Pageant denies Rohingya link in Myanmar beauty queen’s dethroning


YANGON: A Myanmar beauty pageant on Wednesday denied that the reason it dethroned a teen contestant was because of a graphic video she posted accusing Muslim Rohingya militants of driving communal violence in the west—an issue that has stirred a fierce nationalistic reflex inside the Buddhist-majority country. Shwe Eain Si was stripped of her Miss Grand Myanmar title earlier this week. While pageant organizers said she had breached her contract, she alleged the move was linked to her comments on a crisis that has curdled religious tensions across Myanmar. In the video, which was interspersed with gruesome photos of mutilated bodies, Shwe Eain Si expressed a view widely held among the Myanmar public that the Rohingya militants have led a “media campaign” to trick the world into thinking “they are the oppressed.” On Wednesday, Miss Universe Myanmar denied that the reason it punished the beauty queen was for her video and even offered some praise for the clip. The firm’s original statement said Shwe Eain Si had been stripped of her title for breaking a number of rules.



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