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Deep in the Heart of Nowhere

Burma's New Capital, Nay Pyi Daw

Burma’s new capital of Nay Pyi Daw is a grandiose display of power. Dumped in the middle of hilly scrub-jungle some 300 miles north of Rangoon, it is a strange, gleaming confection of mighty ministries, official residences and government housing set in the baking plains of Burma. Despite chronic power shortages, leaving much of the country in almost permanent blackout, the Burmese junta's new capital of Nay Pyi Daw, or "Seat of Kings", gleams in 24-hour electricity. The regime has spent billions building this new city in one of the poorest countries in Asia.

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