On Saturday, at the Miss Grand International beauty pageant, Myanmar’s representative Han Lay spoke up about her country’s military atrocities. Lay used the pageant, which was held in Thailand, to voice out her opinions and ask the world to help Myanmar.
Most pageant contestants try to remain apolitical in their speeches but when Han Lay was crowned Miss Grand Myanmar 2020, she decided to speak for her country on an International Stage.
In an interview, she said to the BBC that journalists in Myanmar are detained when they speak against the military coup, so she decided to talk about the issue.
Han Lay is also a Psychology student at the University of Yangon, Myanmar. She also protested against the military on the streets of Yangon with her friends, more than a month ago.
In her speech, Lay said that the people of Myanmar are on the streets fighting for peace and democracy, and she wants to see Myanmar as a democratic country. She asked the countries of the world to help Myanmar as they urgently need International help.
Han Lay, a former university-level basketball player who is fluent in English, Chinese and Shan, stands against the thought of some contestants from other authoritarian countries, who said that women should not talk about politics.
She said, that while she was standing on the stage, more than a hundred people in her country have died. Lay believes that talking about her country is her duty, and says, “these are crimes against humanity, that’s why we want the UN to take action urgently.”
The president of Miss Grand International Beauty Pageant, Nawat Itsaragrisil also supported Han lay. She said that the military coup has caused only suffering, affliction and hardships to people and that she would support and help her in every possible way.
Han Lay will stay in Thailand for about three months for security reasons. Actors, models and entertainers in Myanmar who spoke against the military regime have been put in prison for three years; hence, Lay fears for her safety if she goes back to her country.