Rakhaine people on the verge of extinction
Desk Report: The people of the Rakhine community in Rangabali, Kalapara upazila in Patuakhali have been declining significantly due to oppression and land grabbing by influential people in those areas. Most of the people have fled to Myanmar or Arakan state.
The remaining people are living by catching crabs, sell fish, reports Asian Age.
Some have been making traditional clothes for living. The community had around one lakh people several decades ago, but it has now only around 2,000 families. There are many areas named by Rakhaine words like Gongipara, Monipara, Chatiyanpara, Pulaipara, Midupara of the Rangabali upazila and Nacnapara, Misri-para, Huicanpara, Dia-ramkholapara, Kalaca-npara in Kalapara upazila. Rakhine people started living in the areas in the beginning of 1800s. There were 144 paras in Barguna and 93 in Patuakhali in 1948, but now the number has come down to 26 and 13, respectively. They came to this coastal area by boat from Myanmar.
Most of the Rakhines have gone to Myanmar due to oppression and land grabbing by influential people. Coham-ong, Mongth-achi, Maten, Machan, of Tulatoli area said, they are not doing well.
95 year old Mongthachi Rakhaine said to The Asian Age, ‘local powerful men have taken our land. They want us to flee from this land. What have we done to them?’
Patuakhali Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr Masumur Rahman said, they have a plan to establish a cultural academy for Rakhaine people to protect their language and culture. In the meantime they have been speaking with the higher authority about establishing cultural academy for Rakhaine people in Patuakhali.