Saturday, April 24, 2010

Burma State Lottery - WWII

Today's post is on Burma State Lottery. Even though, Burma was separated from Indian Empire in 1937 and came under direct British Administration, I still collect Burma as part of my Indian collection because of Indian Army involvement in this theater of war. Burma and North East India were the main area where Allied (British & Indian) and Axis (Japanese & INA) forces fought hard pitched war during WWII.

Burma became province of Indian Empire on 1st January 1886. Since 1886 to 1937, Indian stamps were used in Burma. Between 1942 to 1945 part of Burma was under Japanese and British administration and during that time both of them ran their postal system in parallel.

During WWII, British Government came up with Burma State Lottery to raise funds. I don't have much details on it. But, I have two of such samples in my possession which mentions war.

First of such item is shown below. It is a ticket of Ninth Burma State Lottery, issued in 1941 to someone called Ramajayam.

The ticket is priced Rupees 2 and have a illustration of Burma's pagoda and Buddhist temples.

The back side of the ticket has as usual rules listed in English and Burmese. The rules state that the draw will begin on the 24th march 1941 while tickets will be sold till 10th March 1941 in Rangoon and 3rd March 1941 outside Rangoon.

And here comes the main rule which is of my interest: no war tax or other deduction will be made from the prizes.

Here is some information shared by fellow blogger Ramanathan on this lottery:

In the first lottery signed 'Sree Ramajayam' in the 'Nom De Plume' section of the lottery, the actual owner is S.V.RM.V.Ramanathan Chettiar of Pallatur, Ramnad District. Further, this lottery belongs to this gentleman (Ramanathan Chettiar) because people from the Chettiar community were major traders, money-lenders, and merchants in Colonial Burma. During the British Raj, Ramanathanpuram was written as Ramnad and Pallatur belongs to one of the 96 small villages / towns the Chettiar community is spread across -- today it has shrunk to 75 villages. Pallatur is a small village next to Karaikkudi. Family of AMM group, manufacturers of BSA cycles, trace their ancestry to Pallatur (before their venture into industries, ancestors of this AMM family had large investments in Burma).

Here is another sample of lottery ticket. This one is quite interesting since it has postmark on it :-)

If you notice this ticket carries a postmark of some KANYUT.... I can't decode it. I would really appreciate if someone can tell me which place it refers to. This is 1st time I have seen a lottery ticket being carried like this in postal system without any stamp on it. Or could it be some official seal while selling the ticket?

Again, fellow blogger Ramanathan helped to decode the mystery:

It is a postmark of 'KANYUTKWIN' located in Irrawady district. Such items may have been posted from Burma to India or vice-versa, hence that postmark seal. You see the name 'ANNAMALAI' in Nom De Plume section, again, this could be that of a Chettiar's name.

-- thanks a lot Ramanathan for helping with both the lotteries. Your analysis was as usual perfect and complete.

Anyway, this is 12th issue of same year 1941. Back side of this lottery mentions that the draw will begin on the 18th December 1941 while tickets will be sold till 4th December 1941 in Rangoon and 27th November 1941 outside Rangoon.

Like previous one, this also mentions that no war tax or other deductions will be made from the prizes.

I am sure British Government would have issued such tickets until they were run over by Japanese Occupation Forces in Burma or perhaps such tickets were continued to issue in regions of Burma under British control till end of war.

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