Miss Tibet.

Tsering Chungtak, 21, a student from Delhi University, was just crowned Miss Tibet 2006.

As with any pageant, there was drama: 11 people applied but only 6 came, the contest irritated the Chinese, who thought the contest promoted a "splittist" agenda, as well as the conservative Tibetan Buddhists, who thought the contest was "un-Tibetan" and "aping Western culture."

One of the contestants, Metok Lhazey, had come a long way:

Three years ago, at the tender age of 17, Metok Lhazey sat in solitary confinement in a pitch dark, filthy and horribly cramped Chinese prison cell in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.

This weekend, the nervous 20-year-old is dreaming about being crowned Miss Tibet in a small but controversial beauty pageant held by Tibetan refugees in northern India.

Finally, another contestant, Pema Chodon, was forced to withdraw when she was discovered to be a commando in a covert mountain warfare unit of the Indian army!

Ah, just like a soap opera: Miss Tibet


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