Protest at UN Office in New York on Anniversary of Arakan's Fall Skip to main content

Protest at UN Office in New York on Anniversary of Arakan's Fall

New York: The Arakanese community in the USA will hold a demonstration in front of the UN building in New York on 31 December, marking the 226th anniversary of the fall of Arakan's sovereignty, according to a report from the community there.

Ko Ba Khaing, an organizer, said, "We hold the ceremony on the day of the 226th anniversary of the loss of Arakanese sovereignty in front of the UN building on 31 December, to protest against the Burmese military government, which widely and severely abuses human rights in our state."

The protest will start at 10 am local time and will be held peacefully.

Arakan State was an independent country from nearly 3000 BCE to 1784 AD, when the Burmese king, Bodaw Phaya, invaded and occupied the kingdom.

Since then, Arakan has been continually ruled by other powers - passing under British rule and Japanese rule for a short period before becoming part of an independent Burma in 1948.

"We lost everything since we lost our sovereignty. The worst time for our people is under the current military government. We have no rights to a voice for our people despite that there are many human rights violations by the present military. Our Arakanese people in Burma are like slaves of Burma," he said.

The UN declared on 14 December, 1960, that the colony system was demolished, but there are still colonies existing in many ways around the world. Arakan is also a hidden colony under the Burmese military government, Ko Ba Khaing said.

Ko Tin Wai, another protest organizer, said, "Now the military government has destroyed many historic cultural sites in Arakan for a railroad. It is indirectly targeted to obliterate our Arakanese nationality from the earth by destroying our cultural heritage sites."

The Arakanese national spirit is now increasing among young Arakanese after the military government has been oppressing people in the region in many ways. In recent years, there have been many protests in the state against the Burmese military - far more protests than in any other state in Burma.

Before the 2007 Saffron Revolution protests in Burma, there was a monks' protest in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State, protesting the junta after commodity prices went up drastically. Afterward, the protest extended and spread in Burma and the Saffron Revolution started.

Many Arakanese diasporas around the world will commemorate the anniversary of the loss of Arakan's sovereignty in countries like Bangladesh, Norway, Denmark, Thailand, Malaysia, Norway, India, and Japan, to voice their desire for an end to the oppression of the junta against the Arakanese people.


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