Sunday, September 30, 2007


This is Myanmar's new administrative capital. A city built on superstition, megalomania and paranoia.

The first despot of Burma, Ne Win, who seized power in 1962, “insisted on walking backwards over bridges at night and performed other rituals to avoid bad luck. He introduced the 45 kyat and 90 kyat notes because they were both divisible by nine and added up to nine. He believed that this move would ensure that he would live to the lucky age of 90! The decision to change the name Burma to Myanmar as proposed by Ne Win’s soothsayer was announced on May 27th (2+7=9).”

The general died in 2002 at the ripe old age of 92.

“Each of the leading clans in the junta has his family astrologer. The army has its own zodiacal experts, but it is a dangerous job: astrologers who make negative predictions are liable to arrest and imprisonment.”

“The astrologer of current strongman, Than Shwe, warned him of impending disaster that could only be averted by moving the capital.”

And so they quietly planned and built a city in the jungles of central Myanmar. The vision is grand: it would cover more than 4,600 square kilometres, 78 times the size of Manhattan. Naypyidaw’s new city hall stands at the end of a road so long and wide it could almost serve as an airport runway. The name Naypidaw means "abode of kings".

From Austin Andrews

From Austin Andrews

From Austin Andrews

But Naypyidaw remains a mysterious capital. Access is still tightly controlled. Two local journalists were reportedly jailed for photographing government buildings without permission in 2006. Yangon is now seething with discontent that can only be quelled by brutalizing the population.


The paranoia of Myanmar’s military rulers is quite justified.

Quotes from Ben Macintyre, The Times

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Anonymous said...

An astrologer from Argentina, http://WWW.ZODIACGUILLE.COM is predicting right now that a country from Asia with the letter “A” is going to have a huge change (I guess it is Myanmar) because the leadership of a sick man under Aquarius Sign is going to explote in his umbilical part of his body. He also said that the country will be GOVERN further under the sign of a GEMINI person and and old name will come with him=her. This Astrologer Don Zodiac Guille also predicted the civil-military destitution for the President Zelaya in Honduras, but de also predicted that the President will returns to the power.(Susan CASTRO AVENDAƑO from Madrid – Spain

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