New Towns

   Although new towns or satellite towns (Thaketa, North and South Okkalapa) were established by the Caretaker Government between 1958 and 1960, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) carried out a more ambitious program of expanding the boundaries of Rangoon (Yangon) by establishing 10 new towns, of which the three largest are Hlaing Thayar, Shwepyithar, and Dagon Myothit (further divided into North, East, and South Dagon). These new settlements incorporated territories lying west of the Hlaing River and east of Ngamoeyeik Creek, the city's traditional boundaries. As many as 450,000-500,000 people moved, or were moved, to these new towns (other estimates are lower). They included a large number of persons subject to forced relocation, not only squatters but also people who had supported the demonstrations of Democracy Summer and had to rebuild their homes in remote areas lacking basic amenities. Although some people relocated voluntarily, for example, civil servants who were granted parcels of land and wealthy people who bought houses in luxury developments, the SLORC's establishment of the new towns reflects the weakness of individual property rights in Burma, where the state is recognized as having ultimate authority over land.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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