Union Minister for Information Dr. Pe Myint delivered a speech at the Tun Foundation (2017) Literary Award ceremony held in Zabuyit Shwesin Hall, Myanmar Banks Association building, Yankin Township, Yangon, yesterday afternoon.
In his speech, Dr. Pe Myint said that the main factor for a country’s development is the development of literature.
“It is said that the numbers who read are low in our country, and that the youth don’t read. It is partly right, but not totally right. There are quite a number of people, both young and old, who read. Compared to the world, it may be low, but it can be said that there are those who read books and literature with interest.”
“The support of organizations and individuals are important for good writing and literature to come into existence. Presenting awards like this is, in fact, supporting literature. There may be a few among the award winners today who earn their livelihood solely through writing, but many are simply writing because they want to write. They are not earning their livelihood, but they are creating literature. Nowadays, there are many such people.”
“New books in new sectors (subjects) are being written, and this is seen as Myanmar’s literature circle becomes more complete. Nowadays, there are many books that ought to be read, books and writings on specific subjects that are being written. It is an indication that our literature is developing. The role of those giving awards is also very important in this development.” The Union Minister also spoke about “book street” being organized at the Printing and Publishing Department building on Theinbyu Road, Yangon, for the development of literature and to raise the public’s interest in books. “Arrangements are
being made for the ‘book street’ to become a destination for
international tourists visiting Yangon.
Plans are also made to hold events, such as children’s literature festivals and an all-round youth development festival,” said the Union Minister. He added that ethnic national literature book reading events, book and literature shows and similar events are to be held in Taunggyi.
“Literature circles are being formed, with the hope to create knowledgeable persons in the townships who can lead. As more knowledgeable persons are created, it is believed that their voices can be listened to in selecting books and writers who should be honored.”
“The world of Myanmar books will develop as writers create books and writings to the best of their abilities, award givers present prizes and readers earnestly read, review, comment and support literature.” In conclusion, the Union Minister requested those presenting awards to continue offering honors, and for writers to accept the honors and create better literature.
Also, Tun Foundation Chairman and Tun Foundation Literary Award Selection Committee patron U Thin Tun delivered a speech and Tun Foundation Literary Award Selection Committee Vice Chairman Dr. Khin Aye (Maung Khin Aye – Danuphyu) discussed the selection committee’s note.
Union Minister Dr. Pe Thein then presented Tun Foundation Lifetime Literacy awards to Sithu U Tin Hlaing (Ledwintha Saw Chit) and Dr. Tin Hlaing (Bo Hlaing).
Following this, awards for various categories were presented. Award winners were Saya Thado Lwin (history) on economy, Dr. Hla Kyi (Ahaya Sayawingyi) on health, Saya Bo Hlaing on translation, Prof. Khin Maung Win (Athe) on biography, Saya Dr. Aung Than Ba Tu and Saya Dr. Aung Gyi on biography in English, Thein Than Win (Mahlaing) on culture, Saya Tun Yi (Shay Haung Thu Tay Thi) on history, U Than Htike on reference, Saya Thape Pan Ko Ko Aung on environment, Saya Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing on youth, Saya Dr. Saw Mra Aung on history in English, Saya Thint Naw and Ma Hnin Phway in the general category, Saya U Thein Swe on health, Saya Gyo Nghet on environment, Dr. Sein Myint on history, Saya Nanda Moe Kyaw on children literature, Saya Nanda Min Lwin on culture and Dr. Khaing Khaing Win on knowledge.
The Tun Foundation has been giving out literature awards since 2006 and began presenting lifetime literacy awards in 2009. This is the twelfth Tun Foundation Literary Award ceremony to be held in which two lifetime literacy awards were presented, along with thirteen book awards and six manuscript awards. Ks 2 million, Ks 1.5 million and Ks 700,000 were awarded for lifetime literacy, as well as the book and manuscript awards, respectively.