Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 15th July 2022 sent his resignation letter by email from Singapore, the Parliamentary Speaker’s office said, deferring an official announcement to Friday in order to verify the “authenticity and legality” of the document.
A resignation letter claiming to be President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official resignation letter was widely shared on social media. Letter claimed Gotabaya is defending his failures amid lack of foreign reserves, COVID-19 & tourism sector.
(Screenshot from Twitter post)
(Screenshot from Facebook post)
President of Sri Lanka
Resignation from the office of President
Following the events of July 9, I have decided to resign from the presidency as promised to you, following the voice of the people. Sworn in front of you as President by a mandate of 69 lakh people, I have always worked to improve the safety, health and quality of life of every Sri Lankan citizen. Whatever you may believe, I go to bed as an unfortunate person who tried to do good for you according to my conscience.
The tourism business, which was destroyed by the Easter attack, was completely paralyzed with the arrival of the Corona epidemic, and due to this, the money sent by foreign workers was also very limited. That is the main reason for the current dollar crisis in Sri Lanka. That is why you are in the oil queue today. I am heartbroken that you have introduced me as the culprit of all these issues after serving as the president for two years in an economy that collapsed due to 70 years of short-sighted political policies.
I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you due to the unexpected failure of decisions taken in your best interests such as organic farming,
I request you to give your support to the next President who will be appointed by the Parliament according to the Constitution of Sri Lanka. I request you all to refrain from acts of violence and respect the law.
Blessings to you all!
On 13th July 2022
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Speakers office asserts NO Resignation letter addressed to the Speaker signed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been received thus far. Says unaware of the authenticity of this letter circulating on social media – Speakers office #SriLankaCrisis pic.twitter.com/WAO8ekobST— Skandha Gunasekara🇱🇰 (@Skandha92) July 14, 2022
In order to verify the claim, we searched for keywords “Gotabaya Resignation Letter” on google search engine and found various articles denying the circulated claim. According to reports, the President Secretariat had denied the authenticity of the shared letter.
(Screenshot from News Wire website)
(English translation of the official notification)
As per reports President Gotabaya Rajapaksa landed in Singapore on 14th July 2022 and it was reported that he had sent the letter of vacating the office, to the speaker, through the Singapore Embassy in Sri Lanka. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena confirmed and stated that the official announcement would be made on 15th July 2022.
Our fact-check confirmed that that letter making rounds on social media as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation letter was not official and is fake. The Speaker’s spokesman as well as the President Media Unit had clarified these letters to be false.
ABCDE Framework-Based Analysis
|Actor||Independent social media accounts are involved in spreading disinformation.|
|Behavior||False resignation letter of Sri Lanka’s president is circulating on social media.|
|Content||Social Media posts.|
|Degree||The content is being spread to misinform people, the target audience of the news was Sri Lankans specifically, but the letter was shared in other countries too. However, no synthetic means were used to make the post viral. The misinformation was spread on Twitter mainly followed by Facebook.|
|Effect||The fake resignation letter is shared to mislead masses.|