A Beauty Queen’s goal in life | Sunday Observer
To be a successful politician

A Beauty Queen’s goal in life

30 August, 2020
Image: Chinthaka Kumarasinghe
Image: Chinthaka Kumarasinghe

When Pushpika Sandamali de Silva was crowned Derana Veet Miss Sri Lanka in 2011 her cherished, childhood dream came true. For this beauty born and bred in Polonnaruwa, a citadel of ancient Sinhala Royalty had always dreamt big – of being a Queen of Beauty and taking Sri Lanka to the international arena. So encouraged by her parents and sister, Pushpika applied for the Derana Veet Miss Sri Lanka Pageant in 2010. She reached the top five and won three mini pageants but failed to win the coveted crown.

Nothing daunted, this aspiring beauty queen and she applied for the same pageant the following year. She worked hard towards making herdream a reality. With the experience gained in her previous foray into the beauty contest, she was crowned Derana Veet Miss. Sri Lanka 2011 at a glittering finale on May 19, 2011 at the Hotel Galadari in Colombo. In keeping with tradition, 2010 Derana Veet Miss Sri Lanka Palika de Silva crowned her successor, Pushpika Sandamali de Silva.

The dress that won Pushpika the Bets Design title was created by Michael Wijesuriya and was a mix of shimmering peacock blue and green embellished with stones. Her national costume was based on one of the most treasured items of Sri Lankan heritage, the ‘Kukula Pahana’. Designed by Senaka de Silva the costume had all the ‘glamour of gold’ in its colour.

Pushpika also showed her mettle by bagging six mini pageant titles apart from the title. They were Miss Congeniality, Miss Personality, Veet Top Model, Dream Figure and Best Design of the Night.

In an interview with Omar Rajarathnam of the Sunday Observer in the immediate aftermath of her win in 2011 Pushpika said, “I felt I was very fortunate and a brand new level of self confidence that I can achieve anything that I want. The impossible challenges in life suddenly felt like an arm’s length away and I knew that many new avenues would open up after being crowned as winner.

Thus began the twenty-one-year -old beauty’s year long reign under the theme ‘Beauty with a purpose’.

To Pushpika winning the title was not all razzle dazzle, but a great responsibility. She wanted to project herself to the best of her ability so that she would be a great ambassador for her island nation. To further improve her abilities she went to reputed grooming guru Nayana Karunaratne.

As a young girl who has always being concerned about the wellbeing of others it was no problem for Pushpika to keep to the very essence of her reign’s theme, ‘Beauty with a purpose’. Naturally, the welfare of her birthplace Polonnaruwa has always been close to her heart and she organised a free eye and dental camp there. Pushpika also threw her heart and soul into another worthwhile project - that of raising funds for a patient suffering from cancer. For this project she sought and got the support of corporate entities.

Another sphere that is close to Pushpika’s heart is education and especially the upliftment of education facilities for the children of Polonnaruwa. In the interview with the Sunday Observer when she won the title of Miss Sri Lanka she said, “I am very keen on uplifting the standards of education of the rural community in the country, especially girls. There are so many intelligent children in many rural districts of the country who are waiting to grasp any opportunity to learn. As someone who hails from Polonnaruwa, I believe it is my duty to help bring out more individuals from the rural community.”

The year 2011 was indeed a red letter year for Pushpika. She not only won the title of Miss Sri Lanka but also showcased Sri Lanka at the Miss World Pageant held in London. Here, She wowed the audience with her traditional Sri Lankan dance which she performed clad in a costume based on the peacock’s plumage. Then she winged her way to China to take part in the Miss Tourism Queen International Pageant. Her national costume was based on the Naga Raksha and was created by Venuka Wickramarachchi with conceptual inputs from Michael Wijesuriya. Pushpika was an easy winner in the National Costume contest which had 92 countries participating. She also reached the top twenty and was ranked at number 13.

In 2013, Pushpika flew to Egypt to participate in the Top Model of the World Pageant.According to Pushpika each and every contest she participated in were incredible experiences and taught her much.

Pushpika is a top model and appears in many high end fashion shows like Colombo fashion Week.

She also was a presenter with Hiru TV and hosted the very popular bridal show, Mangalam.

Marriage and motherhood focused Pushpika’s attention on things domestic. Her little son Trevon Salavtore is the light,joy and pride of her life. Her huband Thilanka is a businessman.

Currently, Pushpika is very focused on politics and hopes to enter the Sri Lankan political arena someday. “Women have been in politics for decades. But not all of them have come from a poltical background. A good example is Lady Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister also known as the ‘Iron Lady’.

Sri Lankan women are unique. We had the world’s first woman Prime Minister, Sirimavo Dias Bandaranaike and the world’s first Executive President Chandrika Bandarnaike Kumaratunge. They are role models for Sri Lankan women. I too am a Sri Lankan woman. I am not just a woman but I am a person who has taken Sri Lanka to the international arena and brought her glory. If I can do this I can also serve my country. Politics is serving your country and people. Hailing from Polonnaruwa, I am very attuned to the heartbeat of the rural folk and my international experiences have helped fashion me a cosmopolitan woman. I am also determined and can work hard. So, all this makes me suitable to enter the field of politics for which I have a passion.”

Pushpika is grateful to each and every one who has helped her including her parents Daniel (Jayaratne) de Silva, mother Irangani Lamer, brother Indika Roshan and sisters Roshini Menaka and Lakshika Ishani.