Myanmar Moves CapitalMyanmar Moves Capital
Myanmar's information minister has announced that the government has begun moving various ministries to a new administrative capital hundreds of kilometers (miles) north of Yangon. Speaking at a news conference in Yangon, Information Minister Brig. Gen. Kyaw Hsan said nine ministries had begun moving personnel and equipment on Sunday to Pyinmana, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) to the north. Kyaw Hsan did not give a detailed explanation for the move, but said that as Myanmar develops, there is a need for a "command and control center" in a strategic location. "The reason we are moving to Pyinmana is because Pyinmana, which is in the center of Myanmar, is geographically and strategically located for the development of the country," he said. The intense secrecy surrounding the move has fueled speculation over its motives, with one popular theory -- talked about on the streets of Yangon as well as by Myanmar-language radio news services abroad -- being that it was because the new capital would be easier to defend if the United States attacked. The military government quietly began building the new capital more than three years ago, and it is believed to host a prime minister's residence, diplomatic quarters, an airport, hospital, a golf course, hotels and nearly 40 buildings for each ministry -- each of which can accommodate 500 people -- and a separate complex that houses military headquarters and bunkers.
Internet Censorship in Burma Worsening
A new report on internet censorship in Burma says the ruling military junta is becoming more sophisticated in censoring online material after the recent introduction of a new firewall, allegedly supplied by US-based company Fortinet.