A video showing a group of men surrounded by a large crowd and being stripped off their clothes is being shared on social media with the captions falsely claiming that protesters in Sri Lanka have stripped the country's ministers in full public view.
BOOM found that the claim is false, and the men seen in the video are prison inmates who were detained by protestors. As per news reports, the men had been accused of attacking protesters at the behest of the government.
A caption shared with the video reads 'All these naked people are ministers of Sri Lanka. The Pakistani government has banned all news from Sri Lanka so that the people do not suffer the same fate'.
Click here to view an archive of the above tweet.
The video is also being shared on Facebook with the same claim.
BOOM looked through the replies and found a user sharing the same video. The caption shared by this user, however, provided a different context - that the men being stripped and surrounded by the crowd are prison inmates who were allegedly transported by the government to attack protestors.
#SriLanka #GoHomeGota— sunanda deshapriya (@sunandadesh) May 9, 2022
Video evidence has surfaced to prove that Mahinda Rajapaksa has bought prisoners to attack peaceful protestors on 090522.
These are prisoners from open prison cam at Watarka and they have been transported by Jailer Rathnayake pic.twitter.com/F5ksWrwxzv
We reached out to Dinidu De Alwis, a Colombo-based activist, who confirmed to us that the men seen in the video are in fact prison inmates, and not ministers.
"This video is from last Monday. It shows several prisoners who had been transported to Colombo from a work camp to attack the protestors at Galle Face," he told BOOM.
"The guy who speaks to the camera says that they are inmates from Watareka prison who for two years have been part of a rehab programme. He then goes on to say that a jailor called Ramanayake is the one who brought them today," he added.
We also looked for credible media reports using keywords in Sinhala, and found a video report uploaded by verified account of Hiru News on YouTube.
The video contained segments from the viral clip where the men can be seen being surrounded by the group.
Sri Lanka's jail authorities have reportedly launched an investigation to probe the matter of prison inmates being used to attack protestors.
BOOM could not independently verify the reason behind the attack on the men. However, we were able to confirm that the people seen in the viral video are prison inmates and not Sri Lankan ministers as viral posts claim.
Updated On: 2022-05-16T11:20:13+05:30
Claim : Video shows Sri Lankan ministers being stripped by the protestors.
Claimed By : Twitter, Facebook
Fact Check : False