The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the verdict by the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Gujranwala, Pakistan on 18 April, 2022 sentencing six accused to death in the killing of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara Diyawadanage who worked as a manager at a private factory in Sialkot, Pakistan.
Forty nine year old Priyantha Kumara Diyawadanage was beaten to death and his body set alight on 03 December, 2021 by a mob after being accused of blasphemy under highly controversial circumstances. The incident shocked the two nations and the leadership of Pakistan assured Sri Lanka that the culprits would be brought to book and justice would prevail.
A total of 88 accused were indicted in the murder case. The Anti-Terrorism Court awarded life imprisonment with payment of fines for nine convicts while 72 convicts were sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment. Another convict was sentenced to five years in prison.
It may be recalled that a financial grant was handed over to the family of late Priyantha Kumara Diyawadanage by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. G. L Peiris at the Foreign Ministry on 15 December, 2021. During the event, Minister Peiris stated that he had requested the Pakistan Government to ensure timely receipt of financial benefits from the employer and the Government of Pakistan. The business community in Sialkot area had provided US$ 100,000 to the family of Priyantha Kumara Diyawadanage while the company continues to pay his wages to his family.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo, 20 April 2022