ဆယ့်လေး. Reporting from Rangoon Part 2

This is the BBC World Service

All around the walls hung heavy sequined tapestries. Scenes of death, love, of the battle; of evil and good; of the demons and the heroes of the Ramakien, all portrayed in relief. Rich gold embossed details on coarse brown fabric.

A Burmese man sat at a table tuning a receiver to the World Service.

When Ne Win abolished all notes fifty kyat and over, the man had gone bankrupt and was forced to close his restaurant for two months. All the money he made on the black market became worthless overnight and he was left with only the small amount he had put in the bank. Too large a deposit and it would have attracted the suspicion of the government spies, so he kept the rest in the backroom of his restaurant.

Overnight, the wads of backroom bills made better firelighters than investment.

The radio crackled with the voice of a reporter in Rangoon who explained the feeling of tension in the city.

Riots in Prome, curfew in Taung Gyi, demonstrations in Rangoon.

The Shwedagon pagoda rose majestically out of the slums of the city, its base covered with anti-government banners.

“The tension is like a prickly heat on the necks of the party supporters,” the BBC reporter said.

ဆယ့်သုံး. Reporting from Rangoon Part 1 བཅུ་​ལྔ་. No Limits
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