Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Battambang student crowned Miss Landmine in online vote

Battambang student crowned Miss Landmine in online vote

Battambang student crowned Miss Landmine in online vote

091204_03
Runners-up in the Miss Landmine online vote: Left, Miss Phnom Penh, Song Kosal, and right, Miss Takeo, Thou Chorn.

DOS Sopheap, an 18-year-old student from Battambang province, was crowned winner of a controversial beauty pageant for Cambodian land mine victims in an international online vote on Thursday.

Miss Landmine Cambodia 2009 organiser Morten Traavik had planned to stage the event in Cambodia earlier this year, but it was banned by a July 31 government decree, which also forbade the 20 contestants to leave their hometowns to participate

After returning home to Norway, Traavik posted images of the 20 women on the Miss Landmine Web site and held an online vote in which more than 2,300 voters from 30 countries participated. He hosted a function in the town of Kristiansand, Norway, on November 14 in which photos of the contestants were displayed for judges, an event Dos Sopheap also won.

As winner of both Miss Landmine competitions, Dos Sopheap is slated to receive $1,000 and a custom-made prosthetic limb worth US$15,000. Other contestants will receive cash prizes.

“Due to the Cambodian government’s unexpected and inexplicable ban on Miss Landmine Cambodia ... the prizes will be handed over at a date to be announced later and as soon as the government guarantees that the participants will suffer no negative consequences for accepting their prizes,” Traavik said in a statement on Thursday.

Dos Sopheap, who lost her leg in 1996 when she was 6 years old, said last month that participating in the pageant had been a wholly worthwhile experience.

“I was glad to participate in the contest because I want people to know that disabled women are not discouraged,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen to ‘step down’ if he loses Sam Rainsy bet over Kem Sokha

    Hun Sen has promised to step down as prime minister while opposition figure Sam Rainsy pledges to turn himself in as forfeits if the long-term political rivals lose a “bet” over the future of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial

  • UAE prince seeks to invest in Cambodia

    The UAE has expressed interest in Cambodian oil and gas exploration. Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said this was the result of his discussions with Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmook bin Juma al-Maktoum, a member of the royal family who visited him on Wednesday.

  • Smith calls for ‘release’ of Sokha as visit ends

    At a press conference to conclude her 11-day visit to Cambodia, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith on Thursday called for treason charges against former opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped and for him to be released from “restricted detention”.

  • PM denies ‘nepotism’ claims

    Prime minister Hun Sen denied on Thursday that nepotism was involved in the recent promotions of the children of senior government officials. He said they had been “trained” and were entirely capable of carrying out their duties while being open to “punishment” like anyone else.