Rohan Welivita, Media Secretary to Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the forged media release has been planted on social media after the former President left for Singapore. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has not picked his brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to be the Presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and the Joint Opposition, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s office said today.“It has come to our notice that a forged document purporting to be a media release issued by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been circulated in the social media yesterday, ie., the 17th July 2018. This forged media release purports to announce that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has officially selected Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to be the presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna. We wish to inform the public that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has not yet named the next presidential candidate of the SLPP,” Rajapaksa’s office said. Welivita said that the forged media release issued only in Sinhala was titled “2020 Janadhipathiwaranya”. However, he says the next Presidential election is due in 2019. (Colombo Gazette) “Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa wishes to state that when he names the next presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and the Joint Opposition, it will not be through a media release but will be done personally by him at a public gathering,” Welivita said.