A social media post claiming that Yohani de Silva, a SriLankan singer who rose to fame with the song ‘Manike Mage Hithe’ has been appointed as the cultural ambassador between Sri Lanka and India is being shared widely. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Yohani de Silve, SriLankan singer has been appointed as the cultural ambassador between Sri Lanka and India.
Fact: SriLankan singer, Yohani de Silva is not appointed as the cultural ambassador between Indian and Sri Lanka. Indian High Commission in Colombo’s congratulatory message praising Yohani as cultural ambassador is misconstrued as if she is officially appointed as one. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
Indian High Commission in Colombo’s official Facebook page posted a congratulatory message on 18 September 2021 praising Yohani de Silva, Sri Lankan singer who rose to fame in India with the song ‘Manike Mage Hithe’ as she is celebrated by the Indian TV networks.
The congratulatory message reads “A proud moment as the newest cultural Ambassador Yohani is feted by national TV networks in India. And why not? With >110 million YouTube views, her #manikemagehithe has captured millions of Indian hearts from celebrities to common people. True spontaneity and depth of thousands-year old India-Sri Lanka relations at its best!”.
However, the phrase ‘newest cultural Ambassador’ is misconstrued by netizens as she is officially appointed as the cultural ambassador, which is not the case. As of today, there is no information regarding her appointment on the High Commission of India website or on the website of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Further, Yohani shared few pictures of her on social media stating ‘Dr. Rewant Vikram Singh Director, Indian Cultural Centre (now called Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre), High Commission of India, hosted us today in his office.’ But nowhere she mentioned that she was appointed as a cultural ambassador.
AFP, a fact-checking agency was told by the Indian High Commission in their correspondence that Yohani was not appointed as a cultural ambassador.
To sum it up, Sri Lankan singer Yohani de Silva has not been appointed as a cultural ambassador.