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July 16, 2018

Free Literature, Free Voice – Literary Conference 2017 opening ceremony

Union Minister Dr Pe Myint delivers the speech at Literary Conference 2017 opening ceremony in Yangon. Photo: gnlm/Phoe Khwar
Union Minister Dr Pe Myint delivers the speech at Literary Conference 2017 opening ceremony in Yangon. Photo: gnlm/Phoe Khwar

The opening ceremony of Literary Conference 2017, held under the theme “Free Literature, Free Voice”, was held yesterday afternoon on a stage set up in front of Yangon City Hall.
Union Minister for Information Dr. Pe Myint, Union Minister for Ethnic Affairs Nai Thet Lwin, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein, Yangon Region Hluttaw Speaker U Tin Maung Tun, Yangon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe, and Literary Conference 2017 organising committee chairman U Aung Soe Oo switched on the LED board for the literary conference placed on city hall. Next, a message sent to Literary Conference 2017 by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was read by writer Daw Khin Thandar.
Afterward, Union Minister Dr. Pe Myint delivered a speech, noting that 11 literary organisations came together to hold a literary conference, which never before was held in the country. Because of the open and free period, 11 literary organisations were formed and these different organisations worked together toward the same aim of promoting Myanmar literature, resulting in the Literary Conference of 2017. This is seen as a good example by the people in the literature community of Myanmar, in which there are differing groups who often live separate from each other.
The Union Minister pointed out the theme “Free voice, Free Literature, ” and remarked that the Literary Conference was attended by people from the literary community individually, rather than as members of the 11 literary organisations. The 11 organisations are of the same opinion in some matters, while having differences in other matters. In some cases, one group might have much interest and enthusiasm, while another may have no interest. But people in the literary circle love freedom and present their own thoughts and ideas freely, while having the patience and understanding to listen to others who present different thoughts and ideas. This literary conference is proof to the country that people of different thoughts and ideas can be in agreement.
The Union Minister then commented on the outcome of the Literary Conference being the development of Myanmar literature. Literature in all subjects is making progress in developed countries. People then become wise and learned, by knowing more about life and the world through aesthetic literary works. Due to literature, there is progress in political, social and economic sectors, allowing those countries to become the leading countries of the world. The development of Myanmar literature will have the same effect in other sectors.
The Union Minister added that people in the literature circle are artists, as well as intellectuals. From their artistic ability, they can guide the heart of the nation, as well as provide knowledge for the nation’s development. But the people from the literature circle need to have a good heart to guide the nation and be intellectually advanced to lead the nation’s development in various sectors. In conclusion, the Union Minister prayed for the success of the 2017 Literary Conference, urging that discussions from the conference would provide ideas and programmes for development of Myanmar literature, and that people from Myanmar literature circle would show their intellectual leadership by setting up processes for the development of Myanmar’s literature that contributes towards the country’s development.
Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein then delivered a greeting speech followed by Literary Conference 2017 organising committee chairman U Aung Soe Oo presenting a speech of appreciation.
Next, the Union Ministers, Yangon Region Chief Minister and party, literati and literature enthusiasts released balloons into the air and viewed the pre-opening ceremony events.
To mark the success of the opening ceremony, the royal drum was sounded and singer Daw Mar Mar Aye sang. Group discussions of Literary Conference 2017 will be held in MCC Hall, Mindhama Road, Yangon from 13 to 16 December. Every evening from 8 to 12 December there will be literary talks, a literary quiz, painting exhibitions, poem recitations, cartoon exhibitions will be held, and book stalls opened between Yangon city hall and Maha Bandoola Park. Eleven Myanmar literary organisations met in May 2017 and formed the Literary Conference 2017 organising committee, which resulted in the present Literary Conference 2017 being held. — Myanmar News Agency

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