Study reveals three main reasons for homicide | Daily News


Study reveals three main reasons for homicide

A study has revealed that the three main reasons for homicide in Sri Lanka are land disputes, extramarital affairs and clashes erupted under the influence of alcohol or drugs, National Authority for the Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Director General Udayakumara Amarasinghe said.

He said the organized crimes such as demanding ransom, kidnapping or clashes between underworld gangs were all secondary to the above reasons.

Amarasinghe, who is also a senior lecturer at the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department of Sri Jayewardenepura University, said the study was based on interviews with about 1,500 inmates in prisons were convicted for homicide.

He was speaking at a workshop for journalists at Waters Edge in Battaramulla yesterday organized to raise awareness on the ‘Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act’ of 2015.

He however pointed out that the killings committed as organized crimes however get the limelight of the media than the above listed prominent reasons. Amarasinghe pointed out that child and female victims of rape, abuse and domestic violence often tend to not complain or drop the complaint in the middle of the legal process owing to the inordinate delay in the legal proceedings, social disgrace, threats of the accused party or lack of confidence on Police and judicial mechanism.

He said incidents of rape, child abuse and domestic violence often go unreported because of the reluctance of victims and witnesses to complain.

“The recent brutal attack on a child by a stepmother and a female Grama Niladari came to limelight because of the video circulated in the social media by a third party. It enabled Police to apprehend the culprits by commencing an investigation of its own. If not for this video taken by a third party, I doubt whether the victim would come forward to complain,” he observed.

“As an average it takes about 10-15 years for a final judgement of the case, if the case was not a heinous crime subjected to public limelight as in the recent cases of the rape and murder of Seya Sadewmi and Sivaloganathan Vidya. In about 90-95 percent of the cases of rape, domestic violence and child abuse, the victim and the accused have close connection to each other. They can be family friends or relations. The victims face inconveniences when they have to continue the case against a person with a close connection for a long time, especially after the accused gets bail. The victims may also face threats,” he elaborated.

“However, there is little awareness in the society, that the Assistance and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act, which passed into law in 2015, has ddressed these problems. Another little known fact is that, as per the Act, victims can obtain compensation upto Rs 1 million at the end of the case. Our message to the public is that don’t hesitate to report such incidents, because we in the Authority are there to assist and protect you. If you lack confidence on Police, then report the incident directly to the Authority or the Police division attached to it. Our hotline is 1985. We also accept complaints by person or by post,” he added.

He said the Victim Protection Fund maintained by the Authority currently has Rs 4 million funds. “This money is not obtained from the Treasury. The court, at the time of convicting a criminal, orders him to pay a sum equivalent to 20 percent of the fine imposed on him to the Fund,” he explained.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Robert Juhkam, former Chairman of the National Authority for the Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses and former Solicitor General Suhada Gamlath PC also spoke.



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