Priyantha Kumara, whose picture is held by members of his family, was lynched by a mob of hundreds of people in Sialkot last week over blasphemy allegations. —

Sri Lanka buries Priyantha Kumara in native village with state honours

Buddhist clergy performed religious rites at his home before police led a procession with his charred remains to the cemetery.
Updated 09 Dec, 2021 01:57pm

The body of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara, who was tortured and set on fire by a mob in Sialkot last week over allegations of blasphemy, was buried in his native village with state honours on Wednesday.

Buddhist clergy performed religious rites at the home of Kumara before police led a procession in which family and friends carried the casket with his charred remains to the cemetery.

The road was decorated with condolence banners and white flags symbolising mourning.

Family members of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara who was lynched by a mob in Sialkot for alleged blasphemy take part in religious rites during his burial in Colombo, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — AP
Family members of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara who was lynched by a mob in Sialkot for alleged blasphemy take part in religious rites during his burial in Colombo, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — AP

Kumara was assaulted by a mob of hundreds of people and was dragged into the street and set on fire last Friday in Sialkot where he helped run a sports equipment factory. Workers at the factory accused him of desecrating posters bearing the name of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

Nilushi, the wife of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara, who was beaten to death and burnt by a mob in Sialkot last Friday, prays with kids and family members during his funeral at the cemetery in Ganemulla, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — Reuters
Nilushi, the wife of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara, who was beaten to death and burnt by a mob in Sialkot last Friday, prays with kids and family members during his funeral at the cemetery in Ganemulla, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — Reuters

The victim’s brother, Arunasiri Wasantha Kumara Diyawadana, who also works as a technical director at a garment factory in Pakistan, said factories should have a secure environment.

“That was not happening in this particular case,” he said.

He called for an improvement in management practices so any dispute can be resolved before it is too late.

He said the two governments should determine “the actual root cause for this, either if it’s a religious matter or an industrial dispute, and accordingly they have to find a solution”.

Family members of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara who was lynched by a mob in Sialkot for alleged blasphemy carry his casket to a cemetery during his burial in Colombo, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — AP
Family members of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara who was lynched by a mob in Sialkot for alleged blasphemy carry his casket to a cemetery during his burial in Colombo, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — AP

Police have arrested more than a hundred suspects in connection with Kumara's lynching, and Prime Minister Imran Khan has promised severe punishment for those found guilty.

Family members of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara, who was beaten to death and burnt by a mob in Sialkot last Friday, carry his casket during the funeral at the cemetery in Ganemulla, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — Reuters
Family members of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara, who was beaten to death and burnt by a mob in Sialkot last Friday, carry his casket during the funeral at the cemetery in Ganemulla, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — Reuters

The mother of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara, who was beaten to death and burnt by a mob in Sialkot last Friday, reacts in front of his casket during the funeral in Ganemulla, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — Reuters
The mother of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara, who was beaten to death and burnt by a mob in Sialkot last Friday, reacts in front of his casket during the funeral in Ganemulla, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — Reuters

Gavith, a son of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara who was lynched by a mob in Sialkot for alleged blasphemy places a portrait of his father on the casket during the burial in Colombo, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — AP
Gavith, a son of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara who was lynched by a mob in Sialkot for alleged blasphemy places a portrait of his father on the casket during the burial in Colombo, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — AP

Nilushi, the wife of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara, who was beaten to death and burnt by a mob in Sialkot last Friday, cries in front of his casket during the funeral at the cemetery in Ganemulla, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — Reuters
Nilushi, the wife of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara, who was beaten to death and burnt by a mob in Sialkot last Friday, cries in front of his casket during the funeral at the cemetery in Ganemulla, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — Reuters

Nilushi, the wife of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara, who was beaten to death and burnt by a mob in Sialkot last Friday, reacts in front of his casket during the funeral at the cemetery in Ganemulla, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — Reuters
Nilushi, the wife of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara, who was beaten to death and burnt by a mob in Sialkot last Friday, reacts in front of his casket during the funeral at the cemetery in Ganemulla, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — Reuters

Family members of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara who was lynched by a mob in Sialkot for alleged blasphemy gather around the grave during his burial in Colombo, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — AP
Family members of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara who was lynched by a mob in Sialkot for alleged blasphemy gather around the grave during his burial in Colombo, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — AP


Header image: Nilushi, the wife of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara, who was beaten to death and burnt by a mob in Sialkot last Friday, sits with her kids at the funeral in Ganemulla, Sri Lanka on December 8, 2021. — Reuters