- Madam Rosy Senanayake was actually moved by the injustice caused to me and came to my defence
- I felt that many Sri Lankans and the entire world were behind me
- This incident affects the dignity of our country more than the beauty pageant
- I do not know why these two behaved in this manner and who manipulated them
- There are lot of individuals who helped me during the incident
PIC: LAHIRU HARSHANA
Pushpika de Silva, the winner of the beauty pageant held in Sri Lanka to pick the island’s representative for the upcoming Mrs World Pageant, who saw her crown being yanked off by last year’s champion in an ugly on-stage fracas, has been re-declared the victor. Pushpika maintains that she’ll seek the assistance of the law regarding issue. Pushpika, who needed treatment in hospital after the incident, that took place on Sunday, was renamed ‘Mrs Sri Lanka’ at a small ceremony on Tuesday (April 6). “I forgive everyone involved in this incident,” an emotional Pushpika told the media on Tuesday.
In an interview held with the ‘Ada’ newspaper Pushpika discussed in detail the trauma she experienced due to the onstage fracas.
The following are excerpts of the interview done with Pushpika.
Pic: Manoj Rathnayake
Q: How was the feeling of being crowned?
Yes, I am happy. I have no words to express my joy. There are lot of individuals who helped me during the incident. Madam Rosy Senanayake heads the list. She was actually moved by the injustice caused to me and came to my defence. I felt that many Sri Lankans and the entire world were behind me. I wish to remember all those persons. Thank you for standing behind me. I also extend my thanks to the social media and the print and electronic media. I am exhausted. I could not bear up the pain and anguish, but God granted me strength to bear up everything with patience and to face boldly the eventualities. That is enough. That is my victory. I value my self-respect more than this crown. This I consider as a great victory in my life. I cherish patience as the greatest virtue I possess.
Therefore I have the feeling that I have won the whole world, which is more than the title of Mrs Sri Lanka World.
This I consider as a great blessing I received from God.
Q: Many others receive their crowns, but not in this manner. You had to accept it after much humiliation
Truly I never expected this in my life and not even to my worst enemy. I have witnessed a scene similar to this at a world Universe Pageant which was not so indecent like the one I experienced. Many had commented over social media regarding the humiliation caused to a woman by another woman. This incident affects the dignity of our country more than the beauty pageant. Many judge the mentality of our people. As Sri Lankans we have certain values and responsibilities and safeguarding self-respect is of paramount importance. This I never expected and I could never imagine. I only realised what trauma I had experienced after awakening the following morning. It is more a dream. The good one does is carried through and the evil others do they will surely carry through. I have done no evil and have lived according to my conscience and it is only after competing that I won this crown. God blessed me for this reason. This is my only belief.
Q: The main issue is the divorce and when you compete at the international level if this issue crops up would it affect the country’s good name and that of Chandimal Jayasinghe, who is the National Director?
That question would not arise as the issue has been resolved. Everybody, without any inquiry, declared that I am a divorcee. But it is not so. I am presently married and do not hold any papers regarding a divorce. Even if I divorce within the next year or afterward, it is no matter as I am presently married. I have done everything keeping with the law of the country. I contested having studied these regulations. I am not out of my mind. After spending time, money and labour I took a challenge and after winning three titles and knew of the risks involved. I have built up my image over the last ten years and do you think I will be so rash to have it damaged? I am a person who always thinks of self-respect and do you think that such a person would plunge into a situation destroying all what I have jealously guarded.
I am also fluent in English. In the International arena it is not the language of the individual that matters, but the behaviour. It was a question of using the mother tongue as English was preferably used at these world pageants
Q: What went wrong in this episode?
t was apparent that jealousy was the main reason. I do not know why these two behaved in this manner and who manipulated them. Her behaviousr was very unbecoming of that of a Queen on stage and as a woman she should have been decent. They have invited their own downfall by this behaviour. I have forgiven them and I beg of them that at least they do not repeat it. My husband has also made a statement to the effect that I am not divorced and there is nothing more than that. I have submitted all the necessary documents to the World Pageant. In a situation where the World Pageant has nothing to worry about why are the others so eager to act in this manner?
We should speak as a country and not point fingers, and as a person who represent the country she should have thought first about it and considered what assistance is to be given. There are ways ways of solving problems.
Just because a woman is a divorcee she should not be subjected to this type of harassment as they too have their self-respect. There are so many women who had divorced and what inequalities do they possess? Do not reject them. A woman is the one who gives birth to a living being. Even a man is born unto a woman. She is a maid, a friend, a wife, a mother and a grandmother. She represents all these scenarios. Therefore as a wife she sacrifices her whole life during all 365 days for her husband and the children. She works on all days sans, Poya, Saturday, Sunday without leave. Today in Sri Lanka from among ten nine have been divorced. They marry today and divorce tomorrow. If that is viewed seriously no skilled woman can ever participate in the Mrs World Competition. It is very unjustifiable to have such regulations.
I am proud to say that I received my education in Polonnaruwa. I love my mother tongue and always take pride in speaking in Sinhala
Q: Are you mentally in a good position to participate at the Mrs. World competition?
I do not wish to lie. Presently I am not in the best mental condition. My Doctor has advised me to take rest, because the impact of the incident is affecting me. I seek God’s help to bear up this pain and mental suffering. Everybody knows the sacrifices I made to participate at this pageant. I gave my wholehearted cooperation not for self glory, but with the hope of winning something for the country. I hoped to win this Mrs. World crown for the third time for my country. I am very proud of my country. I am born a Sinhala national and take pride in saying so. I am proud to say that I received my education in Polonnaruwa. I love my mother tongue and always take pride in speaking in Sinhala. I am also fluent in English. In the International arena it is not the language of the individual that matters, but the behaviour. It was a question of using the mother tongue as English was preferably used at these world pageants. It was Mrs. Rosy Senanayake who encouraged me saying that language is not going to be an issue, and not to worry as anyone could obtain the services of a translator. I sincerely thank her for building up the motivation and giving me solid counseling.
This incident affects the dignity of our country more than the beauty pageant. Many judge the mentality of our people. As Sri Lankans we have certain values and responsibilities and safeguarding self-respect is of paramount importance
Q: You had mentioned during the last interview that you will stand up to represent the women and children of our country. Is it necessary to enter politics to perform these tasks?
Not at all. It is not necessary to enter politics for this purpose. But when one enters politics he or she gains access to a position from which the individual can do social services. Under such a position you receive privileges, power and finances from the relevant Ministry to perform your duties. Working alone is better because there is large scope for success then. But one need not be a politician to provide services to the society. With the Mrs. World crown one can represent our nation; this is what I am aiming at.
COURTESY ADA NEWSPAPER