This photo shows a Sri Lankan minister being vaccinated for Covid-19, not a Sri Lankan shaman
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?"
The Facebook post’s Sinhala-language translates as: “Oh Dhammika, have to feel sorry for the fools who supported you”.
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”.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (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.