Sri Lankan pageant contestant suffers head injuries after crown snatching debacle

The winner of a beauty pageant in Sri Lanka has suffered head injuries after her crown was snatched from her head on stage.

Pushpika De Silva was crowned the winner of Mrs Sri Lanka at a ceremony on national television on Sunday (local time).

However, just moments later the 2019 winner Caroline Jurie seized the crown, claiming it should have instead been awarded to the runner-up.

"I have a small request. As for Mrs World - there is a rule that you all have to be married and not divorced. So I'm taking the steps to say that the crown goes to the first runner up," Jurie said.

Jurie yanked the crown off her head, pulling at the pins which held it in place, before De Silva ran off stage in tears.

In a post to Facebook, De Silva described the incident as an "injustice and insult" and said she suffered head injuries as a result.

"The pain of my skull when my crown was snatched from my head by the world married beauty queen, the pain I felt when I lost the crown is more than both."

She clarified that she is not divorced, but is separated from her husband.

"Being apart is one [thing]. Divorce is something else. I'm still an un-divorced woman," she said.

"If I wasn't fit at the beginning of this tournament they could have removed me. They weren't sleeping until I came so far after the remaining game events."

The national director of Mrs Sri Lanka pageant, Chandimal Jayasinghe, has since told the BBC that the crown would be returned to De Silva.

"We are disappointed," he said. "It was a disgrace how Caroline Jurie behaved on the stage and the Mrs World organisation has already begun an investigation on the matter."