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Naypyidaw

Naypyidaw

Naypyidaw (also spelled Nay Pyi Taw) is the capital of Burma. Naypyidaw means "Royal City", but is also translated as "abode of kings". The administrative capital of Burma was officially moved to a greenfield site 3 kilometres west of Pyinmana on 6 November 2005. Naypyidaw is approximately 320 kilometres north of Yangon. The capital's official name was announced on Armed Forces Day in March 2006.

History

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, as the place where 'superior invaders' were defeated by the Burmese.

Naypyidaw itself has a short history, having been founded in late 2005. The present military government began moving government ministries from Yangon to Naypyidaw on 6 November 2005 at the astrologically auspicious time of 6:37 a.m.. Five days later, on 11 November (11/11), 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, this hasty move led to a lack of schools and other amenities, which has 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 are banned from entering either. Vendors are restricted to a commercial zone near the government offices. For official works, officers use "NPT" as a formal synonym. Naypyidaw is more centrally, and strategically located than the old capital Rangoon and it is also a transportation hub, located adjacent to the Shan, Chin and Karen states, and it is felt that a stronger military and governmental presence nearby might provide stability to those chronically turbulent regions. The official explanation is that Yangon had become too congested and crowded, with little room for future expansion of government offices. The 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, considered the three most important kings in Burmese history. The city was officially named Naypyidaw during the ceremonies.

Geography

Districts

Located near Pyinmana town in Mandalay Division, Naypyidaw consists of the city proper (downtown) and three surrounding townships, Pyinmana, Lewe and Tatkon. Downtown is further divided into four wards: Zeya Theiddhi, Pyinnya Theiddhi, Bawga Theiddhi, Mingala Theiddhi.

Transport

Rail

Naypyidaw Station is on Burma's main Yangon-Mandalay rail line. It takes nine hours by train to get from Yangon to Naypyidaw. Trains leave at 12:00 and arrive at 21:30 local time.

Air

Naypyidaw Airport, located southeast of the city, is served by all domestic airlines--Air Bagan, Air Mandalay, Myanma Airways and Yangon Airways--with regular flights to Yangon and other cities across the country.

Entertainment

The Myanmar Academy Awards are held annually in Naypyidaw given to the achievers in the Cinema of Burma.

Footnotes

Naypyitaw paralyzed as an ailing Than Shwe clings to power, Larry Jagan, Mizzima News

External links

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