The Killing of Priyantha Diyawadana May Negatively Influence Sri Lanka-Pakistan Relations

The Killing of Priyantha Diyawadana May Negatively Influence Sri Lanka-Pakistan Relations
A Pakistani man, along with others, who shows his shame of Pakistan in killing Diyawadana, ANI News (Asian News International).


Malene Solheim

Sri Lanka and Human Rights Researcher, 

Global Human Rights Defense.

On December 3rd, Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana was killed in a mob in Silkot, Pakistan, mourners now demand justice. 

More than 100 people have been arrested after a big mob in where the factory boss Diyawandana was hit till death and eventually burnt. He has been accused of blasphemy linked to a poster of prophet Muhammad, according to some sources (AlJazeera, 2021). He was described as a strict boss which may have influenced the outcome of the mob. 

Diyawandana’s funeral took place in Ganemulla, 25km outside of Sri Lanka’s capital of Colombo (AlJazeera, 2021). His wife is now left with their two sons, and demand justice for her husband (Ceylon Today, 2021). 400-500 people attended the funeral, including political and religious leaders who wanted to show their respect. Some of these leaders are sceptical of how this incident may affect Sri Lanka-Pakistan relations in the future. 

Prathiba Mahanamahewa, Sri Lanka’s former Human Rights Commissioner, says that it will be very important to ensure justice after this incident. If justice is not achieved, it might negatively affect the relation between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Up until now, the two South Asian countries have had a good and close relationship. She emphasises that this should be done quickly as the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is having a session in February. 

Namal Rajapaksa, a Sri Lankan member of parliament, is only one of multiple politicians that have engaged themselves in this killing and demand justice. On December 3rd he tweeted the following:

Sources and further reading:

Mourners demand justice for Sri Lankan man lynched in Pakistan, 8 Dec 2021, 

Diyawadana’s wife pleads for justice, 4 Dec 2021 

Tweet by Namal Rajapaksa, Dec 3 2021