Monday, September 19, 2011

Ceremony Held to Honor Arakanese Historical Figures in Thailand

Dhaka: A public ceremony to honor the memories of four famous Arakanese leaders who are being recorded for their selfless service To Arakan in the 20th century was recently held at a monastery in Mahachai town under Samut Sakhon Province in Thailand.

The leaders who were honored in the ceremony are Saradaw U Oattama who is as a beacon of independence in Burma, Saradaw U Seindar who led the freedom revolution against the fascist Japanese powers in Arakan, Saradaw U Chandaramuni who propagated the rehabilitation of Buddhism in India and Sayagyi Pandit U Oo Thar Htun who was a famous Arakanese historian and the leader of the Arakan League for Democracy.

The ceremony dedicated to the memories of these leaders from Arakan, a state in western Burma, was held on the 11th of September 2011 in Thailand.

Ko Aung Aung Lwin, a leading organizer of the ceremony and a member of the Rat Thai Foundation, told Narinjara that they held the ceremony to honor these unforgettable figures with the hope that the young Arakanese generations would inherit their ideals and emulate the aspirations of those figures.

“This is the first time we have ever held this kind of ceremony with the participation of many young people in Mahachai. We have held this ceremony on the basis of observing the 72nd anniversary of Saradaw U Oattama Day, but we have also organized the ceremony so that we could invite our compatriot intellectuals and scholars who are living in Bangkok to our State so that we can spotlight and honor our other unforgettable figures like Saradaw U Seindar, Saradaw U Sandramuni and Sayagyi U Oo Tha Tun along with the Saradaw U Oattama. We have made this ceremony possible amidst our difficulties with our heartiest good will, in order to ensure that our young generations inherit and emulate the aspirations of those great personalities of the Arakan”, said Ko Aung Aung Lwin.

He said the generation of the present day knows little about other Arakanese figures, except for Saradaw U Oattama.

Saradaw U Thusitta, one of the scholars who participated in the ceremony, in his speech titled as “Freedom from the Oppressed Lives”, mentioned Saradaw U Seindar as the leader who organized the patriotic Arakanese youth and founded an armed revolution against the fascist Japanese.

“The most venerable monk U Seindar had chosen the path of armed struggle despite being a Buddhist monk. He had to start the revolution without regard for his own life because he could not bear to see his compatriots living inconsequentially in the slave-lives. It has been such a long time since then that most of us have already forgotten him. I would like to say that we have rediscovered a lost priceless treasure like him in this ceremony held by our youth in Mahachai”, said U Thusitta in his speech in the ceremony.

He also said that Saradaw U Seindar had cooperated with the architect of Burma’s independence General Aung San in fighting against the fascist Japanese.

U Dhammathiri, another scholar from Nalandar University in India, mentioned Saradaw U Chandaramuni who sacrificed himself for the rehabilitation of Buddhism in India, the birth place of the religion, as an ‘Arakanese Orchid that bloomed in India’ in his speech in the ceremony.

“The Indian government has awarded the title of ‘the Guru of the Maha Gurus’ (the master of the masters) to Saradaw U Chandramuni, but this is very sorrowful for us because most of people from his native Burma do not know about him. The Saradaw is an Arakanese ethnic Buddhist monk from Burma, who sacrificed his whole life for the rehabilitation of Buddhism in its original land of India” said U Dhammathiri, expressing his appreciation to the organizers and attendants of the ceremony for his opportunity to speak out about the Saradaw.

Ko Khine Myo Chit Tun, the administrator of an Arakanese national newspaper, addressed the summarized history of Sayagyi U Oo Thar Tun, who was awarded the title of pundit by the U Nu led regime and actively participated in the founding the Arakan League for Democracy during the 1988 democracy movement in Burma.

U Zin Linn, the Vice President of the Press Union, urged the younger generation to participate in the national and political affairs of Burma. U Oattama’s words were ‘Remove the humble underprivileged morale from your heart and mind’.

U Myint Wai, the headmaster of the School for Loving Myanmar, gave his usual speech titled ‘Saradaw U Oattama, the Young Generation and Me’ concluding with the singing of an Arakanese cradle song that most of Arakanese mothers have been singing for their sons or daughters to stimulate the movements of their hands and legs.

Nine Kar Rouk, the Former General of the New Mon State Party, also urged the young generation to follow the aspirations of the Saradaw U Oattama with examples of what he had learnt in his young age and how he had then led the independence movement of Burma and achieved the title of the Beacon of the Burma’s Independence.

He has also urged the people of Burma to participate in the campaign to save the Irrawaddy River that has been dammed by the current Burmese nominally elected regime to sell electricity to China, without consideration of the country’s natural environment or people living nearby the river.

U Htay Win, the editor of the Arakanese National Newspaper, addressed the closing speech of the ceremony with the words ‘show your might if you are an Arakanese’, then sung the ‘Maha Nwe’ (the Noble Nationals), a song of famous Arakanese singer Win Ko Khine, together with over a thousand attendants at the ceremony.
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