Sri Lankan Government Offers Compensation To Kin Of Lynched Factory Manager In Pakistan

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COLOMBO, Dec 7 (PTI): The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday approved a compensation of Rs 2.5 million (nearly 12,500 US dollars) to the kin of Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana, who was lynched by a mob in Pakistan’s Punjab province over allegations of blasphemy.

In a shocking incident on Friday last, supporters of the hardline Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) attacked a garment factory in Sialkot in Pakistan and lynched its general manager Diyawadana, 49, before setting his body on fire over allegations of blasphemy.

His mortal remains which were brought to Colombo on Monday by the national carrier Srilankan Airlines at state cost were released to the family on Tuesday morning ahead of the funeral to be held later today.

The Sri Lankan Cabinet on Tuesday approved Sri Lankan rupee 2.5 million (12,500 US dollars) as compensation to the family of Diyawadana.

The Cabinet spokesman and minister Ramesh Pathirana told reporters here that the amount would be paid from the employees’ welfare fund of the Foreign Employment Bureau.

This was in appreciation of his extensive contribution to the local economy as a migrant worker over a period of 11 years, Pathirana said.

A post-mortem was conducted at the Negombo hospital where the remains had been taken from the airport.

Diyawadana is survived by his wife and two sons aged 14 and 9.

Nilushi Kumara, the widow of the Sri Lankan export manager, has appealed to the Pakistani government for justice and compensation over her husband’s killing and urged for the safety of all Sri Lankans on Pakistani soil.

Diyawadana had gone to Pakistan in 2011 after he got a job as a mechanical engineer at an apparel factory in Faisalabad. After a year, he joined Sialkot’s Rajco Industries as its general manager and was the only Sri Lankan national working in the factory.

The Sri Lankan Parliament, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa have condemned the brutal killing and have expressed hope that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government would bring the guilty to justice.

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