The Very First Miss Sri Lanka New York Pageant | Angelia Gunasekara Crowned First Ever Miss Sri Lanka New York 2022

Miss Sri Lanka New York pageant Angelia Gunasekara crowned First Miss Sri Lanka New York held at The Vanderbilt in South Beach.

More than 300 participants came out to support 14 contestants who were stunned at the very first Miss Sri Lanka New York beauty pageant. Beyond serving as a celebration of culture, the event had a twofold mission; first, to support Sri Lanka in these difficult times.

“Toward the start, we thought about ways to help Sri Lanka. We are in a troublesome condition,” Miss Sri Lanka New York 2022 Committee member Chandra Muniweera said. The organizers said funds raised at the event will go to the National Cancer Hospital of Sri Lanka, which is currently struggling with equipment and medicine.

The judges included previous Miss Sri Lanka winners such as Sri Lankan film actress Sachini Ayendra and Uschi Perera. Alongside them was 2012 Miss Asia USA, Christine Kahn, Media Attorney Maryse Selit, and IT Manager at Estée Lauder, Imad Hyder.

Secondly, the pageant aims to help “young women realize their full potential and become role models for future generations, in line with core Sri Lankan values,” a statement from the pageant’s booklet reads. Thousands of Staten Islanders originally hail from or have roots in, the South Asian island nation of 22 million, and census data shows the borough is home to at least 30% of all Sri Lankans in the city.

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“We have the biggest Sri Lankan community here so we thought we should do something…Sri Lanka is not in a very good situation at the moment. So we were thinking, what should we do?” Miss Sri Lanka New York 2022 Committee member Sujani Fernando said. “We thought, we have to do something for the community and the girls here. To bring their talent, to bring some exposure for them. Meanwhile, collect something and send it back to Sri Lanka.”

There were multiple “mini pageants,” including the most photogenic contest, the best national costume segment, the talent competition, the personality pageant, and the congeniality contest. Most had been completed prior to the event, with the exception of the national costumes.

Of the 14 women that entered the pageant, a vast majority reside on Staten Island:

  • Sawandi Desilva, Staten Island
  • Mithma Dissanayake, Staten Island
  • Anuki Fernando, Staten Island
  • Chamika Goonewardene, Staten Island
  • Angelia Gunasekara, Queens
  • Nithuli Hewagama, Queens
  • Dilmi Kapuge, Staten Island
  • Daphne Karawita, Staten Island
  • Tharushi Kapuge, Staten Island
  • Dakshi Silva, Long Island
  • Amanda Vipul, Staten Island
  • Amaya Wanigarathne, Staten Island
  • Chaamy Yapa, Staten Island
  • Shalkey Fernando, Staten Island

The judges included previous Miss Sri Lanka winners such as Sri Lankan film actress Sachini Ayendra and Uschi Perera. Alongside them was 2012 Miss Asia USA, Christine Kahn, Media Attorney Maryse Selit, and IT Manager at Estée Lauder, Imad Hyder.

After the judges deliberated, the winners were revealed: Angelia Gunasekara of Queens has crowned the first-ever Miss Sri Lanka New York. The first runner-up was Amanda Vipul of Staten Island. The second runner-up was Amaya Wanigarathne, also of Staten Island.

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