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Myanmar Beauty Loses Crown over Video Condemning Rohingya Violence

Burmese beauty queen claimed she was stripped of her pageant title over her video on the violence in Rakhine state.

Published
World
3 min read


The Myanmar beauty claims she lost her crown after she posted a video about the Rohingya crisis.

A beauty queen in Myanmar claimed she was stripped of her title after she posted a video on Facebook about the ongoing violence in Rakhine state.

Shwe Eain Si, who was crowned Miss Grand Myanmar 2017, had released a video accusing the militant group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army of “caliphate-style movement” attacks which were “out of proportion” causing communal violence in Rakhine state.

The pageant winner was awarded the title in October 2016 at a competition organised by the Hello Madam Group.

Also Read: Hostility Towards Rohingyas Deep-Rooted in Buddhist Nationalism

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The Myanmarese model added that there should be zero tolerance towards any terrorist act against innocent civilians, including women and children. “Their actions may have been motivated by their own fundamentalist beliefs but I truly think that the purpose of each and every religion should be to stop violence and promote peace,”she said in the video.

She further accused their supporters of conducting a media campaign that showcases the “harbingers of terror” as if they were the oppressed.

She said she “is obliged as a citizen of this country to use her fame to speak out the truth for her nation”.


Shwe Eain Si came second at the Miss Universe Myanmar competition winning the title of Miss Grand Myanmar, and was due to represent her country at the Miss Grand International competition later this month.
Shwe Eain Si came second at the Miss Universe Myanmar competition winning the title of Miss Grand Myanmar, and was due to represent her country at the Miss Grand International competition later this month.
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Shwe Eain Si)

'She Did Not Behave Like a Role Model’

The organiser of the competition Hello Madam, which has been administering the beauty pageants for Miss Universe Myanmar Organisation (MUMO) competitions, posted a notice announcing her title had been revoked because “she did not behave like a role model”. The Facebook post received over 2,500 comments condemning the action.

Support came pouring in with many commenting on the Facebook post, ‘Shame on you MUMO’ and ‘We stand with you Shwe Eain Si.’

“Shwe Eain Si does not deserve this malicious act. I just watched her clip twice, she told Myanmar side of story and she invited foreign media to come see for themselves. Nothing rude, nothing violent as your organisation claimed to be. Always a fan of Miss Universe and for once, I hope this particular pageant is banned,” commented a Facebook user Myint Khaing.

Also Read: ‘B’desh Is to Rohingyas What India Was to Bangladeshis in 1971’

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Shwe Eain Si responded to the revocation announcement, saying most claims were not supported by any examples or facts, and were false and defamatory.

Her video actually makes no mention of allegations that the Burmese military have carried out widespread atrocities against the Muslim Rohingya minority. The army, which has been accused of conducting ethnic cleansing, has said it is only targeting militants.

In contrary to what the firm said, she said in a statement posted on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ShweEainSiOfficial/photos/a.1027862823922227.1073741829.1027850707256772/1704197439622092/?type=3&amp;theater">Facebook</a> claiming her removal came after she had posted the video.
In contrary to what the firm said, she said in a statement posted on Facebook claiming her removal came after she had posted the video.
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Shwe Eain Si)

However, in an interview to BBC, the firm denied the video was the reason, saying it was because she breached contract rules.

Not the First Incident

Well, this isn’t the first incident of this kind.

In September, the winner of Miss Turkey 2017 was stripped of her crown after it emerged she had shared a post referencing last year's coup attempt.

Itir Esen, 18, had posted, "I am having my period this morning to celebrate the July 15 martyrs' day. I am celebrating the day by bleeding a representation of our martyrs' blood."

The competition's organisers said the tweet was "unacceptable" and confirmed their decision to dismiss her, just hours after she won.

The latest outbreak of Rakhine violence began on 25 August when Arsa militants attacked security posts, triggering a military crackdown. More than 500,000 Rohingya have since fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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