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Lynched Sri Lankan man’s family seeks justice from Pakistan

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Priyantha Kumara’s family says it is still struggling to make sense of the ‘inhumanity’ of the killing as they make preparations for the funeral.

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People light oil lamps next to laid roses to express their condolences to the people of Sri Lanka, following the lynching of the Sri Lankan factory manager, in Karachi, Pakistan [Akhtar Soomro/Reuters]


Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistani police say they have arrested seven “prime actors” in the brutal mob lynching of a Sri Lankan factory manager over alleged “blasphemy”, as the man’s family say they are still struggling to make sense of the “inhumanity” of the killing while they make preparations for his funeral.

The body of Priyantha Kumara, 48, a general manager at a Pakistani textile factory in the eastern city of Sialkot, was due to arrive in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Monday afternoon, his elder brother Kamal Kumara told Al Jazeera.

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Sri Lankan factory manager lynched and set on fire in Pakistan
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“I have to tell the [the perpetrators]: please don’t do this, this kind of attack, don’t react inhumanly,” Kumara told Al Jazeera via telephone from Colombo.

“We are humans, no? We have to respect each other and each other’s religion.”

1638828151149.png

Members of the Sri Lankan civil society protest demanding justice for the lynching [Eranga Jayawardena/AP]


On Friday, the younger Kumara was accused of committing blasphemy against Islam at the factory he managed in Sialkot, a huge industrial centre located about 100km (62 miles) north of Pakistan’s second-largest city, Lahore.

Police say he was beaten with sticks, fists and kicks by a mob of dozens, before being dragged to the road outside the factory and set on fire. Social media footage of the attack showed dozens of young men chanting slogans associated with supporting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, as some took selfies with the burning body.

Blasphemy is a sensitive subject in Pakistan, where certain forms of the crime, including insulting Prophet Muhammad, can carry a mandatory death sentence. Increasingly, blasphemy allegations have led to extrajudicial murders or mob lynchings, with at least 80 people killed in such attacks since 1990, according to an Al Jazeera tally.


The victim is survived by his wife and two children, aged nine and 14. Kumara’s family has asked the Sri Lankan government to request financial compensation from either the Pakistani government or Kumara’s employer for his immediate family.

“We believe that [Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan] will take serious action,” said Kamal Kumara. “I told [Sri Lankan officials to] please ask the Pakistani government to help his family, because he has a wife and two children who are alone, and they need to be educated.”

On Monday, a statement by the Pakistani police said they had arrested seven additional suspects, bringing the total number of those arrested for the attack to 131.

“These include those involved in planning the attack on the Sri Lankan manager, as well as those who tortured him and those who incited others,” said a statement.

1638828216318.png

Sri Lankans protest outside the Pakistani High Commission office in Colombo [Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters]

Brutal killing shocks nation
Priyantha Kumara was the youngest of six siblings, and his mother has still not been told the details of how he was killed, his brother Kamal, 53, said. He said the family members have been tasked with keeping her away from social media and television news lest she sees footage of the attack.

“My mother is 80 years old, she is not well in health, and still we can’t explain to her what has happened,” he said. “She is crying continuously.

“We just told her there is some accident, we cannot say what has happened.”

Kamal Kumara and a second brother live in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad, about 175km (108 miles) southwest of Sialkot, where both also work in textile factories. Priyantha Kumara, a textile engineer, moved to Sialkot in 2010 to pursue work as an industrial engineer and later became a factory manager “because of better economic prospects”.

Kamal said all three Kumara brothers had never had any complaints while living in Pakistan.

“Many people are my friends, and other [Pakistanis], they have taken my number they are calling us and crying, they are saying that we [feel] shameful to talk to you, we are, all Pakistanis, with you,” he said.

1638828240826.png

People light lamps in front of the portrait of the lynched Sri Lankan worker, in Karachi [Shahzaib Akber/EPA]


The brutal killing has shocked Pakistan, with religious leaders, civil society and politicians across the spectrum condemning the murder. On Sunday, civil society groups held a small demonstration against the killing in the eastern city of Lahore.

‘Gone from this world’
On Friday, rights group Amnesty International called for an impartial inquiry into the killing.

“Authorities must immediately conduct an independent, impartial and prompt investigation and hold the perpetrators accountable,” Amnesty said in a statement.

“Today’s event underscores the urgency with which an environment that enables abuse and puts lives at risk must be rectified.”

Religious violence around the issue of blasphemy has risen in the South Asian country in recent years, with the rise of the far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) religious group accompanied by an increase in violence against alleged “blasphemers”.

“[Priyantha] was not concerned [about this], because we are always focusing on our duty [and] at our company we are not having any religious discussions,” said Kamal. “We are respecting that they are religious, so we never got a bad impression, and we didn’t want them to have a bad impression from our side.”

A post-mortem examination of Priyantha Kumara’s body will be carried out by Sri Lankan authorities on Tuesday, with his funeral scheduled for Wednesday in his native Gampaha district, 20km (12.4 miles) northeast of Colombo.

His brothers, meanwhile, are debating whether they can return to Pakistan safely, and how to break the details of his death to their ailing mother, who suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.

“We are struggling how to explain this thing to her,” said Kamal. “My brother is gone now, is gone from this world.”


 

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Priyantha Kumara’s family says it is still struggling to make sense of the ‘inhumanity’ of the killing as they make preparations for the funeral.

View attachment 799392
People light oil lamps next to laid roses to express their condolences to the people of Sri Lanka, following the lynching of the Sri Lankan factory manager, in Karachi, Pakistan [Akhtar Soomro/Reuters]


Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistani police say they have arrested seven “prime actors” in the brutal mob lynching of a Sri Lankan factory manager over alleged “blasphemy”, as the man’s family say they are still struggling to make sense of the “inhumanity” of the killing while they make preparations for his funeral.

The body of Priyantha Kumara, 48, a general manager at a Pakistani textile factory in the eastern city of Sialkot, was due to arrive in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Monday afternoon, his elder brother Kamal Kumara told Al Jazeera.

KEEP READING
Pakistan: Dozens arrested after Sri Lankan lynched, set ablaze
Sri Lankan factory manager lynched and set on fire in Pakistan
Pakistani police arrest four for ‘blasphemy’ over mosque argument



“I have to tell the [the perpetrators]: please don’t do this, this kind of attack, don’t react inhumanly,” Kumara told Al Jazeera via telephone from Colombo.

“We are humans, no? We have to respect each other and each other’s religion.”

View attachment 799393
Members of the Sri Lankan civil society protest demanding justice for the lynching [Eranga Jayawardena/AP]


On Friday, the younger Kumara was accused of committing blasphemy against Islam at the factory he managed in Sialkot, a huge industrial centre located about 100km (62 miles) north of Pakistan’s second-largest city, Lahore.

Police say he was beaten with sticks, fists and kicks by a mob of dozens, before being dragged to the road outside the factory and set on fire. Social media footage of the attack showed dozens of young men chanting slogans associated with supporting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, as some took selfies with the burning body.

Blasphemy is a sensitive subject in Pakistan, where certain forms of the crime, including insulting Prophet Muhammad, can carry a mandatory death sentence. Increasingly, blasphemy allegations have led to extrajudicial murders or mob lynchings, with at least 80 people killed in such attacks since 1990, according to an Al Jazeera tally.


The victim is survived by his wife and two children, aged nine and 14. Kumara’s family has asked the Sri Lankan government to request financial compensation from either the Pakistani government or Kumara’s employer for his immediate family.

“We believe that [Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan] will take serious action,” said Kamal Kumara. “I told [Sri Lankan officials to] please ask the Pakistani government to help his family, because he has a wife and two children who are alone, and they need to be educated.”

On Monday, a statement by the Pakistani police said they had arrested seven additional suspects, bringing the total number of those arrested for the attack to 131.

“These include those involved in planning the attack on the Sri Lankan manager, as well as those who tortured him and those who incited others,” said a statement.

View attachment 799394
Sri Lankans protest outside the Pakistani High Commission office in Colombo [Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters]

Brutal killing shocks nation
Priyantha Kumara was the youngest of six siblings, and his mother has still not been told the details of how he was killed, his brother Kamal, 53, said. He said the family members have been tasked with keeping her away from social media and television news lest she sees footage of the attack.

“My mother is 80 years old, she is not well in health, and still we can’t explain to her what has happened,” he said. “She is crying continuously.

“We just told her there is some accident, we cannot say what has happened.”

Kamal Kumara and a second brother live in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad, about 175km (108 miles) southwest of Sialkot, where both also work in textile factories. Priyantha Kumara, a textile engineer, moved to Sialkot in 2010 to pursue work as an industrial engineer and later became a factory manager “because of better economic prospects”.

Kamal said all three Kumara brothers had never had any complaints while living in Pakistan.

“Many people are my friends, and other [Pakistanis], they have taken my number they are calling us and crying, they are saying that we [feel] shameful to talk to you, we are, all Pakistanis, with you,” he said.

View attachment 799395
People light lamps in front of the portrait of the lynched Sri Lankan worker, in Karachi [Shahzaib Akber/EPA]


The brutal killing has shocked Pakistan, with religious leaders, civil society and politicians across the spectrum condemning the murder. On Sunday, civil society groups held a small demonstration against the killing in the eastern city of Lahore.

‘Gone from this world’
On Friday, rights group Amnesty International called for an impartial inquiry into the killing.

“Authorities must immediately conduct an independent, impartial and prompt investigation and hold the perpetrators accountable,” Amnesty said in a statement.

“Today’s event underscores the urgency with which an environment that enables abuse and puts lives at risk must be rectified.”

Religious violence around the issue of blasphemy has risen in the South Asian country in recent years, with the rise of the far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) religious group accompanied by an increase in violence against alleged “blasphemers”.

“[Priyantha] was not concerned [about this], because we are always focusing on our duty [and] at our company we are not having any religious discussions,” said Kamal. “We are respecting that they are religious, so we never got a bad impression, and we didn’t want them to have a bad impression from our side.”

A post-mortem examination of Priyantha Kumara’s body will be carried out by Sri Lankan authorities on Tuesday, with his funeral scheduled for Wednesday in his native Gampaha district, 20km (12.4 miles) northeast of Colombo.

His brothers, meanwhile, are debating whether they can return to Pakistan safely, and how to break the details of his death to their ailing mother, who suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.

“We are struggling how to explain this thing to her,” said Kamal. “My brother is gone now, is gone from this world.”



Make the mob pay for the family's costs.

5 lakhs from each sounds about right. If they can't afford it, take their family homes, possessions - even the cheerleaders / non violent ones need to realise that every action has a cost.
 
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Trango Towers

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TLP supporters...

Funds should be seized. Compensation paid to this man's family ensuring his kids get a proper education and his wife has a good life.
Then hang all the guilty in public.
That is justice
 

Ghareeb_Da_Baal

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Overseas Pakistan have already started crowdfunding.

On aside note, I did see actual 35mm pictures taken by a muslim professor from Colombo Srilanks of muslims s that we slaughtered in hundred & thousand in several villages by srilinkans. This was way back then but just sayin........... the world was silent.
He actually came to Pakistan seeking help & help he did get.
 

khail007

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The state of Pakistan and people are bound to do the duty and they are on the right path for compensation and to raise the funds for the family of the deceased.
Sialkot traders community playing a major role in raising the funds for the family.
 

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“We believe that [Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan] will take serious action,” said Kamal Kumara. “I told [Sri Lankan officials to] please ask the Pakistani government to help his family, because he has a wife and two children who are alone, and they need to be educated.”

Normally the factory workers should be covered under group life insurance i.e. if their employer is complying with the legal requirements.

In any case Pakistanis and their government are responsible to make sure the orphaned kids and their widowed mother is well taken care of till the time they are stable and beyond.

Seize USD 1 million from halwa fund / chanda and pay the blood money to grieving family.

In my personal opinion the cost should be so heavy for Pakistanis they learn their lesson for future that it is not a joke to kill an innocent person, burn a father of two and beat to death someone's son.
 

Enigma SIG

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Overseas Pakistan have already started crowdfunding.

On aside note, I did see actual 35mm pictures taken by a muslim professor from Colombo Srilanks of muslims s that we slaughtered in hundred & thousand in several villages by srilinkans. This was way back then but just sayin........... the world was silent.
He actually came to Pakistan seeking help & help he did get.
Just sayin that all those killed in Sri Lanka doesn't make this murder right. We're supposed to be better.
 

PradoTLC

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the PM annouced $100K has been collected by the Sailkot business community plus the factory owners have annouced salary for life for the family members.

plus all those animals have been arrested and PM has publiclly stated he would go after them..

now compare this muslims being butchered by USA, India and Israeli military, gov and common citizen

only an assshole would even try and compare Pakistan with these Lynch mob anti muslim states.
 
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Ghareeb_Da_Baal

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Just sayin that all those killed in Sri Lanka doesn't make this murder right. We're supposed to be better.
Just sayin only muslims and Pakistanis get highlighted in newz. That was the point, The bias and blind eye.
the PM annouced $100K has been collected by the Sailkot business community plus the factory owners have annouced salary for life for the family members.

plus all those animals have been arrested and PM has publiclly stated he would go after them..

now compare this muslims being butchered by US India and Israeli military, gov and common citizen

only an assshole would even try and compare Pakistan with these states.
Egjactly. bhinidan monkey have been put to shame.
 

Goritoes

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Seize TLP's properties and sell it to pay the compensation, as in our Language khoon baha, or blood money... Pakistan must reach out to the family and show their deepest regret on the incident, and everyone who is involved must be hanged or put behind bars for life (least but not desirable).
 

Trango Towers

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Overseas Pakistan have already started crowdfunding.

On aside note, I did see actual 35mm pictures taken by a muslim professor from Colombo Srilanks of muslims s that we slaughtered in hundred & thousand in several villages by srilinkans. This was way back then but just sayin........... the world was silent.
He actually came to Pakistan seeking help & help he did get.
Human society is slipping. Even with greater access to education and data we are regressing into the abyss. We are easily manipulated by religious lunatics or politicians. Both have vested interests and killing is done by the poor upon the poor for the benefit of the rich. Its always about money and power sadly.
 

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