Capital of Myanmar CountryCity of Myanmar
Myanmar's new capitol is the strangest gem in the junta's crescent.
The Yarza Thingaha Road is a rider's vision in a land where much of the road system consists of paved tracks: eight wide, immaculate tracks that can cope with commuter transport in almost every town in the canal. Apart from Naypyidaw, the new embossed capitol of Myanmar, there is almost no one touring on it.
Motorcycles occasionally rip off the broad avenue without taking care of the clean and clean whitewashed streets on the sidewalk, and the occasionally worker-loaded lorry (which works here on the many building sides but cannot even dream of living here) strolls by. However, a walker with his eye shut could pass through Yarza Thingaha at almost any hour of the morning without being afraid of being shot.
The strangest gem in the coronet of Myanmar's ruling army, Naypyidaw is the setting for the country's transformation - at least on hard copy - to civil government and what the departing junta describes as "disciplining and democratic". "A meeting ruled by the army and its coalition partners - which won its seat three month ago in an electoral process widely mocked as a bogus choice - did not shock anyone by electing the recently-renounced General Thein Sein (who has been Taoiseach of the Burmese government for the last four years) as the country's first "civilian" presidential mayor.
Only part of the funds are ready. There is still work underway on the National Library, the National Museum, the National Archives and the Central Bank, and it seems that few inhabitants are living here. However, the rationale behind the generals' choice to move their headquarters away from militarily loaded Rangoon is obvious as the country's contentious new government is holding its first meetings in the midst of these incredibly quiet avenues.
In spite of the dispute over the elections and the continuing call by Aung San Suu Kyi, head of the National League for Democracy and her party opponent, for the army to honor the results of her far-reaching 1990 electoral success, there was no evidence of disagreement in Naypyidaw on January 31 when the deputies entered the parliamentary house (which is located within a limited internal civilian zone) for the first tipping off on January 31.
"Khin Zaw Win, a Yangon-based anti-democratic politician and politician, said, "Naypyidaw is geographically and mentally separated not only from the outside world, but even from the outside of the country. From Rangoon to Mandalay (two former capital cities of the land also known as Burma), a land that sometimes seems to be caught in a timeline, the building of a new town in the middle of the bush and paddy fields on the Mandalay to Mandalay highway was quick.
In 2005, the company announces its move of state agencies from Rangoon. Naypyidaw was proclaimed capitol within a year, and within a few day of this declaration whole departments were compelled to move to semi-finished districts, with confused bureaux being in some cases compelled to abandon their homes in Rangoon.
According to reporters, the new capitol Rangoon will not fully take over as the political headquarters as long as international consulates are refusing to move to Naypyidaw. Not even Myanmar's Chinese and Southeast Asian confederates have so far consented to relocate their outskirts from Rangoon, a metropolitan sea port, to the island's new provincial city.
"But how can you have a land where the capitol is in one place, but all the messages - even the foreign ministry - in another? However, while the move may have taken an opportunity to take the junta's enemies to task, the huge amount of funds that has been invested in the construction of this empty town has provided a new source of disagreement among Myanmar's oppressed people.
And when the Naypyidaw government rained millions - an approximate 2 percent of GDP in recent years - in the city of Naypyidaw with a museum, a world-class football field, and even an almost accurate replication of Rangoon's legendary Shwedagon pagoda, it was easy to wonder how good the cash could have been to repair Myanmar's skeleton healthcare system (which had been given an initial outlay of just 0 percent.
In the same timeframe (5 percent of GDP), they are obsolete campuses or even Rangoon's own obsolete transport system. Rangoon taximen are laughing loudly at the thought of taking the five-hour northbound trip to the capitol as if you were asking them to take you to Baghdad. "You' ve got a problem[in Rangoon], it's okay.
" lf the ruling party wanted to construct a town here that would compete with Rangoon and Mandalay, it would fail, at least in the initial phase. Although the country is said to have 900,000 inhabitants, making it the third largest town in Myanmar, there is little evidence of a nearby community of this magnitude.
Many fully constructed mansions - which were to accommodate the country's elite - are uninhabited. There are a number of five-star establishments lying terribly empty in a marked "hotel zone" in the southern part of the capital, and the few tourist who drive through the capital spends much of their leisurely hours avoiding the omnipresent "foreigner support teams" who are meant to escort them.
"I' ve had to move here because of my work," said a tour leader at the Myanmar Gem Museum, one of the city's few working touristic sites. l miss Rangoon."