Historical and Statistical Sketch of Aracan (Arakan) by Charles Paton - Thar Le Zwa သာလီစြ - Arakan Monitor

Thar Le Zwa သာလီစြ - Arakan Monitor

Thar Le Zwa: Arakan Monitor


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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Historical and Statistical Sketch of Aracan (Arakan) by Charles Paton

The following particulars relating to the newly acquired province of Aracan, are the result of a tour made through its several subdivisions, and such communication, with the people of the country, as an imperfect command of the language would permit. I have, however, in all cases, endeavoured scrupulously to satisfy myself of the correctness of the information, by personal inspection, and by the fullest corroborative evidence that was procurable.

The ancient history of Aracan, has been chiefly extracted from Magh manuscripts, in the possession of the late Commissioner, Mr. Robertson. That of more recent periods has been gathered also from written records, but especially from the oral communications of individuals, who were implicated in the transactions, or who witnessed their occurrence.

The topography of the country has been derived from personal observation, and the communications of Officers employed in the Quarter Master's or Survey Departments, and the population from a census, taken by Mr. Robertson and myself. My own experience, and frequent intercourse with the most intelligent natives, have enabled me to offer a description of the productions of the country, and the character of the people.

The province of Aracan and its dependencies, Ramree, Cheduba, and Sandaway, lie between eighteen and twenty-one degrees of north latitude, and may be averaged at about sixty miles in breadth ; bounded on the east and south by the Yúmadang mountains, on the west by the Bay of Bengal, and on the north, by the Naf, and the mountains of Wyli, at the source of the Mrosa, covering an extent of about eleven thousand square miles, of which there are not, at present, more than four hundred in a state of cultivation. The greater part of the country, from the bottom of the mountains, drawn to the sea is a Sunderban, and the only possible way of communicating with the different villages, is by water.

The Province of Aracan, exclusive of the capital, includes fifty-five village divisions, or districts: each district, or division, containing, according to its size, from two to sixty paras, or small villages: each division is placed under the control of a Sirdar, who is held responsible for the good conduct of the paradas of his division, who are, generally, appointed by the suffrage of the villages. The town of Aracan was divided, by the Burmese, into eight wards, according with the number of outlets from the fortifications, each ward had its own Police, but all were placed under the Meoasugri and Acherang, of the city, who received the daily reports: if any complaint was preferred, not cognizable by them, it was referred to the Judicial Court, consisting of the Akwenwon, (Collector of land revenue) Akowon, (Collector of Port Customs) two Chikaydos, law officers, and two Nakhandos

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