Myanmars abrupt move to a new administrative capital near the remote town of Pyinmana will help its military rulers better address problems in border areas, a diplomat from the reclusive nation said Tuesday.
The pullout of government departments from Yangon on the coast, announced only in November and completed in March, surprised foreign diplomats.
The administrative capital of Nay Pyi Taw near Pyinmana was practically built from scratch at the confluence of two major mountain ranges.
It puts the capital at the geographic center of the nation, Myanmars ambassador to the Philippines Thaung Tun told the Foreign Correspondents Association here.
It would develop the hinterland, he said. We are now concentrating on the border regions.
He said if the government could bring development to the center we will have decimated our problems, which he listed as narcotics, labor issues and security issues.
The country has been troubled by more than a dozen insurgencies mostly by ethnic minorities based in border areas.
At the moment our country depends on road and rail transport. We have not the luxury of developed air transport, Thaung Tun said.
Pyinmana is located at the junction of many highways and railways, easier for the civil service and the military to move around and reach many parts of the country within a day.
He said Yangon, which had been built by British colonial rulers for about 250,000 people, was now overcrowded with close to six million. The infrastructure is not good enough for the increasing population.
Expanding sideways could have brought more problems, he said.
Opening up the hinterland has been done by other countries before, he said, citing the capitals of Australia, Brazil, Pakistan, Libya and Nigeria.