Gen Aung San to Make a Comeback on Banknotes

20 Nov 2017  Mon

Myanmar’s late independence hero, Gen Aung San is going to reappear on banknotes of Myanmar even after all 107 of the unelected military representatives and one lawmaker from the former ruling military proxy boycotted the decision.

This led to a lot of agitations during the parliamentary session on the Lower House. 286 lawmakers from the ruling National League for Democracy party, other lawmakers from the USDP and 12 ethnic parties supported the decision.

Pictures of Gen Aung San and de facto leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi appeared on banknotes for the first time in 1958. It was 10 years after Gen Aung San was assassinated along with his eight colleagues.

When Daw Aung San Suu Kyi came into power as a leader of the Burmese pro-democracy movement after the 1988 student uprising, these notes were slowly withdrawn from circulation. The new notes depicted lion or elephant on the obverse and the Myanmar’s famous buildings and landscapes on the reverse.

Those who opposed the decision believe that all Myanmar ethnic groups valued peacocks, lions, and elephants as national symbols. Also, printing new notes wouldn’t be favourable when the country’s economic growth is slow.

Currently, there are between 100 billion to 300 billion kyats which will need to be replaced. They suggested that an image of Gen Aung San could appear on new notes that replace damaged notes or notes in new sizes or new denominations that would be released in the future. Supporters, on the other hand, believed that people would love to see an image of Bogyoke rather than pictures of a lion or elephant.

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