Reading the tea leaves of third-world country politics is never easy. This BBC News article tries reading between the lines of a
picture of a banknote signed by three important Myanmar figures. -Editor
The crimson banknote is worth 5,000 kyats ($4; £2.60) but it could turn out to be priceless.
Signed by the three most important figures in Myanmar's recent history, it's being seen by some as a sign that a deal is being
struck between Aung San Suu Kyi and her long time adversaries in the Burmese military.
Since first being made public on Facebook on Saturday night, a picture of the money has gone viral on Burmese social media. It was
uploaded by a young man called Nay Shwe Thway Aung.
For the last few weeks he has been acting as an intermediary between Aung San Suu Kyi and his grandfather, one of Myanmar's most
notorious and controversial leaders - the former dictator Than Shwe.
Than Shwe ruled Myanmar with an iron fist between 1992 and 2011.
They are remembered as some of Myanmar's bleakest years, with harsh internal repression coupled with international isolation. Aung
San Suu Kyi, spent most of it cut off from the world, under house arrest.
So back to the banknote. Posted to Facebook by Nay Shwe Thway Aung on Saturday night, it contains the signatures of Than Shwe from 2009,
the current President Thein Sein from 2012, and Aung San Suu Kyi from when she met with him on 19 November.
According to Nay Shwe Thway Aung, the signatures were gathered either when the person was Myanmar's leader or on their way to
The symbolism is clear - Than Shwe to Thein Sein to Aung San Suu Kyi - a line of succession that few thought possible.
Underneath the picture of the banknote are more than a thousand comments lauding Nay Shwe Thway Aung for his efforts. One even suggests
a Nobel Peace Prize might be in order.
Ms Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), have so far refused to comment in any detail on the ongoing
negotiations. But it is a measure of how far she has come, that the discussion is no longer whether the former political prisoner is going
to lead the next government, but precisely how.
The campaign to win Myanmar's election was very public. The battle to win the military over is taking place very much in secret.
With information scarce, the Burmese public are clinging to every hint that emerges, even if it is written on the back of a
To read the complete article, see:
What a signed banknote tells us about Myanmar's next leadership
Wayne Homren, Editor
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