'They fight on the street. I fight on the stage'

"In my country, Myanmar, while I'm doing a speech on this day, there are so many people dying, more than 100 people died today. I deeply feel sorry for all the people who have lost their life."

The words of the Miss Grand International beauty pageant's contestant from Myanmar, which went viral a little over a week ago, as she pled from the stage for help against the military coup that swept her country.

"They are walking on the street."

And pledging support for the protesters against it, which local activists say have died by the hundreds there.

Now, the 22-year old model, named Han Lay, is speaking to Reuters from Thailand.

"I needed to speak out, you know. After that speak out, I cried a lot backstage. So many staff came to me, so many friends from the MGI (Miss Grand International) came to me and they said 'Don't worry baby everything will be fine'. I cried a lot. Also, the whole night, when I arrived back to my room, I cried a lot. Until now when I am speaking out about Myanmar I cry a lot too."

"Our beauty queens need to smile every time, need to connect with every people, very personally or something like that you know. Vut for me it (was a) very hard time because every night I told to my roommate the Philippines, my roommate is the Philippines, I told (her) that I feel so sad. I can't be happy here because when I do daily activity here so many people die in Myanmar."

The beauty pageant says she can't return to her country or she'll face a jail cell. On Friday state media in Myanmar reported that authorities have issued arrest warrants for 18 celebrities, ranging from an actress to social media influencers, under a law against material that would incite a member of the military to mutiny or abandon their duty.

There have have also been internet blackouts. Nawat Itsaragrisil (ITS-A-RAGRISIL) is founder of Miss Grand International:

"When she came to join us in MGI 2020, I saw many times she feel very sad and she followed the social network even (though) the social network is broke all the time.

"It's quite difficult time for her even (though) she is coming to join a beauty pageant, but she not (wasn't) concern much about the beauty pageant. She concerned about her country all the time.

She leaves us with this message:

"I can say one thing that we Myanmar citizen will never give up for that situation because they told me that they will fight on the street and I'm also fighting my way on the stage now. So I think that if they will not give up, we will win."