(Sittwe, 22. Dec 2013) : Arakanese observed December 15 as its State day with trepidations. The people of Arakan celebrated the anniversary day, remembering the moment when Arakan got Statehood under Burma 39 years back. Earlier Arakan was recognized as a division under the Burma constitution drawn in 1947, a year before Burma got independence from colonial British forces.
Later the Burma Socialist Programme Party ruled government led by General Ne Win promoted Arakan into a State with the constitution in with 1974. December 15 was recognized as the Arakan State Day.
On 39th anniversary of the Day, some Arakanese observed the day hoping peace, development and prosperity across the State.
Reports of celebration of Arakan State Day were poured from Yangon, Naypyidaw, Taunggyi, Sittwe, Ponna Kyunt, Kyauk Pru, Maungdaw and other important towns &villages of the country.
Even it is a matter of pride to observe the State Day, many Arakanese communities nowadays prefer to ignore it, as they feel that they are still deprived of proper political authority and rights on the natural resources of the State, argued U Khaing Pyi Soe, a central committee member of RNDP.
“The Ne Win government gave Arakan a State status but it was not adequately empowered. The people of Arakan could enjoy little power even after the declaration. In fact, nothing changed for good for the Arakanese even after the Statehood. The Arakan government has no power till today to determine the fortune of its people,” he added.
Various ethnic nationalities in Burma have been fighting with the central government in NayPieTaw (earlier in Rangoon) for a federal regime since its independence in 1948.
The Arakanese kingdom was conquered by the Burmese king Bodaw U Win on December 31, 1784. Later in 1826, Arakan was ceded to the British after the First Anglo-Burmese War. And it became the part of British regime in India.
Arakan also became a part of the Crown Colony of British Burma which was split off from British India in 1937. Northern Rakhine State became a contested battleground throughout the Japanese occupation of Burma. After 1948, the Rakhine became a part of independent Burma.