Burmese see new capital for the first time

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The Independent Online

Burmahas received its first major glimpse of its new capital. Marking Armed Forces Day, the government held its first public event at a new military complex in Pyinmana, five months after all government offices were shifted from Rangoon, 250 miles away.

Addressing 12,000 troops, General Than Shwe, the country's unelected leader, said Burma needs to focus on building a strong military to protect its sovereignty. The country is one of the world's poorest but has one of the world's largest militaries, which is used to crack down on dissent and the fight against ethnic minority rebels.

In November, the regime said the move to Pyinmana was because the country needed a "command and control centre". But many point out that mass movements for political change have blossomed in Rangoon. AP

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