I know readers of this blog have been anxious to know the fallout from the dustup that occurred in the Mrs Sri Lanka competition when the previous year’s winner Caroline Jurie abruptly declared that Pushpika De Silva, the person whom she had just crowned the winner, was ineligible because she was divorced, yanked the crown off her head, and placed it on the head of the first runner up, all before a national TV audience. It has caused a sensation, with even the international media covering it.
Here again is the video of what happened.
The organizers later said that De Silva was eligible because she was separated from her husband, not divorced, and gave her back her crown. Meanwhile, both Jurie and the person I dubbed Wonder Woman (who marched onto the stage from the wings at the 1:50 mark and aided Jurie in her de-crowning of De Silva) were both arrested for causing minor harm to De Silva in the rough way they removed the crown. They are both out on bail.
As one might expect, various theories are being floated to explain the fiasco. One is that Jurie was drunk. Her erratic behavior and unsteady gait are posited as evidence for this theory. The obviously delighted mutual embracing by Jurie, Wonder Woman (who is apparently a former model and well known in Sri Lanka), and the first runner-up suggests that they are close friends. Much attention has focused on Wonder Woman who seemed to be particularly aggressive in her behavior, seemingly ordering De Silva off the stage and then giving repeated clenched fist triumphant salutes as well as fist pumps and looking deliriously happy at the runner up being crowned the winner.
One has to wonder what the runner-up was thinking when she proceeded to make a speech as if nothing untoward had happened and she had been declared the winner in the normal manner, thanking the judges and offering the usual bromides about wanting to do something for the country. I suspect that she had prepared a speech to give if she did win and instead of ad-libbing to take into account the unusual circumstances, simply plowed ahead with her prepared remarks.
As a result of this, Jurie has stepped down from her position as Mrs World that she had won after becoming Mrs Sri Lanka the previous year. But she is defiant that she did the right thing and that people who are separated should not be eligible.
“I will always stand for what I believe is right,” the former title-holder said in a video while wearing her crown and sash. “Every beauty pageant has a set of rules and regulations. What I was pushing for from the beginning was a fair stage. The rules and regulations are equal to all. Rules aren’t there so that we can find loopholes so that we can win at any cost. I believe rules and regulations are there for a reason.”
She continued, “The Mrs. World pageant was not created to discriminate divorced or separated women but to celebrate the dreams of the married women.” Jurie also implied that there are other pageants De Silva could have applied to as a separated woman.
One wonders where things would lead if Jurie’s advice is followed. Is she suggesting that there be pageants for Ms Separated World? Ms Divorced World? Ms Not-Married-But-Have-A-Steady-Partner World? Where will it all end?