Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ms. Tibet Organisers Hope More Will Join

IANS (Indo-Asian News Service)

By Baldev S. Chauhan

Shimla, March 29 -- Organisers of the Ms Tibet contest are hoping that more women will be brave enough to participate in the event this year, overcoming disapproval from the conservative Tibetan Buddhist society.

Only one girl had taken part in the controversial contest last year.

'Even though the last date for receipt of applications for the Miss Tibet contest this year is June 30, we've already received five applications, which is encouraging,' said Lobsang Wangyal, chief organiser of the event.

'These Tibetan refugee girls are both from India and from overseas. The beauty pageant will take place in the first week of October," Wangyal told IANS from Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile in Himachal Pradesh.

The Tibetan Buddhist society and the government-in-exile are bitterly opposed to the Ms Tibet beauty contest ever since it began five years ago.

"Exhibiting the female body in this manner is against Tibetan Buddhism and culture," Thupten Samphel, spokesman of the Tibetan government, had said before last year's show.

But the organisers disagree.

"A time will come soon when the conservative Tibetan society will break out of its traditional shackles and accept such shows with open arms,
says Wangyal.