Mon 30 Jan 2006
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Burmese government engineers and private contractors are reportedly under pressure to complete work on a military parade ground in Pyinmana, the country’s new administrative capital, before the next Armed Forces Day, in late March.
Local sources and engineers working on the project told The Irrawaddy that the parade ground will be the size of three or four football pitches. One unconfirmed report said the parade ground project will cost the equivalent of about US $9 million.
Armed Forces Day has traditionally been marked by a grand military parade in Rangoon. Last year, the 60th anniversary of Armed Forces Day, more than 7,000 military personnel took part in the parade, through Rangoon’s Resistance Park.
The parades are usually attended by Burma’s ruling military junta, including supremo Snr-Gen Than Shwe, who is rumored to be demanding that this year’s event, the 61st anniversary, be held in Pyinmana.
The order to move government ministries from Rangoon to Pyinmana, 320 km to the north, came last November, and since December hundreds of trucks and cement-mixers have arrived in Pyinmana to work on the parade ground.
The pressure is also on to finish work on Snr-Gen Than Shwe’s new home on a hilltop site in Pyinmana. The huge house, with a floor space of about 4,000 sqm, is said to be almost complete.