‘I Will Do Everything I Can:’ Miss Grand Myanmar Seeks Refuge in Thailand

Miss Grand Myanmar Han Lay holds up three fingers on March 31, 2021 in Bangkok.

BANGKOK — Speaking through tears Wednesday, a pageant queen who called for international aid onstage said she would be staying in Thailand for the time being out of concerns for her safety.

Miss Grand Myanmar 2020 Han Lay and Nawat Itsaragrisil, director of the Miss Grand Pageant organization said that Han would be working in Thailand with the help of the pageant organizer for at least three months. 

“They asked me, if I can fight for democracy on the stage. I said, yes, I will do everything. I will speak up,” she said, wiping away tears. 

At the Miss Grand International 2020 stage on Saturday, Han Lay spoke onstage asking for urgent international help for the ongoing bloodshed in her home country. On the same day, 114 were killed by security forces, the bloodiest day since the Feb. 1 coup. 

Nawat said Han’s decision to speak out calling for international help for her home country is “of course, under the new laws after the coup. This is illegal. We have to take care of her. …If she goes home, she will be arrested for sure.”

Nawat said the pageant was in the process of securing a work visa for Han Lay to stay in Thailand for at least three months.

“Han Lay is 100 percent under our care,” Nawat said.

Han Lay may apply for a refugee status in the future, and many countries have already offered to give her a new home.

Han said her family in Myanmar was still safe as far as she knew.

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