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Yearbook 2002

Burma. In January, Burma announced plans to build a nuclear research reactor with Russian help. Among other things, the US and the EU expressed concern that Burma would not comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency's IAEA safety regulations.

2002 Myanmar

In March, four close relatives of former dictator Ne Win were arrested. They were accused of planning to overthrow the military regime and were sentenced to death in September. The information on coup preparations was also said to have led to high-level purges in the police and military. More than 80 soldiers were sentenced to prison for 15 years each.

According to Countryaah website, Ne Win passed away in December at the age of 91 after being in house arrest since March. He ruled Burma in 1962-88 and was responsible for the country's economic collapse through the isolationist and economically insane "Burmese Road to Socialism".

Information that Prime Minister Than Shwe had met with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in January gave new hope of a thaw in relations between the military junta and the opposition. Suu Kyi was released in May from 20 months in house arrest and later was able to visit party friends outside the country without hindrance. During the summer, a large number of political prisoners were also released in rounds, but far from all the more than 1,000 people who, according to Amnesty International, among others, are imprisoned for political reasons.

An explanation for the softer line towards the opposition was believed to be the junta's need for a solution to Burma's precarious financial situation. The currency, cheated, lost significantly in value and the supply situation was described as very difficult. Every third child under five was estimated to be malnourished.

However, no solution to the country's isolation was in sight since the United Nations Commission on Human Rights targeted fierce criticism of Burma in a report. Among the many "grave and systematic" violations of human rights in Burma were mentioned extrajudicial executions, forced labor, child labor, torture, rape, forced displacement, obstruction of freedom of speech, assembly and religion, and the absence of an independent judiciary.


Pyinmana, Burma's administrative capital from 2005, approximately 400 km north of Rangoon; 1.34 million inbd (including Naypyidaw, 2011). The city has an agricultural university as well as the sugar and lumber industry. Astrologers who have great influence in Burma determined the timing of the move. On November 7, 2005 at 6.37 began the relocation of furniture from several ministries from Rangoon to Pyinmana. It is believed that the regime moved the capital because of predictions and fears of a new popular uprising and of an American invasion.

At the new government town just west of Pyinmana, a large underground facility, airport, hospital, military facility, offices and golf course have been built. In addition, a large parade system with statues of three Burmese kings has been erected. The government city has been named Naypyidaw 'the city of kings'. The move has cost enormous sums for the poor country and hampered the government's contacts with diplomacy. In World War II, during the Japanese occupation, the area was training camp for Burma Independent Army under Aung San. A transition in the 1950's was the base for the Burma Communist Party.

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