FACT CHECK: Thousands of Indians flocked to Delhi airport to welcome Yohani? Find out the Truth…

False Social

Yohani De Silva, a Sri Lankan young artist who has become world famous within very short period with her cover for the song, “Manike Mage Hithe”. Her popularity was specialy soaring among Indian audiences and Yohani was recently invited to attend few musical shows in India. 

Number of social media posts started circulating in Sri Lanka claiming that huge thousands of people gathered to Delhi International Airport to welcome Yohani. There were even posts of Indian celebrities meeting her and making large monetary gifts as well. Let’s find out if any of these were valid claims!  

Social Media Posts

A Facebook user posted about Yohani’s Indian tour claiming that over 450,000 crowd were seen at the Delhi airport alongside an image of a large gathering. The full text is as seen below.

“More than 450,000 people have thronged Delhi airport to welcome Yohani yesterday….29th …On arrival she received cash gifts amounting upto USD 500,000 even before she hit the stage today.She was welcomed by India`s billionaire film stars and business tycoons.Already the song is topping charts of Europe and has just entered USA.In India ,this week it was the number one song.Her maiden live performance is tonight at New Delhi.”

Facebook | Archived

Here are few more posts with the same claim which went viral among social media users in Sri Lanka.

Claims about the gifts Yohani received while landing in India were focused on the film star Amitabh Bachchan, as one of his social media posts on Yohani’s hit song, was instrumental in getting widespread publicity among Indian fans.   

These claims were mainly shared in the form of YouTube videos and as seen in the thumbnail images, it showed several images of Bollywood superstar with Yohani and in one image was presented as if Amitabh was gifting Yohani a cheque.

Facebook | Archived

As many Sri Lankan social media users were interested in Yohani’s Indian tour, many had inquired am bout the authenticity of these posts.

Fact Check

First, we checked whether the main stream Indian media had reported about the large gathering to welcome Yohani at the Delhi International Airport. However, we were not able to find such reports from Indian media. Our Factcrescendo Indian team also confirmed that there were no major news published on her arrival at the Delhi airport.

Then, we checked how Sri Lankan media reports had reported this incident. There, we were able to find, how the viral image had originated, as Lankadeepa newspaper had posted an image claiming that lakhs of Indians throbbed to Delhi airport to welcome Yohani as seen below.

Archived Link

However, after hours of realizing their mistake, Lankadeepa newspaper had apologized to its readers, and had removed the image and corresponding news article, by then the image had gone viral among social media users.

We did a Google reverse image search to find the origins of this image which showed that this was not an image related to Delhi airport. In fact the image depicted scenes of chaos at Narita International Airport, Japan in 2019. The commotion was due to the cancellation of lot of flights due to extreme weather caused by Typhoon Faxai as reported below.

Japan forward | Archived Link

The photo comparison of the viral image on social media space in Sri Lanka and the above Japanese article from 2019 also confirmed it was the same incident.

We did not find any media reports about Amithab Bachchan gifting a thumping cheque to Yohani on any of Indian media reports either. Therefore we analyzed the imaged which were used for that particular claim. The results clarified that these were altered images as seen below.

D:\AAA -Fact Checking\Completed\AAA-Publish\English\2021\1001 Yohani English\srilanka.factcrescendo.com.png

First image was edited using an image taken from Yohani’s Instagram account from 2019, when she had posed with Dushyanth Weeraman. Second was at an event 5 years ago when Bollywood superstar Amitabh was spreading awareness about the tuberculosis disease as reported here. And the final image was edited by replacing face Farah Khan, as evident from this original image

Sinhala version of this fact check can be reached from here

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Conclusion: 

According to our investigation, it is evident that a huge crowd did not flock to Delhi International Airport to welcome Yohani as claimed by social media users. The image used for these misleading claims depicted scenes of chaos at Narita International Airport, Japan, due to extreme weather conditions back in 2019. In a similar manner series of images with Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan had been altered to create an impression that he had met Yohani.

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Title:Thousands of Indians flocked to Delhi airport to welcome Yohani?

Fact Check By: Kalana Krishantha 

Result: False

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