A Sri Lanka national beauty pageant winner ended up in a hospital with head injuries after her crown was snatched away by a former winner on the stage.
Pushpika De Silva was named the winner of "Mrs. Sri Lanka" pageant at Colombo theatre on Sunday night, and was subsequently crowned by Prime Minister Mahina Rajapaksa's wife Shrianthi Rajapaksa. However, reigning Mrs. World Caroline Jurie, who won the title of Mrs. Sri Lanka in 2019, suddenly appeared on the stage to announce that De Silva stands disqualified from the pageant because she is divorced.
"I am taking my first steps saying that the crown goes to the first runner-up. There is a rule that prevents women who have already been married and are divorced," Jurie said.
Jurie went on to walk towards De Silva and forcefully ripped off the gold crown from her head, hastily removing a set of pins in the process. The runner-up was then crowned while De Silva walked off the stage.
The bizarre incident was captured on a televised broadcast of the ceremony, which has gone viral since then. De Silva has filed a police complaint after the heated brawl, alleging that she suffered head injuries when Jurie removed the crown from her head. In a Facebook post after the fiasco, she described the incident as "injustice and insult," adding: "I'm still an un-divorced woman. A true queen is not a woman who snatches another woman's crown, but a woman who secretly sets another woman's crown!"
She also admitted that she is separated from her husband and lives with her child, but noted that being divorced is a completely different thing. Meanwhile, organisers of the pageant crowned her again on Tuesday.
"We are disappointed. It was a disgrace how Caroline Jurie behaved on the stage and the Mrs. World organisation has already begun an investigation on the matter," Chandimal Jayasinghe, the national director of Mrs. Sri Lanka World, told the BBC.
De Silva welcomed the decision in a statement posted to her Facebook account on Tuesday, writing in Sinhala: "I do not hate anyone and I forgive those who do so to me at that moment. Nothing can be won by hatred."