Nay Pyi Taw December 4
Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing attends National Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement, National Literature Awards and Sarpay Beikman Manuscript Awards presentation ceremony
Ceremony to present National Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement, National Literature Awards and Sarpay Beikman Manuscript Awards was held today, the Sarsodaw Day or Literati Day, at Myawady Media Centre, Yankin Township, Yangon Region, with an address delivered by Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
Also present together with the Senior General were SAC members, General Maung Maung Kyaw, Lt-Gen Moe Myint Tun, Mahn Nyein Maung, Daw Aye Nu Sein, Joint Secretary Lt- Gen Ye Win Oo, Union ministers, Chief Minister of Yangon Region U Hla Soe, senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief, Commander of Yangon Command Maj- Gen Nyunt Win Swe, officials, award winners and their families and invited guests.
The Senior General and party viewed the display of fiction and non-fiction books, books of general genre, special issues, annual issues, biographies of 2020-2021 award winners and their works. Union Minister for Information U Maung Maung Ohn and officials conducted them around the displays. The ceremony was declared open and a video clip of the song honouring the ceremony was screened.
In his address, the Senior General expressed pleasure to have the opportunity to speak at the ceremony, held on 1st waxing day of Nattaw (Literati Day) in accord with the Myanmar saying, which goes, “honour to whom honour is due is an act of auspiciousness” and Myanmar traditional culture.
The country’s historical evolution stands witness to the fact that literature is the cultural facade of a country as well as a cultural sphere that is important for progress of the nation and people. Myanmar people and Myanmar literature are indivisible throughout the periods, and there are many instances of correlation between literature and people in the national causes and development. From the Bagan period in the 12th century to this date, the age of Myanmar literature has reached nearly 1,000 years. Myanmar language and literature are the firmly rooted cultural heritage that shined throughout Myanmar history. All must honour the writers and literati for their fiction and non-fiction works they created with goodwill for enhancing the wisdom, views and spiritual strength of the nation. The nation celebrates the Sarsodaw Day annually on 1st waxing day of Nattaw in honour of literati monks and laypersons.
The first Sarsodaw Day was observed in 1944. So this year is the 77th anniversary Sarsodaw Day. Before, during and even after the Sarsodaw Day, the whole country is active with literary activities of men and women of letters. There are ceremonies to pay respects to aged literati, literary talks, literary contests, book shows, and also the publication of special issues honouring the Day.
With a view to promoting literature, which is the main pillar that spreads out various cultural branches, the government is presenting National Literature Awards for best works annually on the Day. The Myanmar rehabilitation conference was held at Sorrento Villa on 6 and 7 June 1947 to rebuild the country ravaged by WWII. At the conference, General Aung San, the father of independence, in his address pointed out the need to publish books important and beneficial for the people and to set up a translation bureau.
Hence, Myanmar Translation Society and Sarpay Beikman were set up in August 1947. The two published books on translation to make Myanmar known to the world and books that gave knowledge and wisdom. Moreover, they presented literature awards for the promotion of Myanmar literature.
Sarpay Beikman modern novel award was introduced in 1948, followed by more awards such as Sarpay Beikman award, art literature award, National Literature Award. Later, the number of awards increased and in 2020 it increased to 19. The National Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement was introduced in 2001 in recognition of the life-long efforts of literati.
Good manuscripts of writers which could not be published for various reasons were selected as Sarpay Beikman Manuscript Award through competition and awarded in 13 genres. This year, cash awards for the prizes will be increased for honoring the literati and ensuring sufficiency for scholars with the goodwill of the State Administration Council. The cash award for the lifetime achievement national literary award was Ks-5 million in the past, compared with Ks-10 million this year. The national literary award winners were presented Ks- 2.5 million in the past compared with Ks-3 million. With regard to the Sarpay Beikman Manuscript Award, the first, second third prizes were awarded Ks-1 million, Ks-700,000 and Ks-500,000 in the past in comparison with Ks-1.5 million, Ks-1 million and Ks-700,000 for first, second and third prizes. I expect all literary personnel may be delighted with it.
The national literary award selection committee was formed with 28 experienced literati and the Sarpay Baikman Manuscript Award selection committee with 24 literati. They selected the best works at different levels. This ceremony, a total of 27 manuscripts in 12 of 19 genres for 1,122 books published for the first time in 2020 in the national literary award and 13 genres for 259 entries in the Sarpay Beikman Manuscript Award contest will be awarded.
It can be seen that artiste organizations such as literary, motion picture, music and theatrical drama emphasized development of the nation depending on the policies of the government in successive eras.
They could stimulate the people to join the mainstream of the nation while preserving the Myanmar traditions and national characters in addition to performing education and entertainment to the people. On 1 November, the Senior General recounted he met with artistes from literary, film, theatrical and music arenas and presented foodstuffs and Ks- 400 million as the fund for them. It showed the goodwill of the State and emphasis to the artistes. It is necessary to turn out the outstanding persons and qualified, capable youths in building the Union based on democracy and federalism. The Senior General stressed the need to raise the reading habits of the new generation youths to be able to develop physical and mental prowess. Only when the youths have high reading habit, will the country have the qualified human resources.
It is necessary to improve libraries for raising the reading habit of the people. Relevant ministries are fulfilling the technical needs of libraries for ensuring the people to have access to books and for systematically maintaining the libraries in order to give historical evidences, subject-wise and social knowledge to the people.
It was vividly found that doyen literati participated in the development of the nation in the history. It is necessary to steer the people to gain good thoughts and correct knowledge, to have morale and moral characters and develop human resources through literature. Hence, literati and writers are urged to participate in the development of the nation with might and main. Any country and any national specially value the literature and culture. It can be seen that religions, economy and culture can be exchanged between the countries. Thanks to literary works of Myanmar writers with patriotic spirit, Myanmar has been standing tall with improvement of literature and culture among the global countries despite changing the political system in the various eras. The current generation and posterities are responsible for preserving the noble traditions.
So, doyen literati and literary researchers are urged to hand over the stipulations and creation to new generations with goodwill. Moreover, they have to continuously discover the traditional works, perspectives and culture of Myanmar. May the doyen literati receiving their awards today continue their fine literary works that can promote the image of their race, religion and country and be physically and mentally healthy. Special thanks go to the doyen literati, award winners and those at the ceremony especially chairmen and members of the National Literary Award Selection Committee and the Sarpay Beikman Manuscript Award Selection Committee and all literati for their goodwill and energetic efforts to successful present such literary awards. I also urge them to continue their contributions towards the development and propagation of Myanmar literature.
Next, the Senior General presented lifelong national literary awards for 2020 to U Maung Maung Latt (Naung), U Sein Hlaing (Thura Zaw) and Daw Cho Tin (Ma Sanda), national literary awards to Ma Chu Pwint, who authored the novel “Missing flakes of snow or Tale of snow”, Chit Su Aung, who wrote poetry on “Mount Meru Dream”, and Naing Zaw, who wrote “Those who were taught ancient cultural heritage”.The winners and their family members accepted the prizes.
SAC member Mahn Nyein Maung presented national literary awards to Aye Phyu, who wrote “A Motley Collection of My Works”, Mya Than San, who wrote the book on “Life journey and light of Dhamma of Rector Sayadaw Dr Ashin Nanda Malabhivamsa”, Dr U Hla Kyi (Child health), who wrote the book on “Child health development, national progress and danger of lead poisoning”, Ye Min Win, who wrote the book on “Target”, Ma Nwe Yi (MA), who wrote the book on “Political concepts and perspectives of General Aung San, and Dr Aung Myint Oo, who wrote the book on “A poetry wave in the sea of literature”. SAC member Daw Aye Nu Sein presented national literary awards to Sithu Dr Thaw Kaung, who wrote the book on “Papers from My Shoulder Bag”, Aung Kaung Myit, who wrote the book on “Flowers are in blossom today”, and Naing Win Thi, who wrote the book on “Opera essays of a little city,” and Sarpay Beikman manuscript awards to first prize winner Nyein Nyo for the works “Malin Belkha Shiba Mel”, second prize winner Kan Myint Maw for the works “Mitta Shiyin Zwelmo Malwe Naingbarbushin” and third prize winner Tin Lin Zaw for the works “Laysanthi Nget Hlaing Htetka Hlay” in the novel genre.
Union Minister for Information U Maung Maung Ohn presented Sarpay Beikman manuscript awards to first prize winner Thein Zaw (Shweli Oo) for the works “Phaweikza Hnint Kyeywa Ahla short stories”, second prize winner Min La Pyae (Haka) for the works “Moeyan Hteikkha Ahlapanmya and other short stories”, and third prize winner Tin Taw for the works “Pekaing Shin Toei Hnalonetha Ahla and short stories in the collection of short stories genre and first prize winner Kaung Nwe for the works “Yathimyaing Lonechin poems”, second prize winner Kyaw Thet Khaing (Monywa) for the works “Myanmar Gandawin Yanant selected poems and third prize winner Ka Naung Naing Nwe Oo for the works “Nay and Lamin Alin Thitsa poems in the poetry genre.
Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture U Ko Ko presented Sarpay Beikman manuscript awards to first prize winner Myaylat Min Lwin for the works “Hsaigita Phyint Taipyi Ahlasingyin (or)Alinka Kywa Swar Sein Satin, second prize winner Manuscript Academy Ko Ko Lay for the works “Hsisa Ratha papers”, and third prize winner Nada Khin (Thakala Myay) for the works “Napaung Kaday Saya Myaywel in the variety of literature genre and first prize winner Ashin Panna Sami for the works “Culture, custom and literature of eastern ethnic Po Kayin in Myanmar”, second prize winner Min Shin Aung (Twantay) for the works “Kwetseik Beda Thukhuma” and third prize winner Aung Soe (Vet) for the works “Myanmar’s culture and customs in twelve seasons in the culture and fine arts genre. Then, Minister for Science and Technology Dr Myo Thein Kyaw presented prizes to the award winners: Sayama Yin Yin Mon (Archeology Research), first in the Thuthapadethar(Art) genre, Saya U Nyunt Wai (B.A B.Ed), second in Thuthapadethar( Art) genre, and Saya Lwin Myanmar (University of Mandalay), third in Thuthapadethar (Art) genre; and Aung Soe (Agriculture/ 107), first in Thuthapadethar (Science and Applied Science) genre, Swe Swe Ohn (University of Yangon), second in Thuthapadethar (Science and Applied Science) genre, and Ko Tu (Thayarmyaing), and third in Thuthapadethar (Science and Applied Science) genre.
Afterwards, Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs U Min Thein Zan presented prizes to the award winners: Wutyi Khin (Bago), first in the children’s literature genre, Thet Oo Khin, second in the children’s literature genre, and Nyunt Win (Nattalin), third in the children’s literature genre; Yin Yin (Batye), first in youth literature genre, Thet Oo Khin, second in the youth literature genre and Nway Gantgaw(Myohla), third in the youth literature genre.
On behalf of the award winners, Sayagyi U Sein Hlaing (Thura Zaw) expressed words of thanks saying that that day was Sarsodaw Day or Literati Day, a significant day for writers. The award winning writers, who were presented prizes today, have made efforts as much as they can through contributing their literary works to the State. These days, increasing the cash amount in the prizes on literature awards is an honour for the writers. For such a move, he would like to express his gratitude to the Head of State and officials, he said. Next, a video file on development of Myanmar literature in successive eras and the government’s support in all respects was shown to the attendees at the event.
Later, the Senior General and party had a group photo taken along with all the award winners, and lunch was served to the award winners and their families.