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Sumanthiran files complaint over ‘fake news’ in Sri Lankan newspapers

Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian M A Sumanthiran has instructed his lawyers to request a criminal investigation into three Sri Lankan newspapers, who have published articles stating that he called for voters to back Sajith Premadasa in next week’s presidential polls “in order to defeat the Sinhalese people”, even after the news was found to be false.

A letter from his Colombo-based lawyers called for “a criminal investigation” and the reports in the Sri Lankan newspapers “blatant falsehoods”.

The Ceylon Today ran a piece this morning with the headline “Sinhalese can be defeated: Only by voting for Sajith - Sumanthiran”, with reported quotes from a rally that the Tamil politician held in Mullaitivu.

Sri Lanka’s ‘Ethics Eye’ run by Verite Research, tweeted that the articles were “false headings, false content”.

Sumanthiran himself came out and denied the comments, tweeting,

"Blatant false reporting by Mawbima and Ceylon Today after I had clearly denied and after @EthicsEye confirmed that this was false as reported initially by @derana Aruna."

The uproar over his comments comes after Sumanthiran and his party announced they would be backing Premadasa over Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the polls.

The decision drew ire from many Tamils, including mothers of the disappeared who protested outside the Vavuniya ITAK office last week.