Crime in Sri Lanka

Crime is present in various forms in Sri Lanka. Crime is segmented into two broad classifications: grave crimes (those which are indictable) and minor crimes (those which are not). Exceptions can be made for criminal liability on the grounds of duress, insanity, intoxication, necessity, and private defense. Punishment for crime includes several options: community service, fine, forfeiture of property, imprisonment, institutional treatment, probation, suspended sentence, and death;[1] while the death penalty is available in the country, there have been no executions since 1976.[2] Corporal punishments (whipping) has been abolished as of 2005.[3]

Tamil police officers.


Grave crimes reported in 2019[4]
Grave Crime Cases Recorded
Abduction 663
Kidnapping 212
Arson 510
Mischief over Rs. 25,000 525
House Breaking 8143
Grievous Hurt 894
Voluntarily Causing Hurt by Dangerous Weapons 1857
Homicide 479
Attempt to Homicide / Abatement to commit suicide 114
Rape of Women over 16 years of age 289
Statutory Rape (Women under 16 years) With the consent of the victim 1185
Statutory Rape (Women under 16 years) Without the consent of the victim 305
Unlawful Assembly / Riot 84
Robbery 2944
Unnatural offenses / Grave Sexual Abuse 710
Extortion 106
Cheating, Misappropriation, Criminal Breach of Trust in respect of over Rs. 300,000 5251
Praedial Products Theft over Rs. 25,000 46
Cattle Theft over Rs. 25,000 585
Properties Theft Over Rs. 25,000 4905
Counterfeiting Currencies and Possession 89
Offenses against the state 12
Cruelty to children 80
Sexual Exploitation of Children 34
Procuration and Trafficking of persons 9
Offenses under the offensive weapons act 86
Possession of automatic or repeater shot guns 27
The Manufacture of any quantity of Heroin, Cocaine, Morphine, Trafficking, Import, Export or possession of dangerous Drugs of and above 2gms of Heroin, 2gms or more of Cocaine, 3gms or more of Morphine, 500gms or more of Opium, 5 kg or more of cannabis and 1 kg of Hashish. 4340
Obstructions to Police Officers 94
Total 34578

Crimes against women and childrenEdit

Sri Lanka is a participant in the prostitution industry, and most consumers of the trade in the country are foreign travellers.[5] Nevertheless, most prostitution-related acts, such as prostitute trafficking and procuring are illegal. Prostitution has not become as severe an issue in Sri Lanka as compared to the situation in some neighbouring countries.[6]

Child trafficking is a problem in Sri Lanka. Most children trafficked are treated unfairly, unwillingly and inhumanely turned into pornographic film actors or sex slaves. [7][8][9][10][11]


Corruption is prevalent in Sri Lanka. Cited as "one of the most corrupt nations in the world" by Lakshman Indranath Keerthisinghe of the Lanka Standard,[12] there have been instances in which law enforcers take bribes from offenders who wish to have their offences waived. The government has made an effort to curb corruption in the country and a handful of corrupt individuals have been arrested and appropriately charged.[13]

Corruption is considered a large expense to the Sri Lankan government.[12] However, corruption does not appear to be significant enough to pose a problem with foreign investment, though it is considered to be a persistent issue with customs clearance and smuggling of some consumer products.[14]


Reported homicides, 2015–2019[15][16][17][18][4]

The crime division of the Police Department of Sri Lanka has several branches. Its primary mission is to protect against all types of crimes in the country. It makes appropriate coordination with civil and military agencies, apprehends criminals, and take appropriate legal actions after the commitment of crime.[19] The department previously held the Logistics portfolio led by DIG Valentine S. Vamadevan and also later had the Police Human Rights Division which was established in 2002 with a mandate to examine and prevent human rights violations with which their officers may be charged while on duty.[20]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Newman, Graeme R. (30 October 2010). Crime and Punishment around the World: [Four Volumes]. ABC-CLIO. pp. 21–. ISBN 978-0-313-35134-1.
  2. ^ Ghosh, Palash (April 26, 2013). "Despite Wave Of Violent Crime, Sri Lanka Remains Wary About Death Penalty". International Business Times. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Corporal Punishment (Repeal) Act (No. 23 of 2005) - Sect 3". Commonwealth Legal Information Institute. Commonwealth Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  4. ^ a b "GRAVE CRIME ABSTRACT FOR THE YEAR 2019 FOR WHOLE ISLAND FROM 01.01.2019 TO 31.12.2019" (PDF). Sri Lanka Police. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  5. ^ Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work. Greenwood. pp. 452–. ISBN 9780313329685.
  6. ^ "Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Sri Lanka". 2008-03-11. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  7. ^ "Sex tourists prey on Sri Lanka's children: Beach resorts are hunting-grounds for European child abusers and pornographic video makers. Tim McGirk reports from Colombo". Independent. London. 1994-01-19. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  8. ^ "UN targets Lanka child sex trade". BBC. 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  9. ^ "Sri Lanka to eliminate child sex tourism". Shanghai Daily. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  10. ^ "Child sex tourism spreading in Asia". CNN. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  11. ^ "Child exploitation not new to stricken region". CNN. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  12. ^ a b Lakshman Indranath Keerthisinghe (October 23, 2011). "Sri Lanka one of the most corrupt nations in the world". Lanka Standard.
  13. ^ "Bribery and corruption control in Sri Lanka". Asian Human Rights Commission. Archived from the original on June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  14. ^ International Business Publications, USA (1 January 2012). Sri Lanka Business Law Handbook: Strategic Information and Laws. International Business Publications. pp. 98–. ISBN 978-1-4387-7107-6.
  15. ^ "GRAVE CRIME ABSTRACT FOR THE YEAR 2015" (PDF). Sri Lanka Police. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  16. ^ "GRAVE CRIME ABSTRACT FOR THE YEAR 2016" (PDF). Sri Lanka Police. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  17. ^ "GRAVE CRIME ABSTRACT FOR THE YEAR 2017 FOR WHOLE ISLAND FROM 01.01.2017 TO 31.12.2017" (PDF). Sri Lanka Police. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  18. ^ "GRAVE CRIME ABSTRACT FOR THE YEAR 2018 FOR WHOLE ISLAND FROM 01.01.2018 TO 31.12.2018" (PDF). Sri Lanka Police. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  19. ^ "Crime division". Sri Lanka Police. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  20. ^ "Human Rights". Sri Lanka Police. Retrieved 19 June 2013.