torstai 4. lokakuuta 2007

A capital error

24th Jan 2006

Think of a next to non-existent small rural town in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of kilometres from the capital. You may have heard of a friend living there, or it was perhaps in the news. I call mine Mourujärvi, the Burmese people in Myanmar call it Pyinmana.

This Mourujärvi-Pyinmana is to get a turbo boost, as the government of that Asian country has unexpectedly decided to shift the whole government and it's offices there.

As papers have it, "Pyinmana has a population of about 30,000 and is an agricultural production center for sugar cane and bamboo shoots. It's also prone to malaria, full of poisonous snakes and generally a miserable backwater. No one understands why anyone would choose to move there."

The officials have had just some days to prepare for the removal. The Japanese paper Asahi Shimbun continues: "Wouldn't it make sense to quit the government job, and remain in Yangon?

Nothing is as it appears.

By law, government officials cannot resign without permission--which is not often granted.

One brave man, an Industry Ministry official, quit to take a job with a foreign company. In retaliation, the government has refused to issue his passport or official papers." Also pension and rented houses are at stake.

Some Western experts of that region say the haste is due to astrology. The chief astrologist of general Than Shwen has said the shift must be completed under lucky stars, that is before the end of March.


For seventeen years the military regime has been oppressing people in that utterly poor land. You may know the story behind the democracy movement that won the 1990 election (getting 83% of votes) but was not allowed to take power. The leader of the movement is the peace Nobel winner Aung San Suu Kyi. Unfortunately Burma doesn't have any strategic resources and thus it won't get the world's attention as it needed.

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30th Jan 2006

The visitor counter got mad after publishing my entry on the Burmese change of coulisse. Usually something like four or five hundred visits per week, but during this last seven days two thousand! Today I've noticed it to go down again.

If the traffic was accumulated by the local people and bureaucrats under the Myanmar government thumb: remember, we haven't forgotten you! And if it was generated by the intelligence of the military oligarchy: remember, we haven't forgotten you either!

(both texts that are so topical today were published initially at my blog in