From Thailand, Myanmar Beauty Queen Begs UN to Help Her Country

By The Irrawaddy 1 April 2021

Miss Grand International Myanmar 2020 Han Lay on Wednesday issued a plea through the media in Thailand, where she has been competing in a beauty pageant, for international help to rescue her country from the military regime, which has been killing protesters every day since early February.

The comments by Han Lay (aka Thaw Nandar Aung), who made the 20-contestant final of the Miss Grand International competition in Bangkok, followed her tearful plea from the stage on Saturday—the day more than 100 people were killed by regime forces in Myanmar—in which she begged for help from the international community, saying, “I want to say here that, please help Myanmar. We need your urgent international help right now.”

As of Wednesday, the military regime in Myanmar had killed more than 500 people in crackdowns on protesters across the country. Protests against the junta erupted following a military coup that toppled the Southeast Asian country’s democratically elected government.

Speaking to The Bangkok Post on Wednesday, Han Lay asked the United Nations what it was waiting for before taking action against the Myanmar regime.

“So many people have died in Myanmar. The most important thing to do is just think about humanity and take action, please, immediately,” she added.

She said the Myanmar military should cease using violence against its own people—words that place her and her family in danger of retribution.

On Wednesday, Khaosod English reported that Han Lay said she would be staying in Thailand for the time being out of concerns for her safety.

The director of the Miss Grand Pageant organization, Nawat Itsaragrisil, said that the beauty queen would be working in Thailand with the help of the pageant organizer for at least three months.

Nawat said Han Lay’s decision to speak out and call for international help would land her in legal trouble in Myanmar, especially under the new laws imposed by the military regime.

“We have to take care of her. If she goes home, she will be arrested for sure,” said the director.


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