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ISSN: 2572-0899

Global Journal of Nursing & Forensic Studies
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Research Article

Comparison of Deaths due to Lethal Weapons During and After Civil Strife in Sri Lanka: A Medico-legal Analysis

Vidanapathirana M1*, Dasanayake PB2, Ilangarathne Banda YMG3, Vadysinghe A4, Ratnaweera RHAI5 and Siddhisena KAP6

1Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka

2Judicial Medical Officer, Base Hospital, Panadura, Sri Lanka

3Judicial Medical Officer, Base Hospital, Kuliyapitiya Sri Lanka

4Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

5Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka

6Department of Demography, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

*Corresponding Author:
Vidanapathirana M
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences
University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
Tel: 0094772988227
Fax: 0094112801480
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: November 14, 2015; Accepted Date: January 12, 2016; Published Date: January 20, 2016

Citation: Vidanapathirana M, Dasanayake PB, Ilangarathne Banda YMG, Vadysinghe A, Ratnaweera RHAI, et al. (2016) Comparison of Deaths due to Lethal Weapons During and After Civil Strife in Sri Lanka: A Medico-legal Analysis. Glob J Nurs Forensic Stud 1: 101. doi: 10.4172/2572-0899.1000101

Copyright: © 2016 Vidanapathirana M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


The death due to lethal weapons is a growing concerned issue in Sri Lanka. The objective of the study was to examine and compare the deaths caused by lethal weapons during and after civil strife. A cross-sectional study was conducted on deaths caused by lethal weapons over 10 years from May 2004 to May 2014. Periods before and after 19th of May 2009 were considered as cut off point for “during” and “after” civil strife. A total of 3,100 Post-mortem reports were perused and 198 (6.3%) deaths due to lethal weapons were found and of them, 55% were during and 45% were after civil strife. Among them, 84% males, 68% married and 61% were unemployed. Deaths occurred outside home (55% of during and 70% of after), due to multiple assaults (74% of during and 57% of after) on head (40% of during and 25% of after), with sharp weapons (59% of during and 74% of after), and these differences were statistically significant at p<0.05. The presence of many similarities indicated that both groups learnt basis in a society that breeds violence. After civil strife, deaths had a higher chance to occur outside homes with sharp weapons due to assault on chest and neck. It is better to review the number of existing firearms and explosives and provide the permission only for those who need. Non-explosive lethal weapon use after the civil strife needs to be further investigated in order to develop evidence based interventions.


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