'We received eight applications for this year's Pageant. Five were confirmed, but four withdrew at the last minute expressing various personal problems,' Mr Lobsang Wangyal, Producer of Miss Tibet told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday, 3 June.
"Since the Miss Tibet Pageant is to empower young Tibetan women, we see it important to respect and appreciate the commitment and enthusiasm of the lone contestant," Wangyal said.
"We were ready to welcome more contestants and put on a full-fledged pageant, but how many would come is not in our hands. There should be individual as well as community initiative for a bigger number," he said.
'On our part, we have not given up, and will never give up, and hope that there will be more contestants in the next year's pageant,' Wangyal added.
It is the fourth time that the pageant has seen only one contestant for the crown. This is the second consecutive year with only one contestant, and this occurred in two earlier editions in 2003 and 2005.
Tenzin Yangzom has prepared well and was willing to have a competition. After she was informed that she was the only contestant she wondered why the others dropped out, and why there were not more contestants.
Yangzom Palkhang is from Gangtok, Sikkim. She was born in 1991, and stands 170 cm tall. Yangzom has a BA in Psychology, Sociology, and English, as well as a B Ed degree. She said 'she likes dancing, basketball, singing, painting, photography, modelling, driving, and swimming.'
Yangzom believes that education is very important in today's world, and even more important for Tibetan children as stated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She says, "We lost our country because Tibetans were not educated in their own country. Therefore, I took Bachelor of Education after my degree, and would like to pursue School Management for further studies.
The Tibetan Government need qualified people to run Tibetan schools. The future of Tibet depends on the education of present generation. I will be more than happy to extend my contribution wherever necessary."
About the Miss Tibet role, Yangzom says, "The title of Miss Tibet is well known everywhere. It is a forum through which I can draw the attention of the world to the just cause of Tibet and seek their support. Tibetans inside Tibet are undergoing innumerable sufferings. More than a hundred of them have been driven to self-immolation, which is unparalleled in Tibet's history. Miss Tibet can voice the worsening human rights situation in Tibet through a number of national and international forums, and gain worldwide support."
Yangzom will be crowned and sashed the new Miss Tibet, and will be given a cheque of one lakh (100,000) rupees, on Sunday, 8 June.