Thailand denies entry to model who denounced Myanmar junta in pageant speech

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BANGKOK — A Myanmar model who took refuge in Thailand after speaking out against a military coup in her homeland has been blocked from returning to Bangkok, Thai authorities said on Thursday (Sept 22), over what her manager said was an Interpol notice.

Ms Han Lay, who captured international attention last year with a moving beauty pageant speech calling for urgent help for Myanmar's people during a military crackdown, did not have a valid visa to enter Thailand, the immigration department said.

Mr Nawit Itsaragrisil, founder of Thailand's Miss Grand International pageant, who also represents Ms Han Lay, said she had been in the transit area of a Bangkok airport since Wednesday afternoon."She doesn't want to go anywhere else. She wants to live in Thailand," he told Reuters."She's waiting for a solution on how she can stay in Thailand."

The junta's crackdown had multiple targets, from pro-democracy and youth groups, to activists, politicians and even celebrities and social media influencers.

 

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