A SHORT HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF ARAKAN

INTRODUCTION

ARAKAN, once a sovereign and independent State, is now one of the states of the Union of Burma. The Arakan State comprises a strip of land along the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal from the Naf River to Cape Negaris and stretches north and south touching Bangladesh on the Northwest. The river Naf separates it from Chittagong region of Bangladesh.1 It is cut off from Burma by a range of near impassable mountains known as Arakan Yomas running north to south, which was an obstacle against permanent Muslim conquest. The northern part of Arakan, today called the “ North Arakan ,” was point of contact with East Bengal. These geographical facts explain the separate historical development of that area – both generally and in terms of its Muslim population until the Burmese king Bodaw Paya conquered it on 28th December 1784 AD.2 Under different periods of history Arakan had been an independent sovereign monarchy ruled by Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims.

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A HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF ARAKAN
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