Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - Page 13 News List

Cambodian landmine beauty pageant cancelled 柬埔寨地雷小姐選美比賽喊卡


A beauty pageant in which landmine victims were to compete to win a prosthetic limb has been cancelled after the Cambodian government said it was in bad taste, organizers said.

In the “Miss Landmine Cambodia” contest, competitors from around the country were due to appear in a photo exhibition opening in Phnom Penh, followed by an Internet voting campaign to select the best candidate.

“I’m not looking forward to breaking the news to the 20 candidates involved, as I know they will be very disappointed in the lack of support from Cambodian authorities,” Norwegian pageant director Morten Traavik told AFP.

The exhibition went down like a lead balloon with Cambodia’s Ministry of Social Affairs, which demanded the cancellation of the contest to protect “the honor and dignity of people with disabilities”.

However the contest, intended to raise awareness about landmines and empower the disabled, will continue with Internet voting at miss-landmine.org, Traavik said.

“The event as planned is cancelled...But the project moves squarely to Web site voting,” he said.

“I think it is regrettable that we were not able to show this project freely in Cambodia,” he added.

The first “Miss Landmine” contest was held in Angola last year, drawing protests from rights activists who viewed it as exploitative and racist.

Cambodia remains one of the world’s most heavily mined countries, along with Afghanistan and Angola.

Hundreds of people are killed or maimed every year by the millions of landmines and other unexploded ordnance still littering the countryside after decades of conflict. (AFP)










柬埔寨的內戰已結束數十年,但鄉間仍遍佈上百萬顆地雷和其他未爆彈,每年都有數以百計的民眾因此喪生或傷殘。 (法新社╱翻譯:袁星塵)


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