Miss Grand Myanmar Han Lay Arrives in Canada After Getting Political Asylum

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Han Lay at Toronto airport (Photo: Reuters).

Thaw Nandar Aung, also known as Han Lay, landed in Toronto, Canada on Wednesday after she was granted political asylum.

The Myanmar junta Government has been on the lookout for the 23-year-old model after she spoke out against the countless atrocities committed by the country’s Military at Miss Grand International 2020 pageant in Bangkok.

Han Lay, who was living in Bangkok since the pageant, contacted the UNHCR after she was not allowed to re-enter Thailand last week. She found out the Myanmar police were also at the airport waiting for her. She posted urgent plea messages on social media so that she was not sent back home.

“Since I landed here, I feel safe and my worries have gone away,” Han Lay told Reuters after landing at Toronto airport where she was awaiting a connecting flight to eastern Canada.

“I am always a supporter for Myanmar democracy; I will always support it as much as I can,” she added.

Han Lay informed that, with government assistance, she would move to Prince Edward Island, a province off Canada’s Atlantic coast.

Phil Roberston, Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch in Southeast Asia said Myanmar’s military government were using passports as a weapon against citizens’, trying to deprive them of the right to travel internationally.

“Such actions should be universally condemned, and governments around the world should be on guard against the junta using similar tactics against overseas dissidents traveling on Myanmar passports in the future.”