'Mrs Sri Lanka' beauty queen injured in on-stage bust-up
The winner of a major beauty award in Sri Lanka sustained head injuries after a fight on the stage.
Beauty queen Pushpika De Silva won the "Ms. Sri Lanka" title at a ceremony on national television on Sunday.
Moments later, the 2019 winner grabbed Ms De Silva's crown claiming she couldn't get the title because she was divorced.
The award has now been returned to Ms. De Silva after the festival organizers confirmed that she is not a divorced woman.
The judges named Ms. De Silva the 2021 winner at Ms. Sri Lanka's final in a theater in Colombo on Sunday evening.
But 2019 winner Caroline Jurie stripped Ms. De Silva of her crown, citing a festival rule according to which competitors must be married and not divorced.
"There is a rule that prevents women who are already married and divorced. So I am taking steps to bring the crown to second place," Ms. Jurie told the audience.
She put the crown on the runner-up and urged a tearful woman De Silva to leave the stage, a video of the incident showed.
A video showed the former winner Caroline Jurie handing over the crown to the runner-up
The organizers apologized to Ms. De Silva who said she was separated but not divorced.
In a Facebook post, she said she went to the hospital for head injury treatment after the incident.
Ms. De Silva said she would take legal action over the "unreasonable and offensive" way she was treated.
"There are many single mothers like me who are suffering in Sri Lanka today," Ms. De Silva said at a press conference. "This crown is dedicated to women, single mothers who suffer to raise their children alone."
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Ms. Sri Lanka World National Director Chandimal Jayasinghe told the BBC that the crown would be returned to Ms. De Silva on Tuesday.
"We are disappointed," he said, adding, "It was a shame the way Caroline Jurie behaved on stage and the Mrs World organization has already started an investigation into the matter."
The police questioned Ms. Jurie, currently named "Mrs. World", and Mr. Jayasinghe about the incident.
Ms. Sri Lanka World beauty pageant is an important competition in the country. The Prime Minister's wife was among the guests at the ceremony.
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