Scenes of an over-crowded train on 15th June? (PHOTO) Find out the facts…

Misleading Social

Recent severe fuel & gas shortages have impacted many aspects of daily life of Sri Lankans, turning the economic downturn into a huge crisis. The transport sector can be considered as one of the main such aspects, influenced by the ongoing crisis. 

After a long weekend, many resumed work on  the morning of 15th June, public transport mediums, and especially trains were packed with passengers. On this backdrop we noticed an image getting viral as scenes captured from 15th June, however it proved to be an image from 2019.

Social Media Posts

To convince the public about the current inconveniences of train passengers, some social media users shared a viral image with this text inside the photo recently, on 15th June,2022 claiming that the image was “Not in India. In Sri Lanka today`s morning!” 

Some Facebook users had also questioned the authenticity of the image and as to whether the image was edited or not as evident by the below text.

“It’s not Bangladesh. It’s our own mother land. But I have my doubts about the guys on top of the compartments. It looks “fake”

Facebook | Archived

This is how the Facebook posts were spread among many Facebook users.

Similar posts were shared on Twitter.

Twitter | Archived

This is how the image was shared in WhatsApp.

Is this really the scenery a railway station in Sri Lanka on the morning of June 15, 2022? We decided to find out the facts behind this image.

Fact Check

We first did a Google Reverse Image Search and noticed that this was a photograph taken by Lahiru Harshana, a photojournalist of Vijaya Newspapers, near the Kelaniya Railway Station, three years ago, during a train strike in June 2019.

This is how the photo appeared on the Daily Mirror’s web page three years ago.

Daily Mirror | Archived

We also inquired more about this photo from the journalist Lahiru Harshana and he also confirmed that he remembers very well that these photographs were taken near the Kelaniya railway station in 2019.

However, due to the current fuel crisis, buses as well as trains are finding it hard to manage operations as usual and as a result has caused major havoc in the transport industry in Sri Lanka.

Speaking at a media briefing on June 15, 2022, General Manager of Railways Dhammika Jayasundara said that the number of trains targeting office crowds would be increased in coming days to reduce congestion faced currently and steps would be taken to add new trains in the future. You can read the full Daily Mirror report hereArchived.

Swarnavahini News at Night news broadcast showed scenes of the bus and train shortage on June 15, 2022, which had caused heavy inconvenience to passengers, as seen below. However, even here we noticed the viral image from 3 years ago had been used!

On June 15, we also saw photos and videos posted on social media showing the trains filling up with passengers and passengers, who were travelling uncomfortably. Such incidents can be seen from here and here .

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Our findings confirm that a 3-year-old photograph taken at the Kelaniya Railway Station showing passengers suffering in an overcrowding train as a result of a railway trade union action in June 2019 is currently being circulated on social media as a recent photograph connected with ongoing fuel crisis. 

However, due to the shortage of fuel these days, train and bus services have been restricted and as a result passengers have been severely affected and there are reports of overcrowding from many areas of Sri Lanka.


Title:Scenes of an over-crowded train on 15th June? (PHOTO) Find out the facts…

Fact Check By: Kalana Krishantha 

Result: Misleading

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