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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

4 girls eye Miss Tibet crown

June 1, 2009

By Kalsang Rinchen
May 29, 2009

Dharamsala, May 29 -- Four Tibetan girls will
compete this year for Miss Tibet crown next
month. Dolkar, 24, from Dehra Dun; Ngawang
Choying, 18, from Darjeeling; Tenzin Choezom, 20,
from Dharamshala; and, Yeshi Lhamo, 24, from Bir,
will go through a series of contest planned out
by the organizers for them. The event has been
renamed this year as ‘Spice India Splendour Miss
Tibet Pageant 2009’ due to its sponsor, Spice
India Splendour owned by industrialist Bhupendra Kumar Modi.

When the first ever Miss Tibet pageant was held
here in 2002 it instantly became a hit with media
from all over converging on this north Indian
hill town to get the ‘interesting’ story.

Over the years, the number of participants has
not gone up as expected by the organizers. It was
one girl show in 2003 and 2005 when the crown
winner had no contenders. Only 28 girls have
competed for the crown since it was first started
eight years ago with the private initiative of
Lobsang Wangyal, a Tibetan man who faced
criticism from some sections including the prime
minister Samdhong Rinpoche for the pageant that
they said was ‘un-Tibetan’ and ‘against Buddhist principles’.

The comments made by the exile Prime Minister
Samdhong Rinpoche in 2002 added the much needed
conflict to this story making the pageant even
bigger attraction for the media. But the
attraction has however dwindled over the years.

Talking to media today, the pageant director said
he received seven applications but three
withdrew. This year’s pageant will be marked as
an expression of gratitude to the government and
people of India for their 50 years’ hospitality, Lobsang said.

"It is also an opportunity to celebrate 50 years
of Tibet on the world stage. The spirit of
celebration is high, but we pay homage and salute
those brave Tibetans who have laid down their
lives for their belief in freedom, justice and
love for Tibet,” said the one-man entertainment company.

The four girls will be trained for a week in
yoga, dance, and personality development. They
will also be provided orientation on Tibetan
history, language, philosophy, current affairs,
human rights and environment situation in Tibet.
They will also tour the premises of the exile
Tibetan government, local Tibetan schools and monasteries in the next one week.

The three day contest starting June 5 includes
swimsuit round, Talk and Talent round,
traditional costume round, evening gown,
introduction round and interview. The crowning of
‘Spice India Splendour Miss Tibet Pageant 2009’
will take place on the evening of June 7. Prize
money of hundred thousand rupees for the winner,
fifty thousand for the first runner-up and 25,000
rupees for the second runner-up are up for grabs.
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