Agga Maha Saddhamma Jotikadhaja, Sithu Sayagyi Dr Khin Maung Nyunt, Myanmar citizen literati, historian-cum-culturist, founder of the International Relations Department, passed away at 8 pm on 15 September.
The remains of the Sayagyi were cremated at 1 pm on 16 September.
Dr Khin Maung Nyunt was born to U Thein and Daw Kyi in Chanayethazan of Mandalay on 13 May 1929. He was the second son of his parents. He learned at Buddha Sasana Nuggaha Boys’ school, Thante School and St Peter School in Mandalay and passed the matriculation examination in 1948.
He passed the Intercourses of Arts at Mandalay College in the 1948-49 and 1949-50 academic years. In 1952, he won the gold medal after passing the Bachelor of Arts at Mandalay College. He served as Chair of the History Association at Mandalay College, executive of Myanmar Association and editor in the English section of the annual magazine.
During the period from 1952 to 1955, he served as a tutor at the Modern History and Political Science Department of Yangon University and then, as a teaching tutor to Assistant Lecturer in the same department. Meanwhile, he obtained BA (Honours) (History) and MA (History). He served as hall tutor and hall in-charge.
As he secured the scholarship award from the government, he attended the International Relations course at the London University of England from 1956-1960 and was conferred the doctoral degree in 1960.
From 1960 to 1975, he served as Lecturer-cum-Head of History Department at Mawlamyine College, University of Education and Workers’ College while compiling the historical textbooks. He also wrote books on the customs of ethnic Chin and Shan.
From 1975 to 1982, he served in various capacities till the post of Director-General at the Fine Arts Department under the Ministry of Culture and the State Historical Research Department. During the period, he led cultural delegations to foreign countries according to the assignments of the government.
From 1982 to 1987, he served as Professor at the History Department and International Relations Department of Mandalay University. From 1987 to 1989, the government appointed him as Director-General of the Department of Archaeology Department. Meanwhile, he represented Myanmar and attended archaeological conferences in relevant countries.
From 1990 to 1994, he chaired the Myanmar Historical True Events Compilation Committee.
From 1994 to date, he has been serving as a member of the Myanmar Historical Commission while compiling research papers on historical events. He also serves as the Chief Editor of the Myanmar Perspective magazine published in the English version from 1996 to date and wrote historical and cultural articles.
The Sayagyi writes articles in daily newspapers and monthly-published Guardian Magazine including The Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM). He also talks about Myanmar culture and historical issues in the English language on the air at the English section of Radio Myanmar every Saturday.
He has been serving as Professor at the Buddhism and Buddhist Cultural History Department of the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University, a retired professor at the History Department of Yangon University and an instructor of the Diplomatic Skill Course of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since December 1998.
The Professor is an executive member of the Myanmar Writers Association and the Myanmar Journalists Association. He was a winner of the National Lifetime Award for Literary Achievement.
The government conferred Peace and Tranquillity Medal, Good Servant Medal, Excellent Performance in Social Field (Second Class) in 1992, Excellent Performance in Administration Field (First Class) in 2001, Excellent Performance in Arts Field (Second Class) in 2003 and Maha Saddhamma Jotikadhaja title in 2006 on the veteran. He also won the Sayawun Tin Shwe Literary Award in 2005, Thuta Swesone Lifetime Literary Award in 2007, Sayawun Tin Shwe Literary Award in 2012, Sithu title in 2012, National Literary Award in 2016, Excellent Performance in Arts Field (First Class) in 2021 and Pyinnya Tazaung honorary award in 2021.
The significant books compiled by the veteran are I am Mr Burma in 1986, and the Seventh Myanmar Traditional Cultural Regatta Festival (1996). An Outline History of Myanmar Literature (1999), Sule Pagoda = Kyaik Athok Ceti (2000), An Anthology of Conference Papers (2002-2003), Selected Writings (2004), Radio Talks on Myanmar Culture (2006), Myanmar Traditional Monthly Festivals (2005), Myanmar Gems (2008), Myanmar Superlatives (2012) and The Historic Bells of Yangon? (2016). — TWA/GNLM