Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 18

INTERVIEWS by RICK HEIZMAN

Testimonies of the 1942 Maungdaw / Buthidaung Massacre


against the Buddhists, and 1950s Mujahideen Conflict

Name unknown
from Auk Kyun Village,
Rathedaung Township, Rakhine State, Myanmar
interviewed in Aung Zay Ya Village, October 2018
(Aung Zay Ya 2)

I live in Auk Kyun, Village, near Zay Di Pyin Village,


Rathedaung Township. When my father was alive he told
me about the Bengali Muslims, and the type of thinking that
they had. They intended to kill all the native and indigenous
people who lived around here. Their desire was to take our
land, kill us all, and make their own Islamic country here.

The old people who were here in 1942 know these tragedies
very well. And the government here knows the history. At that time in 1942, my father's
village, Auk Kyun, was totally burned down by the Bengali Muslims. So many Rakhine
Buddhist villages were burned down in 1942. The Buddhists who survived could never come
back here - it was too frightening. Now all those villages are Muslim villages. Sometimes I
see Rakhine families living in Ponnagyun, Kyauktaw, and Minbyar, who originally came from
those parts of Rathedaung and Buthidaung, and had to escape the horrors of 1942, and
never did go back.

Sometimes when I visited Minbyar I met one person named U Kyaw Daung, who was a
township officer, or something like that. He said, "I am not from here, I am from Alay Than
Kyaw in southern Maungdaw Township (where some of the worst slaughters of Buddhists in
1942 happened). My family moved here when I was young.” As we all see the situation, we
Buddhists and ethnic minority people don't kill Bengali Muslims, but they attack us. They
attack all of us Buddhists, Hindus, and ethnic minorities - and kill us, and now we can't go to
the forest, or the mountains for our livelihood.

Near here was a big mountain where the Mujahid chief - Cassim - had his headquarters (in
the 1950s). At the bottom of the mountain there was a large Mujahid base camp. They were
killing all of the Buddhists and minority people and burning villages up and down Maungdaw
and Buthidaung Townships. The goal of the Mujahid was to establish an Islamic land by
killing all non-Muslims, government staff, police, army and others. In my life, I have had to
flee for my life 3 times. After we fled the Bengalis burned all of the Rakhine villages. These
Bengali people think that if there are Rakhine people living around here they can't have what
they want, and that is to occupy the land for themselves only. That's why they threaten and
kill us.

1
In 1970 there was a lot of movement of Bengali Muslims back and forth, many of them with
their 'politics eyes', and their 'business eyes'. Then, in 1971, there was the Bangladesh War
of Independence, and many many Bengalis came across the border. The Rakhine people
didn't really know much about the politics and why there was a war next door. One thing so
important for the Bengalis is that they must have children - non-stop. Sometimes the Muslim
men will have 2, 3, or 4 wives.

Rakhine people are very good natured. Only 1% of Rakhine will do something wrong. These
Bengali Muslims are always thinking how to kill, how to kill the infidels. Our Rakhine people
are very good natured people. If someone is in trouble we will not close our eyes, we would
help that person - any person. But, the Bengalis doesn't think this way, they are very different
- they are always thinking how to deceive us, kill us, and how to occupy our land.

Myanmar democracy started in 2010. In 2016 the situation in Myanmar was getting better
and better. However, I would hear the Bengalis saying, "now is a good time to push for our
goals. We should demand [again] that the government give us our own Islamic State, and if
they don't then we will attack them." I was a school teacher for many years, with many
Bengali students, that is how I know. "They would say things like, "If 10,000 Bengalis die - no
problem. If a million Bengali Muslims die, and there are only 10,000 left, it's okay." This is
what is in their minds.

I heard that kind of thing, but I know we have a government that can handle that situation if it
happens. But, the Bengali people have a terrorist mind - always thinking how to attack and
kill. This time [Aug 25, 2017] they attacked 30 police posts, but our Rakhine people would
never attack the government like that. These Bengalis think that this is democracy time now
so we are free to do whatever we want - they think like that. That's why they attacked. So if
they do things that way, then we Rakhine people are stuck between the government and the
terrorists.

After the Aug 25, 2017 attack, if the police and military had not arrived quickly we all would
have been slaughtered here. In 2012, even some Bengali old women took weapons from the
police.

Actually, in the Rakhine peoples opinion, if the Bengalis love this land so much they don't
need to hate us. They can work and live peacefully together with us. But, no, they are
obsessed with having their own Islamic State. These Bengali people don't care about about
the government, they don't respect authority, they don't care about the indigenous people,
they don't care about anybody. They are always thinking to kill, to kill, but if they lose, they
always flee to Bangladesh. Because, Bangladesh is their father and mother - their native
homeland. For example: When I was young, sometimes we play football, sometimes we play
games, and maybe we lose - then we run to home to our parents - that's the way the
Bengalis are - like immature kids. In Myanmar we are the Rakhine nationality people in our
land - we are the host, but now we are seen as a thief! [in the international community eyes]
The host became a thief, and the thief became the host. The international community takes
time and talks so much about this problem, and then, with time, the mistake becomes a new
false reality.

2
I am telling the truth, based on my experiences. I'm not exaggerating or adding anything.
After the Aug 25, 2017 attacks I thought: if we all fled from here at that time, all of this land
would now be under the control of the Bengalis. With whatever we have, a stick, a small
knife, we have to hold it and defend our village. So while we were guarding and defending
our villages, at the same time the Bengalis were attacking the police posts - our protection.

We were saved by the security forces, but so far our 'window' is not secure - I’m talking
about a border fence. A few days ago we heard that one Mro ethnic man was killed, and his
cow was taken, by Bengali Muslims. Also, there was a village man who went to the
mountains to collect snails, and he was killed. The villagers went to search for him, and
found a secret terrorist training camp.

Since the British time the Bengalis have been brought into this area to work. Since they
started coming here they have thought, "It's very good land, and we can work easily here, so
we have to invade and get rid of the infidels that live here, and we will make it our Islamic
land." Since those days they have had that kind of thinking.

In my father's days here, it was very bad. There were so many Rakhine Buddhists killed, and
so many villages burned and destroyed, and now in 2016, and 2017 we are attacked again
and again by the Bengali Muslims. We have a government. Why do we have to be attacked
again and again? We are the local indigenous people. This is our native land - our ancestral
land.

Name unknown
from in or near Aung Zay Ya Village,
Rathedaung Township, Rakhine State, Myanmar
interviewed in Aung Zay Ya Village, October 2018
(Aung Zay Ya 1)

In 1942, according to what my parents told me many times,


the conflict between the Muslims and the Buddhists started
when the Bengali Muslims came here.

In Myebon township the chief of the village was killed by a


Bengali. The Muslims were armed by the British, to fight
against the Japanese, but when the British retreated the
Muslims used the weapons to absolutely slaughter the
Buddhists.

Around here, hundreds of Buddhists were killed. As the Buddhists were gathering in one
place to hide from the Muslims, the Bengalis discovered where they were hiding and with the
weapons they had, the killed them all. The Bengalis came down the river from Buthidaung
[2-3 hours] by ship.

3
There was a jetty where many Buddhists were waiting for boats to come and bring them to
safety. A ship full of Bengalis with guns came near the dock and pretended to be a rescue
boat, and then they opened fire upon the Buddhists, killing nearly everyone there. One
woman, the only survivor, had a young baby, also a large metal pot which protected her, she
swam with her baby, but as she was reaching safety a wave knocked her baby out of her
hands, and she could not save it - the baby died. All the other Buddhists there were
slaughtered.

Other Buddhists survivors couldn’t live there anymore, it was too dangerous for them, and
they fled to Mrauk-U, Kyauktaw, Minbyar, and other places. After 3 or 4 years, as the British
came back, many of the Buddhists came back to reclaim their villages, but the Bengalis
threatened them with the British weapons that they had. They did not want any Buddhists to
live there among them. They wanted to take this land only for Muslims. The Bengali Muslims
organized a political party, to intimidate the government in that way. [with independence
coming soon, their party issued an ultimatum to the brand new government to make this
land a Muslim State, for Muslims only, independent of the new nation of Burma]

The Bengalis used many methods to intimidate the Buddhists and to prevent any from living
there. Before, there were many Rakhine Buddhist villages there, but now there are very few, it
is difficult and dangerous to live with the Muslims. They use many different ways to
intimidate us, they rob us, and they rape our women.

There are over 200 Rakhine Buddhist villages that were lost around here, and so many
Buddhists could not go back, they lost their villages, their houses, and their land. Over
40,000 Buddhists were killed then, in 1942, throughout Maungdaw, Buthidaung and
Rathedaung townships.

Now, let me tell you about 1952 and Zofar - a leader of the Mujahid [the Bengali Muslims
named their militant movement Mujahid - Arabic for holy warriors fighting for Islam] The
Bengalis waged guerrilla warfare ever since independence in 1948. Not only Bengalis from
here but also Bengalis from Pakistan [East Pakistan - what is now called Bangladesh].

In the recent attacks [August 2017] we didn’t sleep well. We didn’t sleep in our houses, we
slept in hidden places, in the dense bushes. Our women could not sleep in their village
houses. During the daytime they could be with their husbands or friends in their village
houses, but before it became dark they had to cross the big river for safety. [The men often
had to stay in their village to protect it from being torched or looted, despite the dangers] It is
not safe here, there is not adequate security. Also, the Muslims killed our monk in this village.

4
Name unknown - Mro ethnicity
from Khine Gri (Khine Gyi) Village,
Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State, Myanmar
interviewed in refugee camp, Rakhine State,
summer 2012
(2012 Old man 2)

In the days before WW2, my grandfather built a pedi


(Buddhist stupa/pagoda) in Tha Ray Kone Baung Village.
My grandfather is U Maung Phru, and my grandmother is
Daw Gro Nyo. My mother is Pan Sein Oo, and my father
is U Htwe Phyu. I am the 3rd of 6 siblings. We are from
Khine Gri Village. Our family, like most families there, lived
as farmers.

I did not go to a school to learn, we did not have a school then. I was educated in the
monastery.

[Khine Gri Village is in the western lower parts of the Mayu Mountains, about 15 miles south
of Maungdaw town. He and most of the villagers are Mro ethnic minority people. Tha Ray
Kone Baung is the larger village in the flat land , near Khine Gri]

Starting in 1942, as the chaos of the war came closer and closer to us, Bengali Muslims
destroyed the pagoda 3 times. Each time my grandparents rebuilt it.

During those WW2 years of 1942 - 1944, the Bengali Muslims killed or drove out all of the
Buddhists, and destroyed every pagoda that they could throughout the land.

One time after it was destroyed completely, local people said that they sometimes saw
strangely colored light emanating from the site at night. Strangers, who did not even know
that there used to be a zedi there saw the colored light and remarked about it.

Two times, in my lifetime, I have experienced being face to face and having to fight for my life
with Bengali Muslims trying to kill me.

Around that time [1942] Khine Gri Village had about 80-90 houses. Khine Gri also had an old
zedi, and it was also destroyed by the Muslims.

My grandfather was the Village Chief, and also was the administrator for southern
Maungdaw Township. My grandfather administered the area from Maungdaw Town down to
Inn Din Village. The few Bengali villages, at that time, used to be far away, but then they
increased rapidly, and became closer and more menacing.

We started to hear that the Bengalis had begun to attack and kill Buddhists all around
Maungdaw and we quickly fled, before we were trapped. My grandparents were killed by the
Muslims in Wabeik Village. from our village.

5
We fled all the way to the Lemro River, walking many days, and crossing 3 mountain ranges.
We had to cross many rivers, and we survived by eating banana trees, and other jungle food.

On the way, as we were fleeing, sometimes we would see Bengalis, and they would try to kill
us - even though we were leaving our land. We would have to run for our lives, and they
would be chasing us with swords, and sometimes guns and bombs. People who could not
run fast enough sometimes were knocked down and hacked to death. Men and boys had to
protect our women. Sometimes monks had their robes grabbed and pulled off, and the
monks had to run naked. My family members all survived, but many families lost members
as we continued to the Lemro River.

When we finally crossed the last mountains and reached the Lemro River there were many
Rakhine villages, and they warmly shared their food and shelter with us. We lived there for 13
years, before returning to our homeland.

I got married when we reached the Lemro River. I was 25 years old. My wife was one of our
villagers fleeing with us. She was from Gran Chaung Village. I have been married 3 times.
My first wife had a child, but the baby died, and then she died. My 2nd wife was from Kyein
Chaung Village. She also had a child, but both died. And then I married again. My 3rd wife
was from Taung Bro Village.

Hla Win Hlaing


frome Nga Khu Ya Village,
Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State, Myanmar
Interviewed at refugee camp in Rakhine State,
September 2017
(2012 Old Man 5)

In our village, Nga Khu Ya Village [in northern Maungdaw


Township] there was a very large monastery, with a senior
monk. Villagers from 6 or 7 villages surrounding Nga Khu
Ya would come to this monastery for the Buddhist
teachings and festivals. Those villages were Myo Thit,
Taung Pyo, Nga Khu Ya, Taung Byin, Kappa Gone, Ah
Htet Pyu Ma, and some others.

However, in 1942, the monastery was burned and destroyed by the Bengali Muslims, and
they killed the old monk also. Thousands of Bengali Muslims surrounded the monastery and
set it on fire, and threw the monk into the inferno.

6
We Rakhine Buddhist people fled to Chittagong - in British India (now Bangladesh) to escape
the Muslims, as well as the advancing Japanese. It took 3 days for us to reach Chittagong -
we were led by British soldiers. There were thousands of us fleeing the horror.

We received food and shelter from the Hindu Indian people. On the way there we crossed
the huge Naf river by boat and then stayed in a train where we received food from the
Hindus.

My uncle, who was a soldier since 1912, in the British army, was killed by the Bengali
Muslims. He was killed just one day before the Muslims launched genocidal attacks all
throughout the entire Maungdaw Township. At that time, when we heard that our uncle was
killed we went back to search for his body. After 2 days, we found his body on the riverbank
in Nga Khu Ya Village. And then we learned that in Nant Thar Taung Village, in my cousin’s
brothers and sisters families at least 6 people were killed by Bengalis, also in 1942.

Thousands and thousands of Buddhist people were slaughtered by the Bengali Muslims.

[About 30,000 Buddhists were slaughtered in Maungdaw town alone, hundreds of Buddhist
villages were set ablaze, sending more than 100,000 Buddhists fleeing for their lives]

[British officer C.E. Luca Phillips wrote in 1942, “I have been told the harrowing tales of
cruelty and suffering inflicted on the Arakanese (Buddhist) villages in the Rathaydaung area.
Most of the villages on the west bank of the Mayu River have been burnt and destroyed by
the (Bengali-Muslim) V Force.”]

[He continued, “Hundreds of villagers are said to be hiding in the hills. It will be the Arakanese
who will be ousted from their ancestral land and if they cannot win over (the Muslims) in time,
then there can be no hope of their salvation.”]
In 1945, after WW2 ended we came back, under the protection of the British army to reclaim
our villages. In my family there were 8 people - 3 daughters, 3 sons, and our parents. At that
time the British supplied us with one month of food to get situated in our village.

When we arrived in our village it was grim. There were no houses anymore - all the Buddhist
villages had been burned completely by the Muslims, and they were using our land and rice
fields. However, we clearly remembered the exact places that we owned.

Eventually, with the help of the British army, we got our land and our rice fields back, but we
had to start form zero again.

Many of the Rakhine Buddhist people were too afraid to live in their former villages again,
and they moved to Kyauktaw, minbar, and Mrauk-U Townships.

7
Name unknown
from Maungdaw
Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State, Myanmar
Interviewed in refugee camp, 2012
(2012 Old man 3)

March 1, 1940, Japanese bombs started falling near here.


[He said 1940, but actually it was 1942] I was a young
policeman then. [In 2012, when interviewed, he was
about 95 years old] I was also studying law. U Nu came
here at that time and had a meeting in Maungdaw.

We all had to flee to India as the Japanese army was


advancing towards us. But, the greater threat was from
the Bengali Muslims. As the British retreated, the land
was left without any authority. The Bengali Muslims, trained and armed by the British to fight
the Japanese turned their weapons upon us and began massive slaughters of us Arakanese
Buddhists.

All of the Arakanese Buddhist had to flee over the Mayu Mountains, or across the border into
British India [now Bangladesh] and so many were slaughtered. From where we were we fled
into India. The Hindu Indians were kind and gave us food, salt, dried fish, beans - even
though they were poor.

In 1944 the British gained control again and the Japanese were out, and the British were
back. The British demanded that the Muslims who were now living in the Arakanese villages
that they had taken after massacring and driving away all the Buddhists, evacuate those
villages and allow the Buddhist refugees coming back from India to reclaim their villages. The
Muslims resisted and only a small number of Buddhists were able to return to their villages.
The British military moved some Muslims to Dhaka, and also destroyed some troublesome
Muslim villages. The British had to put military posts in many villages to prevent the Muslims
from burning and killing.

In Alay Than Kyaw Village [20 miles to the south of Maungdaw town] and other places, the
Muslims had slaughtered all the Buddhists after the British had retreated in 1942. My
brother-in-law and some other men I knew had to flee horrific massacres in Alay Than Kyaw
when the Muslims attacked in 1942 with unspeakable brutality. They barely escaped by
running up the coast and then fleeing and hiding as they made their way over the Mayu
Mountains. All Arakanese people were slaughtered or managed to flee to temporary safety,
then flee again.

All of the Arakanese people of Alay Than Kyaw and surrounding villages had to flee for their
lives. About half of them climbed up the mountain, and half of them fled, in groups, to the
forest and river.

8
There were Bengali Muslims who shouted to some groups of fleeing villagers, “I will help you
to get to a safe area! Follow me through the forest this way, there is no danger this way!….”
The Buddhist villagers were very simple honest people, so they followed, but were led into a
trap, and the whole group would be slaughtered.

The people from Pan Taw Pyin Village [a few miles south of Maungdaw town] were killed by
the Muslims that way. The Arakanese villagers trusted the Bengalis - that is the way they are.

To the south, in Inn Din Village there was a jetty, built by the British, and used by the British
navy, and the Bengalis came to that jetty, shooting guns. The police returned their gunfire.

Many Buddhists, from so many different villages were massacred by the Muslims.

In Maungdaw and Buthidaung there was a British appointed District Administrator - U Kyaw
Khine - a respected and well-liked man. While he was alive the situation was okay, but after
he was assassinated the problems intensified greatly.

He was killed by a single shot fired by a sniper while he was on a boat going to Gu Dar Pyin
to discuss the deteriorating situation with the Muslim leaders. I don’t think he did the right
thing. If he had ordered martial law, the Bengalis would have been thwarted. Instead, the
Bengalis killed him, and blocked the roads, and tried to kill all the Buddhists.

Among the Bengalis that U kyaw Khine was going to meet was Marracan, [became a
notorious Mujahid leader] and his son, and another Bengali named Poe Khine, who was a
Muslim lawyer. So, Marracan and Poe Khine, and others had plotted to kill U Kyaw Khine.
They planned it and did it.

Also, at that time Bengali Muslim soldiers serving in the British Army had just returned from
duty in Singapore [also a British colony at that time]. They knew that U Kyaw Khine was
going to come by boat to Gu Dar Pyin, so they put snipers at several points on the waterway
in order to succeed with their plot.

After U Kyaw Khine was assassinated the remaining authorities could have arrested
Marracan and others, but they were quickly paid large amounts of money not to arrest them.

In 1942, we suffered greatly because of the Muslims.

On May 13, 1988, on the anniversary date of the launch of the 1942 huge massacres, the
Muslims tried again to eliminate us. Again they shouted, “Nariya Takbir! Allahu Akbar!” [both
phrases are praising Allah as the greatest].

And, now again [2012] the Muslims are attacking and killing us again.

9
Kaung Hla Nyo - Mro ethnicity
from Khine Gyi Mro Village, Rakhine State, Myanmar
Interviewed in refugee camp, Rakhine State, 2012
(2012 Old Man 4)
Many years ago I saw what the Bengali Muslims can do. A
family in Thay Chaung Village was killed by the Bengali
Muslims, even the children were slaughtered.

The children’s heads were cut off, and even their genitals were
cut off, and the same with the father. The mother, who was
pregnant, was savagely killed, and the Bengalis even cut her
nipples off. The took those genitals and nipples with them - they are so barbaric and cruel.

They will show those things to their villagers, and to their Mawlawis [Imams]. This kind of
thing is like a game to them, their villagers will admire the killers for doing that. And the
Mawlawis, from their mosques, may give those killers ‘prize’ money for being so ‘brave’, and
for doing what Allah instructs.

We are Buddhists. We cannot understand these Muslims, and their thinking at all. It is so
cruel. The family was from Thay Chaung Village.

[Now, interviewer Ma Hla Wai, born and raised in Maungdaw, tells her 1942 story]

My grandfather was very compassionate with Bengali Muslims, and employed them, and
gave them land. He more or less adopted one young Bengali Muslim young man, treating
him as a son. My grandfather love him, and told him, “When you marry you can live here and
build a house on this land.”

In 1942, tensions were rising, and then after the British retreated from the approaching
Japanese, the region was left without any authority. The Bengali Muslims who were trained
and armed by the British to fight the Japanese did not fight the Japanese, but turned their
weaponry upon the Buddhists. My grandfather’s land, was in the countryside, not in the large
town of Maungdaw, and he trusted his adopted Bengali son completely, to protect his family.

One day my grandfather was out, and when he came home he was horrified beyond belief
upon seeing the slashed and hacked dead bodies of his wife, parents, siblings, and some of
his children. He yelled for his adopted son - but the son was nowhere to be found.

Three of his young children came out of hiding and told their father what happened -
suddenly the Bengali son attacked and hacked nearly everyone to death - they saw it with
their own eyes. The son chased and tried to kill those 3 young kids, but they were fast and
able to hide in small places.

My grandfather’s sister also survived. He almost caught and killed her - he was chasing her
and slashed her hips and legs with a long sword, but she was lucky to get away.

My grandfather picked up a sword and went out to find his adopted Bengali son - but he
never returned - he was never heard from again. He was certainly killed by the people he had
assisted so many times.

[Even up until this present time, Bengali Muslims are working the land that is still registered in
the names of those Rakhine people that they killed]

10
Kaung Hla Nyo - Mro ethnicity
from Khine Gyi Mro Village,
Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State, Myanmar
interviewed in refugee camp, Rakhine State, summer 2012
(2012 Old man 1)

The situation was getting bad [in June, 2012]. One day we
could hear the Bengali Muslims yelling loudly as they were
approaching our village to attack and kill us. So, I let the pigs
loose. I cut the ropes holding them. I knew that it would give
us a few extra minutes as we ran for our lives.

If there were 100 Bengali attackers, there were 5000 that would come through the village and
loot everything.

The day before the attack, around 5 pm, my son returned home. He was not feeling so well,
and had diarrhea. And, my daughter in law, living with us, had newborn twins.

The Bengalis attacked in the early morning darkness, and all of us had to flee or hide so
quickly we were all immediately separated. My son had stepped out to relieve himself - I
couldn’t find him quick enough, and my daughter in law with her baby twins ran one way and
I went another way. But releasing the pigs probably save some us us from being caught. I
ran out of the village and hid in a latrine. and hid - still in the village. Luckily, our family
survived.

When it became light in the early morning I got out of the village and encountered 2 of our
Mro women who had also hid nearby. We thought more of our village people would be found
hiding in the forest, so we started walking towards the forest. First we found one woman with
her two children in the forest. The only thing they had was one extra longyi, which the 2
children needed at night because they were cold. Then as we continued walking in the forest
and up the mountain we found 4 more villagers. Everyone had become separated as they
escaped. Parents were trying to find a daughter, kids were looking for parents.

All of us were still very afraid to go back to our village, so we had to stay in the forest up the
mountain. There were 9 of us villagers together by then, and we decided to have 3 people go
down to see if Bengalis were in our village or not, and if it seemed safe enough to return to
the village. They saw that there were many Bengali Muslims in and around the village, so
they returned to us on the mountain, and told them what they saw.

We went to the mountain above Maw Ra Waddy Village, where we have vegetable
plantations high on the mountain. We thought that we would find more of our villagers there.
And, we desperately needed food. But, when we arrived there we found none of our fellow
villagers, however, at least there was some rice and cooking pots.

Then, one more man from their village came. The next day we came down from the
mountain, but not to our village. We were hoping to see security forces. 4 people were sent
to check the situation at our village. They checked and returned and said that they saw no
Bengalis there.

11
But, as they crossed the small river they saw some Bengalis who ran away when they saw
the Mro villagers. They went to the Zaw Madat Police Outpost nearby. They asked the police
if it was safe or not to return to Khine Gyi Village. And, they told the police that there were
still some villagers on the mountain where they had left them and can the police help get
them down. The police outpost telephoned the larger station and 5 policemen came to help
bring the rest of us down off the mountain.

By then there were 13 of us Khine Gyi villagers. We all had to stay in the police outpost for 20
days. The police outpost was very full with about 500 refugees from Alay Than Kyaw and
other villages taking shelter there.

At the time of the sudden attack, a 93 year old woman could not walk, had to be left there,
as her family members had to run in terror. The only thing they could do was to give her
some money - if she was killed it would help her in the next life, or she might be able to use
the money to ‘buy’ her freedom. Fortunately the next morning security forces arrived and
found her still alive, and brought her to Alay Than Kyaw.

A long time ago, when I was young, there was a young woman who was kidnapped and
forced to convert to Islam and to marry a Muslim. She was from Tha Ray Kone Baung
Village, and she was kidnapped by the Bengali Muslims from Tike Tok Pyin Village. The
Muslims had slaughtered her husband and her young son, and because she was young and
beautiful they didn’t kill her. They took her back to Tike Tok Pyin Village and forced her to
convert to Islam, marry a Muslim man, and renounce all things about her Rakhine Buddhist
identity.

I met her around 60 years after she was abducted. She was then an old woman. Her family
members and relatives wanted her to come back and live with them in their Rakhine village.
Even her Muslim husband did not want her anymore, and told her to go back to where she
came from. But, she said that she was Muslim for so long, and could not even remember
much of the Arakanese language, and being so old, she said she should just stay in the
Muslim village and die. She was about 80 years old when I met her, and shortly after that she
died. She had many children - as the Muslims do, but they are all Muslim, of course.

There were so many villages that originally were Rakhine Buddhist villages, but the Muslims
came in large numbers and attacked and killed our people so many times. They killed our
people and took our land and villages.

When I was young here, and nearly all villages were Rakhine, we Buddhists had festivals and
celebrations every month. These 3 villages would have a Buddhist festival and invite all the
people, and then the next week those 3 villages would have a festival, and then the next
week another 3 villages….

At Thingyan (Burmese New Year) time (also known as Water Festival) we celebrated it the
traditional way - by going to the temple and washing the Buddha statues. These days people
in the cities just throw water on everyone - things are different now. And we used real silver
bowls for offerings, and our traditional lacquerware. And we wore our beautiful traditional
clothes during those festival times, and gold jewelry. The women looked very beautiful with
the traditional hair styles.

12
Several unnamed men
from Koe Tan Kauk Village,
Rathedaung Township, Rakhine State, Myanmar
Interviewed in Koe Than Kauk, October 2018
(Koe Than Kauk 3)

[Here in Koe Tan Kauk Village in western Rathedaung


Township, we were having an interesting conversation about
history with villagers, not really an interview, however, good
talk.]

Between 1942 and 1950 nearly all the Rakhine Buddhist villages were burned by the
‘Mujahid Army’ led by the notorious leader Cassim. The Bengali Muslims were fighting a holy
war, in the name of Islam, to seize the land from the deeply rooted homeland of the Rakhine
Buddhists. [note: the term ‘Rohingya’ was nonexistent at the time] The Buddhist monastery
here in Koe Tan Kauk village was torched by Cassim and his Mujahid Army at that time. On
October 9, 2016, one of 3 targets simultaneously attacked was the large Burmese Border
Guard Police (BGP) outpost close to the Rakhine Koe Tan Kauk village, where officers were
killed and weapons looted. The Bengali plan was to kill all the security forces first, seize their
weapons, and then proceed to slaughter the entire population of Buddhists and all other
non-Muslims. We villagers have nothing to defend ourselves against these people.

Maung Chay
from an unknown village,
Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State, Myanmar
Interviewed in Sittwe, September 2017
(grandparents tragedy)

When I was a child, my grandfather told me about what the


Bengali Muslims did to them in 1942. My grandmother’s parents
- both of them - were killed in front of her own eyes.

She was only a 10 year old child at that time. The sight of that
was so horrible that she became unconscious. They did not kill her but they kidnapped her
and took her along with them. Later she was forced to marry their elder son. My grandfather
told me about this frequently, when I was child. There is more than just distance between
brother and sister. The entire future of each was different.

In 1990, I went to Tha Ray Kone Baung Village and met with my grandmother there. She
could not speak Rakhine language well. She called my name and spoke using the Muslim’s
Bengali language.

There were so many Buddhists killed in 1942. My grandparents and relatives fled to Dinajpur
(a town and refugee camp in British India) with the help of the British. One of my
grandfathers was slashed with a sword on the side of his face. Many Rakhine Buddhists had

13
to flee. That 1942 massacre and mayhem was told to me by my grandfather when I was
young.

While I was growing up, two sons of my grandmother from Tha Ray Kone Baung Village,
often visited us when they came to Maungdaw because of health issues. But we did not
have much of a relationship with them. The elder son of my grandmother, named Nuroislam,
is still alive and lives there. I moved to Thandwe after 1990 because we could do better
business there.

Around 1990, a policeman named Ko Win Aung, was hacked to death by Muslim people.
One of the monks from Myo Oo monastery at the entrance gate of Maungdaw, saw the event
and shouted when Muslim people were trying to dispose of the corpse. When the monk
shouted, we Rakhine organized and move in on that place and found the corpse of
policeman. I was a young age at that time, I helped to lift the dead body and I had blood
stains on both of my hands. This kind of tragedy happened in Maungdaw too often.

These Bengali Muslims could kill whenever they met Rakhine Buddhists in any way or any
place, and then they try to dispose of the dead bodies so that they will not be blamed. But,
no Kalars (term for Bengali) are killed by Rakhine people at all.

And then, sometime in 1990, there was a one family with 5 members from the northern part
of Maungdaw - the whole family was killed. There were two children, one grandfather, and
the wife and husband. All were beheaded and the children’s testicles were mutilated. For that
tragedy we helped for the funeral. Those kinds of events really happened. Not only people
from here were killed but security guards were also murdered and their weapons were taken.

These same events frequently happened here. When we were children, there were not many
Kalar villages, and their population was not too much. Over time though, 200 households
became 400/500/700/800 households and the population increased greatly.

We often visited Kalar villages where we saw young girls around 13 years old arranged to get
married with rich men - who might already have two or three wives. Their population is
increasing day by day. Women give birth to children annually, as they had no jobs, and their
duty was delivering babies only. Young girls, when they matured, were not allowed to go
outside and not permitted to go to school.

Small villages with 200 households in the past became 700-1000 households. In 1998, the
Bengalis tried to seize our land after a breakdown of authority. We local Rakhine people had
to defend our western border with our own strength and unity.

And then, Kalars are doing huge business with narcotics trafficking. The rich people became
richer by making money from the drug business. When they became rich, they flatter
themselves by giving money to poor people. The main business of rich people is drugs.

They tried to take over our land in 1998, but, it didn't happen because we could defend
ourselves. It also happened in 2012 and 2016.

14
Name unknown

from Buthidaung town,


Buthidaung Township, Rakhine State, Myanmar
Interviewed at old abandoned ruined mosque, Buthidaung,
October 2017
(Buthidaung Mosque)
[This man didn’t want his face visible. He is a visible government
official in Buthidaung, which has a lot of Bengali Muslims, and he
has concerns that you will understand at the end of this
interview.]

In 1942, in the wake of a huge massacre of 30,000 Buddhists in


Maungdaw, by Bengali Muslims, there were tens of thousands of
Buddhists fleeing to Buthidaung for safety, or so they thought.

The distance is not long - about 30 miles - but it is up and down


a formidable mountain range - The Mayu Mountains - which are
extremely steep and jungle covered. Large groups of several hundred each would have to
walk and climb with old people, women and children in the middle, and men and boys
walking on the outside, displaying swords, knives, or clubs to keep the Muslim killers at bay.

The Buddhists would shout, “Let us pass through, we don’t harm you, we are leaving here,
don’t kill us, just let us go.” Even with that being said, sometimes large groups of Muslims
would attack a group and overwhelm it, killing everyone they could.

Coming down from the mountains to Buthidaung, at the foot of the mountain, there was a
large Muslim village that the Buddhist refugees would have to pass through. The path went
by this mosque, [where I am doing the interview], now old and ruined. [It was ruined by a
cyclone in 2010, and abandoned.] The Muslims at this village said such things as, “Welcome,
we are friendly, don’t be afraid of us. You are almost to the town of Buthidaung, but rest here
for awhile, eat some food with us, we are your friends. Put your things down here, you don’t
need weapons right now, put your things down and come eat with us, you must be so
hungry. Come in to the mosque, where we have food.”

The Rakhine people are simple honest Buddhists and they did as was suggested. They put
down their goods and weapons, and walked into the mosque, and yes - there was food. The
hungry and exhausted Buddhists were eating the food, and then all of a sudden many
Muslims ran in with knives and swords and killed everyone.

Everyone, except one 17 year old boy, who escaped the carnage. His name is U Shwe Tha
Aung, and it was from him that I know of this tragedy. He died last year at 92 years old. He
said the experience never left his mind - everyday, for the rest of his life, he recalled every
detail of the horror.

In the chaos of the massacres there was a well-respected British appointed Burmese officer
trying hard to bring the killings to an end, and bring some stability and order to this area. His
name was U Kyaw Khine. He was abruptly assassinated one day - by Muslims. It was known
that news of his death would be a calamity for the Rakhine Buddhists, and officials didn’t
announce his death for awhile, fearing even greater chaos.

15
A few years later the government sent Bo Yan Aung, one of the ’Thirty Comrades’ to Sittwe
to set up a new administration, and to stop the violence. He sent his two lieutenants, Bo Yan
Naing and Bo Myo Nyunt to Maungdaw to negotiate with the Muslim leaders. They arrived in
Maungdaw, and at the 'welcoming dinner' they were stabbed and chopped to death. Now
you might understand why this person speaking does not want his face shown.

Ma Hla Wai
from Maungdaw, now lives in USA
Interviewed in San Francisco, USA, 2014
(Ma Hla Wai)

[She speaks English - with a lot of grammatical


errors. I subtitled without fixing her grammer]

We don’t have a problem with other people like


Hindu, Burmese, Shan, Kachin, Kayah.

With everybody, we don’t have any problem. We


can stay peacefully, happily, we don’t have any problem.

I’d like to talk about my experience with the Bengali mobs, coming to kill the Rakhine
innocent people, like me.

[Ma Hla Wai was born and raised in Maungdaw, and then emigrated to the USA. In early
June, 2012, she was in Yangon, on her way to visit her hometown of Maungdaw. On the
morning of June 8, 2012, she happened to call her sister in Maungdaw just as the surprise
attack by the Muslims was starting. The family home is in central downtown Maungdaw, with
a good view of the main street and the Maungdaw Central Mosque]

So, we called my sister, just to talk, “How’s it going on?” Then my sister said, “Eh, a lot of
people coming out from the mosque, they are yelling and shouting, and running! They are
going to kill us! They are coming this way! I have never seen so many people in my life!”
I said, “How many?” She replied, “over 10,000, I have never seen so many people! Oh! Now
they are throwing rocks [and breaking the windows].”

The way they are yelling and shouting is “Nariatopi Zindabar! Allah Akbar Zindabar!” [Praises
extolling the greatness of Allah] and “Mahg Kara Hari” [Cut the necks of the Buddhists!]

Zindabar meaning is kind of a blessing in Islam. A blessing for those who believe in Allah, so
they can be successful. Nariatopi meaning is: to help their religion grow all over the world,
like a jihad. Mahg Kara Hari meaning is: kill all the Rakhine Buddhists, cut the necks of the
Rakhine.

16
[Now, Ma Hla Wai talks about one of her personal experiences with the Muslims in
Maungdaw]
Mobs are coming in front of the house, they are yelling and shouting, and even they are
showing their knives. They are shouting, “Come out! We are going to kill you!” Suddenly they
just opened the door and came in, and stabbed my husband, and then cut my head. They
killed my husband, and then 10 - 12 year old children, our students, they told me, “Before,
you are saying [believing in] Buddha, Buddha, now your Buddha cannot help you.” I can
never forget that. Even my husband’s body is not moving, but those young [Muslim] children
are beating my husband’s body like a toy - I will never forget that.

Every house was burned down. In the same village 4 people died. Everyone telling one thing
- the same story: a lot of the armed with weapons Muslims coming to kill us have the
children in front. Young children from age 10 to 15 - they are in the front.

[Now Ma Hla Wai talks about her parents experiences during the 1942 Massacre]
In my childhood, I used to hear about the 1942 massacre. Every night my bedtime story was:
my parents had to escape, from Muslim killers of my grandparents. At that time my mother
was pregnant, with my first brother, elder brother. Our village leader called everybody
together, “We have to run away, we cannot stay here. We need to cross the Mayu mountains
to the [Buthidaung] valley.”

The next day my father came back [to try to get some valuables]. Muslims ran after my father
to kill him. Mostly knives are behind him. My father jumped in the river, and then he ran.

Everyday I dream of my hometown. I love my hometown so much. Why did I have to leave
my hometown? I want to come back to my hometown.

We got killed by Bengali Muslims in our own land, in our own houses, and we don’t know
what to do.

We don’t know what to do.

17
INTERVIEW CATEGORIES

• Southern Maungdaw Township

• Northern Maungdaw Township

• Maungdaw Town and Area

• Southern Buthidaung Township

• Northern Buthidaung Township

• Rathedaung Township

• Hindu victims

• Ethnic Minority victims: Mro, Thet, Diagnet, Khami

• Others: Yangon, Sittwe, Mrauk-U

• 1942 Massacre against Buddhists, and 1950s Mujahid troubles

A DATABASE IS COMING: Enabling you to find all interviews with these types of parameters:

• Rescued / saved by Army

• Used to get along / employ / work with Bengali Muslims

• Bengalis would not buy, sell, or interact in any way with non-Muslims

• ARSA or RSO terrorist group info

• Terrorist training camps found

• Eyewitnesses to Bengali Muslims burning their own homes and villages

• Interviews by: Hindus, Muslims, Khami, Thet, Diagnet, Mro

• Talk about 1942 Massacre times, or 1950s Mujahid campaign

ALL INTERVIEWS ARE ON VIDEO AT:

https://arakan-reality.smugmug.com/ARAKAN-the-CONFLICT-VIDEOS/Interviews-October-2018/

and:

https://arakan-reality.smugmug.com/ARAKAN-the-CONFLICT-VIDEOS/INTERVIEWS/

and on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXpfh5XdTXbt6mNgNzGjZ7A

Produced by Rick Heizman June 18, 2019 Facebook: Arakan Eagle 7

Photos and Videos of Arakan at: arakan-reality.smugmug.com - go to Conflict videos

Photos and Videos of all of Myanmar at: rickheizman.smugmug.com

Papers at scribd.com/rheizman

Email: rickmusic4@gmail.com burmafriend88@gmail.com

The BEST and most ACCURATE FILM about the CONFLICT in RAKHINE STATE, MYANMAR:
ARAKAN - ANCIENT BUDDHIST KINGDOM, ENDANGERED BY JIHAD - in 4 parts:

https://arakan-reality.smugmug.com/ARAKAN-the-CONFLICT-VIDEOS/MY-EXCELLENT-MOVIE/

18

Centres d'intérêt liés