Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has issued a press release to clarify a statement allegedly done by him via a forged document purporting to be a media release.
The forged media release had stated that the former President has officially selected the former Defense Secretary to be the next Presidential Candidate in 2020.
The complete statement of the media release is as follows:
Alert regarding false Media Release
It has come to our notice that a forged document purporting to be a media release issued by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been circulated in the social media yesterday, ie., the 17th July 2018. This forged media release purports to announce that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has officially selected Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to be the presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna.
We wish to inform the public that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has not yet named the next presidential candidate of the SLPP. This forged media release has been planted in the social media after the former President left for Singapore. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa wishes to state that when he names the next presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and the Joint Opposition, it will not be through a media release but will be done personally by him at a public gathering.
The forged media release issued only in Sinhala was titled “2020 Janadhipathiwaranya”. However, there is no presidential election in 2020. The next presidential election is due in 2019. According to our Constitution, the next presidential poll should be held by the 9th December 2019 the latest. It was in fact through a media release issued by former President Mahinda Rakapaksa some time ago, that the public was informed of this timeframe for the first time.
Media Secretary to Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa