FACT CHECK: Did India’s Foreign Minister Offer To Make Sri Lanka ‘A State Of India’?
An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a tweet from Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar offering to make Sri Lanka a part of India.
The screen grab is digitally fabricated. The High Commission of India confirmed in a tweet that Jaishankar did not make such a statement.
Sri Lanka is currently in the midst of an economic crisis caused by a large drop in reserves, according to Reuters. The World Bank has approved $600 million in financial assistance to aid the country’s economic recovery, the outlet reported.
The Facebook image claims to show a screen grab of a tweet from Jaishankar offering to help Sri Lanka by giving it the chance to become a part of India.
“If the people of Sri Lanka are agreeable, India is willing to proclaim that Sri Lanka becomes a State of India,” the purported tweet reads. “As a result, India will be able to solve the gas, fuel, milk food, fertilizer and many other essential goods problems that the country is facing.” The tweet also promised the country would “look after all the future issues” of the country, calling the offer a “hand of survival.”
The tweet is digitally fabricated. No such post can be found on Jaishankar’s Twitter account, or archived versions of it. There are also no credible news reports about the minister, or India, making such an offer. (RELATED: Did Indian Politician Rahul Gandhi Say That Pakistan Can Be ‘bought’ For Less Than $1 Billion?)
The High Commission of India in Colombo, Sri Lanka recently addressed the alleged statement in a tweet from its verified account.
We have seen a morphed image purported to be from the twitter handle of External Affairs Minister @DrSJaishankar. This is completely fake and fabricated. We strongly deny its malicious contents. Such mischievous attempts by desperate parties will never succeed in affecting (1/2)
— India in Sri Lanka (@IndiainSL) April 20, 2022
“This is completely fake and fabricated,” the tweet reads in part. “Such mischievous attempts by desperate parties will never succeed in affecting the close, friendly and age-old ties between #India and #SriLanka.”