Narinjara News


Bangladesh funds Arakanese monument renovations



Dhaka, December 7: The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Khalida Zia visited the Arakanese villages (known as Awakyan region) under the Kawakatta Township of  Pauktawa Khali district, on the 2nd of December. 


During her visit she promised 10 million Taka to renovate the Buddhist temples and monasteries in the region.


When Zia visited the Arakanese villages she met with the local Arakanese people to discuss the difficulties that the Arakanese minority is facing.


 The PM also visited the Sri Mangla Monastery, which was built in 1926.  It was the Arakanese that built Bangladeshís biggest Buddha image, and they were also responsible for the construction of many of the wells and lakes built in Bangladesh


Ziaís visit is the first of a Bangladeshi Prime Minister to an Arakanese village since independence 33 year ago.


According to a government publication in 1947-48, there were 5,190 households consisting of about 100,000 Arakanese in the region, but currently there are only about 515 households with 10,000 Arakanese


After Burmaís independence most Arakanese fled to Burma due to harassment and land grabbing from the Muslim population, said a local Arakanese.


The current governmentís conviction is that the Arakanese fled the region because of the acute poverty and underdevelopment. Hence, it aims to provide development for the region.


By renovating these old Buddhist Monasteries and Pagodas and making the beaches accessible, the region will attract foreign tourists and this will be beneficial for the regionís economy, said Prime Minister Zia at a public rally.


Awakyan region is 300 miles south west of the capital Dhaka, and is adjacent to West Bengal, India.


When the Burmese king Bo Daw Phara invaded Arakan in 1784, hundreds of thousands of Arakanese people fled from Kyaukphyu, Rambree, and Man Aung in Arakan across the sea and settled in this region of Bangladesh. #




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