Lack of clarity on Purported Survey Findings of Presidential Candidate Preferences!

Missing Context Political

දිනපතා සත්‍ය කරුණු දැන ගැනීමට අපගේ WhatsApp සමුහයටමෙතනින් එකතුවන්න.

As per the constitution of Sri Lanka, the presidential election is scheduled before the end of 2024. Against this backdrop, a surge of misleading information had emerged from both social media and mainstream outlets. Our investigation aims to shed light on viral claims regarding purported survey results related to presidential election candidate preferences.

Social Media and Mainstream Media Reports 

Sinhala newspaper Mawbima (23/01/2024) published a report stating that according to an online survey conducted by the organisation “Research Lanka” for a 24-hour time period, 46.5% of respondents prefer Anura Kumara Dissanayake, leader of the National People’s Power (NPP), as the next President of Sri Lanka. The report also claims that 79.5% of respondents prefer a presidential election before a general election, and 81.9% prefer a production-based economy. 

However, the methodology, what were the questions asked, how the respondents were selected, and any other details about the survey were not mentioned, as seen in the below newspaper report.

We detected social media users also shared screenshots of this news.

Facebook| Archived 

We decided to do a fact-check on this. 

Fact Check:

Existence of “Research Lanka”: Our investigation found no evidence of a reputable research organisation named “Research Lanka” in Sri Lanka. However, there is a known organisation named “Survey Research Lanka (SRL),” and the CEO, Mihirani Dissanayake, has confirmed that they did not conduct any such research about 2024 presidential election preferences like this.

Alternative Reports: Several media reports mentioned similar percentages for preferences regarding the sequence of elections and the type of economy (79.5% for a presidential election first and 81.9% for a production-based economy). However, these reports did not mention results for specific preferences of presidential candidates. Notably, these reports consistently referred to a research organisation called “Lanka Research”. Such media reports can be reached from here, here. Archived & Archived 

We have contacted some of the mainstream media organisations who have published these articles to get more information about “Lanka Research” and the methodology of conducting the said research, and we plan to update the article with such details.

Verification of “Lanka Research”: Despite multiple media reports citing “Lanka Research,” our investigation could not find any prominent research organisation with that name. There are no active websites or social media channels associated with “Lanka Research,” and no company is registered under that specific name either.

We inquired few known research organizations in Sri Lanka, and they were also unaware of a research company known as “Lanka Research”

Also Read: A Purported Election Result Prediction, Falsely Attributed to Verité Research!

The proliferation of misleading and unsubstantiated content poses a significant challenge to the integrity of the electoral process, and our efforts seek to promote a more informed and transparent discourse leading up to the crucial elections.

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The news article from Mawbima newspaper lacks proper context and verification. The claimed “Research Lanka / Lanka Research” does not appear to exist as a research organization in Sri Lanka, and the information provided in the survey, including candidate preferences, lacks credible sources. The absence of a well-known organisation named “Lanka Research” raises further doubts about the reliability of the information. Therefore, the news should be treated with skepticism until verified by credible sources.


Title:Lack of clarity on Purported survey findings of presidential candidate preferences

Written By: Fact Crescendo Team 

Result: Missing Context

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