Dhaka: The Arakan Rakhita Group, an exile-based Arakanese patriotic group, has held a devotional ceremony for the elders of the Arakanese revolutionaries on the Arakanese traditional New Year.
The group organized the ceremony on 16 April in Bangladesh, India and Thailand and made devotional offerings to over 70 elders who are sheltering in those countries sacrificing their lives for the freedom of their homeland, Arakan State in western Burma.
U Chite Maung from the Netherlands, a member of the group and a leading organizer of the ceremony, told Narinjara that they held the ceremony to show their respect to those elders who sacrifice their lives for Arakan State, and to pass on their selfless and patriotic spirit to younger Arakanese generations.
“Those elders have sacrificed their whole lives for the Arakanese people, but most of them are now living their remaining lives very poorly in their old age, especially in other countries. Their present sufferings are because of their selfless service for our land and people. We have held this ceremony for them because we feel that we should respect and acknowledge their selfless service, and that their selfless and patriotic spirit are still very important for us and our younger generation“, said U Chite Maung.
He said that his group was able to hold the ceremony on a wider basis than expected as many Arakanese living in foreign countries also cooperated and contributed to the ceremony.
“We had at first planned to hold the ceremony only by our Rakhita Group, but later we decided to urge and invite other Arakanese living abroad because we had seen that such a devotional ceremony for our elders is traditionally accepted as a good deed and that it is also related to the cause of all Arakanese nationals. Many Arakanese responded to our invitations with their respective cooperation and contributions as well. We are very proud of our people because we could hold the ceremony wider than we had expected with their participation”, he said.
U Maung Han, the oldest person who attended in the ceremony that was held in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, said he was very glad to receive recognition from the younger generation, on account for his services in the revolution of Arakan.
“I cannot speak well because I am suffering from pneumonia. But I must express my heartiest thanks to the Rakhita Group, the organizing committee and all Arakanese people for holding this ceremony for people like me. I have never received an offering in recognition of my services as a revolutionary for Arakan, but I have now received respect from the young people and I am very glad and proud of myself to be a patriotic Arakanese revolutionary”, said U Maung Han.
63 elders who are older than 60 years were said to have been invited to the ceremony that was held in Bangladesh, but 50 of them attended the ceremony and were offered 14,000 Taka, a parcel of clothes and a recognition certificate as a revolutionary of Arakan.