Sat, Aug 11, 2007 - Page 14 News List

Globe trotting -- Myanmar 世界走透透:緬甸

By Michael Kearney  /  STAFF WRITER

Aung San Suu Kyi walks with friends and family at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, May 6, 2002. 翁山蘇姬和親友在二OO二年五月六日漫步於「仰光大金塔」。

PHOTO: AP

Myanmar is a country replete with charming people and countless pagodas. But debate rages over whether foreigners should travel to Myanmar and bring their money to this politically troubled land.

緬甸這個國家充滿著有魅力的人民及數不清的佛塔,但外國人是否應該前往旅遊、在這塊政局紛擾的土地消費仍頗具爭議。

A closer look 說古論今

For a country that has been blessed with beautiful beaches and golden pagodas, life should be so much better than it is. A military junta that stands accused of countless human rights violations, including forced labor and forced relocations without compensation, rules over Myanmar.

A taxi driver told a BBC reporter, "I hate the people who rule this country. My hatred of the government knows no bounds."

One of the things that frustrates people the most is that the generals in control of Myanmar have no mandate from Burmese citizens to rule. General elections were held in 1990, and Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of Burmese independence hero General Aung San, won convincingly. But the junta wouldn't concede their power.

In 2006, the BBC journalist Katie McGeown reported that "probably the vast majority" of Burmese feel Aung San Suu Kyi is the rightful ruler of the nation. Known by most Burmese as "The Lady," Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, has spent 11 of the past 18 years under some form of arrest.

The Lady has urged foreigners not to come to Myanmar, saying that most of their dollars end up going to the military junta. Some Burmese feel otherwise, arguing that the military will be less likely to oppress citizens under the watchful eye of foreigners. Either way, ordinary Burmese are generous and welcoming to foreigners in spite of the many hardships they face.

對於一個幸運擁有美麗海灘和黃金佛塔的國家來說,人民是該過得比現在好才對。但緬甸目前由軍政府所統治,還常被控違反各種人權,包括壓榨勞工和無賠償的強迫遷移。

一位計程車司機告訴英國廣播公司記者:「我恨這個國家的統治者,我恨透了軍政府。」

最讓人民感到挫折的是,控制緬甸的將軍們並未獲得人民的授權。一九九O年,緬甸獨立英雄翁山將軍的女兒翁山:蘇姬壓倒性地贏得選舉,但軍閥不肯交出權力。

二OO六年,英國廣播公司記者凱蒂:麥高則報導:「絕大部分的緬甸人覺得翁山蘇姬才配統治該國。」她被當地人敬稱為「女士」,並在一九九一年贏得諾貝爾和平獎。在過去十八年裡,她有十一年遭到某種形式的監禁。

翁山:蘇姬呼籲外國人先別到緬甸去,因為他們的錢最後都進了軍政府的口袋。但有些緬甸人則不這麼認為,他們說有外人在旁注意,軍政府才比較不會壓迫人民。但不論如何,雖然他們面對許多苦難,一般緬甸人對老外很大方也很歡迎。(翻譯:張愛弟)



Who knew? 你知道嗎?


The ruling junta changed the name of the country to Myanmar in 1989, but the change wasn't recognized by the democratically elected Parliament of 1990. That Parliament never convened, but to this day the democratic opposition refers to the country as Burma. Many newspapers and countries, including the US, don't recognize the change either and continue to refer to the country as Burma.

The military junta also changed the location of the capital. In November 2005 the junta announced that the capital would be moved from Rangoon to the rural township of Pyinmana. There's much speculation about reasons for the move. Many believe that the junta is following the advice of fortunetellers. Others think that Than Shwe, head of the ruling junta, wants to build a new capital so he can imitate former kings.

軍政府在一九八九年將國名改成了緬瑪,但未獲一九九O年選出的民主議會認可。雖然議會從未正式開議,但民主派的在野黨仍稱該國為緬甸。許多媒體和國家,包括美國,也不承認該項改變,仍稱該國為緬甸。

軍政府還將首都遷移至它處,在二OO五年十一月宣佈將首都從仰光搬到偏遠的彬馬那。關於遷都的原因有許多揣測,許多人認為軍政府是聽從算命仙的建議,其他人則認為軍政府首領丹瑞想傚法以前的國王們一樣打造一座新都。



What time is it there? 現在那裡幾點

Burma is an hour and a half behind Taiwan. When it's 2:30pm in Taiwan, it's 1:00 pm in Burma.

緬甸時間比台灣晚一個半小時。台灣下午兩點半是緬甸下午一點。



Flag Burma 國旗

Burma's flag is red with a blue canton. Inside the blue canton are 14 stars surrounding a white cogwheel with 14 cogs and a stalk of rice. The number 14 symbolizes the 14 administrative divisions of Burma. The cogwheel and rice stalk represent industry and agriculture, respectively.

This story has been viewed 4511 times.
TOP top