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Sri Lanka to give Rs 2.5 million compensation to Priyantha Kumara’s family

Priyantha Kumara with his family (Photo: IANS)

The Sri Lankan government has approved giving a grant of Rs 2.5 million to the family of Priyantha Kumara, the engineer managing a garments factory in Pakistan who was brutally lynched by a mob on December 2021.

Kumara was beaten up and his body burnt by a frenzied mob of fundamentalists in Sialkot. The mob included his factory workers, some of whom had alleged that he had torn off a poster with Quranic writings from a factory wall. Violent attacks over blasphemy are common in Pakistan and have made international news.

Kumara leaves behind his wife and two young children.

The proposal for the compensation was made by the Minister of Labour Nimal Siripala de Silva at a cabinet meeting on Monday. The ministers had considered Kumara’s contribution to the Sri Lankan economy by way of his work as an expat professional, reports Sri Lankan website News First.

The Sri Lankan foreign ministry brought his remains to Sri Lanka from Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport on Monday and handed them over to his next-of-kin at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).

Kumara’s remains have been placed at his residence and the final rites will be performed on Wednesday.

The Punjab Police in Pakistan claims to have arrested nearly 27 prime suspects involved in the lynching among a total of nearly 132 people who were part of the mob that beat up the Sri Lankan national, says Sri Lankan website Ada Derana.

The incident which made waves across the world, shook up Sri Lankan society for its barbarity. People from all walks of life–monks and even organisations–protested in front of the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo demanding justice for the brutalised man.

Sri Lankan government advisor Rohan Gunaratna had commented in the UAE that the Sialkot lynching incident shows the rise of fundamentalist forces in South Asia.

Sri Lankan military advisor blames rise of Taliban for Sialkot lynching