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发表于 2015-11-14 09:04:01 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
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An election in Myanmar

Change in the air

The first proper election in a generation is a stepping stone to an uncertain future

Oct 31st 2015 | TAUNGUP | From the print edition

THOUSANDS waited for hours under a blazing sun on the football field in Taungup, a small town near the Bay of Bengal in Rakhine state in Myanmar’s west. Most wore the red T-shirts of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and waved flags emblazoned with the party’s star-and-peacock symbol (pictured). One teenager carried a rose, intending to present it “to my leader, to my president”. When Aung San Suu Kyi’s four-wheel drive bumped into view, the crowd chanted “Maa Suu!”—Mother Suu.

数千人顶着骄阳在Taungup—坐落在西缅甸Rakhine省Bay of Bengai附近的一个小镇—的足球场等候了好几个小时,他们大多穿着NLD的红T恤,挥舞着印有星星和孔雀标志的党旗(如上图),一位少年捧着一支玫瑰,想要献给“人民的领路人,人民的总统”,当昂山素季的轿车闯进人们的视线,人群开始开始高唱“Maa Suu”—母亲Suu。

On the face of it, the campaigning across Myanmar ahead of a general election on November 8th might seem nothing exceptional. Yet the scene in Taungup would have been unthinkable five years ago—not least because the NLD was banned, Miss Suu Kyi was under house arrest and a downtrodden people were under the army’s boot. Today Miss Suu Kyi sits in parliament. Her NLD is set to reap the most votes in the election. To many in the West, it looks like a happy end to Myanmar’s long and dark journey. In fact, the election is but one stepping stone to an uncertain future. Many questions remain unanswered, including whether the Burmese can pull themselves out of poverty and when ethnic conflicts that have raged for decades will end.


The most immediate question is how much power Myanmar’s armed forces, who have been in charge since 1962, are willing to cede. The army wrote Myanmar’s constitution, which a sham referendum put into effect in 2008. Two years later a few generals traded in their uniforms for longyis and set up the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). Together with the quarter of seats reserved by the constitution for the army, it has a comfortable parliamentary majority. Unlike in 1990, when the army ignored the election result, at least the outcome of this one appears likely to be respected. But the soldiers are taking no chances. However well or badly the USDP does in the election, the army’s 25% bloc will remain in place. The opening that Myanmar has witnessed over the past five years is astonishing in comparison with what went before. But it is taking place on the army’s terms.


The election is not entirely fair. Voter lists are inaccurate and ripe for abuse. In some violent areas voting will not take place at all. Meanwhile, perhaps 1m Muslim Rohingyas in a largely Buddhist country have been deemed stateless—non-persons ineligible to vote at all (see map). Three years ago Taungup was at the centre of communal mayhem that quickly flared into a pogrom carried out by Buddhist Rakhines against the Rohingya population. Tens of thousands of Rohingyas fled abroad on rickety vessels.


But Miss Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace-prize winner, is turning a blind eye to some of the election’s blemishes, believing the process still marks a big step forward. Her visit to Rakhine was not a gesture of sympathy with the Rohingyas. She has been shamefully silent on the topic. Muslims make up only 4% of Myanmar’s population, but being accused of supporting them is a fast way to lose Buddhist votes.


That matters to Miss Suu Kyi. She shows a steely determination to help her party win. Rakhine, a vitriolic Buddhist monk, and members of a pressure group calling itself the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, better known as Ma Ba Tha, have been campaigning against the NLD in rural areas. They accuse the NLD of being pro-Muslim. Miss Suu Kyi says she deplores such chauvinism. But the NLD has no Muslim candidates. In Rakhine, Muslim shopkeepers complain that Buddhists boycott their shops and bus stations refuse them tickets. Yet on the campaign trail Miss Suu Kyi offers only bromides.

是自称为Association for the Protection of Race and Religion(更常被称作 Ma Ba Tha)的压力集团成员,正在乡村地区强夺NLD的选票,他们指责NLD反穆斯林。昂山素季回应到她强烈指责这种种族沙文主义,但事实上,NLD中确实没有穆斯林候选人。在Rakhine地区,穆斯林发言人抱怨佛教徒抵制他们的商店,公交车站也拒绝售票给他们,然而昂山素季在竞选中只用陈词滥调进行回应。

The real prize 真正的代价

In by-elections in 2012 the NLD won 43 out of 44 seats. This time it could win two-thirds of the 75% of seats that are up for grabs, which it would need for a parliamentary majority. But a landslide is not guaranteed. Despite Miss Suu Kyi’s popularity, and however hard it is to meet anyone who claims to be a USDP supporter in the big cities, the army-backed party is a well-financed machine able to get out the vote. Meanwhile, over 90 other parties, many ethnic-based ones, are also fielding candidates. Not all support the NLD.


The parties have their eye on who will succeed President Thein Sein, a former general. His successor will be elected by the new parliament when it convenes early next year. Legislators will choose from among three candidates—one each nominated by the upper house, the lower house and the army. The two losers automatically become vice-presidents, while the winner selects the cabinet.

各党派都在密切关注谁将会成为现总统Thein Sein(前任将军)的继位者,这位新总统将会由明年初新成立的国会选出,总统将从以下三名候选人中产生:一名由上议院提名,一名由下议院提名,一名由军方提名,失败的两名候选人将自动成为副总统,而总统将会组建内阁。(这里有些不确定,为什么Legislators用了复数?我的理解是一共三个候选人,会失败两个,那成功的那个会成为总统)

The new president may not be known until February or even March. But one thing is certain: however well the NLD does, Miss Suu Kyi will not get the top job. The army-written constitution bans anyone with a foreign spouse or children from the presidency. Miss Suu Kyi’s late husband was British, as are her two sons. The provision seems designed specifically to block her. Miss Suu Kyi says the NLD will nominate “a civilian member of our party” to be president. But there is no doubt she would be the one effectively in charge. That would lead to opaque decision-making and a lack of accountability. Worryingly, Miss Suu Kyi evinces little interest in policy detail.


As for the USDP, a tussle within the party to curb the army’s influence seems to have ended, at least for now—to the benefit of the generals. In August, helped by troops who shut down the capital, Naypyidaw, Mr Thein Sein suddenly ordered the removal of his colleague, Shwe Mann, the parliamentary speaker. That ambitious politician, also a former general, was rumoured to have forged a working relationship and perhaps a future power-sharing deal with Miss Suu Kyi.

至于USDP,党内关于控制军队在政治上影响力的争论似乎就要画上句号,至少现在看来是这样,这对于将军们来说是一件好事,今年八月,总统Thein Sein在军队的帮助下封锁了首都Naypyidaw,并且革去了Shwe Mann国会发言人的头衔。Shwe Mann,曾经也是将军,是一名有野心的政客,传说他与昂山素季进行了合作,并可能就将来分食权力达成了某种协议。

For the new president, an urgent task will be to find peace with ethnic groups who resent Burman dominance. Myanmar is a kaleidoscope of ethnicities. For decades the army justified its repression by claiming that, without it, the country would disintegrate. By contrast, ethnic groups say that the autonomy they were promised in 1947 in the Panglong agreement (signed for the government by Miss Suu Kyi’s late father and independence hero, Aung San) has yet to materialise.

对于新任总统来说,一项紧急任务便是与对缅甸人统治不满的少数民族达成和平共识,缅甸的种族群体千变万化,数十年以来,军方都宣称如果没有他们,国家将会四分五裂,以此作为他们压迫统治的正当理由。与此相对的是,少数民族群体抱怨1947年Panglong协议(由昂山素季已故的父亲,独立战争英雄,Aung San签订)许诺给他们的自治权至今都没有兑现。

The shady jade trade 灰色玉石交易

On October 15th the government announced that it and several ethnic armies had reached a “national ceasefire agreement”. Mr Thein Sein called it a “historic gift” to future generations. In fact, it looks rather trifling. The agreement covered just eight of dozens of rebel groups, all of which had already agreed bilateral ceasefires with the government. It omitted groups that are still in conflict with the government, including the United Wa State Army, the Shan State Army North and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). And it neglected the thorniest issues of all—sharing resources and devolving power.

十月15号,政府宣布他们和几个少数民族团体已达成“全国停火协议”,总统Thein Sein将它称作给后代的“历史性的礼物”,事实上,这份协议一文不值。首先12个冲突团体中只有8个加入了协议,且他们之前都与政府签订了双边停火协议,4个被遗漏的团体,包括United Wa State Army, the Shan State Army North and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) 仍在与政府军发生冲突。其次,这份协议忽略了最最棘手的问题—资源共享和权力下放。

Increasingly, drugs and natural resources—notably gemstones and timber—are fuelling the conflicts. Much of the world’s jade is mined in Kachin state. A new report by Global Witness, an NGO, estimates that $31 billion of Burmese jade was sold in 2014, mostly on the black market. If this extraordinary figure is true, it would be more than 60 times what the government spends on health care.

由毒品和自然资源(主要是宝石和木材)引起的冲突愈演愈烈。由Kachin省开采的翡翠占了世界份额的一大部分,据Global Witness(非营利组织)一份新的报道,预计2014年缅甸售出了市值三千一百万的翡翠,大多数都在黑市交易。如果这项离奇的数据是真实的,这项收入将是医保预算的60倍。

The jade trade underwrites the KIA. It also enriches not only the KIA’s leaders but also a shady alliance of high-ranking army officers (who are supposed to be fighting the KIA), USDP bigwigs, crony companies and the kingpins who control both the gemstone and drug trades.


This pattern is replicated across several conflict zones. Any comprehensive peace deal would require regions to send at least some revenues back to the central government in the form of taxes, while the army would have to return to its barracks. However, powerful people on all sides do very well out of the fighting. And even if the issues surrounding resources can be resolved between regions and the centre, then there is the matter of trust. Many ethnic groups simply do not believe the government’s promises of federalism. Past promises, which came to little, give them good grounds for scepticism. Some rebel groups will wait and see what clout the NLD and Miss Suu Kyi have after the election. Given the army’s continuing role, they are unlikely to be impressed.


Myanmar in graphics: An unfinished peace 缅甸印象:未达的和平

Until the country is at peace with itself, its people will struggle to escape from poverty. Take a striking example of multinationals’ new presence in Myanmar: two pipelines that emerge from the sea and run up the beach not far from Kyaukphyu, some 50 miles (80km) north-west of Taungup. These come from offshore oil and gas concessions that foreign energy companies have bid for.  The government says that it wants to build around these pipelines an industrial zone, a deep-sea port, hotels and new homes. Yet the pipelines run straight into the Rohingya-Rakhine conflict zone and then north into restive Shan state. It is hardly an easy place to build on, and plans for the zone have so far come to little.

等到国家安定下来,人民将会努力摆脱贫困,举一个明显的例子,跨国公司已经进入缅甸:两条输油管从从海面升起一直延伸到离Kyaukphyu(位于Taungup西北方80Km处)附近的海滩,这都得益于政府招标并将天然气开采特许权授予了外国能源公司。缅甸政府宣布计划在这些输油管周围建立工业园区、深海港口、酒店和一些新的住宅用房,然而输油管延伸到了缅甸若开邦冲突区,并一直向北到动乱的Shan 省,这里并不是可开发地区,针对这个区域的计划都无甚结果。

Indeed, only one of three proposed special economic zones intended to jump-start growth seems to be getting anywhere. The Thilawa zone near Yangon, the hectic commercial capital, is backed by the Japanese government. Roads are being built, a container port on the Irrawaddy river is going up, and factories are being laid out. Yet, South-East Asian entrepreneurs say, the pace could be much faster.


Among other things, they say, the money of the Burmese elites, much of it ill-gotten, is chasing up the price of land for factories at Thilawa. That undermines the chief thing Myanmar has going for it, as a destination for low-cost manufacturing churning out clothes, shoes, cheap electronics and the like. Though foreign investment has gone into telecoms and exploration for oil and gas, what Myanmar now badly needs are factories that might employ low-skilled Burmese currently living hardscrabble lives on the land. The country’s garments sector employs a mere 260,000 people in a population of 53m, compared with the more than 4m textile workers in neighbouring Bangladesh and 2.2m in Vietnam.


The challenges are daunting. The government is valiantly trying to improve a decrepit civil service. Commercial regulations are outdated and haphazardly applied. Transport infrastructure is woeful. In recent years the economy has grown impressively (see chart)—but from a very low base. Myanmar remains poor: GDP per person is just $1,270, compared with $1,670 in Laos, $5,370 in Thailand and $7,380 in China. Visitors to Yangon seldom see this. The city’s skyline is dotted with cranes, its streets are clogged with new cars and a chic bar or eatery seems to open every week. Kyaukphyu in Rakhine state has its traffic jams, too. But they are caused by bullock carts. If a new dawn is breaking in Myanmar, and it is far from clear that one is, it is not evident there.


From the print edition: Asia


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参与人数 1原创译作 +8 译作奖励 +2 收起 理由
sparker + 8 + 2


发表于 2015-11-15 15:22:57 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 Mathwinnie 于 2015-11-15 15:24 编辑

最近一直都在关注缅甸的情况,感谢你的翻译作品 ~ 我现在把它当作英语学习的资料在研读。

the Bay of Bengal 孟加拉湾
Taungup 洞鸽
Yangon 仰光(缅甸首都)
the United Wa State Army 佤邦联合军
the Shan State Army 北掸邦军
the Kachin Independence Army 克钦独立军

Meanwhile, perhaps 1m Muslim Rohingyas in a largely Buddhist country have been deemed stateless -- non-persons ineligible to vote at all (see map).

They accuse the NLD of being pro-Muslim.
Remark: pro-的意思是“ in favour of; supporting 拥护;支持;亲”。所以,我觉得pro-Muslin是“亲穆斯林”。这也和上一段的观点一致。

His successor will be elected by the new parliament when it convenes early next year.
Remark: convene的意思是“召集,召开(正式会议)”。所以,这里也许应该是“由明年初召开的新一届国会选出”。

Legislators will choose from among three candidates—one each nominated by the upper house, the lower house and the army. The two losers automatically become vice-presidents, while the winner selects the cabinet.

Remark: 我觉得你翻译的是对的。议员们会从三名候选人中选出未来的总统。这三名候选人,一名有上议院提名,一名由下议院提名,一名则由军方提名。失败的两位候选人将会自动成为副总统,与此同时,新总统将会组建政府。基本上就酱~

...estimates that $31 billion of Burmese jade... 这里应该是“310亿美元”。


太棒了~谢谢你的专业知识~还有纠错~ 下次我一定更小心~  详情 回复 发表于 2015-11-17 10:33
发表于 2015-11-16 14:39:46 | 显示全部楼层

$31 billion  310亿美元
 楼主| 发表于 2015-11-17 10:33:21 | 显示全部楼层
Mathwinnie 发表于 2015-11-15 15:22
最近一直都在关注缅甸的情况,感谢你的翻译作品 ~ 我现在把它当作英语学习的资料在研读。

补充一些名词的 ...

太棒了~谢谢你的专业知识~还有纠错~ 下次我一定更小心~
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