Myanmar beauty queen Shwe Eain Si
says she was stripped of her pageant title after posting a graphic video accusing Muslim Rohingya militants of driving communal violence in Rakhine state, a conflict fraught with controversy in the mainly Buddhist country.
In a video posted on her Facebook last week, Miss Grand Myanmar Shwe Eain Si accused the Rohingya terrorists of leading a “media campaign” to trick the world into thinking “they are the oppressed”. Shots of Shwe Eain Si speaking to the camera were interspersed with graphic images of people with bloody gashes across their faces, nude babies and screenshots from videos posted by the militant group, known as ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army). It added that she “is obliged as a citizen of this country to use her fame to speak out the truth for her nation”.
The 19-year-old lost her Miss Grand Myanmar title in recent days after the company which crowned her revoked it.
But the firm denied the video was the reason, saying it was because she breached contract rules. The company, Hello Madam Media Group, announced on Sunday that Shwe Eain Si had been stripped of her title because she did not behave like a role model. Hello Madam’s director Soe Yu Wai later told the BBC that the decision “does not concern… her Rakhine video”, and claim they stripped her of the title before the clip was published.
But in a reply posted on Facebook Tuesday Shwe Eain Si said these accusations were “groundless” and linked the move to her comments on the Rohingya.
The current crisis unfolded when attacks by Rohingya militants in Rakhine on Aug 25 spurred a ferocious Myanmar army crackdown that the UN said amounted to “ethnic cleansing”. In the face of intense global condemnation, Myanmar authorities have staunchly defended the security operation as a legitimate crackdown on Rohingya militants who attacked police posts last month. The conflict has curdled religious tensions inside Myanmar, fanning Buddhist nationalism and a hatred against the Rohingya that has been steeping for years.
It is not the first time Myanmar’s nascent beauty queen scene has been rocked by drama. And in 2014 a Myanmar beauty queen was dethroned for alleged dishonesty and bad behaviour, after which she ran off with her crown to South Korea.(AFP)