Myanmar’s Miss Universe contestant, Thuzar Wint Lwin, used the pageant platform to increase awareness about the crisis in Myanmar. She urged the world to raise their voices in support of the citizens of Myanmar, and speak up against the military junta. Ever since the coup, daily protests, strikes have occurred.
Thuzar Wint Lwin won the award for Best National Costume based on the ethnic costume of the Chin people from northwestern Myanmar. While she walked the ramp in her costume, she held up a placard that read, "Pray for Myanmar".
In a video message for the pageant, she said, "Our people are dying and being shot by the military every day." She was appearing in the finals at a hotel in Florida. "I would like to urge everyone to speak about Myanmar. As Miss Universe Myanmar since the coup, I have been speaking out as much as I can," she added.
Lwin is one of many Myanmar actors, celebrities, influencers, and sports personalities who have publically opposed the coup. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), as of 16 May, 796 people have been killed, and over 3500 people have been detained, in the coup that ousted elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was also detained.
Myanmar authorities had also reportedly published a list of 120 celebrities with arrest warrants against their name for dissent against the military. Lin Lin, actors Phway Phway, Pyay Ti Oo and model May Myat Noe are among those names. Paing Takhon, a popular actor in Myanmar and Thailand, is the latest detained after he pledged support for Aung San Suu Kyi and opposed the coup.