The head of Burma's military junta has stressed the importance of building a strong army at the first official ceremony staged in the country's new capital.
General Than Shwe addressed more than 10,000 troops on Armed Forces Day in the new administrative capital Pyinmana Monday.
He said Burma needs a strong military to achieve the peace and stability needed for a transition toward democracy.
It was the first official function held in the remote capital since the secretive government moved all government offices there from Rangoon five months ago.
Armed Forces Day is held yearly to commemorate the 1945 uprising of the Burmese army against Japanese occupation forces.
Burma's military rulers Monday also announced a huge pay raise for civil servants.
Depending on rank, government employees will receive increases ranging from five to 10 times their previous salaries.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.