Saliya Pieris Is NOT the lawyer appearing on behalf of Natasha Edirisooriya!

False Social

Soon after the recent arrest of stand-up comedian Natasha Edirisooriya for allegedly making some derogatory statements related to Buddhism, a series of posts went viral, claiming that PC Saliya Peiris is the lawyer appearing on behalf of Natasha. 

However, Factcrescendo SL investigation found these claims to be false. Let’s look at the claims in detail.

Social Media Posts:

Several mainstream media outlets reported that Saliya Peiris PC was the lawyer who represented Natasha Edirisooriya in court, as seen in the below report in the Daily News newspaper on 29th May.

These claims were viral in the Sinhala language, and below are some of the posts circulating on Facebook with the same claim of PC Saliya Peiris appearing for Natasha in court.

Fact Check:

A few mainstream media had published reports of President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris, the former president of the BASL, appearing before the Fort magistrate on behalf of standup comedian Jayani Natasha Edirisooriya.

However, several users pointed out this news to be false. Hence, we decided to dig further and first inquired from PC Saliya Peiris regarding this matter. 

Saliya Peiris stated that he is not the lawyer retained for Natasha Edrisooriya’s case, as indicated in some media reports, and that he did not appear before the Fort Magistrate on the 28th of May either, and the whole narrative was blatantly false.

We noticed that PC Saliya Peiris had posted a clarification on his official Facebook page confirming the above facts. He had also requested the media houses which carried out the false reports to make the necessary corrections.

Facebook | Archived Link

We contacted several court media reporters to further ascertain the facts about the lawyer representing Natasha. They all confirmed that the lawyer representing Natasha was not PC Saliya Peiris but a group of lawyers led by the senior lawyer Asthika Devendra.

We also noticed that some newspapers that falsely attributed PC Saliya Pieris to Natasha Edirisooriya’s case later issued correction notices. For example, below is the correction notice from a Sinhala newspaper, ‘Dinamina’, stating that it was, in fact, Attorney Asthika Devendra who was retained for Natasha’s case and not PC Saliya Pieris, as seen below.

On 28th May, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested Natasha Edirisooriya, who was trying to leave the country. “Natasha Edirisooriya, who made disrespectful remarks on the Buddhist philosophy and culture, was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) while attempting to leave the country,” the Police said.

Also Read : නතාෂා එදිරිසූරිය වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටි නීතිඥයා සාලිය පීරිස් නොවේ!

Also Read : නතාෂා වෙනුවෙන් අරගලකරුවන් හෙට (මැයි 29) කොළඹට එන්නේ නැහැ!


Our investigation shows that the social media and mainstream media reports which claimed that President’s Counsel Saliya Pieris was the lawyer retained for Natasha Edirisooriya’s case are false. The lawyer representing Natasha’s case is Attorney Asthika Devendra.


Title:President’s Counsel Saliya Pieris did NOT appear for Natasha Edirisooriya!

Written By: Pavithra Sandamali 

Result: False

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