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Myanmar is the nation formerly known as Burma.
October 23, 2005
Myanmar's secret nuclear plant construction
Near the site where Chinese engineers are constructing the Yeywa dam, Myanmar's military government is allegedly preparing to build a secret nuclear project. A web site run by the "Shan Herald Agency for News" published some information about the project, including a map. The location of the site was specified "secure site" near Maymyo, officially known as Pyin Oo Lwin, near the western slope of the Shan hills, some 42 miles from the central Myanmarese city of Mandalay. The site is located in "a flat land surrounded on all sides by steep hills. In addition, the area remains shrouded in mist all round the year, an aspect which the project's planners believe will make it virtually invisible from the air". An airfield has also been under construction since last year at Aneesakhan on the way to Mandalay. "Half of the homes in the town and all homes in the surrounding villages of Singaunggyi, Kangyigon and Nyannyintha were demolished for the purpose. As for Paungdaw, another village nearby, it lost all of its farmland," the website said. The military regime has, however, maintained it was "only acquiring nuclear technology for medical research purposes and has denied its nuclear programme being a front for bomb-making", the report said. "Sources close to the military say the army is transferring the nuclear plant from Magwe to Maymyo", it said, adding that village homes and fields have been confiscated "without compensation since 2003. Roads, some say tunnels as well, are being contructed. It has also been declared off-limits to the local populace with long-term imprisonment as punishment for trespassers", it said, adding that Maymyo, once part of the Shan state and later of Mandalay District, "has become so militarized during the last decade (that) sources are estimating its population as half civilian and half military". Myanmar's West Point, Defence Services Academy, is also located here.
[Source: PTI news agency, New Delhi, "Burma reportedly preparing secret nuclear plant", October 23, 2005 0856 gmt (title by BBC Monitoring)]