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Donations, scholarships worth $100,000 raised for Priyantha’s family in Toronto

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Mehboob Ali Shaikh
Mehboob Ali Shaikh is the Bureau Chief of World News Observer. Based in Canada, working with Toronto 360 TV. Mehboob has accomplished Years of experience in print and broadcast media. He is an active participant in Social media strategies, including Facebook, Twitter and Skype.

Funds and scholarships worth $100,000 USD were raised at a live memorial event arranged by Pakistani expatriates in North America for the Sri Lankan national Priyantha Diyawadan Kumara who was killed at the hands of a mob in Sialkot on December 3.

The virtual event was arranged in the Canadian city of Toronto as part of a People-to-People Campaign to honor Mr. Kumara’s life and express support to his family and solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka.

Consul General of Pakistan Toronto Abdul Hameed attended the event which was hosted by campaign organizers Azim Rizvee and Dr. Rabiya Azim, and attended by the victim’s widow Ms. Nilushi Dissanayake, Sri Lankan Team Ambassador Chaminda Hettiarachchi, Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS) co-founder and Pro-Chancellor Syed Babar Ali Shah, Islamic Religious scholar Syed Badiuddin, LUMS Interim Provost Dr Tariq Jadoon, Ontario’s Minister for Digital Government Kaleed Rasheed, MP Salma Zahid, MP Iqra Khalid and Markham City Councilor Khalid Usman.

Announcing the LUMS scholarship, University Provost Dr. Jadoon said a scholarship at LUMS (tuition and residence) would be instituted for a Sri Lankan undergraduate student in memory of Mr. Kumara. The second scholarship was announced by Mr. Rizvee for undergraduate studies at LUMS specifically for one of Mr. Kumara’s sons. The scholarship would be named Zainab Azim-G.I.V.E.-Priyantha Kumara Scholarship and sponsored by Mr. Rizvi family’s foundation, the Ali and Education and Health Foundation.

Besides the scholarships having a combined value of $56,000 USD, Ms. Nilushi Dissanayake, received the first milestone donation payment at the event. Mr. Rizvee’s family also committed to matching the donations already given to the victim’s family as well as any future donations to the People-to-People Campaign in the name of their family trust, RAYZ.

Speaking on the occasion, Consul General of Pakistan Toronto Abdul Hameed said the people and the government of Pakistan led by Prime Minister Imran Khan had condemned the Sialkot incident in the strongest terms.

He said the incident did not represent real Pakistan and the true values of the Pakistani society were reflected in the healthy, constructive, positive and people-to-people campaign by Pakistanis across the globe to fraternise with the family affected by the Sialkot tragedy.
Event host Mr. Azim Rizvee said the purpose of the memorial event was to “illustrate our genuine solidarity with the family as well as the people of Sri Lanka”. He commended Mr. Malik Adnan who also attended the virtual event as a special guest, for his valiant attempt to save Mr. Kumara’s life during the fatal attack.

During the memorial, the victim’s widow and eldest son expressed their sincere gratitude to the campaign organizers as well as all their donors and supporters, “Thank you for fundraising on behalf of my family and recognizing my beloved husband’s character,” said Ms. Dissanayake. “This effort goes beyond supporting our family, it is an endeavour that is uniting our humanity.”

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