It cannot have pleased Myanmar’s ruling family – the collapse of a 2,300-year-old gold-domed pagoda into a pile of timbers just three weeks after the wife of the junta’s top general had helped reconsecrate it with a diamond orb and a sacred golden umbrella.

There is no country in Asia more superstitious than Myanmar, and the collapse of the temple was widely seen as something more portentous than shoddy construction work.

– Extracted from Seth Mydans, “Many Burmese See Pagoda Collapse as an Omen for the Junta”, The New York Times, 7 June 2009. This article quotes a number of researchers on Burmese affairs: Zarni, Josef Silverstein, and Ingrid Jordt.

The collapse of the pagoda was discussed on New Mandala earlier in the month.