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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007, 16:51 GMT
China 'forced Miss Tibet to quit'
Miss Tibet 2006 Tsering Chungtak in New Delhi (05/12/2007)
Tsering Chungtak said she did not have a political agenda
The Tibetan entrant in an international beauty pageant in Malaysia has blamed China for her expulsion from the event.

Tsering Chungtak said that China pressured the competition organisers to replace her "Miss Tibet" sash with one reading "Miss Tibet-China".

When she refused, she claims, she was told she would have to leave the Miss Tourism Queen 2007 competition.

China governs Tibet as an autonomous region and swiftly clamps down on any suggestion of Tibetan nationalism.

Miss Chungtak, who is an ethnic Tibetan living in Delhi, said that to take part in the competition wearing the sash would be have been "unacceptable".

China is in control of Tibet, and there is no freedom in Tibet
Tsering Chungtak

"I was really shocked," the 22-year-old student said. "This is a pageant, it's not anything related to politics."

But in a statement on the Miss Tibet website she said: "China is in control of Tibet, and there is no freedom in Tibet."

China has not yet commented officially on the case.

This is the second time that a Tibetan pageant entrant has claimed Chinese influence on the competition.

In 2005 Tashi Yangchen also left the contest after the Chinese authorities said she would have to enter as Miss Tibet-China

The beauty pageant to find Miss Tourism Queen 2007 will end on Friday.

China troops invaded Tibet in 1950, claiming a centuries-old sovereignty over the Himalayan region.

But the allegiances of many Tibetans lie with the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Regions and territories: Tibet
04 Jun 07 |  Country profiles

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