Pioneers

Outstanding Burmans

Updated on June 10, 2019

  • Aung San
  • Some Firsts in the History of Burma
  • Pioneers and/or record holders
  • Burmese Female Scholars
  • Dr. Chit Swe
  • U Tin Tut and his siblings
  • U Thant
  • U Ba Kyi
  • U Thittila
  • Family of First in Burma in Matriculation

Aung San

Bogyoke Aung San was born on February 12, 1915.
February 12 is also known as “Khalay Mya Nay” (Childrens’ Day).

Bogyoke Aung San was assassinated on July 19, 1947.
July 19 is also known as “Arzani Nay” (Martyrs’ Day).

The following was displayed on Bogyoke’s Centennial Celebration in the San Francisco Bay Area.

AUNG SAN
(February 12, 1915 – July 19, 1947)

AUNG

A — Architect of Burma’s Independence;
He signed the Aung San – Atlee Agreement.
It led to the Nu — Atlee Agreement that gave Independence.

U — University Student Leader;
He served as Chief Editor of the Oway Magazine.
He refused to name the author of “Hell Hound Turned Loose”.
He was expelled, resulting in the 1938 Universities Student Strike.
He translated “Invictus“.

N — National Unity & Solidarity Proponent;
He organized the Panlong (Pinlon) Agreement.
The agreement was signed on February 12, 1947.
February 12 is celebrated as Pyi Daung Su Nay.

G —  Gone but not forgotten;
He was a General, but he promised to step down after Independence.
He was gunned down at the tender age of 32.

SAN

S — Showed leadership & personal sacrifice;
He wore torn uniforms.
He ate Pebyoke and Nanbya.

A — Anti Fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL);
He was a Co-founder.

N — National Planning Advocate;
He displayed Nationalism and Patriotism by deeds and not words.

Some Firsts in the History of Burma

Based in part on the compilation of Sayagyi Minthuwun (Eminent Scholar and Laureate Poet)

ျမန္မာ့ ပထမဆံုး စံျပ ပုဂိၢဳလ္ေက်ာ္မ်ား•

Outstanding Burmese noted for being First in their field

၁။ပထမဆံုးသမၼတ=စ၀္ေရႊသိုက္ ။

(1) Sao Shwe Thaik served as the first President of the Union of Burma. Burma gained Independence on January 4, 1948. He was succeeded by Dr. Ba U and Mahn Win Maung. Coup d’etat took place before Sama Duwa Sinwa Naung could take office. Sao Shwe Thaik’s son passed away during the Coup.

၂။ ပထမဆံုး၀န္ႀကီးခ်ဳပ္=ဦးႏု ။

(2) U Nu (also known earlier as Thakin Nu) served as the first Prime Minister of the Union of Burma. He was also the last Prime Minister before the fateful Coup d’etat on March 2, 1962.

Dawei U Ba Swe was Prime Minister for some time when U Nu took a break.

၃။ ပထမဆံုး အေနာက္တိုင္း ေဆးေဒါက္တာ=ေ႐ွာလူး ။

(3) Dr. Shaw Loo was the first doctor to study medicine in the West.

၄။ ပထမဆံုး အဂၤလိပ္ ျမန္မာ အဘိဓာန္ ေရးသားသူမ်ား= မကၡရာမင္းသားႏွင့္ မစၥတာလိန္း

ေဒါက္တာ{ဆင္ျမဴရယ္}ဂြၽန္ဆင္၏ အဂၤလိပ္အဘိဓာန္ကို ျပန္ဆို ။

(4) Mekkhaya Mintha (Prince) & Mr. Lane translated Dr. Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary into Burmese.

၅။ ပထမဆံုး သိပၸံစာေပ ျပဳစုသူ= ေယာမင္းႀကီး ဦးဘိုးလိႈင္ ။

(5) Yaw Mingyi U Pho Hlaing was the first Burmese author to write about Science and Technology.

၆။ ပထမဆံုး အမိ်ဳးသားေကာလိပ္မွ ဘဲြ႔ရသူ=ဆရာႀကီး ဦးရာဇာတ္ ။

(6) Saygyi U Razak (Arzanee) was one of the first to graduate from Ah Myo Tha College (National College). He served as Principal of the National School in Mandalay. He was Minister of Education in Bogyoke Aung San’s Cabinet. He was assassinated on July 19, 1947.

၇။ ပထမဆံုးအင္ဂ်င္နီယာ=ဖန္ခ်က္၀န္ ဦးေရႊအိုး ။

(7) Phan Chet Wun U Shwe Oh was the first Burmese engineer.

၈။ ပထမဆံုး ႏိုင္ငံေရးသမားအက်ဥ္းက်ခံရသူ=ဆရာေတာ္ဦးဥတၱမ ။

(8) Sayadaw U Ottama was the first Political Prisoner (of Conscience) in Burma. “U Ottama Pan Chan” is a park named in his honor.

Sayadaw U Wisara was another famous Political Prisoner. “U Wisara Kyauk Taing” was erected in his honor.

၉။ ပထမဆံုး လူမႈ၀န္ထမ္းအမိ်ဳးသမီး=ဖြားဦးဇြန္း{မႏၲေလးၿမိဳ႕သူ}

(9) Phwa Oo Zun (Mandalay native) was the first Burmese female to perform Social Service for the public. She established the Home for the Aged. Details can be found in Ludu Daw Ah Mar’s book “Mandalay Thar & Mandalay Thu”.

၁၀။ ပထမဆံုး ႐ုပ္႐ွင္သ႐ုပ္ေဆာင္=ဦးညီပု ။

(10) U Nyi Pu (brother of A1 U Tin Nwe, U Maung Maung Soe and A1 U Tin Maung) was the first leading male actor in a Burmese movie. The four brothers and their extended families founded several film companies. U Nyi Pu founded Maha Weikzahto Film. The “Thamankyaw” movie was shot and produced at U Nyi Pu’s studio. A1 Than Htut and A1 Thein Htut directed the movie based on the script by Than Win (T70). The main actors were Toe Nyunt, Ko Myint (Min70) and Sai Wunna.

၁၁။ ပထမဆံုး ႐ုပ္႐ွင္တည္ေထာင္သူႏွင့္ဒါ႐ိုက္တာ=လန္ဒန္အတ္ ဦးအုန္းေမာင္ ။

(11) London Art U Ohn Maung founded a company to produce Burmese films and served as a Director.

၁၂။ ပထမဆံုး ႐ုပ္႐ွင္ထူးခြၽန္ဆုရမင္းသား=ေက်ာ္စ္ိုး ။

(12) Kyaw Soe won the inaugural award for Best Male Actor.

Note: The awards are known as “Shwe Sin Yoke Su”. The winners prefix their names with “Academy”.

၁၃။ ပထမဆံုး ႐ုပ္႐ွင္ထူးခြၽန္ဆုရမင္းသမီး=ၾကည္ၾကည္ေဌး ။

(13) Kyi Kyi Htay won the inaugural award for the Best Female Actor. She won the award several more times.

၁၄။ ပထမဆံုး ႐ုပ္႐ွင္ထူးခြၽန္ဆုရကေလးသ႐ုပ္ေဆာင္=ေအာင္ထြန္းေလး ။

(14) Aung Tun Lay won the inaugural award for the Best Child Actor.

၁၅။ ပထမဆံုး ႐ုပ္႐ွင္ထူးခြၽန္ဆုရဇာတ္ပို႔ဆုအမိ်ဳးသား=ဦးေက်ာက္လံုး ။

(15) U Kyauk Lone (father of “Kyauk Pya” Ko Swe Tin) won the inaugural award for the Best Male Supporting Actor.

၁၆။ ပထမဆံုး ႐ုပ္႐ွင္ထူးခြၽန္ဆုရဇာတ္ပို႔ဆုအမိ်ဳးသမီး=ေဒၚေမႏြဲ႔။

(16) Daw May Nwe won the inaugural award for the Best Female Supporting Actor.

၁၇။ ပထမဆံုး ႐ုပ္႐ွင္ဆုရဒါ႐ိုက္တာ=ဦးသုခ ။

(17) U Thu Kha won the inaugural award for the Best Director. U Thu Kha also wrote, acted and sang. My translation “Still So Young” of U Thu Kha’s short story was published in the Sunday Supplement of Working People’s Daily. I received K50 for the translation. U Thu Kha received an honorarium of K50 for his short story.

၁၈ ပထမဆံုး ႏိုင္ငံျခားေရာက္ဆိုင္းဆရာ =စိန္ေဗဒါ ။

(18) Sein Beda was the first Saing Saya to perform overseas.

၁၉။ ပထမဆံုး ကာလေပၚ၀တၳဳေရးစာေရးဆရာ=ဂ်ိမ္း{စ္}လွေက်ာ္ {ေမာင္ရင္ေမာင္ မမယ္မ၀တၳဳ}

(19) James Hla Kyaw wrote the first Burmese novel “Maung Yin Maung Ma Mae Ma”.

၂၀။ ပထမဆံုး သတင္းစာဆရာမ=အင္ဒီပင္းအင့္ေဒၚစန္း ။

(20) Independent Daw San was the first Burmese female Journalist.

၂၁။ ပထမဆံုး ရန္ကုန္တကၠသိုလ္အဂၤလိပ္စာ ကထိက=ေဒါက္တာဘေမာ္။

(21) Dr. Ba Maw was the first Burmese lecturer at the Department of English at the University of Rangoon. He later became Adhipati during the Japanese Occupation.

၂၂။ ပထမဆံုး ရန္ကုန္တကၠသိုလ္ေက်ာင္းအုပ္ႀကီး=ပါေမာကၡ ဦးေဖေမာင္တင္ ။

(22) Professor U Pe Maung Tin was the first Principal of the University of Rangoon. He was Professor of Oriental Studies (including Pali). He proposed to have a separate Department for Burmese. Three outstanding students — ICS U Sein Tin (Theikpan Maung Wa), U Thein Han (Zawgyi) and U Wun (Minthuwun) — founded the “Khit San Sar Pay” movement.

၂၃။ ပထမဆံုး စတီရီယိုအဆိုေတာ္=တကၠသိုလ္ထြန္းေနာင္ ။

(23) Tekkatho Tun Naung (BDS, Luyechun) was the first vocalist of the Stereo Khit (Era). Others include According Ohn Kyaw and Min Min Latt. Former performers of BBS Local Talent and Variety Show also became professionals.

၂၄။ ပထမဆံုး ေလသူရဲ=မီးပံုးပ်ံဦးေက်ာ္ရင္ ။

(24) Mee Bone Byan U Kyaw Yin (father of Cartoonist U Kyaw San [Ka Sa]) was the first aerial acrobat to perform stunts from a Hot Air Balloon. He was featured in a text book that we studied in Middle School.

၂၅။ ပထမဆံုး စက္ရုပ္တီထြင္သူ=ဦးၾကည္ ။

(25) U Kyi constructed the first robot.

၂၆။ ပထမဆံုး နယ္လွည့္ဇာတ္သဘင္=ဂရိတ္ဦးဖိုးစိန္ ။

(26) Great Po Sein founded the first Nei Hlei Zat Tha Bin (roving troupe for performing plays). His sons Kenneth Sein and Thet Thet Sein also performed.

၂၇။ ပထမဆံုး ျမန္မာလူမိ်ဳး=ဟိုက္ကုတ္တရား၀န္ႀကီးခ်ဳပ္

ေဒါက္တာျမဆာဘူး{၁၈၉၀.၁၉၆၉}{ျပင္သစ္ႏွင့္ဂ်ာမနီျပန္}

(27) Dr. Mya Sir Bu, who studied in France and Germany, served as the first Burmese Chief Justice of High Court.

၂၉။ ပထမဆံုး ညႊန္ၾကားေရးမွဴးခ်ဳပ္ႏွင့္ အဏုျမဴစြမ္းအင္ဦးစီးဌာနတည္ေထာင္သူ=ေဒါက္တာတင္လိႈင္

(29) Dr. Tin Hlaing founded the Department of Atomic Energy and served as the first Director General.

၃၀။ ပထမဆံုး ျမန္မာကာတြန္းဆရာ=ဦးဘကေလး{ဦးေရႊကေလး}

(30) U Ba Galay (U Shwe Ta Lay) was the first Burmese Cartoonist.

၃၁။ ပထမဆံုး ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ သမိုင္းေကာ္မ႐ွင္ဥကၠ႒=စည္သူဦးေကာင္း

(31) Sithu U Kaung served as the first President of Burmese History Commission. The History Commission was later merged with the Burmese Language Commission. U Kaung is the father of U Thaw Kaung, Daw Yee May Kaung and Daw Kyi May Kaung.

၃၂။ ပထမဆံုး ကြန္ပ်ဴတာတကၠသိုလ္ ပါေမာကၡခ်ဳပ္=ေဒါက္တာတင္ေမာင္ ။

(32) Dr. Tin Maung served as the first Rector of ICST (Institute of Computer Science and Technology).

Note: Dr Chit Swe is the Computer Pioneer in Burma. He founded the Universities’ Computer Center (UCC) with the help of Saya U Soe Paing, Saya U Myo Min and Saya U Ko Ko Lay (GBNF) and served as the Founding Director of UCC. Dr. Chit Swe established the academic and training courses at UCC with the help of Professor Dr. Harry D. Huskey (Past ACM President) and visiting professors from US, US and Europe. Dr. Chit Swe enabled the academic courses at UCC to have degrees conferred by the Department of Mathematics at Rector of Rangoon Arts and Science University. Dr. Chit Swe became Rector of RASU. He never lost his passion about UCC and the dissemination of Computer Science and Applications.

Dr. Chit Swe was succeeded as Director of UCC by Dr. Tin Maung (then Lecturer at the Department of Mathematics). During Dr. Tin Maung’s tenure, DCS (Department of Computer Science) and ICST (Institute of Computer Science and Technology) were established. U Tun Aung Gyaw (EC69) and I were members of “Generation Zero” at UCC. We taught at UCC, DCS and ICST.

၃၃။ ပထမဆံုး ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံလံုးဆိုင္ရာေက်ာင္းသားမ်ားသမဂၢ{ဗ.က.သ} ဥကၠ႒=ဦးရာ႐ွစ္ ။

(33) U Raschid (also known as M. A. Raschid, father of Saya Bilal Raschid) served as the first President of Ba Ka Tha (All Burma Students’ Union). He served as a Minister in the AFPFL Government.

၃၄။ ပထမဆံုး က်ားကစားနည္းစာအုပ္ေရးသူ=စာေရးဆရာ ခ်စ္ဦးညိဳ{၁၉၂၄_၁၉၈၇)

(34) Chit Oo Nyo, a prolific writer, wrote the first book to play “Kyar” (Checkers).

၃၅။ ပထမဆံုး လူမႈထူးခြၽန္ဆုပထမအဆင့္ကိုရရိွသူအမိ်ဳးသမီး=ဟာဂ်ီမ ပ်ဥ္းမနား ေဒၚပု ။

(35) Hajeema Pyinmana Daw Pu was the first female to win Lu Hmu Htoo Chun Su Pathama Sint (First Class for Distinguished Social Service). She donated for the founding of some hospitals. She is the mother-in-law of Saya U Ba Than Haq (Retired Professor of Geology and Pro-Rector of RASU)

၃၆။ ပထမဆံုး ဖေလာရင့္ ႏိုက္တင္ေဂးဆုရရိွသူ =ဗိုလ္မွဴးေဒၚခင္အုန္းျမ{ခ}စာေရးဆရာမႀကီး ျမမာလာ ။

(36) Bohmu (Major) Daw Khin Ohn Mya (also known as writer Mya Marlar) was the first recipient of the Florence Nightingale Award [for outstanding Nursing].

၃၇။ ပထမဆံုး ျမန္မာခႏၶာကိုအလွဴ႐ွင္=ဦး၀င္းျမင့္{မႏၲေလး}

(37) U Win Myint (Mandalay) was the first Burmese to donate his body.

၃၈။ ပထမဆံုး ကုလသမဂၢအတြင္းေရးမွဴး=ဦးသန္႔ ။

(38) U Thant succeeded Daj Hammerjold as UNSG (United Nations Secretary General). He was the Third UNSG and the first UNSG from Asia. He served two terms. “U Thant Ah Yay Ah Khin” is a sad event in the history of Burma.

၃၉။ ပထမဆံုး ျမန္မာႏိုဘယ္လ္ဆု႐ွင္=ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ ။

(39) Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was the first Burmese to receive the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.

ဆရာ မင္းသု၀ဏ္စီစဥ္သည္

Minthuwun
Minthuwun and family

Compiled by Saya Minthuwun (U Wun)

  • Retired Professor of Burmese at Rangoon University
  • Head of the Translation Department
  • Compiler of the Myanmar Abhidan (Burmese Dictionary)
  • Co-compiler of the Japanese-Burmese Dictionary
  • Visiting Professor of Burma at Osaka University at the invitation of Professor Harada (“Chit Mann Nwe”)
  • Co-founder of “Khit San Sar Pay”
  • Laureate Poet
  • Saya is the father of Edgar Wun, Peter Wun (U Htin Kyaw, former President of Myanmar) and Rosalind Wun (Daw Htar Cho)

ဗဟုသုတ မွတ္စု

Pioneers and/or record holders

Computer Ah Sa UCC Ga

I have written 30+ posts on “Memories of UCC”. A summary was published in the Commemorative Magazine for the 30th Anniversary of the founding of ICST.

Sayagyi Dr. Chit Swe founded UCC (Universities’ Computer Center) with the help of Saya U Soe Paing, Saya U Myo Min, and Saya U Ko Ko Lay (GBNF). They also led TOSS (Team Of System Specialists), which helped with the computerization of various government departments and organizations,

Sayagyi was succeeded by Saya Dr. Tin Maung (GBNF) as Director of UCC. During Saya Dr. Tin Maung’s tenure, DCS (Department of Computer Science) and ICST (Institute of Computer Science and Technology) were opened. Saya served as the Rector of ICST.

Saya U Soe Paing wrote “Computer Ah Sa UCC Ga” in a computer magazine in Myanmar. It was re-posed in “Mandalay Gazette”, a publication based in Los Angeles.

Burmese Movies

U Tin Nwe is the eldest of the four brothers. U Tin Nwe and his youngest brother U Tin Maung founded A1 Film. U Tin Nwe’s sons and sons-in-law are also known as Directors and Actors. U Tin Nwe’s grandchildren include Academy Win Mar, Toe Nyunt, Academy Sandar, A1 Than Htut, A1 Thein Htut, Thamankyar Ko Myint and Sai Wunna.

U Nyi Pu, the second brother, founded his own film company called “Weikkzado Films”.

U Maung Maung Soe, the third brother, founded “Maung Maung Soe Film”. He is the grand father of Ma Pyi Aye (Rosalind, A66) and Ma Khin Than Nu (Glory, EC70).

British Burma U Nay Win and U Kyaw Zaw were some of the scholars who studied cinematography in US.

Tipitaka Sayadaw

Sayadaw U Vicittacara is the first Burmese to appear in the “Guiness Book of World Records” for his phenomenal memory. Sayadaw recited 8000+ pages of Tipitaka : Vinaya (Monastic rules of conduct), Sutta (Discourses), and Abhidhamma (Ultimate Reality) at the Sixth Buddhist Council held at KabaAye from 1954 – 56.

Lexicographers

Lexicographers include

  • Reverend Judson and his team
  • U Tun Nyein
  • Dr. Ba Han
  • U Hoke Sein (Pali, English, Burmese).

Medical Research

BMR (Burma Medical Research) was founded by Dr. Mya Tu.

His successors include Dr. Aung Than Ba Tu, Dr. Khin Maung Tin and Dr, Daw May May Yi.

Details of the early and/or prominent doctors/educators can be added by Saya Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint (SPHS60), Dr. Khin Maung U (SPHS63) and Dr. Nyunt Wai (Victor, SPHS63).

U Ba Hi and his son Dr. Freddie Ba Hli

Sayagyi U Ba Hli was the first native Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Rangoon University. He also taught Civil Engineering courses. Sayagyi was the driving force [along with Professor Horwood of MIT) behind the “Twinning Program” with prestigious universities in US and UK.

Dr. Freddie Ba Hli (Sc.D) was the first Director General of UBARI (Union of Burma Applied Research Institute). Saya also taught part-time at the Electrical Engineering Department. Saya later served as a Board Member for UCC.

UN Delegation

Before becoming the 3rd Secretary General of United Nations, U Thant was the Permanent Representative of the Burmese Mission to the UN. He was preceded and succeeded by Mr. James Barrington (ICS and RUBC Gold).

U Thant was the unanimous choice following the Soviet Union’s veto of Dr. Ralph Bunche [prominent Black diplomat], and the USA’s veto of the “Trioka” [proposed by USSR]. Burma was a co-founder of the “Non Aligned Movement” [to balance the USSR and USA Bloc].

The Permanent Secretary post was later renamed as Ambassador to the United Nations.

Early Native Professors

Saya Dr. Maung Maung Kha (Physics), Saya Dr. Hla Myint (Economics) and Saya Dr. Tha Hla (Geology) did their doctoraes in the UK. Upon their return to Burma, they helped replace the non-Burmese [mostly British and some Indian] professors from Rangoon University.

Cartoonists

Prominent cartoonists include U Ba Gyan, U Heng Soon, U Pe Thein, U Aung Shein, U Kyaw San, U Sein, and U Ba Htwe.

The RIT Cartoon Box was established by U Myint Pe (M72) under the Patronage of Saya U Khin Maung Phone Ko (C65), Saya U Aung Myint (Pet69). Four generations maintained the RIT Cartoon Box.

Cartoons are displayed along U Ba Gyan Street during the Tazaungdaing Festival.

Translation and Adaptation

There have been adaptations as well as “direct translation” of works from English to Burmese.

Saya Shwe Oo Daung’s U San Shar and U Thein Maung are the [Burmanized] counterparts of Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson.

Sports

U Zaw Weik was the first Burmese to compete in Olympics as a member of the British Empire team (governing India and Burma). He co-founded the Burma Olympic Council.

U Aung Gyi (flyweight) was the first Burmese weight lifter to set/break an Olympic record.

Several students of Rangoon University represented Burma in the 2nd SEAP Games held in Rangoon in December 1961. I have posted a photo provided by Dr. Richard Yu Khin (MEHS59), who won a Gold Medal in Yachting.

Ko Tun Mra (100 meters relay), Ko Kyaw Mra (110 meter hurdles), and Ko Soe Mra (Pole vault) won gold medals at the 2nd SEAP Games held in Rangoon, Burma. Their younger brothers Ko Maung Maung Mra and Ko Rai Mra also became Pole Vault champions. Ko Kyaw Mra became National Coach under the Sports and Education Department [SPED].

Education

There have been several “New” Education Systems.

When the Universities which were forced to close following the Anniversary Celebrations in July 1963, the higher authorities decided to reorganize the Rangoon University as a number of autonomous Institutes.

The Faculty of Engineering underwent two name changes: first to BIT (Burma Institute of Technology) in 1961 and then to RIT (Rangoon Institute of Technology) in November 1964. The degrees conferred became B.E. and B.Arch under the then new Education System. U Yone Mo became the first Rector of RIT. U Soe Thein became the Registrar.

World wide Saya Pu Zaw Pwe

The first RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe was held in San Francisco, California, USA in October of 2000. I am honored to be a member of the RIT Alumni International that hosted SPZP-2000.

I founded the RIT Alumni International Newsletter and have served as its Editor and Content Provider for two decades. I have repaid the metta and cetana of my mentors.

There have been seven RIT Grand Reunion and SPZPs (also known as World Wide SPZPs). They are

  • SPZP-2000 in the US in October 2000
  • SPZP-2002 in Singapore in December 2002
  • SPZP-2004 in Yangon in December 2004
  • SPZP-2007 in Singapore in April 2007
  • SPZP-2010 in Singapore in December 2010
  • SPZP-2012 in Yangon at the Gyogone Campus in December 2012 (True Home Coming). The Reunion dinner was held at MICT Park
  • SPZP-2016 in Yangon. A free All Day Event at the Gyogone Campus with exhibitions, and two stages.

For SPPZ-2000, I served as Chief Editor for the commemorative issue of “RIT Alumni International Newsletter”.

For SPZP-2002, SPZP-2007 and SPZP-2010, Saya U Moe Aung (Tekkatho Moe War) served as Chief Editor of the commemorative issue of “Swel Daw Yeik Sar Saung”. Saya also served as Chief Editor of the commemorative issue of “Swel Daw Yeik Magazine” for Shwe YaDu 2014 and SPZP-2016.

U Saw Linn (C71) served as Chief Editor of “Swel Daw Yeik Magazine” for SPZP-2012.

Other special publications for SPZP-2012 are

  • HMEE-2012 (History of Myanmar Engineering Education) by Saya U Aung Hla Tun and team. I was a member. U Ohn Khine and I compiled a CD supplement for the book.
  • Selected RIT Cartoons by U Myint Pe (M72) and fellow cartoonists

Associations

The Student Unions and most associations were not allowed to function for five or so decades.

With the Pwint Linn Era, some progress was made.

Swel Daw Yeik Foundation

Swel Daw Yeik Foundation (SDYF) was founded in 2013 to help the sayas and students — past, present and future — of our beloved alma mater. U Khin Maung Tun is the President and main donor.

SDYF has provided

  • Annual Medical Check up of eligible sayas and sayamas
  • Limited financial assistance for sayas and sayamas needing (a) hospitalization (b) frequent visits to clinics (c) long term care

SDYF helped with Shwe YaDu Celebrations in December 2014.

RITAA

RIT-YIT-YTU Alumni Association (RITAA) was founded on March 13, 2016. Since there was a length limitation for naming, BIT (which was technically a renaming of the “Faculty of Engineering” of the University of Rangoon) was left out of the Association’s name.

RITAA became a major sponsor for SPZP-2016.

RITAA is a major force in the implementation of “YTU Library Modernization” Project.

U Myo Aye is the current President. U Tin Latt, who led the Association before the first AGM (Annual General Meeting), is the Vice President.

Burmese Female Scholars

The list is partly based on a special broadcast by BBC, which covered the early Burmese female scholars that studied for their Masters and Doctorates (mostly in the UK and the US). Additional details are provided by friends and relatives (including Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint, Dr. Yan Naing Lwin, Dr. Kyaw Tint, Dr. Richard Yu Khin and Uncle U Thein Han).

Masters

  • Daw Mya Sein (History)
  • Daw Ma Ma Khin (Nutrition)
  • Daw Khin Khin Gyi (Education)

Arts

  • Dr. Thinn Kyi (Geography) — aunt of Ko Theikdi
  • Dr. Thaung Blackmore (History) — aunt of Dr. Richard Yu Khin
  • Dr. Yi Yi (History)
  • Dr. Khin Hla Han (History) — daughter of Saya U Thein Han (Zawgyi)

Education

  • Dr. Khin Mya (Education)
  • Dr. Saw Yi (Education)
  • Dr. K Mya Yi (Education)

Social Science

  • Dr. Khin Nyo Nyo (Eco/Commerce)
  • Dr. Khin Ohn Thant (Eco/Commerce)
  • Dr. Yi Yi Chit Maung (Commerce) — sister of Saya U Tin Htut
  • Dr. Kyi May Kaung (Political Economics) — daughter of Sithu U Kaung
  • Dr. Khin San Yi (Eco/Commerce)

Political Science, Literature, Library Science and Journalism

  • Dr. Emma Ba Yoke Nyunt Han (Political Science)
  • Dr. Khin Mya Kyu (Literature)
  • Dr. Khin Lay Myint (Literature, French) — daughter of Journal Gyaw Ma Ma Lay
  • Dr. Khin Thet Htar (Library Science) — compiled magnum opus of Health Professionals in Burma (with her spouse Saya Dr. Mya Tu)
  • Dr. Marjarie Tin Nyo (Journalism) — daughter of Nation U Law Yone

Science

  • Dr. Linsday (Zoology)
  • Dr. Yi Yi (Botany)
  • Dr. Mya Mya Nu (Zoology, Ornithology)
  • Dr. Yin Yin Nwe (Geology, Earth Science)
  • Dr. Hla Hla Sein (Mathematics)
  • Dr. Mya Mya Than (Botany)
  • Dr. Khin Mya Mya (Physics)
  • Dr. Khin Sein (Botany)

Medicine

  • Dr. Khin Khin Kyi (1) (Pharmacology)
  • Dr. Khin Khin Kyi (2) (Microbiology)
  • Dr. Khin Ma Gyi (Pharmacology)
  • Dr. San Yi (Physiology)
  • Dr. Marlar Maung (Microbiology)

Some countries offer C.Sc. (Candidate of Science).

Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint added :

Although not doctorates, first in their fields:

Dr. Daw Saw Hsa, FRCS, surgery
Dr. Daw Yin May, FRCS, FRCOG, FRCP (only Burmese Doctor to be conferred fellowships from three different colleges).

Fields of study of medicine:

Dr. Daw Khin Kyi Kyi (pharmacology)
Dr. Daw Khin Kyi Kyi 2 (microbiology)
Dr. Khin Ma Gyi (pharmacology)

Dr. Daw San Yi (physiology)

Dr. Daw Marlar Maung (microbiology) younger sister of Alumnus Khin Maung Maung (Burma Navy) (SPHS 1960)

Prof. Daw Phae (Mrs. Yu Khin) microbiology

Prof. Daw Myint Myint Khin, BA English, FRCP Edin: Professor of Medicine writer and poet, Medical educationalist

Prof. Daw Hla Kyi, FRCOG, MMSA. She was the only OB-GYN with Master of Midwifery of the Society of Apothecaries.

Dr. Yan Naing Lwin wrote :

Daw Hla Hla Sein — who taught Mathematics at RIT and is a sister of Daw Myint Myint Sein (M70) — received M.A in math from University of Indiana, Bloomington, Ind . and Ph.D. in mathematics from University of Illinois , U-C. She passed away about 2 years ago in Pasadena, Ca.

Mimi Aung – received her BS & MS degrees in EE from University of Illinois, U-C. She has been the program manager for NASA Mars helicopter project at JPL – Pasadena.

Doris Chan – received her BS , MS & Ph.D. degrees in EE from University of Illinois, U-C. Currently at BAE systems.

Angel Chan – received her BS in Chemistry & Biology from Western Illinois University Ph.D. in Material Science & MD degrees from University of Illinois, U-C Currently at John Hopkins University

Dr. Kyaw Tint wrote :

Daw May Su, received Master of Science in Nuclear Physics. Based on my conversation with her, I noticed her University was in London, but could not recall the name. She passed away in Northern California several years ago.

There is also another lady named Dr. Khin Mya Mya, PhD in Physics, I think from Australia in 1970s.

Dr. Daw Khin Sein of Botany was my English teacher of proficiency course at IFL. Her high school was in Darjeeling and the PhD was most likely from Britain.

U Thein Han wrote :

Professor Daw Kyu Kyu Swe, MBBS, MRCOG, Mandalay Medical College (spouse of Professor Dr. Pe Thein).

Dr. Chit Swe

Saya Chit and his former students
Saya Chit in 2006

Still So Young And Passionate: Saya Chit

Saya Chit (Dr. Chit Swe) is 88 years young, but he still has an active mind and has a desire to payback to Myanmar.

Until a few years back, Saya was supervising Burmese students in Australia with their research and theses.

Saya studied at Mandalay University. His contemporaries include Saya Di (Dr. Maung Di) and Tekkatho Phone Naing (U Khin Maung Tint, who supposedly based his characters on his friends).

Saya did his studies at Imperial College (University of London) and the University of Liverpool in the UK.

During his studies at Imperial College, Saya U Ba Than (Retired Professor of Mechanical Engineering, RIT) was his room mate.

Saya was Head of Mathematics Department at the Institute of Economics when he proposed to the Ministry of Education to acquire a computer for research and teaching. Saya Nyi Nyi requested Saya Chit to extend the scope of his proposal to cover selected universities and institutes. The UCC project was born.

It would take several years before UNDP would approve to fund the UCC project. UNESCO would act as the Executing Agency.

Mandalay Hall

Saya Chit succeeded Saya U Ba Toke as Professor of Mathematics Department at RASU. Saya recruited volunteers to help plan for the implementation of UCC. Saya received permission to use Mandalay Hall as the temporary home for UCC.

Saya Chit, Saya Paing (U Soe Paing), Saya Myo (U Myo Min), Saya Lay (U Ko Ko Lay, GBNF) and several others conducted courses on Computer Fundamentals & Programming, Systems Analysis and Design, and Numerical Methods.

Thamaing College Campus

UCC moved over to Thamaing College Campus as a neighbor to RC2 (Regional College Two). Saya Chit became the Founder and Director of UCC. Saya Paing, Saya Myo and Saya Lay became Managers in charge of Systems Division, Applications Division, and Operations Division.

Note : After reorganization, Applications Division was split into Business Applications Division and Scientific Applications Division.

Saya’s Vision

Saya was a pioneer and an advocate of “Technology Transfer”, “Leapfrogging Technology”, “Knowledge Sharing”, and TOSS (Team of System Specialists).

Saya is modest. During a trip to Chauk Htat Yone (Six Storey Office), the admin would “ignore” Saya Chit and would pay respect to U Myint Oo (his student and volunteer assistant), who was well dressed and was carrying a suitcase.

Saya insisted a Component in the UCC Project Plan to invite the elite Computer Scientists and Practitioners including

(a) two Past Presidents of the prestigious ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) : Professor Harry Huskey (UCSC) and Professor Anthony Ralston (SUNY Buffalo),

(b) a future ACM Turing Award Winner (considered as the Nobel Prize for Computing) : Professor Michael Stonebraker (UCB) to UCC and jump start courses in Computer Science and Applications.

Misconception

Saya thought that I had served as an Editor for a newspaper. I had written articles, poems and translations for Guardian, WPD (Working People’s Daily) newspapers and Forward Magazine.

Upon learning that I was an RIT graduate volunteering for the UCC Project Maung Thaw Ka (Bohmu Ba Thaw, Chief Editor of Forward Magazine, GBNF) suggested that I should join his staff.

In my 3rd BE, editors from NAB (News Agency Burma) headed by Tet Toe (U Ohn Pe, Chief Editor) invited me to join their staff.

My parents supported my hobbies, but they wanted to make sure that I have a good education and a decent job.

I became a writer for Saya’s projects:

  • High School Mathematics Curriculum Development
  • Children’s Treasury of Knowledge (CTK)
  • Planning for computerization of Government Departments
  • Team of System Specialists (TOSS).

Saya believed in me and gave the opportunity to take challenges.

Life After UCC

After UCC, Saya served as Rector of RASU, but his passion for his “Dream Child” and his care for his former students never diminished.

After retirement, Saya taught at Assumption University — formerly known as ABAC (Assumption Business and Accounting College) — in Bangkok, Thailand.

Saya later relocated to Sydney, Australia. Several Burmese there completed their doctorates under his supervision.

Reunion With Saya In Australia

In June 2006, I visited Sydney, Australia to attend several gatherings:

  • RIT alumni gathering headed by Saya U Hla Myint (Charlie, M65) and Saya U Myo Win (Melvin, M65, GBNF)
  • UCC alumni gathering at Saya Zaw’s house where we paid homage to Saya Chit and Saya Dr. Freddie Ba Hli (National Planning Adviser & Board Member of UCC)
  • Old Paulians gathering at Olympic Park organized by Dr. Thann Naing (Bonnie Kywe, SPHS66, Geology70)

Saya’s Present

Saya asked me to give a lecture or seminar to interested young people in Sydney. He then presented me with his hat. I hope that Saya’s hat can “transfer” his brilliant thinking into my head.

Visits

In the past years, Saya visited Singapore and Myanmar and shared his wisdom, knowledge and experience.

He has minor health problems, but his mind is sharp as ever.

U Tin Tut and his siblings

U Tin Tut
Dr. Htin Aung

Many know about the accomplishments of the four brothers :

  • ICS U Tin Tut (First ICS by invitation, former Foreign Minister, Brigadier General of Reserve Army, Journalist)
  • U Kyaw Myint (Barrister, former Judge & Dean of the Faculty of Law, Chair of the Tribunal that tried Galon U Saw)
  • U Myint Thein (Former Chief Justice of the Union of Burma, former Ambassador to China, author and translator)
  • Dr. Htin Aung (former Chancellor of Rangoon University, prolific writer)

Their three sisters had accomplishments of their own.

  • Daw Khin Mya Mu (Lecturer in Burmese, family court judge and decipher of stone inscriptions, spouse of Burmese Prof U E Maung)
  • Daw Khin Saw Mu (Poet, mother of Sayama Daw Khin Saw Tint & U Nay Oke Tint, featured in TEDx talk by U Nay Oke)
  • Daw Tin Saw Mu (Lecturer in English)

Sayama Daw Khin Saw Tint (bi-lingual author) wrote an article about her mother Daw Khin Saw Mu and her aunts.

Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint wrote :

Before independence, Burma had only a High Court and the Supreme Court was in New Delhi. After independence, there was Supreme Court in Burma. My father was High Court Judge during the British rule but became one of the first Supreme Court Judges. Just as the Chief Justice of the Union is considered as equal to the Prime Minister, Supreme Court Judges were equal to cabinet ministers. Both my father and his brother had the Burmese flag on their cars, opened only when they are in the car. All Supreme Court judges and Chief Justice had “Honorable” in front of their names just like with cabinet ministers.

Dr. Htin Aung was the first Burmese to be appointed as Head of Rangoon College. When the College was changed to become a university he became the first Rector of Rangoon University.

U Tin Tut became the first ICS by nomination. After him, candidates had to take an exam to be eligible for ICS training in UK.

A list of ICS appears in the autobiography of U Ba Htay ICS.

U Thant

U Thant succeeded Daj Hammerjold as the Secretary General of the United Nations.

At the Centennial Birthday Celebration for U Thant held in the San Francisco Bay Area a few years back, I was a guest speaker.

Ko Tin Maung Thant, U Thant’s son, was a couple of years senior at the Private Primary Boundary Road School. He left the school to join his father (then Permanent Secretary of the Burmese Delegation to the United Nations). Sadly, he passed away unexpectedly during his visit to Burma. His funeral service was grander than that of Commodore Than Pe (Minister of Health and Education), the first member of the Revolutionary Council.

U Thant’s mother told U Thant to study only for two years at the University of Rangoon and then come back and work. He became a Saya at the Pantanaw National School. For accreditation requirements of the school, he asked U Nu to be the Principal. Later, U Nu (leader of AFPFL and Prime Minister) asked U Thant to help the party and the government in various capacities.

U Thant won essay and translation competitions in his youth. He had excellent communication skills (reading, writing, speaking).

In finding a successor to Hammerjold, the two big powers USA and USSR could not agree. USSR refused to accept USA’s candidate. USA refused to accept USSR’s proposal of Troika.

As a compromise, they agreed to have U Thant (who hailed from Burma, a co-founder of the Non-Aligned Movement) as the Interim UNSG. The General Assembly later ratified him as the Third UNSG.

Sad for Burma, only U Aung Tun, Deputy Minister of Education, was at the Mingaladon airport to pay respect to U Thant’s body. He was dismissed.

What followed is another Dark Moment in the History of Burma.

U Ba Kyi

U Ba Kyi is an internationally renowned artist. He was a saya at the Institute of Education.

Saya’s painting was displayed on the then new Mingalardon International Airport.

Grapevine says that Saya spent 49 days in Sabbath before drawing paintings for “Illustrated History of Buddhism” written by Mahagandayone Sayadaw Ashin Janakabhivamsa.

The book was published by YMBA (Young Men’s Buddhist Association). The English translation was published as a Supplement.

With permission from YMBA, Sayadaw U Silanandabhivamsa and his devotees (mostly from the Theravada Buddhist Society of America) printed the book with the contents in both Burmese and English.

An Arts Professor from Standford University wanted to use the book in his course, but unfortunately the book was published for Dhamma Dana (free distribution) and did not have an ISBN.

Saya’s talent was to translate selected Burmese songs into English such that the English version can be sung to the original tune.

Saya translated and sang “Hne Yauk Hte Nay Chin De” (composed by Saya Myoma Nyein and made famous by Mar Mar Aye) to the accompaniment on the violin by Saya Dr. Maung Maung Kha.

Saya also translated “Kaba Ma Kyei” (National Anthem of the Union of Burma).

Saya translated precisely the chorus of a famous song “Hna yauk hte nay gin de”.

Darling
Only two we will live dear
On the high crest
Of the Mount Everest
And the Sahara Desert
Driest without water
To the North Pole
May be freezing cold
Where the sun will never never grow
With all my heart and soul
Only two darling We will go

Saya translated the verse while invigilating.

Saya Dr. Maung Maung Kha used to accompany Saya U Ba Kyi’s vocals with his violin at the functions (mostly at Rangoon University Ah Nu Pyinnya Ah Thin”).

U Thittila

  • Sayadaw U Thittila (1896 – 1997) was Ovadacariya to Sangha Maya Nayaka, trustees of renowned pagodas.
  • He is an Outstanding teacher and writer.
  • He played an important role in reviving Buddhism in India and propagating the study of Abhidhamma.
  • He was very modest. He rarely talked about his many achievements.

Achievements

  • He was Patamagyaw scholar of all Burma in 1918. He stood first among the 5000+ candidates.
  • He was Panyattisasanahita in 1923. He was among the 4 out of 150 entrants who passed the toughest monastic examination.
  • He studied Sanskrit in India. He studied English in India and England.
  • He lectured in 25+ countries including US, UK, and France.

Translation

He translated Vibhanga (second of the seven Adbhidhamma texts) from Pali to English. It was published by the Pali Text Society (PTS) in 1969 with the title “The Book of Analysis”.

Essential Themes of Buddhist Lectures

Collection of unconnected individual talks given between 1938 and 1983.

  • Part 1 : Introductory articles or Talks of Buddhism (10 lectures)
  • Part 2 : Talks involving Sila in particular (5 lectures)
  • Part 3 : Talks involving Samadhi in particular (12 lectures)
  • Part 4 : Talks involving Panna in particular (4 lectures)
  • Part 5 : Talks dealing with Buddhism in general (12 lectures)

Family of First in Burma in Matriculation

Four generations (with five members) stood First in Burma in Matriculation.

  • U Hoke Sein (Compiler of the Pali-English-Burmese Dictionary)
  • U Saw Hlaing (Son of U Hoke Sein)
  • Dr. Cherry Hlaing (Daughter of U Saw Hlaing) stood first in the Matriculation examination in 1964.
  • Son and Daughter of Dr. Cherry Hlaing

Categories: Pioneers

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