Paying respects to senior literati at Myanmar Sarsodaw Day, 2006
An annual ceremony to mark Sarsodaw Day (Writers Day) for 1368 Myanmar Era of Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association was held in conjunction with the ceremony to pay respects to senior literati at the Yangon City Hall in the morning of 19th November.
Present on the occasion were Minister for Information Brig-Gen Kyaw Hsan, Yangon Vice-Mayor Col Maung Pa, Supreme Count Justice Dr Tin Aung Aye, directors-general and managing directors of departments and enterprises under the Ministry of Information, Chairman of MWJA U Hla Myaing (Ko Hsaung) and CEC members, wellwishers and guests.
Out of 111 literati who are 80 years and above, 71 literati attended the respect-paying ceremony. After paying respect had been paid, each aged senior citizen from the literary world was presented with kyats 100,000 along with gifts medicines.
Among them famous attendants belonging to different literary fields were Daw Kyan (Ma Kyan), U Hla Kyaing (Paragu), Col Saw Myint (Retd) (Hmu Tha Mein), U Maung Maung Khin (Tekkatho Maung Maung Khin), U Kyaw Hsan (Thu Khi Aung), U Maung Gale (Thauk Kyar), U Aung Soe (Aung Soe), Daw Yin Yin (Saw Mon Nyin) and Daw Ohn Kyi (Inya Kyi Shwin). Must of then are prize winning novelists, poets and essayists and a few academics.
Afterwards, Minister and Chairman of MWJA greeted all the literati. On behalf of the aged literati, writer Daw Kyan (Ma Kyan) gave a reply speech. Secretary of MWJA Dr Tin Tun Oo (Dr Tin Tun Oo) spoke words of thanks.
(November 2006, Myo Thant, APPREB correspondent)
Fourth Conference of MWJA
The Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association (MWJA) launched its fourth conference on 1 July 2006, with an opening address by Secretary-1 of the State Peace and Development Council Lt-Gen Thein Sein. It was attended by the chairman of MWJA and CEC members, literati, guests and about 200 delegates from States and Divisions and observers.
The Secretary-1 in his speech said that the literary world is an important part of each nation and people as well as a source from which various cultural branches of arts spread out. So, it is fair to say that the literary world is like a mirror that reflects the national culture of a country.
Men of letters are to maintain with pride the images of the Myanmar way of thinking, attitude and tenacity that are embodied in the mirror of Myanmar literature. Amateur writers, poets, lexicographers, translators and journalists are entering the profession. The important essence of the literature would remain unchanged in successive periods. However, ways of writing are changing, and making progress and now people has reached the computer era, after the era of palm-leaf manuscripts and the era of printing. So, created works can be stored, copied and published repeatedly.
Publication and distribution of books requires investment and technology. However, there should not be any change in the essence that can be gained through literature, and among the essence that is to be preserved, traditional culture occupies the first priority. Therefore, literature that achieves a dominant position still stands as a national cultural heritage.
The government annually presents manuscripts and 14 national literary awards to literati. Moreover lifelong literary achievement awards are presented to veteran and well-experienced literati. With the advancing mass media, workshops and seminars are held occasionally in the country in cooperation with UN agencies for development of literature and knowledge about intellectual property rights. Preparations are under way for exercising modern intellectual property laws regarding the development of art in the respective fields.
The Secretary pointed out that it is important for literati to create fine works of art for the people. He said there are now 55,147 rural libraries nationwide. Development of human resources through libraries depends on the efforts and goodwill of the writers, he added.
(August 2006, Myo Thant, APPREB correspondent)
Literary Trust Funds for Literati
Sunset years and rainy days for writers and artists in Myanmar are partially taken care of by the trust funds with contributions from wellwishers and donors. The assistance and support is made through two funds namely; Health Welfare Fund and Sarsodaw Day's Fund. The funds are administered by The Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association (MWJA) to provide monetary assistance to ailing writers, journalists and cartoonists and to the families of those who have passed away.
The Association spent about 8.4 million kyats, out of the Health and Welfare fund, for 540 ailing members and more than 1.8 million kyats for the deceased between 1998 and July 2006. The total amount was over 10.2 million kyats. The Health Welfare Fund account has now over 7 million kyats.
The other Trust Fund for Sarsodaw (Writers') Day has about 21 million kyats. Myanmar Writers' Day, which is on the first day of the month Nattaw, the ninth month of the Myanmar calendar, falls in November or December, and has special significance for writers, journalists and intellectuals. On this day there are, ceremonies to commemorate it with talks, publications and performances. On top of that veteran writers aged 80 and above are invited on that day and presented with cash, etc. Writers' Day has been annually commemorated since 1943. Last year's countrywide recipients of this welfare and obeisance programme were 120 senior citizens who belong to the literary field.
For detailed information of the Fund, contact the Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association head office, the Sarpay Beikman Building, No 529, Merchant Street, Yangon, phone: 252417 and 385273, fax: 254173, and e-mail: email@example.com attention: U Myo Thant.
(August 2006, Myo Thant, APPREB correspondent)