‘That’s why we’re fighting,’ Miss Myanmar denounces ‘military cult’ for killing civilians

Miss Grand International Myanmar Han Lay. Images: Miss Grand International
Miss Grand International Myanmar Han Lay. Images: Miss Grand International

Governments, diplomats and rights groups have denounced Myanmar’s military. Now one of its world-recognized beauties has lent her star power to the cause, breaking down in tears yesterday as she laid out the ongoing abuses for fans worldwide.

Gazing into the camera in her pageant sash atop a traditional Burmese dress with political icon Aung San Suu Kyi embroidered into the neck, Han Lay, Miss Grand International Myanmar, expressed her sorrow over the killing of civilians – at least 8 people were killed by security forces today – in comments from her Bangkok hotel room where she is in quarantine prior to the pageant later this month.

“I share the same indescribable sadness and sorrow as each and everyone of us in Myanmar,” she said in the 45 minutes of discussion in English and Burmese with fans on the pageant’s official channel.

She praised the bravery of protesters – especially the women – and declared that “we must win the revolution.”

“I’m sorry I can’t even control my tears,” she said when she began sobbing at one point.

It was well-received back home, where people in the chat were heartened to see the topic taken up on a global platform.

“Myanmar people are suffering a lot now and a lot of unarmed people/civilians are killed by these soldiers everyday for more than 1 month already. Please save us,” wrote user Poe Lay from Yangon.

It was a rare – refreshing, to some – episode to see supported by the kind of organization that usually strains to be seen as “apolitical.” Nawat Itsaragrisil, the show’s Thai host and producer, made clear where he stood in the comments.

“We always support the democracy of Myanmar. Please support the human rights of Myanmar people.”

It comes as the military ramps up its campaign of terror against its own people, fatally shooting two people to death in Yangon and six west of Mandalay in Myaing.

Myanmar’s people haven’t given up. Here’s why the world shouldn’t either.

Fellow pageant winners even jumped in.

“Talk a lot about the daily unarmed killings and violence in every township,” wrote Yoon Mhi Mhi Kyaw, Miss Universe Myanmar 2019.

“Proud of u for your country’s fighting,” wrote Chantarapadit Namfon, this year’s Miss Grand Thailand.

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