No, these political leaders and diplomats have not yet been arrested

By | July 12, 2022

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said he will resign following demonstrations by protesters demanding that he step down.

Some social media users who appear to believe in QAnon’s conspiracy theory point to this transfer of power as evidence of the long-awaited arrest.

“Resigned or Ar_rested?” says the caption of a Facebook post on July 11. The post lists several people in addition to Rajapaksa: “Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe,” “Liberal Reform Party of Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas,” ” Ukraine’s Ambassador (sic) to Germany Andri Melnyk, “(sic)” Ukraine’s Dmbaassador (sic) to Hungary Liubov Nepop, “” Ukraine’s Ambassador to Norway Viacheslav Yatsiuk, “and” Ukraine’s Ambassador to Czech Republic Yevhen Perebyinis. “

It includes a picture of a hand holding a hammer with the letter Q and the words “Justice is coming.”

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s effort to combat false news and misinformation in its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership on Facebook.)

There has been speculation that the Sri Lankan president is trying to flee the country to avoid detention, but we have found no evidence that he and the other people mentioned in the post have been arrested.

The Sri Lankan prime minister’s office said Rajapaksa had said he would resign on July 13, the BBC reported, even though the president had not yet formally done so. Protesters stormed his official residence and that of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and said they would not leave until the men relinquished power. Wickremesinghe also said he would step down but the New York Times reported on July 10 that he and the president were in hiding.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas announced on July 8 that his liberal Reform Party had reached an agreement after months of negotiations to form a majority coalition in parliament, according to Reuters. Kallas said he would resign at a later date and be re -appointed by the new majority as it forms the new cabinet.

The Ukrainians mentioned in the post no longer serve as ambassadors. Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy expelled them, according to a July 9 report from Ukrinform, Ukraine’s national news agency. Ukrinform did not provide any details about the dismissals. But the New York Times reported that Andriy Melnyk, the ambassador to Germany, was fired because he defended the legacy of a World War II nationalist leader who collaborated with the Nazis.

Zelenskyy called the dismissal of his ambassadors a rotation part of normal diplomatic practice, the Times said.

We rate the claims that these political leaders and diplomats were arrested as False.


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