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Writer pens open letter: will not republish books under censorship


New Delhi (Mizzima) – An open letter by Burmese writer Maung Thaya (aka) Thein Lwin, who currently lives in the U.S., has been published in the Alindan Journal (The Ray of Light Journal), saying he will not allow his books to be republished as long as there is censorship in Burma.

Writer Maung Thaya and San San Wint, his wife.Maung Thaya is well known in the Burmese literary community for his realistic short stories and fiction that reflect the lives of Burmese. The letter was published on Monday.

Addressed “To Whom It May Concern,” the letter said:, “I, Maung Thya, will not allow my books including fiction, an anthology of my short stories and an anthology of my articles to be republished, as long as the censorship policy exists.”

Some of his work has been republished in the Snapshot News Journal and Shwe Amyutay Magazine. Win Nyein, the editor of Alindan Journal, said that it appeared that the open letter was intended to object to his [Maung Thaya’s] daughter’s plan to republish his national award winning novels: “Standing and Crying on a Road” and “Don’t Cry, Don’t Laugh.”

Editor Win Nyein told Mizzima: “His daughter Phyo Thaya allowed Satekuchocho publishing house to republish his two novels, so they submitted the copies to the censorship board and the novels have been approved by the board. And this week’s Snapshot News Journal released on Friday advertised that his work would be republished by Ahmanthit publishing house. He doesn’t like that.”

The open letter, signed by Thein Lwin [Maung Thaya], said anyone, including his daughter, who republishes his work without his consent will be sued under international laws.

After the Alindan Journal published Maung Thaya’s open letter, his daughter Phyo Thaya came to the journal office and made a verbal complaint, according to the journal.

Because the writer personally made public his objection, it is impossible to republish his works, according to Win Nyein. “The new generation doesn’t know very much about Maung Thaya. I want people, especially the new generation, to read his books. But, he is away. And he cannot use e-mail, so it’s very difficult to request his permission,” he said.

Maung Thaya’s first novel was published in 1955. He wrote more than 60 novels and 300 short stories. He also published “Thaya” magazine, which specialized in short stories.

Maung Thaya used relevant research to write many of his novels, accurately reflecting people’s lives. Some of his work has been translated into foreign languages and some has been used for Burmese movies. His novel “Dare to be Stung by an Insect or not” was published by Thailand-based Khitpyaing in 2004.

In 1999, he resettled in the U.S. Currently he and his wife, San San Wint, live in Las Vegas. His daughter, Phyo Thaya, is applying for the U.S. visa to attend his 80th birthday on October 23.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 October 2011 22:39 )  

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