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The dominant group that lives in the Arakan is the Rakhine Buddhists. In the year 957 C.E., a Mongolian invasion swept over Vesali (Vaisali) - the capital city - and killed Sula Chandra, the last Hindu king of Chandra dynasty. They destroyed Vesali and placed on their throne Mongolian kings. Mohammed Ashraf Alam writes, ?Within a few years the Hindus of Bengal were able to establish their Pala Dynasty.

But the Hindus of Vesali were unable to restore their dynasty because of the invasion and migrations of Tibeto-Burman who were so great that their population overshadowed the Vesali Hindus. They cut Arakan away from Indians and mixing in sufficient number with the inhabitants of the eastern-side of the present Indo-Burma divide, created that Indo-Mongoloid stock now known as the Rakhine Arakanese.

This emergence of a new race was not the work of a single invasion. But the date 957 AD may be said to mark the appearance of the Rakhine in Arakan, and the beginning of fresh period.? They were a wild people much given to plunder, violence, cruelty, kidnapping, enslavement and sea piracy, and came to be known as the Maghs of the Arakan.  History researcher Alamgir Serajuddin writes, ?Their cruelty, comparable only to that of bargi marauders of later days, was a byword in Bengal. Shihabuddin Talish thus described it: “They carried off the Hindus and Muslims, male and female, great and small, few and many that they could seize, pierced the palms of their hands, passed thin canes through the holes and threw them one above another under the deck of their ships.?

After the Portuguese established their settlements in Chittagong, Sandwip and Arakan during the Mughal rule of India, the Rakhine Maghs entered into a scheme of plundering Mughal territory in Bengal by making an alliance with the Portuguese pirates. So the Magh-Portuguese piracy was a menace to the peace of Bengal until 1666, when the Mughals, under the governorship of Shaista Khan (1664-1688) conquered Chittagong from the Arakanese control. That year (1666) marked the decline of the Arakanese Empire. [The Arakanese (Rakhine) Maghs left Chittagong, never to reoccupy it, which became a part of Bengal (and now Bangladesh). However, plundering by the Magh-Portuguese pirates continued throughout the 18th century.

Historian G.E. Harvey writes, ?Renell?s map of Bengal, published in 1794 AD marks the area south of Backergunge ?deserted on account of the ravages of the Muggs (Arakanese)??. The Arakan pirates, both Magh and feringhi, used to come by the water-route and plunder Bengal?. Mohammedans underwent such oppression, as they had not to suffer in Europe. As they continually practiced raids for a long time, Bengal daily became more and more desolate and less and less able to resist them. Not a house was left inhabited on their side of the rivers lying on their track from Chittagong to Dacca. The district of Bakla [Backergunge and part of Dacca], which formerly abounded in houses and cultivated fields and yield a large revenue as duty on betel-nuts, was swept so clean with their broom of plunder and abduction that none was left to tenant any house or kindle a light in that region. ?? When Shayista Khan asked the feringhi deserters, what salary the Magh king had assigned to them, they replied, ?Our salary was the Mughal Empire. We considered the whole of Bengal as our fief. We had not to bother revenue surveyors and ourselves about court clerks but levied our rent all the year round without difficulty. We have kept the papers of the division of the booty for the last forty years.??

Because of their centuries of savagery, the Maghs of Arakan earned such a bad name that they started calling themselves the Rakhines.

The Rakhines practice Buddhism and their spoken language is pure Burmese with slight phonetic variation.

for more informations, visit [url=http://www.rakhine.org/]http://www.rakhine.org/[/url]