Saturday, July 25, 2009


Naypyidaw also spelled Nay Pyi Taw; pronounced [nèpjìdɔ̀]) is the capital of Burma. Nay pyi daw means "Great City of the Sun", but is also translated as "abode of kings". On 6 November 2005, the administrative capital of Burma was officially moved to a greenfield site 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Pyinmana, and approximately 200 miles (320 km) north of Yangon. The capital's official name was announced on 27 March 2006, Burmese Armed Forces Day.

During World War II, Pyinmana was the base of the Burma Independence Army (later renamed and reorganized into the Burma Defence Army by the Japanese). It was in Pyinmana that the army and its officers were trained. Later the Burma National Army changed sides, aiding the Allies with guerrilla warfare, and the operations were seen as a victory by the Burmese. Pyinmana became an icon in the Burmese Army where it was seen as the place where 'superior invaders' were defeated by the Burmese.

Naypyidaw itself has a short history, having been founded in late 2005. The military government began moving government ministries from Yangon to Naypyidaw on 6 November 2005 at the astrologically auspicious time of 6:37 a.m.[5] Five days later, on 11 November at 11 a.m., a second convoy of 1,100 military trucks carrying 11 military battalions and 11 government ministries left Yangon. The ministries were expected to be mostly in place by the end of February 2006; however, the hasty move led to a lack of schools and other amenities which separated the government employees from their families for the time being. Military headquarters were located in a separate compound from the government ministries, and civilians have been banned from entering either. Vendors are restricted to a commercial zone near the government offices. For official works, officers use "NPT" as a synonym.

Naypyidaw is more centrally, and strategically, located than the old capital Yangon. It is also a transportation hub located adjacent to the Shan, Kayah and Karen states. It was felt that a stronger military and governmental presence nearby might provide stability to those chronically turbulent regions.[citation needed] The official explanation for moving the capital was that Yangon had become too congested and crowded with little room for future expansion of government offices.

However, this explanation seems illogical and unreasonable to most of Myanmar (aka Myanmar people). The moving of the capital has rather been considered a tricky political tactic by the government, possibly also a superstitious move as predicted by some monk. The move is also considered as one of the worst urban planning projects of the century. Indian journalist Siddharth Varadarajan, who visited Naypyidaw in January 2007, described the vastness of the new capital as "the ultimate insurance against regime change, a masterpiece of urban planning designed to defeat any putative ‘colour revolution’ – not by tanks and water cannons, but by geometry and cartography".

On 27 March 2006, more than 12,000 troops marched in the new capital in its first public event: a massive military parade to mark Armed Forces Day—which is the anniversary of Burma's 1945 uprising against Japanese occupation. Filming was restricted to the concrete parade ground which contains three enormous sculptures—depictions of the Burmese kings Anawrahta, Bayinnaung and Alaungpaya who are considered the three most important kings in Burmese history. The city was officially named Naypyidaw during the ceremonies.[


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