The first-ever Miss Sri Lanka New York beauty pageant held in Staten Island ended in a brawl.
The beauty pageant was marred by a physical fight involving several attendees at the pageant’s after-party in South Beach on Friday.
The event was held at The Vanderbilt venue on Staten Island, which is home to a large Sri Lankan diaspora. As Sri Lanka faces medicine and equipment shortages amid a dire pandemic economic crisis, organizers planned the pageant to raise funds for the nation’s national cancer hospital.
“Sri Lanka is not in a very good situation at the moment. We thought we have to do something for the community and the girls here. To bring out their talent and collect something and send it back to Sri Lanka,” Miss Sri Lanka New York 2022 committee member Sujani Fernando reportedly said.
At the event, Angelia Gunasekara was crowned Miss Sri Lanka New York.
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Videos of the brawl have since gone viral on social media. The footage shows men and women, including the contestants, engaging in the physical altercation.
Although it is not clear what led to the fight, the brawl reportedly resulted in damage to property and multiple arrests.
On social media, Sri Lankan netizens expressed disappointment at those involved, denouncing their behavior and saying that they have tarnished the nation’s image in the U.S.
“Utter disgrace and embarrassing,” one user reportedly wrote. “All of them should be arrested and punished according to the law.”
“This is the typical behavior of village Sri Lankans,” another user said. “Every event ends up in a brawl. From elders to children to women. They hit at each other with plastic chairs, umbrellas. It’s quite exciting to watch.”