By Tenzin Dharpo
Lobsang Wangyal, Pageant Director for Miss Tibet, Phayul Photo
DHARAMSHALA, May 20: The foremost annual beauty paegant of the exile Tibetan community this year will not be held as not even a single contestant has come forth for the crown and title of Miss Tibet, the event Director announced Monday.
The founder and Director of the pageant Lobsang Wangyal lamented that the absence of the event is a loss to the whole community in that the platform has been a “jumping-off pad” for young Tibetan women who he says have contributed towards society over the years.
“Expecting many applications, the preparations have been going on since a few months ago, such as the hotel booking was cancelled after the last day of April since we received no applications,” Wangyal told the press today.
The hiccup this year is the maiden year where even a single contestant failed to show up in the paegant’s 17 year run, although in the past, on five occasions lone contestants were crowned walk-over winners. Last year, the pageant held in New York city also had one contestant. Fellow competitors from the Indian sub-continent could not participate as they were denied visa.
“We feel that this is a missed chance for Tibet and Tibetan society this year. But keeping the maxim ‘Never give up’ at heart, we hope to have applicants in the next year’s Pageant in June 2020, for young Tibetan women to take the opportunity to learn, experience, and contribute to society,” he further said.
The Festival Director also announced that the 2018 Free Spirit Award, an off-shoot under the Lobsang Wangyal productions, will be awarded to Rebiya Kadeer, an ethnic Uyghur businesswoman and a noted political activist against Chinese government policies in Xinjiang.
The honor, Wangyal said, is bestowed to Kadeer for her outstanding contribution towards bringing freedom and peace for the people of East Turkistan. He said the award will be send to the winner via post at the earliest.