Myanmar actor-hunk-protester Paing Takhon arrested by junta

Paing Takhon in photos he posted to his now-unavailable Instagram account. Before coup, at left, from February, at right.
Paing Takhon in photos he posted to his now-unavailable Instagram account. Before coup, at left, from February, at right.

Soldiers arrested an actor who lent his fame to the protest movement just before dawn this morning as residents prepared to send a message by leaving flowers in their shoes outside their homes.

Eight military trucks showed up at around 5am at Paing Takhon’s home in Yangon’s North Dagon Township to take him into custody, according to the actor’s sister, May Chit Thway. He is one of many celebrities and influencers to be accused by the junta in recent days of “spreading information that undermines the government” under Section 505(A) of the penal code. It is punishable by up to three years in prison.

“He was not feeling well at the time of his arrest,” May Chit Thway wrote on social media.

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Han Lay. Photo: Miss Grand International
Han Lay. Photo: Miss Grand International

Also sought by the military is Miss Grand International Han Lay, who chose to remain in Thailand for her safety after using the pageant stage in Bangkok to rip the junta for killing hundreds of unarmed civilians including dozens of children. Reports say her family has been forbidden from leaving the country.

Paing Takhon, who has a large following in Thailand as well, was named Wednesday night on a list of those facing charges. Since the Feb. 1 coup, he has actively participated in anti-coup protests. His usually busy Instagram account has gone dark. More than 40 celebrities have been named in warrants from the junta so far.

Across the city today, people participated in the #MarchingShoesStrike by putting flowers in their shoes and leaving them in front of their residences.

“Flowers will bloom every step of the way. May each bud be a step toward the truth,” is the slogan used to promote it online.

“Peace will flourish from the steps taken. The uprising must be won by the loss of our fallen comrades and the encouragement of the heroes who continue to march”, wrote a Facebook user Zhang Xiuxiang.

“Which dictator lives the longest? No matter how crazy they are, they end up hanging by the gallows. We must win,” wrote user Hla Maung.


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