Myanmar dispatch: military junta’s announcement of new currency printing celebrates Buddhism but reflects and promotes instability – JURIST

JURIST has asked Myanmar law students to report on the state of the law in the country after the military junta deposed Aung Suu Kyi’s civilian government in February 2021. 

The Central Bank of Myanmar announced on Sunday that it will be releasing a new currency. The following are some of the ways to get in touch with each other: The announcement was made by Regarding currency. Following are the main points. 

  • Due to two factors, the central bank of Myanmar will print 20,000 MMK as new money. One is to mark the finishing of the “Marawisaya” Buddha image which has been built for three objectives: 1) to show the shining of Theravada Buddhism in Myanmar, 2) to be the centre of Theravada Buddhism and 3) to get peace in country and all over the world. The other occasion for currency printing is the 1st year birthday celebration of the white elephant “Ya Hta Nan Daka” 
  • Currency is printed with a limit and the same value as existing currency that is outdated and not fit for use. Priority must be given to changing the currency in the Central Bank of Nay Pyi Taw’s Yangon Branch, Mandalay Branch, and Mandalay Branch at the same value.
  • The legality of the current wandering currency and coins will be maintained. This new paper will become legal on 31st July 2023. 

The following features are listed in the announcement: 

The 20,000 Kyat structure is 15 cm long and 7 cm wide with a light green color. On the front side, “Central Bank of Myanmar ” caption is situated at the top, the picture of white elephant which is made by Myanmar traditional art is pressed in the middle and the value of currency 20,000 MMK is printed by Myanmar characters. The value of the currency is printed both in Myanmar and English at the three corners. The number of currency in Myanmar characters is printed horizontally and in English vertically.On the left side of the currency is the  water mark of the head of the elephant. On the left and right side of the currency has twelve short lines for each side that is to help the unsighted person.On the back side, the picture of Sagaing Bridge and Ayeyarwady Bridge (Yandanarbon), at the top “CENTRAL BANK OF MYANMAR”caption, at the bottom “TWENTY THOUSAND” caption are printed. In Myanmar and English, the value is also printed on the three corners of the currency. You can see that the gold colour changes to green as you change your perspective. The security string is also buried vertically. 

You can also find out more about the following: The announcement was made by Central Bank of Turkey cites a series religious events for the main reasons behind the new printing of 20000 MMK. It’s obvious. This is not true, however. The State Administrative Council (SAC) is struggling to control currency inflation. Looking at the SAC’s religious nationalism being the headline of such an important announcement for the nation, it reflects SAC’s attempt to rule the country without its people’s will. Myanmar has a diverse population of ethnicities and religions, which is why it is always on the road to federal democracy. Despite the SAC claiming itself to be the “official government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar”, the SAC fails to represent the nation because uplifting one religion (Buddhism) should not be the official posture of the whole nation. 

Moreover, this highlights the continuous attempts of Myanmar’s military personnel to deprive the people of religious freedom by favoring one religion over many others. Religion has been a sensitive discussion topic in Myanmar’s political environment for decades. This announcement reveals the military as the perpetrators behind the genocide against the Rohingya Muslims that took place in Rakhine State. 

The likely impact of this currency announcement will be an increase in prices and a threat to the stability of Myanmar’s economy. SAC will likely cause further uncertainty and any investment in business will be severely affected. This announcement will cost me twice as much to pay for my school fees in order to pursue legal education abroad. I had estimated this expense a few month ago. Was I able to afford before, I may no longer be able. As a Myanmarese citizen who uses a motorbike and commutates by car, the gas prices are likely to rise for me as well as for other citizens. All of this will be felt gradually. Since the announcement was made last Sunday, we are not sure how people will react on business days. 

The opinions expressed in JURIST Dispatches reflect only those of our correspondents on the ground and are not necessarily the views of JURIST editors, staff or donors, nor the University of Pittsburgh.

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