Part II. Islam and Arakan
According to pro-Rohingya sources, local traditions trace Arab contact with people of Arakan as predating the establishment of Islam, (15) with the first exposure of the people of Arakan to Islam occurring in the 7th or 8th century, (16) soon after Islam was founded. Many sources, including the early British administrator and historian Sir Arthur Phayre (1841) (17) report strong cultural links between Bengal and Arakan, especially during the 3.5 centuries of the Mrauk-U Kingdom (1425-1785). King Min Saw Mon, the founder of this dynasty, is reported to have regained his throne in 1433 (18) after twenty-four years of exile in exile in Bengal, with military help from the Sultan of Bengal. (19) The court he then established had a strong Muslim influence.
Aung San had been a prominent student politician, and was involved in the founding of nationalist organisations. He is reported as supporting and assisting in the Japanese invasion from 1942-5. But the Oxford Burma Alliance reports that he then became skeptical both of Japanese promises of true independence and of the new invader’s ability to win the war. As the war drew to an end, he switched sides, helping to organise an uprising that, with British help, expelled the Japanese. In late 1946 he was appointed (by the British) as deputy chairman of Burma's Executive Council. Soon after (January, 1947) he signed an agreement with the British Prime Minister (Clement Atlee) which promised Burma’s independence within one year.
The Oxford Burma Alliance reports that Aung San is still widely admired and fondly remembered in Burma, because of his campaign for independence and the efforts of his daughter.