|U Ban Than
||Daw Aye Than
|Daw Myint Myint Khin
||Daw Win Win Myint
THE first book published by a veteran writer, U Ba Than, has
achieved the distinction of becoming the first to win a Myanmar
literary award for a publication in English.
U Ba Than, 75, won the award for Myanmar Delights and Attractions,
aimed mainly at the tourist market, in the annual Dr Tin Shwe
The awards were launched in honour of the late Dr Tin Shwe in
2001 for two writers of belles-lettres and non-fiction who have
not received prizes in the government-sponsored National Literary
The award for an English-language publication was added to the
prizes presented this year, which are for works published in 2003.
“This is the country’s first literary award for
a work in English,” said the chairman of the eight-member
selection committee, U Myo Thant (Maung Hsu Shin), at a presentation
ceremony held at the International Business Centre on Pyay Road
on February 11.
“At the suggestion of the committee we added the award
for books written in English to help make Myanmar culture more
widely known in the world and to achieve sales on the international
market,” said Dr Tin Shwe’s widow, Daw Aye Than, who
founded the Tin Shwe Printing and Publishing House in 2000.
Daw Aye Than said the awards were launched as a mark of remembrance
and respect for her husband, who wrote on health issues and died
in 2000, and to encourage writers to produce literature of high
U Ba Than’s work was one of eight considered in the English-language
category and 28 were considered for the two other awards, said
U Myo Thant (Maung Hsu Shin).
Although the book is the first to be published by U Ba Than,
he has written scores of articles in English, as well as articles
and poems in both Myanmar and English, for a range of publications.
A winner of a Ministry of Information Sarpay Beikman literary
award in 1990 for his translation of a manuscript, U Ba Than is
a member of the U Ohn Pe Literary Awards Scrutiny and Selection
Committee, the Myanmar Language Reference Compilation Committee
and the Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association.
He is also on the editorial staff of the English-language magazine,
“I greatly appreciate receiving the award and the recognition
it provides for the contribution made by writers in English to
the literary industry,” he said at the presentation ceremony.
“There are many books on Myanmar culture and traditions
and the beauty of our country written by foreign writers according
to their perspective, but I wanted to write as a native according
to our knowledge and perspective and in an international language,”
U Ba Than said of Myanmar Attractions and Delights.
“I put a lot of effort into it,” he said.
The other prize winners were Daw Win Win Myint for Pan Ta Pwint
Ye Yin Khon Than (The heart beat of a flower), a biography of
veteran actress and singer Daw May Shin, 84, and Dr Myint Myint
Khin, for Thet She Kyan Mar Myanma Ah Sar Ah Sa (Healthy Myanmar
Daw Win Win Myint has written six books and many of her poems,
short stories and articles have been published in magazines.
Dr Myint Myint Khin has written four books and many articles
on health issues.
Each award winner receives a prize of K60,000.