(“Myanmar Alin” 8-7-61 page 5-6)
The speech delivered by Brigadier General Aung Gyi on 4th July 1961, at Maungdaw, North Arakan. Brigadier General Aung Gyi (1919-2012) Vice Chief of Staff of Burma
I want to speak a little in this arms laying down ceremony (at Maungdaw, July 4, 1961) of the resistance group who are fighting in the name of revolution since the independence of Burma. Rohingya means First and foremost, I want to say about the people of Mayu District. Pakistan is at the western side of this district. Both of sides of the border are Muslims. The people of the west are called Pakistani. The people of the east, who are in Burma, are called Rohingyas. I want to clear that it is not the only border where same people live in two countries; the same case is in Chinese border too. For example, in Kachin State there is Lesu in Burmese side, also there is Lesu in China too. As there is Eikaw in Burmese side and also in China side. As there is Lawa in Burmese side there is also Lawa in China. In this way as there is Shan in Burma, there is Thai in other side. They speak same language both inside Thailand and Burma. In this way the people of same religion are in Pakistan side and Rohingyas in Burma. Resolve Decisively In this meeting of all walks of people, I want to say clearly that the people in our side may have relatives in other side. But they are Pakistanis. The people of the border must take decisive decision. For example, when we have a look at Kachin State, some relatives of the Kachin are in China side, they are Chinese and those Kachin who are in Burma are Burmese. Some may be brother-in-laws. But the relative cannot naturally alter the nationalities of their respective countries. In this way the Rohingyas of our side must be faithful to the Union of Burma and the people of the western side of the border must be faithful to the government of Pakistan. I want to say the attending elders of the towns of Mayu District and comrades that there may be relatives, in-laws and children of the comrades in Pakistan. But you are the nationals of the Union of Burma. You must decide firmly to be faithful to the Union and your relatives must be faithful to the Pakistan though you are here. I request to do so and to explain it to all your near and dear ones. An act of error In this regard I want to say about a past history. Previously, as you know, the people of Burma regard this Rohingya people as Mujahids and Muslims who wanted to join with Pakistan. So people of this region thought, being Muslims, they should join with Pakistan. With this view they launched political movement, as Sudukstan of Germany, to join with Pakistan. As a matter of fact it is impossible and also against the nature. What had happened in Germany was happened before the Great War. It was no more after the War. The policy of Pakistan is very right. For example, in the case of Kyi-Kyun they did not demand it. When Pakistan is not even demanding Kyi Kyun they would never think about the Mayu District to join with East Pakistan. In this way the people of China cannot demand Kachin State to join with Yunan giving the reason that there are Kachin people in China’s Yunan province. There is no such thing in this time. Some people of Burma proper failed to recognise the people of this region as indigenous. Some people of this part may have longed for Pakistan. These are all mistakes of some people of Burma and some people of this region. Minority Race So, today I will declare openly that from this very time we will regard (the people of) Mayu District as an indigenous race of the Union of Burma, I do declare it clearly. The people of this region must also regard themselves as an indigenous minority race of Burma. Then only this part of the country will be in peace and prosperity. You should forget our previous mistakes. For example, there may be the burning of the villages in operations. It may be due to unavoidable circumstances. If this happened please forget it. From this time you must regard yourselves as the people of the Union. “We must be faithful, the country is Union of Burma, we are a minority group of the Union”. Then only this region will be in peace and prosperous. If there are people who do not understand it, I request the attending political parties, religious parties, Molvies, elders, ex-Mujahid comrades to try to change their minds and views. In future, as a minority race of the Union of Burma, in your efforts for peace, development, education and health, we will render full co-operation with you. This is the first thing I want to tell you. Like real relatives Secondly, I want to say about the programme of the development of this area by our army. As you know, the population of Mayu District is four to five lakhs. The occupation is only cultivation of narrow strip. The population is too much greater in comparison to lands for cultivation. Consumption is greater making the people automatically poor. You are poor. Most of the people of this area are poor. One cannot effort more than two or three longyis. We have approximate estimation for the development of this area as we feel your poverty as that of us as you are part and parcel of us. The economic development of this area will be carried out the Mayu Frontier Administration as if they are your real relatives, and you should corporate with them. We will discharge our duty taking you as if you are our own relatives. Economic Development You and we the administrative officials may have different religions, different traditions. In a country, it is not a big issue to have different religions, different traditions and different languages. Such kind of differences does exist in America, England, Russia, China, India, and Pakistan and in every country. But they worked together. You should also work together for the development keeping aside our differences without taking it as big issue, as if we are real relatives. Frontier Administration is ready to work hard for your development. The most important thing is the security of this area. Without the security it will be very difficult for development even though we work very hard. The first important thing is the security. The second important is also peace and security of the rural area of this region. For the security of the area, the Rohingya nationals, Rohingya leaders and Rohingya religious leaders should inform the army and government. If possible fight against the rebel. If possible, wage war joining with the army. It is an Order In this way when defence is carried out the strength of the remaining rebel forces will become weak and the rural area will be in peace. When there is peace we can effectively work for the development of this area. We can try our best for the economic development of this area in every angle. Which I am telling here is an order to the in charge army officers of the frontier Administration such as, Col. Soe Myint, Col. Ye Goung. In army such an instruction is an order. This is the difference between the political speech from the dais and the speech in army. In army such instruction is followed by the subordinate officers like an order. So when we tell or even before telling we start to work. The Frontier Administration will work hard for the economic development of the people of this area. We will support the culture and religious matters of this area. Well, from this time on, we will help, protect and defend the religion of this people, which I want you to believe it without any reservation.
(“Myanmar Alin” 8-7-61 page 5-6)