RANGOON — At the start of a new year, The Irrawaddy visited renowned Burmese astrologer San Zarni Bo at his Rangoon home in order to get his predictions for 2014.
The soothsayer and former political prisoner forecasts that this year will see be year with many positive changes that will set Burma on a path to a better future.
Question: Last year, you predicted that Aung San Suu Kyi would become president of Burma in 2014. Do you still stand by this prediction?
Answers: I confirm again that Suu Kyi will become the president. She will win the election in 2015 and then become the first woman president of Burma before July 13, 2015.
Q: What kinds change may take place in Burma’s politics in 2014?
A: The executive power will not remain the same, and there will be many amendments and changes in politics. So it will be in laws. Also, there will be a group that represents both legislative and executive powers.
Q: What will happen with the armed conflict and the peace process this year?
A: A nationwide ceasefire will be completed, but peace talks will continue until 2020. A foundation for a federal union can also be laid. Besides, Burma will have an opportunity to become a landmine-free zone in 2014.
Q: What will happen with foreign investments in Burma this year?
A: It will be difficult for Burma and other countries around the world to receive foreign investments.
Q: What about health conditions of Burmese people?
A: We must be careful about health, since 2014 will be a year with many diseases. Health care and education in Burma are still very worrisome. Compared to others, budget allocation and capacity for educational development and health care in our country are lower than it should be.
Q: Will there be any chance for educational development?
A: Educational development will be brought up only through self-reliant ways. However, government support and encouragement on this matter are still weak.
Q: How will the economy perform this year?
A: People’s believe in their currency is stronger so, their spending will be high. Life improvements of those who are in the upper class will gradually come to a halt, while that of the middle class will be a bit weaker. But, despite facing difficulties, ordinary people will have better job opportunities and their daily spending will be higher.
Q: What will be differences between 2014 and previous years?
A: There will be many differences and because of them I consider 2014 as a foundational year to establish a beautiful future for Burma. It will be a year with a lot of positive changes.
Q: Will anything special occur in relation to Fridays in 2014?
A: Are you wondering about [retired] Snr-Gen Than Shwe’s health? He is old now. According to our astrological calculations, if he was actually born on a Friday as people assume, his health is worrisome and he has to take care of it.
Likewise, the health condition of Aung San Suu Kyi will be poor since she was born on a Tuesday, but she will have to undergo an operation, that’s all. She now has already recovered from a minor surgery for bunions, a painful deformity at the base of the big toe, so she is fine.
Another one is [Union Parliament Speaker] Thura Shwe Mann, who in my astrology-based understanding was born on Tuesday. So, his health will be poor but not be harmed.
As for President Thein Sein, I think he has two birthdays—a real and a made-up one. I don’t think his birthday is on a Friday in April, like people celebrated last year. If he was born in April, he doesn’t have any [astrological] position to become president.