A video showing a meeting that included former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is being shared online with misleading context that purports to show Singh was treated shabbily in the presence of former Congress (Indian National Congress) President Sonia Gandhi.
However, a fact-check revealed that the video was shot in April 2017 when Manmohan Singh was no longer the prime minister of India and the meeting between the Sri Lankan PM and Gandhi was in her capacity as Congress president.
The now viral clip shows Manmohan Singh walking behind Sonia Gandhi into a room following which Wickremsinghe first greets and introduces her to the rest of his delegation. The Sri Lankan prime minister then greets the former Indian prime minister.
The clip also shows Sonia Gandhi seated next to Ranil Wickremmsinghe while two security guards help Manmohan Singh into a nearby chair.
The clip has gone viral along with text in Hindi which says, “Those of you who had a misconception that Manmohan Singh was the prime minister, watch this video four or five times with eyes wide open. There doubts will be cleared.”
While the video is authentic, the message accompanying it is misleading since the video was shot when Manmohan Singh was no longer the prime minister.
The video was shot on April 25, 2017 during the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s five-day visit to India.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met former PM Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi in Delhi pic.twitter.com/N5x7OzEeku— ANI (@ANI) April 26, 2017
It is also worthy to note that this is not the first time Wickremsinghe met Sonia Gandhi while visiting India. Sample a tweet from his verified handle in 2016.
While it was current Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was also in power in 2017; the message accompanying the video claims Manmohan Singh was the prime minister when the video was shot.
But in a voice over heard in a longer version of the video, Manmohan Singh is referred to as former prime minister.
Below is the original video from which a portion has been clipped and has gone viral.
Despite the fact that the video clearly mentions that Sonia Gandhi met Ranil Wickremesinghe in the capacity of president of the opposition party while Manmohan Singh as the former PM, the video has been shared for over 1.6 lakh times in an earlier post on Facebook.
Posted on the Facebook page ‘Modinama‘ on June 18, 2018 and has been shared over 1.6 lakh times.
The same clip was again shared from the Facebook account of one Malkit Singh on January 1 this year.
A screenshot from the same viral video was also posted as a query by Quora readers – Is the picture of Manmohan Singh with the Sri Lankan president authentic?
The Asian Age had also mentioned the meeting between the three, in its story on the Sri Lanka PM’s visit in 2017.
The news of Wickremesinghe’s India visit was also carried by Sri Lankan news portal Newsfirst.lk on April 26, 2017 with a similar video of Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Correction: A previous version of the story referred to Sonia Gandhi as Leader of the Opposition. The error is regretted.
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Sumit is a fact checker and the News Editor of Boom's Hindi wing. In the six years of his journalistic career, he has worked with the New Indian Express, Times of India and Deccan Chronicle. The dynamic nature of digital media finally made him take the leap from print to online, and don the hat of a digital detective.
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