In the still of the night, the ruthless junta that runs Myanmar moved its capital from Rangoon to a remote, artificial town in the interior of the country. Like everything else in Myanmar, the reasons for the move are not clear, with explanations ranging from a fear of US invasion, a discomort with proximity to Rangoon's pro-Democracy movement, and strongman Than Shwe's culty obsession with numerology.
Myanmar, which changed its name from Burma in 1989, is in an elite class of basketcase countries run by bizarre, repressive dictators.
But if the fear of US invasion is truly one of the motives, it appears to have paid off! A visit to the CIA factbook online shows a map of "Burma" with its capital still in Rangoon.
This stunning intelligence failure begs the question of whether the CIA still maintains station chiefs in Rhodesia and Upper Volta. Requests for comment from the US Embassy in East Pakistan were not answered.