‘My Husband Was Innocent’
By Thameenah Razeek
Nilushi Dasanayake, wife of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara Diyawadanage, who worked at a factory in Pakistan, refuted allegations levelled against her husband in reports that he allegedly tore a poster of the hard-line Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) with Quranic verses inscribed and threw it in the dustbin.
She said she denies the allegations, as she knows her husband very well, and her husband has been working in Pakistan for approximately 11 years and understands how to blend in.
“My husband is intelligent, and he understands what that community believes in and how it operates. I do not think he will ever do something like this. He always valued that community and was a well-known worker there,” she explained.
In addition, she said she and her two children demand a fair amount of compensation if the Government is willing to pay it.
She also urged the removal of all posts, videos, and content depicting her husband’s terrible death from social media, claiming that it could affect them psychologically and physically.
She said she asked the Public Security Minister, who paid her a visit yesterday, to take steps to remove all unsettling posts about her husband’s death.
Kumara was lynched and his body was burned by irate followers of a radical Islamist party who attacked the facility in Pakistan’s Punjab Province on 3 December over blasphemy claims. Kumara, in his 40s, was the General Manager of a garment factory in Sialkot District, around 100 kilometres from Lahore, according to a Punjab Police Official.
“Kumara allegedly tore a poster of the hard-line TLP in which Quranic verses were inscribed and threw it in the dustbin. The poster of the Islamist party was pasted on the wall adjoining the office of Kumara.
A couple of factory workers saw him removing the poster and spread the word in the factory,” foreign Media reported.
The remains of Kumara will be dispatched to Sri Lanka today (6) onboard a SriLankan Airlines flight.
The Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said the State would bear the expenses.
The remains will be received by the next-of-kin at the BIA, and the Ministry is in charge of the arrangements.
The High Commission has requested an investigation report into Kumara’s death from Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Sri Lankan High Commission in Islamabad, in collaboration with the Foreign Ministry, is also in talks with Pakistani authorities and the deceased's employer about payment of compensation, according to the statement.