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Police probing fake statement offering relief payments for Lankans overseas

A view of Colombo showing the Presidential Secretariat, Treasury and the Twin Towers/Amitha Thennekoon economynext

ECONOMYNEXT – A CID investigation has begun into a fake press release written on a Presidential Secretariat letterhead offering allowances and handouts to Sri Lankans overseas who are facing financial difficulties due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Director-General of Media in the Presidential Secretariat Mohan Samaranayake told EconomyNext that the letter was a fake, and no person of the name who is purported to have signed the release works in the Secretariat.

“We have lodged a complaint with the CID and the investigation into this press release has already begun,” Samaranayake said.

He said that the President’s Media Division has already posted material debunking this release on its Social Media pages.

The fake Press Statement says that the government has decided to offer relief to Sri Lankans overseas facing difficulties due to the COVID 19 pandemic in the form of a monthly salary.

“Sri Lankans overseas, Sri Lankans who have returned to the country and have obtained a quarantine certificate, as well as migrant workers, are eligible to apply,” the document circulated on Social Media said.

It added that the payment would be equal to their last salaries and would be given for three months.

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It gave a phone number to call to get further information. (Colombo, May 12, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana