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Miss Universe Myanmar Thuzar Wint Lwin used her platform to speak out about the military coup crisis in her home country after winning the national costume competition Sunday evening.
Lwin held up a sign saying "Pray for Myanmar" while wearing the costume that won her that portion of the competition in the 69th Miss Universe pageant.
"Our people are dying and being shot by the military every day," she said in a video statement that was played after she made it to the top 21 at the pageant's finals night.
BLINKEN ORDERS MOST STATE DEPARTMENT STAFF OUT OF MYANMAR
Lwin, who entered her first two contests in 2020, was crowned Miss Universe Myanmar and was sent to represent her country at the annual pageant hosted in Hollywood, Florida. She has aimed to use her platform to call attention to Myanmar's pro-democracy movement and to appeal for international help in freeing elected leaders who have been detained.
The military seized power in a Feb. 1 coup, detaining elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the National League for Democracy. Since then, over 700 of victims protesting the junta have been killed, including dozens of children, and thousands more have been detained, according to the New York Times.
"They are killing our people like animals," Lwin said in an interview with the outlet before leaving Myanmar for the pageant. "Where is the humanity? Please help us. We are helpless here."
Lwin has handed out bottles of water to protesters in Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, and has donated money from her savings account to families whose loved ones were killed.
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She said ever since she has become more outspoken about the regime, she believes it will likely not be safe for her to return to Myanmar following the pageant and does not know where she will go after the event concludes, the report added.
Miss Mexico Andrea Meza won the Miss Universe 2020 pageant, which aired Sunday evening after being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tags: News, Myanmar, Coup
Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: Miss Universe Myanmar 2020 brings awareness to military coup in speech at Florida pageant