Royal College issued an O/L certificate for Sajith Premadasa in 1984

Education Political

Since UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premasada started emerging as a possible presidential candidate, over a month ago, questions were being raised over the validity of his educational qualifications. More specifically number of posts had been shared on social media questioning his basic educational qualification at the local Ordinary Level (O/L) examinations. Even after Sajith Premadasa being declared as the presidential candidate from the UNP-led Democratic National Front (DNF)these claims have continued.

සජිත් අපේ ජනපති” (which translated to “Sajith Our President”) Facebook page was one of the first instances this post was seen, in which a copy of the Ordinary Level examination result sheet was shown claiming to be of Sajith Premadasa, issued from Royal College. 

Facebook LinkArchived Link

Similar Facebook posts have been shared since then from various groups claiming that the above image is in fact a copy of the Ordinary Level certificate of Sajith Premadasa, and given below is one such post, which has used the same format, however with a different result, failure in all the subjects!

Facebook LinkArchived Link

Another version of this Ordinary Level certificate had been shared back in July 2019 as shown below. In this post, Facebook user, Susi Perera claims that “This is the O/L results sheet of Hon. Minister Sajith Premadasa”

Facebook LinkArchived Link

Fact Check (සත් තොරතුරු විමර්ශනය කිරීම

To verify these claims we first contacted Royal College about the authenticity of these certificates and we were informed that such a certificate had not been issued from the school. 

Furthermore, we found out from the official Sajith Premadasa website that “he sat for his ordinary (O/L) and advance level (A/L) examination at Mill Hill School, London” 

Sajithpremasada.lk about sectionArchived Link

Also, we contacted the Department of Examinations of such a certificate and found that it did not exist for the year 1983. Further, we were told that as per the normal practice, results for the 1983 December G.C.E.(O/L) exams could not have been issued on January 1984.

Further, we checked if the principal name listed in the certificate was actually serving during that time at the Royal College, and found that Mr.  C.T.M. Fernando, had in fact been appointed as Royal College principal as listed on the college website. However, an entry which states Mr. C.T.M Fernando commenced work in 1981 and departed office in 1980 appears to be incorrect, hence we informed website officials to make the necessary corrections.

royalcollege.lk past principal detailsArchived Linkroyal.sch.lk  past principal details

In order to verify the second form of results certificate, we again contacted the Department of Education and were told that such a result sheet did not exist. Further, from a Google Reverse Image search, we were able to find a similar certificate copy posted back in 2015.

Immigration forum containing similar O/L certificate copyBlogspot link of the certificate Archived Link

Even we found observations made by a twitter user about the authenticity of this certificate as below.

Twitter LinkArchived Link

Also, from various sources, we confirmed the date of birth of Democratic National Front (DNF) presidential candidate, Sajith Premadasa, to be in 1967 (below is a snapshot from parliament.lk)

Parliament.lk on SajthManthri.lk on SajithWikipedia on Sajith

Hence in 1974, the year in which the results sheet claims he appeared for the exams, Sajith Premadasa would have been a Grade 2 student (age 7) and the O/L exam is normally attended by students of Grade 11(age 16)

Wikipedia on G C E (O/L) examArchived Link

A post was shared on Facebook, claiming that fake certificate posts are a part of petty mud campaign against Sajith Premadasa, and mentioning in a sarcastic way that it’s not surprising to have this result for a kid who did O/L exam at the age of seven.

Facebook LinkArchived Link

Conclusion:

From our investigation, it is evident the claim that “Royal College issued an O/L certificate for Sajith Premadasa in 1984” is totally false and even various other forms of the local O/L results being shared are totally baseless. 

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Title:Royal College issued an O/L certificate for Sajith Premadasa in 1984

Fact Check By: Sathyajith Subasinghe 

Result: False


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