A prominent army leader who founded the Burmese army along with independence hero Gen Aung San has said that the government’s decision to move its administrative offices 400 km north of Rangoon to Pyinmana is because the regime fears a possible uprising.
Brig-Gen Kyaw Zaw, a member of the “Thirty Comrades,” who fought for independence for Burma from British rule, commented that the junta is not worried about an American seaborne invasion—the most touted reason—but is afraid of its own people, who are tiring with the regime. If people take to the streets in Rangoon or elsewhere, it would be easy to continue to run the country’s administrative affairs from Pyinmana, in central Burma, while sending troops to quell protests or an uprising, the general told Washington-based Radio Free Asia.
The 86-year-old general, now living in exile in China, said that his former comrade Aung San had himself once used Pyinmana as a military headquarters because of its comparatively remote location, surrounded by dense forest and in a mountain range from which it would be easy to launch guerilla warfare against invaders, whether Japanese or British. Combined with its distance from the sea and beaches, Aung San thought it was a good strategic location, Kyaw Zaw told the radio station.