BANGKOK – Miss Universe Thailand renounced her title on Monday over remarks she made on social media including one that “red shirt” activists, supporters of ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, should all be executed.
Last month’s military coup was the latest convulsion in a decade-long conflict between the Bangkok-based royalist establishment and the rural-based supporters of Yingluck and her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Weluree Ditsayabut, 22, was crowned Miss Universe Thailand last month but comments she made months earlier soon surfaced, including one on her Facebook account, referring to the red shirts, which said: “I am so angry at all these evil activists. They should all be executed.”
A tearful Weluree told reporters that she could not handle the vitriol directed at her on Twitter and Facebook.
“I felt under pressure. I tried to improve myself but what I could not stand was to see my mother stressed,” Weluree said.
“I have decided to sacrifice my status as Miss Universe Thailand.”
The beauty queen also hit back at comments on her looks. “Actually I’m fat, you animal!” read one post on her Twitter account, which has since been deleted.
It was unclear whether first runner up Pimbongkod Chankaew would replace Weluree as Thailand’s representative at the global competition, Miss Universe 2014.
Organizers of Miss Universe Thailand told reporters that they will have to review other criteria, such as social media, when screening and selecting contestants in the future.
Asked who will replace Fai as Miss Universe Thailand, after photos of first runner-up Pimbongkod “Ellie” Chankaew kissing a man surfaced on the internet, the organizers said they will have to talk with each individual contestant.
On May 17, Fai was crowned this year’s Miss Universe Thailand. The result came as a surprise to many viewers, as the favourites were second-placed Ellie and runner-up Sunnanipa “Namphet” Krissanasuwan.