News

Government to regulate beauty pageants  

  • State Ministry of Women/Child Development to submit cabinet paper  

  • Govt.-pvt. sector dialogue on guidelines for events with women/children  

By Dinitha Rathnayake and Yumiko Perera  

 

The State Ministry of Women and Child Development, Pre School and Primary Education, School Infrastructure, and School Services, following the wake of recent controversies involving beauty pageants and the modelling industry, is to put forward a cabinet paper seeking to regulate beauty pageants conducted and held in the country.  

Speaking to The Morning and The Sunday Morning, the State Minister of Women and Child Development Piyal Nishantha De Silva said that he would present the said cabinet paper soon in order prevent the recurrence of incidents which disgrace the country.  

“This regulation is not to discourage the private sector which facilitates such pageants but to encourage them. Under the regulatory aspect, the Government would also help organise such events and provide financial support,” he added.  

According to Nishantha, incidents akin to the one that took place at the Mrs. Sri Lanka for Mrs. World 2021 pageant finale held at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre in Colombo recently should never take place in the future.  

“This incident brought down the respect of our women. Therefore, any event using the name of Sri Lanka must be monitored in the future. This is especially because such events take Sri Lanka to the international sphere.” 

Meanwhile, he said that discussions have already commenced to formulate guidelines in order to regulate private events related to women and children, and added that the State Ministry would have a dialogue with private organisations in order to reach a consensus on the matter.  

During the finals of the aforementioned pageant, the Mrs. World 2020 titleholder Caroline Jurie along with a model had forcibly uncrowned the winner of the Mrs. Sri Lanka 2021 contest, Pushpika De Silva, over claims that the latter was divorced. She had thereafter crowned the first runner-up as the winner.  

However, De Silva issued a statement saying that she was not a divorcee and filed legal action against Jurie alleging that she had suffered injuries in the incident. The organisers of the event later re-crowned De Silva. 

Jurie was arrested over the de-crowning incident and was enlarged on bail. She subsequently informed Mrs. World Inc. that she is relinquishing her title as Mrs. World 2020 and as a result, Kate Schneider from Ireland was named Mrs. World 2020.