Last Updated : 2020-05-25 17:18:00
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Mon, 25 May 2020 Today's Paper
21 May 2020
Former Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne made the overall claim that the number of people reported as having Covid-19 in Sri Lanka is a significant underestimate due to three reasons.
This FactCheck evaluates the former minister’s overall claim by evaluating the specific reasons and facts provided in support of the overall claim.
14 May 2020
Former MP Udaya Gammanpila made this statement as part of a series of tweets with reference to the ability to prosecute former President Maithripala Sirisena for any alleged crime in relation to the Easter Sunday attacks.
07 May 2020
In his statement former Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa claimed that—based on the reduction in global fuel prices—domestic
30 Apr 2020
FactCheck evaluated the MP’s claim using data from the Annual Report 2018 and the Weekly Economic Indicators published by the CBSL. At the time the MP made the statement, data for 2019 was only available for the first nine months (see Exhibit 1).
03 Apr 2020
In comparing Sri Lanka’s trajectory with that of Italy, the GMOA makes reference to the first ‘local’ case detected. This is a standard distinction made in counting cases, where those that contracted the virus outside the country and brough
19 Mar 2020
To check this claim, we evaluated the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution 30/1 and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
12 Mar 2020
MP Kiriella argues that the estimated loss of LKR 10 billion arising from irregular bond transactions post-January 2015 should not be considered a loss. His argument is based on over LKR 12 billion of counter-party assets being frozen in response to investigations. He contrasts this with the losses estimated for the 2002-2014 period where there is no asset freeze to support the recovery of losses.
05 Mar 2020
To assess this claim FactCheck consulted Report 1 (of the 5 reports) from the forensic audit at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. It investigates the issuance of treasury bonds from January 2002 to 28 February 201
27 Feb 2020
President misinformed on disabilityTo evaluate the president’s statement on Twitter made after the opening of the Ayati Centre, FactCheck consulted the most recent Population and Housing Census (PHC) compiled in 2011 by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCAS). The PHC uses a commonly understood definition of disability as mental or physical impairments that cause daily difficulty in at least one of six areas. The PHC finds the prevalence t
06 Feb 2020
The MP in his statement is attempting to quantify the net loss, through the state-owned airlines, which then translates into additional national debt.
30 Jan 2020
MP Udaya Gammanpila claims that treating the national anthem as existing in any language other than Sinhala is a violation of the constitution because Article 7 of the constitution gives the national anthem as “Sri Lanka Maatha” in Sinhala.
To check this claim, FactCheck consulted the constitution. The officially published versions of the constitution contain the name and words of the national anthem in two languages—Sinhala and Tamil. In Sinhala
24 Jan 2020
MP Sajith Premadasa makes three claims: (1) representation of women in the current parliament is 5.8%; (2) the number of women in parliament has been low over time; and (3) the 2015- 2019 government increased representation of women in local authorities to the level of 25%.
16 Jan 2020
Minister Keheliya Rambukwella’s figures present a fourfold increase in GDP during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidency. The minister is correct in the figures he cites. However, this fact check will go on to explain why stating GDP in USD instead of LKR could be misleading.
FactCheck evaluated the claim using data from the Special Statistical Appendix of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Annual Report 2018 and National Accounts Estimates of the Depa
09 Jan 2020
To check this claim, FactCheck consulted the Urban Transport System Development Project for Colombo Metropolitan Region and Suburbs (CoMTrans) report published in 2014 which is publicly available on the Ministry of Transport website. The survey data used in this report is limited to the
CoMTrans reports the share of trips (not distance) that each mode of transport accounts for in the Western province. If the MP is referring to
19 Dec 2019
FactCheck assessed the MP’s claim using the latest data from the Grave Crimes Abstract (GCA) from the Sri Lanka Police and the Prison Statistics of Sri Lanka report 2019.
Exhibit 1 shows that the numbers provided by the MP are mostly correct, barring some small deviations. The numbers compared are misleading, however, because he was claiming an improvement during the 2015-2018 period; but using two of the three reference points from 2012, instea
12 Dec 2019
To check this claim, first we consulted the University Grants Commission (UGC) 2018 statistics on undergraduate enrolment in universities and higher educational institutions. This provides statistics only for institutions established under the Universities Act. No. 16 of 1978. There are a number of institutions, both government and private, that don’t fall within this Act.
28 Nov 2019
In the above statement, MP Gammanpila makes two claims: that (i) the Muslim (Sri Lankan Moor) population will exceed 12% of the total population in the next 10 years (i.e. by 2029); and (ii) the Sinhala population is declining and is under threat of extinction by the rapid growth of the Muslim population.
The MP’s claim is based on the growth of the
14 Nov 2019
The claim cited from last week has been often repeated by MP Wimal Weerawansa, including in parliament on July 31st, where he implies that the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the United States has proposed an economic corridor in Sri Lanka from Colombo to Trincomalee.
07 Nov 2019
To assess this claim, we used data from the Grave Crimes Abstract (GCA) from the Sri Lanka Police. Since the MP specified “girls”, we considered reported cases of rape of women under 16, which is classified as statutory rape.
GCA data records the number of statutory rape cases reported from 2015 to 2018 in a range from 1,438 to 1,686 per annum. The average reported cases of statutory rape during this period was 1,556. The MP’s claim of 1,600 ali
31 Oct 2019
In his statement, SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa claims that the Mahinda Rajapaksa government released 90% of military occupied land, after the end of the war.
To verify this claim, we consulted data published by the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM), as well as consulting the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to confirm the numbers provided.
17 Oct 2019
In the above statement, State Minister of Transport & Civil Aviation provides statistics to claim that there has been a large increase in the present government’s budget commitment to free healthcare, and that it is as a significant proportion of state revenue.
10 Oct 2019
Minister Bathiudeen claims creditable export performance by citing USD 1.3 billion in export revenue from three sub-sectors. We checked this claim using data available from the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB). Even though export statistics are available for up to 2018, the latest data available for all of the three sub-sectors quoted by the minister is for 2016 — for later years there is no revenue data available for “printing and packag
03 Oct 2019
Minister of Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs Sajith Premadasa’s statement suggests that the gap in income share between the richest and poorest quintiles in the country is 50% of total household income.
26 Sep 2019
In the above statement the MP claims that by passing the Active Liability Management Act the government can:
01.Obtain foreign loans without any annual limit.
02.Borrow any amount outside [the provisions of] the budget.
21 Sep 2019
On 11 July 2019, Mawbima reported MP Rajapaksa making the above statement which claims with specific numbers that starting with 560,000 candidates sitting the G.C.E. (O.L) exam, only 28,000 (that is about 5%) succeed in gaining
12 Sep 2019
We consulted two sources to verify this claim. (1) The Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM), and (2) Sixth periodic report submitted by Sri Lanka to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
05 Sep 2019
In the above statement, the prime minister is making a negative attribution to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidency by citing a fall in export share of GDP by 12 percentage points, from 30% to 18%.
22 Aug 2019
On 19 June 2019, the Daily FT newspaper quoted the state minister of finance making the above statement in Parliament.
Since the statement does not specify a time period for this claim, FactCheck evaluated it for each year since the change in government in January 2015.
The claim can be assessed b
01 Aug 2019
FactCheck investigated the MP’s claim in three ways: through (1) information in the public domain; (2) directly requesting MP Jayakody for his source of information; and (3) publicly inviting verification of this claim on
25 Jul 2019
On 4 June 2019, Divaina reported President Maithripala Sirisena making the following claim: The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) incur losses in the tens of millions [of rupees] per day.
25 May 2020