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Sri Lanka denies gifting two elephants to Pakistan

The Sri Lanka mission says their government never initiated any such discussion

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Claim: Yasin Joyia, Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka General, has said that Sri Lanka will give Pakistan two elephants following the death of critically ill elephant Noor Jehan at Karachi Zoo on 22 April 2023.

Fact: The Sri Lankan High Commission in Pakistan has denied offering elephants to Pakistan and said Joyia, who mentioned such a possibility, was not authorised to make any undertaking on the matter. 

Fact or Fiction?

On 24 April 2023, Daily Pakistan Global shared a post on Facebook claiming that Sri Lanka will gift two elephants to Pakistan.

The article quotes that Yasin Joyia, the Honorary Consul General of Sri Lanka, confirmed on 23 April that “both elephants will be female, with one going to the Karachi Zoo and the other to Lahore.”

Soch Fact Check found that the proliferation of the claim is based on a report by Geo News that states that Joyia shared the news while speaking to the media outlet. It further states that Joyia said the announcement of the elephants’ arrival will be made in the next few days.

The claim is misleading. The Sri Lanka mission has denied offering any elephants to Pakistan. 

In response to a post shared by architect Amir Nazir Chaudhary, the mission said, “The SL Gov or SL High Commission has never discussed or initiated any action to provide SL elephants to Pakistan.”

They also said that while there is “some truth” that Joyia had “mentioned the possibility of providing elephants,” he was not authorised to make “such undertakings or discussions and has been strongly advised not to make any further statements on the issue”.

The high commission reiterated that there has been no discussion between the Pakistani and the Sri Lanka government about an exchange of elephants; neither Pakistan’s government has made any such request. 

“Sri Lanka High Commission wishes to categorically deny any such discussion or initiatives taken to provide Elephants to the Zoos in Karachi and Lahore,” said the Sri Lanka Commission.

The claim made rounds on social media following the death of critically ill 17-year-old elephant Noor Jehan on 22 April 2023 at Karachi Zoo. The African elephant was unable to get up without help after falling into a pond earlier in April. Prior to this, the ailing elephant recently underwent a successful surgery by a team of foreign doctors from the global animal welfare organisation Four Paws.

Virality:

Soch Fact Check found the claim was shared here, here, here, here and here on Facebook.

The claim can be found here, here, here, here and here on Twitter.

It was also posted on YouTube by Aaj News and others, such as here and here.

Multiple outlets, including Daily Mirror, Pakistan Daily, MM News, Adaderana and News Radio, carried a report about Sri Lanka gifting two elephants to Pakistan.

Conclusion: The Sri Lanka mission has denied offering any elephants to Pakistan. They said that the Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka General, Yasin Joyia, mentioned the possibility of providing elephants to Pakistan, but he was not authorised to do so. 

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