Miss Intercontinental Sri Lanka crowned

Monday, 11 November 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Head table from left: Orient Design CEO Gihan Nanayakkara, Miss Intercontinental 2018 Karen Gallman, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga, SLTPB Chairman Kishu Gomes, Franchisee for Miss Intercontinental Romesh Perera and Creative Director Rozanne Diasz


The contestants with Miss Intercontinental 2018

By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya

Twinkle Goonathilake was crowned Miss Intercontinental Sri Lanka 2019 at the Galadari Hotel on 7 November, with Anjunu Hettiarachchi as first runner-up and Doyel Dawson as second runner-up.

The event was expected to attract a crowd of 250 people and the 16 finalists competed for titles like Miss Personality, Miss Congeniality, Miss Photogenic, and Miss Popular, in addition to the main title.

At a press briefing held on 6 November, Tourism Development, Wildlife, and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga spoke about growing tourism in the country and the need for various events, saying: “Tourists complain that Colombo doesn’t have enough events for them to participate in.”  

Pageants such as Miss Intercontinental Sri Lanka are an opportunity to attract both Sri Lankan and foreign tourists, Amaratunga said, adding that the Ministry would always support such events.

He also spoke about criticism directed towards beauty pageants, especially the sheer number of them and claimed that they were a money-making ploy by the organisers. Miss Intercontinental Sri Lanka is a genuine contest, Amaratunga said, adding, “The idea is to have more of these events but not to exploit them.”

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Kishu Gomes was also present at the press briefing and spoke about the importance of holding such pageants in Sri Lanka. “Beauty and glamour are things the entire world embraces,” he said, adding that such pageants were “watched with passion so exposure is a certainty”.

Franchisee for Miss Intercontinental Sri Lanka Roshan Perera took the opportunity to speak about the pageant’s main sponsor, Akshatha Suwandal Rice, and, in response to Amaratunga’s comments on beauty pageants, Perera said that Miss Intercontinental Sri Lanka was one of the four beauty pageants in the country connected to an international contest; the rest being Miss World, Miss Universe, and Miss Earth.

With regard to the contestant’s outfits, Orient Design CEO and Creative Director Gihan Nanayakkara shared details about the designs for this year as well as 2018. He also spoke about Wild Images, the company’s wildlife brand launched at the One Galle Face Mall. The eco-friendly brand aims to raise awareness about protecting wildlife, Nanayakkara said.

Karen Gallman, Miss Intercontinental Philippines 2018 and Miss Intercontinental 2018, addressing the press briefing on Wednesday spoke about the experience she gained through the pageant as well as the opportunity to travel. “Many say the pageant is only about looks but Miss Intercontinental is about being smart too,” she said, explaining that the pageant was based on individuality, beauty, and intelligence.

One of the highlights of the contest was the crown specially designed by Laska Jewellery Studio for Miss Intercontinental Sri Lanka. “The design is based on the theme of our country’s national flower, the water lily, and the crown was designed in six days,” Creative Director Rozanne Diasz Leanage said.

“With the potential I see in the girls, we should be able to bring the international crown to Sri Lanka,” she said, adding that the contestants had been going through rigorous training for the past one-and-a-half months.

Pix by Shehan Gunasekara