A Myanmar magnificence queen, who had spoken out towards navy rule in her nation and have become stranded at Thailand’s airport, mentioned she was relieved however remained defiant after touchdown in Toronto on Wednesday.
Han Lay captured international consideration final yr together with her pageant speech on the military’s lethal suppression of anti-junta protests. After spending the previous yr in Thailand, she was denied re-entry into the nation after a short exit and spent days in Bangkok airport, pleading on social media to not be despatched again dwelling.
“Since I landed right here, I really feel secure and my worries have gone away,” she instructed Reuters by telephone from Toronto’s worldwide airport the place she was awaiting a connecting flight to japanese Canada. “I’m at all times a supporter for Myanmar democracy; I’ll at all times help it as a lot as I can.”
The 23-year-old, whose actual identify is Thaw Nandar Aung, mentioned she was going to dwell in Prince Edward Island, a province off Canada’s Atlantic coast, with the federal government’s help however didn’t say how lengthy she could be there or what her standing in Canada was.
Thai immigration officers denied her entry final week following a short go to to Vietnam, saying she was utilizing invalid journey paperwork. Han Lay arrived in Toronto through Seoul, on a Korean Air flight.
Myanmar has been suffering from violence for the reason that navy seized energy early final yr, with clashes between junta forces and militias allied with a shadow authorities and pro-democracy teams. A crackdown has focused pro-democracy and youth teams, activists, politicians, celebrities and social media influencers.
A Human Rights Watch director mentioned Myanmar’s navy rulers have been utilizing management over passports as a weapon towards residents’ proper to journey internationally.
“Such actions must be universally condemned, and governments around the globe must be on guard towards the junta utilizing comparable ways towards abroad dissidents travelling on Myanmar passports sooner or later,” Phil Robertson mentioned in a press release.
A spokesperson for Myanmar’s junta didn’t reply to calls searching for remark. A spokesperson for Canada’s immigration minister declined to offer particulars on Han Lay’s case with out her consent.
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