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Remains of Priyantha Diyawadana sent to Sri Lanka

Body dispatched to Ceylon with full state honours in presence of minister, diplomats and officials

The human remains of the Sri Lankan citizen who lost his life to mob violence last Friday were repatriated to his country on Monday with full state honours.

The body of Priyantha Diyawadana – a manager in a factory of Sialkot who was lynched by a mob of fanatics last week following blasphemy allegations – was brought to Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore via an ambulance and dispatched to Ceylon via a Sri Lankan Airlines flight in presence of a minister, diplomats and government officials.

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Punjab Minorities Affairs Minister Ijaz Alam received the body of Diyawadana along with Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Religious Harmony Hafiz Mohammad Tahir Ashrafi, Honorary Consul General of Sri Lanka Yasin Joya and representatives of the Punjab Home Department and the Sri Lankan High Commission.

“We promise to bring to justice the killers of Priyantha,” said Ashrafi while talking to journalists at the airport.

He declared the day as ‘day of grief’ for every Pakistani, highlighting the need of unity to fight against extremism and violence.

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“The whole nation would have to unite to eradicate extremism the way it had eliminated terrorism from Pakistan,” said Ashrafi.

In a separate statement, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar reiterated the commitment to give the harshest punishment to the culprits involved in the tragic incident which caused embarrassment to the entire nation.

“The Pakistani nation equally shares the grief of the Sri Lankan government, nation and the bereaved family over the murder of Priyantha Diyawadana,” he said, while extending condolences to the family of the engineer. He said he himself was reviewing the progress made in the investigation.

The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Pakistan Vice-Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama expressed satisfaction over the government acting to nab the culprits. He said the friendly ties between the two states would not be affected due to the shocking incident.

Meanwhile, according to media reports, police on Monday arrested seven more of the prime suspects allegedly involved in the lynching of Diyawadana. So far, a total of 131 people were arrested during police raids in different areas. Police said that 26 persons among the total played a central role in the shocking incident. The main suspects, as per media reports, were remanded in police custody for 15 days by the Gujranwala special anti-terrorism court.

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