The Panglong Conference of 1947 marks the formation of modern Myanmar. Leaders of the large minority groups, mainly Shan, Kachin, and Chin peoples, and General Aung San met on the eve of independence in Panglong to discuss and sign an agreement on a formula for Burmese federalism, including the principle of “full autonomy in internal administration for Frontier Areas”. The result of the Panglong Conference, the Panglong Agreement, promises full cooperation and collaboration between the different ethnic groups for the development of the Union of Burma. This conference is commemorated every 12th of February as a public holiday as Union Day. 

Map of Myanmar / Burma | Source: AS

General Aung San was an instrumental person in the Pangalong Conference as the prime minister of Burma. He was the leader of protests against the British rule of Burma. In the Second World War, he formed the Burma Independence Army to aid Japan. However, he became skeptical of Japan’s promises of freedom and switched to the Allied cause. After the Japanese forces surrendered, he became the deputy chairman of Burma’s Executive Council in late 1946, making him the de facto prime minister of Burma that remained subject to the British governor’s veto. He used his position to negotiate for Burma’s independence from the British Empire but was killed before independence was achieved in 1948.  

Aung San Signing the Panglong Agreement | Source: Wikipedia

 General Aung San is a national hero in Myanmar. He is considered the founder of modern-day Myanmar and the national armed forces, the Tatmadaw. He is also the father of Aung San Suu Kyi, His portrait is featured in many Burmese banknotes, including the series of notes issued by the Union of Burma in 1958, the People’s Bank of Burma in 1965, the Union of Burma Bank in 1972 and 1985, and the Central Bank of Myanmar in 1990 and 2019. The Union of Burma also issued a circulating commemorative coin series in 1966 to honor General Aung San.  

Burma 35 Kyats | 1986 ND | P-63 | Source: Banknote World

Currency to Remember the Signing of the Panglong Agreement

The 35 Burmese kyat note is one of the oddly-numbered denominations introduced by the Union Bank of Burma in 1986. The unusual denomination of the 1986 series was rumored to be due to General Ne Win’s belief in numerology. The purple and violet note features General Aung San and a peacock. Its reverse side depicts Nath Thar, a mythical dancer.  

Myanmar 1 Pya Coin ft. Aung San | Source: Numista

This 1 pya coin is part of the Aung San commemorative series issued in 1966. It is an aluminum coin that weighs 0.6 g and has a diameter of 17 mm. Its obverse side shows the bust of General Aung San. Its reverse side shows the denomination and the year in Burmese text. The bust featured in this coin is based on a picture of General Aung San in the Burma Independence Army uniform.  

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