EILAT, Dec 15 (Asia Free Press): With several contestants defying the pressure to boycott in support of Palestinians, Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu bags the title of Miss Universe at Red Sea Resort of Eliat, Israel, in the 70th annual Pageant outshining 80 of them from around the globe.
The Pageant included several categories that contestants went through, including national costumes, swimwear, and demonstration of public speaking skills.
Harnaaz, who is 21 years old, was crowned by her predecessor, Andrea Meza of Mexico, while Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira and Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane were the other two finalists.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel requested and wrote: “We urge all participants to withdraw, to avoid complicity in Israel’s apartheid regime and its violation of Palestinian human rights.”
A few contestants boycotted the Pageant against Israel’s atrocities committed against Palestinians. The second runner-up Miss South Africa was not supported by her government. South Africa’s Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts asked and urged her to stay away from the Pageant, citing the words of “atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians.”
Meanwhile, Sushmita Sen, who won the title for India for the Ist time in 1994, poured her heart out by calling her “Har Hindustani Ki Naz”.