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Since the beauty pageant industry is yet to gain the recognition and acceptance of the larger population of Sri Lanka, former Mrs. World Caroline Jurie has called on the Ministry of Women and Child Development to regulate the industry.


In a letter addressed to the Secretary to the Ministry of Women and Child Development on Tuesday (27), Jurie stressed that certain reforms are 'mandatory and urgent.'

Reiterating that she has no affiliation to politics, she said that she is writing to the authorities because she has competed at the highest levels of the contemporary international stage with minimum facilities, and has flown the Sri Lankan flag high.

Piyal Nishantha B

The government is considering regulating Sri Lanka beauty pageants following the recent incident at the Mrs. Sri Lanka for Mrs. World finals held in Colombo, State Minister of Women and Child Development, Preschool and Primary Education, School Infrastructure and School Services Piyal Nishantha said, adding that discussions are already underway to formulate necessary guidelines to ensure such pageants meet international standards.

Caroline Jurie's letter to the Secretary of the Ministry of Women and Child Development further states that:

 
"My name is Caroline Jurie. I'm sure you would know me by now because of the events at the Mrs. Sri Lanka finals that lead to the discussion about regulating pageants in Sri Lanka.

We have a lot of talent in our midst, and we have potential winners who can grace the world pageant stage and bring honour and respect to our motherland.
 
However, the industry is yet to gain the recognition and acceptance of the larger population of our country.
 
Therefore, certain reforms are mandatory and urgent.

I have no affiliation to politics. I am writing to you today because I have competed at the highest levels of the contemporary international stage with minimum facilities, and have flown the Sri Lankan flag high.

As the driver of this constructive conversation towards standardizing the beauty pageant industry, my goal is to create a fair stage for every woman, irrespective of status, so that we will not have to witness a repetition of events that have led us to this discussion on drafting a bill.

I am sure you will agree that investing one crown to save a thousand more, is the noble contribution that Sri Lanka can make, to create a fair global stage for every woman. Let’s become one of the first countries to regulate the pageant industry.
 
Let me draw your attention to the following. They are key to achieving this objective.


# The Brand and marketing community supports the industry and directly fuels it's suste- nance through sponsorships. Pageant winners earn the opportunity to carve out a career for themselves and broaden their horizons. So, an equal and fair stage for every- one is a critical factor. Furthermore, the pageant industry is also a powerful platform to drive empowerment.

# Regulating the legal framework for contestant agreements is a vital factor.

 # Our regulations should be designed to attract overseas investments in a transparent and effective manner.

Standardized audits
 
# The financial and operational procedures of a pageant should be audited by an inde- pendent and qualified external party, to provide an audit opinion on financial conducts and conclusion over the effectiveness of the control upon internal operational procedures.
 
The Jury
 
# The panel of judges must be independent and not have any financial or personal rela- tionships with any of the contestants, thereby avoiding conflicts of interest.
 
# The influence the sponsors have on the pageant should not be a criteria when choosing the panel of judges.

Security of the participants

# No participant must undergo any form of sexual harassment.

# There should not be even the slightest possibility of the use of financial influence and power to find loopholes in the rules of the pageant.
 
Legal representation

# Every contestant should agree to and sign an agreement reviewed by a Legal Representative.
 
# All judges and other consultants working on the pageant should agree and sign to an agreement reviewed by a Legal Representative.

I believe we should be able to bring the best minds and experience in the indus- try together and draft a purpose driven set of regulations.

The pageant industry has immense potential. We need to ensure that only the best practices are warranted when conducting pageants, so that we can create a fair stage that will empower our country and our people.

Please accept my appreciation for identifying the need.
 
Let’s show the world that one fair chance is all a woman needs."
 
Caroline A. Jurie
 
KJ English 2021.04.27