When the Karen National Defense Organization occupied Insein for 112 days in 1949, the area was outside Rangoon proper. Historians say that if the rebel group had pushed into Rangoon and wrested the capital from Bamar hands, the history of the country might have been very different. Today, however, Insein is firmly within the city limits of Yangon, and it is home to one of Myanmar's most notorious symbols of power and oppression — Insein Prison. Aside from that, Insein also has cheap, spacious housing, a large public hospital and several universities.

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