Colombo, November 15 (Ada Derana): The Embassy of the United States in Colombo says the widely circulated dubbed video statement of the US State Department’s spokeswoman regarding the citizenship of SLPP’s presidential hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa is fake.
The spokeswoman of the US Embassy, Nancy VanHorn told Ada Derana that this video, which is currently being circulated in social media, is manipulated and distorted.
A dubbed video which allegedly contains a statement from the spokesperson of the US State Department was released to the social media today (15). VanHorn said the original statement was issued by the US State Department’s spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus on the 9th of July during a media briefing. This statement was fraudulently dubbed and released to social media platforms.
Drastic differences between the colours of the original video and the fake could be noticed.
In the meantime, Ada Derana contacted the US Department of Justice regarding an alleged press release on Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s citizenship, it was revealed that this statement is also manipulated.
This release is claimed to be issued by the US Department of Justice on the 11th of November. However, the Department pointed out that November 11th is a public holiday in the United States, hence the reason as to why such a letter could not have been issued by them.
Sign on Desperation
The fake video and press release were part of a last ditch effort of the Sajith Premadasa camp to put seeds of doubt about the eligibility of his rival Gotabaya Rajapaksa to contest the Presidential election which is to be held on Sunday November 16.
The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Spokesman, Keheliya Rambukwela, said that the last ditch fake new barrage is due to desperation based on ground level indications that the Gotabaya has greater support.
He reiterated that the fact that SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa had renounced his US citizenship was accepted by the Elections Commissioner. Even those civil society activists who challenged his eligibility to contest in the Court of Appeal had raised only the issue of the manner in which he secured Sri Lankan citizenship. The court had quashed that case.
The expectation in the SLPP camp is that Gotabaya will score high among the Sinhala majority which accounts for more than 70% of the population. Through this, he is expected to make up for lack of support among the minority Tamils and Muslims. However, a section of the minorities could support Gotabaya as his economic agenda and economic focus have acquired some traction in recent years.