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A Sociological Study of the Homicide in Sri Lanka: A Case Study in Rathnapura Secretariat Division


NS Jayathunga

Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences and Languages, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya, LK
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This study is an attempt to recognize the causes for homicide and analysis them in a sociological aspect. The crimes which are differed to each society has a big impact on contravention of the collective conscious that helps to positive existence the in the society. As well as this social revolution process copes with the globalization process. The crimes such as murders, rape, child abuse, hitting, robbery and illegal money printing have been expanding in Sri Lankan society with the current wave of crime. Crimes are the major criterion of determining development in each country. This study seeks to identify the reasons and the remedies for the murders in Sri Lanka. Rathnapura police division was selected for the study because of several reasons. It is one of the districts, which recorded the highest number of crimes, and it mainly represents the crimes in rural sector. Non-probability purposive sampling used for the study because the area is much specified and is not very common scenario for each household. 20 cases of murders were included in the sample. The sample is derived through the secondary source of police reports taken from the police head quarters; research papers, publications and web sites were used as the secondary data. Structural and non-structural interviews and observations are further used. There are several limitations of the study. Although crime is a widespread issue, all areas in Sri Lanka were not covered through the study due to time and budgetary constraints. Because Rathnapura district records the very high rate of crimes, the study selected the particular district but Rathnapura police division is the only concern of the study as to make the study easier and descriptive. The study is only based on the cases from 2001 upto2002. Major limitation of the study is that the concealing the real information about the particular incident by the victims and criminals because of several sociological and legal obstacles. The study concludes that the major causes for murders in Rathnapura police division as informal sexual relations, alcoholism, poverty, illiteracy, family background, revenging purposes, monitory purposes, environment and hot temper. Some short, medium, and long-term suggestions are proposed by the study to minimize murders as a one of the crimes in Rathnapura police division as a final contribution of the study.

Key words: Crime; Homicide; Social problem


Sabaramuwa University Journal, Volume 9 Number 1; December 2010, pp 45-55  

How to Cite: Jayathunga, N., 2011. A Sociological Study of the Homicide in Sri Lanka: A Case Study in Rathnapura Secretariat Division. Sabaragamuwa University Journal, 9(1), pp.45–55. DOI:
Published on 29 Oct 2011.
Peer Reviewed


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