This photo shows a Sri Lankan minister being vaccinated for Covid-19, not a Sri Lankan shaman

  • This article is more than one year old.
  • Published on February 22, 2021 at 05:00
  • 2 min read
  • By AFP Sri Lanka
A photo has been shared in multiple Facebook posts alongside a claim it shows a Sri Lankan ayurvedic practitioner being vaccinated for Covid-19 after he touted a false herbal cure for the disease. The claim is false: the image actually shows a senior Sri Lankan minister being vaccinated for Covid-19.

The image was published on Facebook here on February 18, 2021.

The image shows two side-by-side photos: one shows Dhammika Bandara, an ayurvedic practitioner based in Sri Lanka who falsely claimed he created a cure for Covid-19 using honey. The second photo shows a man receiving an injection.

The Sinhala-language text superimposed on the image reads: "Owner of the syrup… My God! Isn't it Dhammika who is receiving the vaccine?"

Screenshot of the Facebook post captured on February 19, 2021

The Facebook post’s Sinhala-language translates as: “Oh Dhammika, have to feel sorry for the fools who supported you”. 

The image was also shared alongside a similar claim on Facebook here, here and here.

The claim, however, is false. 

A reverse image search on Google found the second photo in the misleading posts actually show C.B. Ratnayake, the first Sri Lankan minister to receive a Covid-19 vaccination in February 2021.

The photo was published by Hiru News here on February 10, 2021. The article is headlined: “Covid @ Parliament: First Minister Receives COVID Vaccine”.

Screenshot of the Hiru News article captured on February 19, 2021

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (L) and the Hiru News article (R):

Screenshot comparison between the photo in the misleading image (L) and the Hiru News article (R):

The office of C.B. Rathnayaka told AFP the photo shows him receiving a Covid-19 vaccination. 

“He received the vaccine on February 10, 2021 at the Army hospital,” a spokesperson told AFP by phone on February 19, 2021. 

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