'Miss Tibet' causes a stir

News24.com 12 July 2005

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New Delhi – China has pressured organisers of a beauty pageant in Malaysia to drop Miss Tibet from the contest, the Ians news agency reported on Monday.

"Miss Tibet, Tashi Yangchen, made all the preparations, but now is not participating in this year's Miss Tourism Pageant in Malaysia because the pageant organiser required her to participate as 'Miss Tibet-China'," Ngawang Samdup, spokesperson of the Miss Tibet pageant told the newsagency.

Ngawang is based in Dharamsala, a city located in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Dharamsala is also the seat of the Tibetan government in exile.

"We were informed by the organiser of the pageant, Alaric Soh, that after the pageant was announced, the Chinese embassy in Kuching rang the organisers to state that Tibet is a part of China and is not supposed to participate as a country of its own. Tibet must be represented as 'Miss Tibet-China'".

"To represent her as 'Miss Tibet-China" would be politically incorrect, as the Chinese have not yet solved the political issue of Tibet," Ngawang said.

This is the second time the Chinese government has intervened to block the participation of Miss Tibet in international pageants.

Tashi Yangchen, studying for an MBA at Huron University in London, was ousted from a pageant in Zimbabwe in February after the Chinese embassy in Harare pressured the organisers.

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