Fact-Check : Dr. Shafi and Bathiudeen visits Namal Rajapaksa’s wedding

Celebrity Political

In one of most hyped weddings of the year, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s elder son and parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa tied the knot with Limini Weerasinghe on 12th of September, with poruwa ceremony and registration taking place at Gangaramaya Temple followed by the wedding reception at Carton House, Tangalle same day evening.

The event attracted a lot of eye balls with a number of high-profile guests and parliamentarians attending the event along with SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa and opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Posts about the event were being circulated extensively over social media over last couple of days. In one such posts published on 15th September by a Facebook page called “කොළ බලකාය” (translates to The Green Force) it was mentioned that the infamous Dr. Shafi Shihabdeen and Minister Rishad Bathiudeen attended the wedding with photographic proof.

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While the same post had been shared multiple times, quite a few similar posts were seen circulating as well. Given below is another post which mentioned the same claim.

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Fact Check 

At the outset the image seems suspicious and especially the photo of Dr. Shafi seem out of context hence we decided to carry out a fact check to verify the truth behind these claims. At the same time, we found that some had refuted these claims, stating that these are merely baseless allegations aimed at gaining petty political advantages.

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First, we carried out a Google reverse image search of the image and were unable to find direct match to the image being circulated. In order to find similar images, we did a Google search for using the key words “namal + limini wedding”.

The results shown above suggest that a similar image to that being shared had been first used by Sunday Times Newspaper. Below is the photo carried out on the front page of Sunday Times on 15th September 2019 in which the newspaper state as “Medamulana Rajapaksa scion ties the knot”.

The photo caption goes on to state that “In one of the biggest and talked about weddings of the year, the former President’s son, Namal Rajapaksa, and his wife Limini Weerasinghe, are seen preparing to cut the wedding cake. A dinner followed at the Rajapaksa’s home Carlton House at Weeraketiya on Thursday. Some 7,000 invitees attended the wedding banquet”

Sunday Time ArticleArchived Link

Further to ensure that the image published in the Sunday Times is the original image an image analysis was carried out for both the newspaper image and the image being circulate and from the results shown below it is evident that the photo of Dr. Shafi (on the left) has been placed on the original image (on the right)

Image being circulated (edited)Original image published in the Sunday Times

Similar image analysis was carried out for the Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s photo as well and we found that his face had been placed over another face of the original image as below.


From our investigation, it is evident the claim that Dr. Shafi and Minister Rishad Bathiudeen visited Namal Rajapaksa’s wedding function is totally false and both their face images had been placed over the original image which was published by the Sunday Times newspaper on 15th September.


Title:Fact-Check : Dr. Shafi and Bathiudeen visits Namal Rajapaksa’s wedding

Fact Check By: Sathyajith Subasinghe 

Result: False

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