New Delhi: Miss Tibet, 2006 pulled out of a beauty pageant in Malaysia after organizers told her halfway through the event that she could only participate as “Ms. Tibet-China” because of pressure from China.
She was allowed to participate in the preliminary rounds of the Miss Tourism contest for one week, but was later told by the organizers to either wear a sash labeled “Miss Tibet-China” or quit, Tsering Chungtak, 22, added after her return to the Indian capital, where she is studying sociology.
“I felt that this was not acceptable to me at all,” she said wearing a sash labeled “Miss Tibet” on her long cream-colored dress. “The Tibetan issue is same as ever ... China is in control of Tibet and there is no freedom in Tibet,” she said.
Chungtak said that Alaric Soh, the founder of the pageant that started in 2003, told her on 1 December, about the Chinese pressure over the issue that a Tibetan could only participate as a Tibetan Chinese.
“When the organizers allowed me to take part in the preliminaries this time, I thought that there was a change in the Chinese policy,” she said.
“It was a lifetime experience for me. It’s an injustice,” said Chungtak. “This is all happening at a time when China is gearing up to build a clean image for itself in the run-up to Beijing Olympics,” she said.