Norwegian organizer of 'Miss Landmine' contest in Cambodia arrives home after safety fears

OSLO - The Norwegian organizer of a "Miss Landmine" beauty pageant in Cambodia says safety concerns pushed him to return home after government officials shut down the contest.

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In this photo taken Saturday, March 7, 2009, So Yeu, a candidate in the Miss Landmine beauty pageant pauses to be photographed in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The Cambodian government said Monday, Aug. 3, 2009, that it will not allow the competition to take place later this week, calling it an insult to the disabled.

Morten Traavik says he returned to Oslo on Monday after Cambodian officials made what he described as threats to his safety.

Cambodian officials cancelled the Miss Landmine contest Aug. 3, saying it "would make a mockery of Cambodia's land mine victims."

The Miss Landmine Web site says the pageant aims to empower land mine survivors and raise awareness about the dangers of land mines. Traavik said he plans to continue the contest on the Web site.

The first Miss Landmine pageant, in Angola in 2008, was criticized by international aid organizations for being demeaning.

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