Overseas Pakistanis raising $50k to provide support to Priyantha’s family

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A member of the Human Rights Council of Pakistan places an oil lamp to pay tribute to Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Overseas Pakistanis have raised tens of thousands of dollars to provide direct support to the family of Priyantha Diyawadan Kumara, a Sri Lanka national who was brutally killed over blasphemy allegations in Sialkot earlier this month.

The 48-year-old, who was employed as an exports manager at a factory, was brutally murdered by a mob that accused him of committing blasphemy. He was tortured to death and his body was set on fire.

Since the time of the incident, there has been an overwhelming outpouring of support from communities both in Pakistan and abroad. A dynamic people-to-people campaign was created to help the victim’s widow and children and 100 per cent of the funds raised will go directly to the family for their immediate and long term needs.

Read more: Remains of Priyantha Kumara reach Colombo

The organisers have already made the necessary arrangements to ensure the first milestone payment of the donations, approximately 2.5 million Sri Lankan rupees, made to date is deposited into the widow’s bank account.

To date, nearly $16,000 Canadian dollars have been raised and the organisers continue to encourage everyone to donate in order to reach the $50,000 CAD goal.

With additional significant contributions already confirmed, organisers are aiming to achieve this goal in time for the virtual memorial on December 18.

“This will also be a time for communities across the world to show their collective support for the grieving family. Details of this event, including login information, will be provided in the coming days,” said the organisers.

Also read: A letter to Mrs Priyantha Kumara from an ashamed Pakistani

“Based on the combined efforts of the Pakistani communities around the world, we have already reached 30% of the goal within a matter of days,” said Azim Rizvee, the organiser of the campaign. “While no amount of money can erase this tragedy, our campaign hopes to lessen the burden of the victim’s family in some way.”

Thanks to the team ambassador in Sri Lanka, campaign organisers also had an opportunity to personally speak with the victim’s widow Nilushi Dissanayake to express their condolences and to share news about the campaign.

Recently, Rizvee met with Dissanayake and her children through a video conference app to provide an update about the efforts in place. “This campaign is not just about providing financial assistance,” Rizvee said. “It’s also about rallying the community to provide comfort and hope to a family that is experiencing a devastating tragedy.”

On December 13 (Monday), campaign organisers will meet Consulate General of Sri Lanka Kapila S. Jayaweera in Toronto, Canada to discuss the next steps.

They also plan to be in touch with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s office in Pakistan in this regard.

In addition to the long-standing friendship and trust between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, organisers expressed confidence that both communities would work together so the victim’s family gets the support they need now and in the years to come.

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Disclaimer: Overseas Pakistanis raising $50k to provide support to Priyantha's family - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view

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