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时间:2006-04-16 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:天心皓月   字体: [ ]

IRA Vows1 to End Its Armed Struggle against Britain



For the past 36 years, the Irish Republican Army has been waging an armed campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland. The IRA has been fighting the British Army and security forces as well as pro-British paramilitary groups as it tried to reach its ultimate goal, a united Ireland. More than 3,600 people have been killed during the past three decades that have come to be known as "The Troubles."


In a statement released at the end of July, the IRA said it has formally ordered an end to its armed campaign. It instructed its units, in the statement's words, "to dump arms" and said IRA members must now focus on "purely2 political and democratic programs through exclusively peaceful means." The statement also called on IRA volunteers not to engage "in any other activities."


The British and Irish governments welcomed the IRA decision, but in Northern Ireland, reaction was mixed, split along sectarian lines. Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA reacted positively3 while the largest pro-British party -- the Democratic Unionists -- urged caution.


Stephen O'Reilly is Deputy Editor of Belfast's Irish News, a newspaper reflecting the views of the Nationalist community that favors union with Ireland. He says the IRA decision to renounce4 violence is a very important development. However the reaction within his community has been far more muted compared to 1997 when the IRA declared a ceasefire.


Stephen O'Reilly: And if you were to compare it to what happened seven or eight years ago, we had cavalcades6 of cars, we had all sorts of celebrations, all sorts of protests from various other people. This time it's been slightly more muted and it's probably a little bit of war weariness, for want of a better word, if that's not too ironic7 -- war weariness in the sense that this has been a long, tortuous8 process and for every step forward, there appears to have been half a step backwards9.


On the other side of the sectarian divide, there also appears to be a sense of war weariness. But the Unionist side -- those who favor Northern Ireland's continued union with Great Britain -- don't take the IRA's words at face value. Austin Hunter is Editor of the Belfast Newsletter, a newspaper with close ties to the pro-British community.


Austin Hunter: As far as the Unionists are concerned, they just want to see the words and the promises of the IRA turned into action, or I suppose, in a way turned to 'inaction'. The fact that they will stop their paramilitary activities, they will stop their criminality and we will all be allowed to have peace and prosperity.


Experts say monitoring the IRA's commitment to lay down its weapons will be crucial in reviving the Northern Ireland power-sharing agreement between Nationalists and Unionists, Catholics and Protestants.


Paul Bew is an expert on Northern Ireland, teaching at Queen's University in Belfast. He has written extensively on "The Troubles" and says while the IRA statement makes clear the armed struggle is over, it omits one essential point.


Paul Bew: The IRA is not disbanding. It is retaining its mission statement. It is maintaining still the right to launch a campaign of armed struggle. So, in some ways, it remains10 still a subversive11 organization. And therefore remains, as the Irish government has made clear since the statement came out, an illegal organization in Irish society. It has not moved itself to the point where it ceased to be illegal.


Mr. Bew says the crucial part of the IRA's statement is when the paramilitary group urges its members to refrain from engaging in what it broadly calls "any other activities." Mr. Bew says those activities have contributed in destabilizing the Northern Ireland political process.


Paul Bew: And the things that have harmed trust have been, for example, the FARC episode when some IRA people were convicted of associating in Colombia with FARC -- the FARC movement in Colombia, which the (U.S.) State Department regards as a terrorist movement. There was a gun running episode in Florida in which there were convictions. There was a massive bank robbery in Belfast in the last few months involving, I think you would say about 40-million dollars which the security forces on both sides of the border -- Dublin and Belfast -- say was carried out by the IRA.


Mr. Bew says once again, verifying that the IRA has indeed ended all those "other activities" will be a challenge.


Experts say the IRA's decision to publicly announce an end to its armed struggle against Britain comes at a very opportune12 time for Prime Minister Blair, when London has been the target of terrorist attacks from Islamic extremists. Mr. Bew says that permits the security forces to focus on the recent terrorist attacks and not face a war on two fronts.


Dana Allin is a security expert with the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. He says there is a difference between groups like the IRA and the al-Qaida network.


Dana Allin: One of the things that a famous terrorism analyst13 said about old terror groups like the IRA is that they were interested in having a lot of people watching, but not a lot of people dead: in other words, a kind of mass casualty campaign would work against their goals by undercutting any possibility of popular support. The kinds of statements and actions you have from bin14 Laden15 and groups that are affiliated16 with his al-Qaida network are sort of the language of total war -- and what's more, an almost genocidal war, in the sense that it is directed against killing17 civilians18 on the largest possible scale.


While in no way condoning19 IRA violence, Mr. Allin says the paramilitary group did provide coded warnings to security forces before beginning a bombing campaign. He says that is not the case with this new radical20 Islamic terrorism, making the work of security forces that more difficult.


For focus, I’m Andre de Nesnera.



sectarian [sek5teEriEn] adj. 宗派的;教派的;派别的

cavalcade5 [kAvi5keid] n. 骑兵队、车队等的行列

protest [prE5test] n. 抗议

muted [mju:tid] adj. 沉默的,微弱的

weariness [5wiErinis] n. 疲倦,厌烦

ironic [aiE5rCnik] adj. 讽刺的

tortuous [5tC:tjuEs] adj. 曲折的

Protestant [5prCtistEnt] n. 新教,新教徒

omit [Eu5mit] vt. 疏忽,遗漏

disband [dis5bAnd] v. 解散,裁减

subversive [sQb5vE:siv] adj. 颠覆性的,破坏性的

destabilize [di:5steibilaiz] vt. 使动摇

robbery [5rCbEri] n. 抢掠,抢夺

opportune [5RpEtju:n] adj. 正好的;适宜的

be affiliated with 与……有关系


1 vows c151b5e18ba22514580d36a5dcb013e5     
誓言( vow的名词复数 ); 郑重宣布,许愿
  • Matrimonial vows are to show the faithfulness of the new couple. 婚誓体现了新婚夫妇对婚姻的忠诚。
  • The nun took strait vows. 那位修女立下严格的誓愿。
2 purely 8Sqxf     
  • I helped him purely and simply out of friendship.我帮他纯粹是出于友情。
  • This disproves the theory that children are purely imitative.这证明认为儿童只会单纯地模仿的理论是站不住脚的。
3 positively vPTxw     
  • She was positively glowing with happiness.她满脸幸福。
  • The weather was positively poisonous.这天气着实讨厌。
4 renounce 8BNzi     
  • She decided to renounce the world and enter a convent.她决定弃绝尘世去当修女。
  • It was painful for him to renounce his son.宣布与儿子脱离关系对他来说是很痛苦的。
5 cavalcade NUNyv     
  • A cavalcade processed through town.马车队列队从城里经过。
  • The cavalcade drew together in silence.马队在静默中靠拢在一起。
6 cavalcades 5268b08e4e7aa248239a965118c2a073     
n.骑马队伍,车队( cavalcade的名词复数 )
7 ironic 1atzm     
  • That is a summary and ironic end.那是一个具有概括性和讽刺意味的结局。
  • People used to call me Mr Popularity at high school,but they were being ironic.人们中学时常把我称作“万人迷先生”,但他们是在挖苦我。
8 tortuous 7J2za     
  • We have travelled a tortuous road.我们走过了曲折的道路。
  • They walked through the tortuous streets of the old city.他们步行穿过老城区中心弯弯曲曲的街道。
9 backwards BP9ya     
  • He turned on the light and began to pace backwards and forwards.他打开电灯并开始走来走去。
  • All the girls fell over backwards to get the party ready.姑娘们迫不及待地为聚会做准备。
10 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
11 subversive IHbzr     
  • She was seen as a potentially subversive within the party.她被看成党内潜在的颠覆分子。
  • The police is investigating subversive group in the student organization.警方正调查学生组织中的搞颠覆阴谋的集团。
12 opportune qIXxR     
  • Her arrival was very opportune.她来得非常及时。
  • The timing of our statement is very opportune.我们发表声明选择的时机很恰当。
13 analyst gw7zn     
  • What can you contribute to the position of a market analyst?你有什么技能可有助于市场分析员的职务?
  • The analyst is required to interpolate values between standards.分析人员需要在这些标准中插入一些值。
14 bin yR2yz     
n.箱柜;vt.放入箱内;[计算机] DOS文件名:二进制目标文件
  • He emptied several bags of rice into a bin.他把几袋米倒进大箱里。
  • He threw the empty bottles in the bin.他把空瓶子扔进垃圾箱。
15 laden P2gx5     
  • He is laden with heavy responsibility.他肩负重任。
  • Dragging the fully laden boat across the sand dunes was no mean feat.将满载货物的船拖过沙丘是一件了不起的事。
16 affiliated 78057fb733c9c93ffbdc5f0ed15ef458     
adj. 附属的, 有关连的
  • The hospital is affiliated with the local university. 这家医院附属于当地大学。
  • All affiliated members can vote. 所有隶属成员都有投票权。
17 killing kpBziQ     
  • Investors are set to make a killing from the sell-off.投资者准备清仓以便大赚一笔。
  • Last week my brother made a killing on Wall Street.上个周我兄弟在华尔街赚了一大笔。
18 civilians 2a8bdc87d05da507ff4534c9c974b785     
平民,百姓( civilian的名词复数 ); 老百姓
  • the bloody massacre of innocent civilians 对无辜平民的血腥屠杀
  • At least 300 civilians are unaccounted for after the bombing raids. 遭轰炸袭击之后,至少有300名平民下落不明。
19 condoning 363997b8d741b81bc5d3bbd4cc3c3b74     
v.容忍,宽恕,原谅( condone的现在分词 )
  • I'm not condoning what he did, all right? 我并不是宽恕他的所作所为,好吗? 来自电影对白
  • Communist Party conservatives abhor the idea of condoning explicIt'sex. 党内的保守势力痛恨对赤裸性爱内容的宽容。 来自互联网
20 radical hA8zu     
  • The patient got a radical cure in the hospital.病人在医院得到了根治。
  • She is radical in her demands.她的要求十分偏激。
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