Myanmar to use same portrait of former leader on all notes
- Published: Jun 27, 2020, 8 AM
The hero of Myanmar’s independence, Bogyoke (Maj. Gen.) Aung San will be introduced on all 14 of the country’s bank note denominations, replacing the images of elephants and lions that are now on some denominations.
The Central Bank of Myanmar’s decision was reported in the The Irrawaddy on June 16. One U.S. dollar converts to 1,445 kyat. The denominations range from 50 pays to 10,000 kyats, but the only values specifically mentioned in The Irrawaddy are the 10-, 50-, 100-, 200-, 500-, 1,000-, 5,000- and 10,000-kyat notes.
Old notes will remain legal tender. The bank said it will also improve the security and quality of the bank notes in circulation.
After a lapse of 30 years, the image of the general was reintroduced on the 1,000-kyat note Jan. 4 this year, and the 500-kyat note will be issued on July 19. The bank says the fact that the 1,000-kyat notes were so well received by the public that they are being hoarded instead of spent prompted it to introduce the same portrait on all denominations.
Aung San was a politician, revolutionary, and “father of his country,” who is credited with the independence that Burma, as the country used to be known, attained from Great Britain. He was at varying times a communist, a social democrat, and a revolutionary nationalist. He collaborated with Japan during World War II but switched to the British side after Japan invaded his country. He was the premier of the colony and president of the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League from 1946 to 1947, when he was assassinated by political rivals six months before independence on Jan. 4, 1948.
His daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi, is a well-known stateswoman and politician, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her role in the state’s transition from military junta to partial democracy. She now serves as the state counselor and the first female minister of Foreign Affairs.
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