialect, and make friends with other ethnic groups of Burma, particularly with the Rakhaings who are the natives and majority of that state. Instead of demanding for the rights of an indigenous ethnic minority of Arakan by inventing fabricated and fanciful histories and trying to turn the traditional Buddhist land of Arakan into a Muslim state, they should be honest and just request to be granted the right to permanent residential status and then the right to be naturalized citizens of Burma step by step to which the Arakanese people (Rakhaings) will have no objection.

(Khin Maung Saw)

Former Lecturer in Burma Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
Former ‘Scholar in Residence’, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA.