Fake Statements Go Viral, Ridiculing Opposition Leader Sajith!

False Political

දිනපතා සත්‍ය කරුණු දැන ගැනීමට අපගේ WhatsApp සමුහයටමෙතනින් එකතුවන්න.

As the much-anticipated presidential election is expected towards the end of the year, there has been a recent surge of misinformation campaigns, specifically targeting the opposition leader Sajith Premadasa. 

Social Media Posts  

Viral social media posts alleged that Sajith Premadasa, the leader of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and the opposition leader in Sri Lanka, pledged to install an underwater camera system in all public bathing ports in rivers, reservoirs, etc., to build a system to prevent people from drowning. 

Facebook | Archived

While many users responded satirically, these posts ridicule the opposition leader, stating that such action would lead to privacy issues for people using public bathing places.

Furthermore, some even shared these misleading posts, along with some of the old statements Sajith had made during previous election campaigns, trying to imply that this statement could have been actually said by the opposition leader as well.

Fact Check:

Mainstream Media Coverage: Our investigation using keyword searches did not find any reports or coverage by mainstream media outlets regarding Sajith Premadasa’s alleged pledge to install underwater cameras in public bathing locations.

Social Media Search: We searched various social media platforms, including Facebook and noticed that this claim had been shared in December 2023 as well. However, we couldn’t find any credible evidence, including any video supporting the claim. 

Reverse Image Search: Results indicated that the image was shared first during the 2019 presidential election campaign, as seen here and here. Even then, the image was not associated with such a purported statement on installing underwater cameras.

Statement from Opposition Leader’s Media Secretary: We contacted Sajith Premadasa’s media secretary, who confirmed that the claims are false and fabricated and that the opposition leader never made any such statement about installing underwater cameras in public bathing places.

Our investigation has revealed numerous false narratives and misleading content aimed at tarnishing the reputation of Sajith Premadasa, potentially influencing public opinion in the lead-up to the elections. 

A recurring trend of misinformation targeting the SJB leader is the recirculation of old misleading claims using edited news cards, which were used to target Sajith during previous presidential and parliamentary elections, as seen here.

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The viral claim suggesting that Sajith Premadasa pledged to install underwater cameras in public bathing ports to save lives is not supported by any credible evidence. Our fact-checking efforts found no mainstream media coverage or social media posts confirming such a statement. The media secretary of the opposition leader has also denied the authenticity of the claim. 

It is crucial for the public to be cautious and verify information before sharing it on social media to prevent the spread of misinformation.


Title:Fake claim attributed to Sajith on installing underwater camera systems in public bathing ports!

Written By: Kalana Krishantha 

Result: False

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