Miss Universe Myanmar, Thuzar Wint Lwin, held up a sign with the quote "Pray for Myanmar", while parading her national costume during the Miss Universe pageant on May 13, 2021.
Best National Costume
The contestant, who is also known as Candy, arrived in Florida on May 7, but realised that her baggage, containing her costumes and outfits, had been displaced, The New York Times (NYT) reported.
Chin people residing in the United States came to Candy's rescue and provided the Miss Universe contestant's with an ethnic Chin dress, originating from west Myanmar.
Donning the dress as her national costume, Candy paraded down the runway with the sign in hand.
At the end of the runway, she unfurled and held up her sign with the quote, "Pray for Myanmar".
While Candy won the award for Best National Costume, she did not qualify for the final round of the competition.
After her public display against the regime in Myanmar, Reuters called for a comment from the military's spokesman.
However, their request went unanswered.
Candy has also been active in protests and in speaking out against the military regime in Myanmar on her personal social media platforms.
A day after her arrival on May 8, she uploaded a video with footage of the coup and subsequent bloodshed in Myanmar juxtaposed with clips of her in pageant outfits.Leveraging on the pageant's international platform, Candy used the world stage to appeal to the global audience in criticising the Tatmadaw's – the military junta in Myanmar – regime.
Speaking to NYT, Candy said she will likely be unable to return to Myanmar safely and is unsure of where she will go next.
The military has been cracking down on political opponents and protestors to suppress and quell public dissent.
This comes after the Myanmar military had arrested Aung San Suu Kyi and staged a coup to seize control of the country on Feb. 1, 2021.
Top image from Thuzar Wint Lwin/FB