Mrs. Sri Lanka Winner Says She Suffered Injuries After Crown Was 'Snatched' Off Her by Mrs. World
Pushpika De Silva, a pageant queen who won the title of "Mrs. Sri Lanka" on Sunday, says she was injured after her crown was forcefully removed from her head onstage by a former winner.
The incident was captured on a televised broadcast of the ceremony, which showed De Silva being named the 2020 winner of Mrs. Sri Lanka before her crown was taken by Caroline Jurie, who won the pageant in 2019 and is currently the reigning Mrs. World.
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In a video of the crowning ceremony published by the Colombo Gazette, Jurie cites a pageant rule that prevents women who have been divorced from winning the title.
"There is a rule that you have to be married and not divorced, so I am taking my first steps in saying that the crown goes to the first runner-up," Jurie tells the audience.
She then takes the crown from the winner's head and places it on runner-up, prompting De Silva to walk offstage, the video shows.
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In a Facebook post shared on Monday, De Silva said she suffered "injuries to my skull" when Jurie "snatched" her crown.
"As I write this, I responsibly say that I am not a divorced woman," she wrote in a statement translated from Sinhala. "If I am divorced, I challenge them to submit my divorce papers."
"So, even though that symbolic crown has been snatched from my head, I would like to inform you that I have already taken the necessary legal action for the injustice and insult that has taken place," De Silva continued, adding that "a real queen is not a woman who snatches another woman's crown, but a woman who secretly sets the other woman's crown!!"
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Chandimal Jayasinghe, the national director of Mrs. Sri Lanka World, told the BBC that De Silva's crown will be returned to her.
"We are disappointed," he said, adding: "It was a disgrace how Caroline Jurie behaved on the stage and the Mrs. World organization has already begun an investigation on the matter."
In a statement posted to her Facebook on Tuesday, De Silva thanked pageant officials for their support following the incident.
"I do not hate anyone and I forgive those who do so to me at that moment," she wrote in Sinhala. "Nothing can be won by hatred."