Eleven years ago EDWARD MICHAEL LAW YONE
founded The Nation of Rangoon. Since then, under his guidance, it has
steadily grown in stature to become the leading English-language paper in
Rejecting sensationalism and fanaticism, The Nation has presented to the
Burmese people a consistently fair and comprehensive report of events that
most immediately affect their welfare.
In promoting clean government, U LAW YONE has on numerous occasions clashed
with officialdom, but he has stood firm
even under prosecution. Through his reasoned editorials he has helped to
bring about reforms that have promoted the progress of his country.
Notable among contributions to his profession in Burma has been his active
participation in a School of Journalism he helped found in order to raise
the standards of press reporting.
TARZIE VITTACHI has also wielded a potent pen in the public interest in his
country. As editor of the Ceylon Observer, he has called to public attention
abuses in government and supported those who deserved the public trust.
With his recent book, Emergency '58, Mr. VITTACHI has given his people and
the world a vivid documentary of the 1958 communal riots in Ceylon. This
book was written when the conflict was still smoldering and before the truth
could be obscured or glossed over. Himself a Sinhalese, he has subjected the
role of Sinhalese and Tamil to equal unsparing scrutiny. He has likewise
chronicled the manipulations of politicians who are exploiting old divisions
to their advantage and who were ultimately responsible for the wave of
violence that swept over Ceylon.
Emergency '58 appeals to all elements of Ceylonese society, particularly the
leaders of the diverse groups, for a more rational attitude toward old
differences and new insecurities. Though addressed chiefly to the Ceylonese,
the book bears a wider implication for similar problems plague other
newly-independent people in our part of the world.
These two editors, like Ramon Magsaysay, have had the courage of their
convictions. Setting personal security aside, they have worked, the one in
Burma and the other in Ceylon, to build nations where man could live with
man in honor and peace.
In electing EDWARD MICHAEL LAW YONE and TARZIE VITTACHI to share the 1959
Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism and Literature, the Board of Trustees
recognizes their defense of civil rights and press freedom and their able
stewardship of the power of the press which they have discharged with a
sense of responsibility in keeping with the highest traditions of