RANGOON—As New Year approaches, The Irrawaddy interviewed renowned Burmese astrologer San Zarni Bo to get his predictions for 2013. He forecasts a significant slowdown in the pace of political and economic change in Burma next year due to cosmic factors. But don’t worry, 2014 will see major changes with Aung San Suu Kyi becoming president.
The affable soothsayer and former political prisoner, who was awarded the prestigious International Man of the Year award in Astrology and Palmistry by the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, UK, in 1997, also discusses his new prison memoir and explained why the world did not end on 21-12-2012.
Question: What is your prediction for events in 2013?
Answer: There will not be fast changes like 2012. In 2012 all sorts of things happened. But in 2013 all the reactions will slow down. All things can happen expectedly, but not unexpectedly like in 2012.
Between Jan. 4 and Feb. 19, from April 26 to May 2, and between July 24 and Aug. 26, these days will be able to bring some [political] changes. But nobody can make amendments to our Constitution. There will be some rules and acts that are a little bit positive, but only in these three periods. [Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic rebel groups are seeking broad changes to the controversial 2008 Constitution.]
There will be no changes to the head of the country, but … in January and March there will be some changes in the head of the ministries. Aung San Suui Kyi can get more power, not only as an MP, but she can reach higher in the year 2013, like the vice-presidential level or minister post, but not yet the president.
Finance and business next year will not be very nice. April, May, these moments are not good for the traders and business persons. The weather has to be taken care of in May and August and November. … Earthquakes and floods—the earth and water—can then give minor trouble.
Q: What about the ethnic conflict situation, do you forecast peace next year?
A: Nobody will waive the white flag in 2013. Even if both sides say peace, they will use weapons again. All the peace talks are on the table but in reality in the field they fight each other. That will continue in the whole year of 2013.
Q: Why do you think 2012 was a year with so many changes?
A: Because of the status of Mars and Jupiter, they were moving so nicely.
Q: What about your predictions for after 2013? Will Aung San Suu Kyi become president of Burma?
A: Major political changes will happen in 2014, before the election. … [But] there will be no military coup before the election, I predict that. After July 7, 2014, everything will be alright. 2014 and 2015 will be very nice. All the dreams of our country will come true; all the dreams of 1988 will come true! [Laughs loudly]
Maybe after July 7, 2014, onwards Aung San Suu Kyi will become president. Before the next election, she will be the president. … There might be a coalition government or something like that and then she can get the post of president. Then in the 2015 election she will be elected as president again.
Q: Can you tell us about your new prison memoir?
A: It was launched on Dec. 22. The book is called “One Jail and the Article 5J Stories.” [Emergency Provision Act Article 5J was commonly used to jail political prisoners for supposed subversive activities.] This book is not for me, it’s a fundraising book. The money will go to the Former Political Prisoners League. All these stories were published before in a humorous magazine in Burma called “Ye Sa Ya.”
I was sent to prison three times [in the 1970s and late 1980s]. .… These are all short stories about the prisoners, about how we live together. It’s also a book of humor. Even when we are inside we did not lose our humor. I wrote about all these humorous plots.
There were also many traumas because of the times we had. There were a lot of pains, a lot of suffering. Some of our friends died. But some days are very nice, we are laughing with each other. We make fun with each other. It needs to be like that, if not, we can die and we can become insane. We love each other too, the brotherhood is there.
Q: One last question, why did the world not end on 21-12-2012 as many astrologists predicted?
A: The changes are happening now, the new age is commencing. It doesn’t mean the whole world is over, [it means] the new world is commencing. In Myanmar [calendar] predictions it will actually commence by 24 of December. Today.
Q: Today? So I came here on an auspicious day?
A: Yes. We are now entering into the new age. Within months [from now] all the bad things will start fading and the good things will commence.