Miss Myanmar 2020 Thuzar Wint Lwin is unable to return to her country after reportedly earning the ire of the military junta that replaced her government.
Fearless Empress: Thuzar, 22, publicly spoke against the unrest in Myanmar, which began in February when the military seized control of the country, undoing a democratic election in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party won by a landslide.
- Thuzar joined protest rallies on the streets of Yangon, the country’s largest city, to push for Myanmar’s democratic reforms, months before she made her mark at the 69th Miss Universe competition on May 16, NextShark previously reported.
- During the National Costume competition, Thuzar wore a dress called “Fearless Empress,” created in the U.S. by Chin women.
- She brought a placard to the stage bearing the message, “Pray for Myanmar,” and wrote about her country’s plight in an Instagram post.
- Thuzar also spoke about the crisis during the finals night via a video recording that played after she made it to the top 21.
Queens in exile: Unconfirmed reports on social media claimed that Thuzar and her compatriot Miss Grand International 2020 Han Lay allegedly received arrest warrants from the Junta for speaking against the military rule.
- During the Miss Grand International 2020 finals show in March, Han spoke about the worsening situation in her country and urged people to help Myanmar, saying, “We need your urgent international help right now.”
- While Thuzar remained in the U.S., Han Lay reportedly remains under the care of Miss Grand International Organization in Thailand since the competition ended in March 2021, according to PEP.
- Multiple celebrities and social media personalities are currently facing arrests for alleged violations of Section 505(a) of Myanmar’s Penal Code, as documented by Twitter user @ElevenMyanmar.
Myanmar’s State Administration Council (SAC) announced in February that anyone who publishes comments against the military junta may be criminally liable for “causing fear” and for “false news, [or] agitates directly or indirectly a criminal offense against a Government employee.” Any citizen who violates Section 505(a) may be jailed for three years, according to Human Rights Watch (hrw.org).