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Trends of suicides in Galle-Sri Lanka


R. H. A. I. Rathnaweera

Faculty of Medicine, Karapitiya, Galle, LK
About R. H. A. I.
Department of Forensic Medicine
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Suicide is considered as a complex event that has biological, psychological and social implications. For many years now Sri Lanka has been among the countries where suicide and attempted suicide have been frequent.


To document epidemiological and socio-economic data on suicides reported to the Teaching hospital, Karapitiya in the year 2011 and to compare with the findings of previous studies done in other parts of the country.

Materials and Methods

All suicidal deaths reported to Teaching hospital, Karapitiya from 1st of January 2011 to 31st of December 2011 were studied retrospectively.


During the study period, 110 deaths due to suicide were documented and analyzed - 86 males (78%) and 24 females (22%). A significant proportion (22%) was in the 21-30 and (22%) in the 41-50 year age groups. Sixty males (70%) were alcohol addicts. A suicidal note was found at the scene in 17% of cases. The majority (85%) of the families had a monthly income of less than $100US. Commonest method used by males was hanging (60%), and by female was plant poisoning (30%).The commonest reason for suicide was debt (35%) and dispute with the spouse/marital disharmony (31%). Of the 12 adolescent deaths 9 had been due to scolding by parents.


Majority were young married males belonging to lower socio-economic group. A significant number of teenagers were found to commit suicide following minor disappointments. The method of choice for suicide was hanging among males and plant poisoning among females. Among males, alcohol addiction remains a major contributory factor for committing suicide.

Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka 2014; 2(1) : 5-10

How to Cite: Rathnaweera, R.H.A.I., 2015. Trends of suicides in Galle-Sri Lanka. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka, 2(1), pp.5–10. DOI:
Published on 15 Dec 2015.
Peer Reviewed


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