Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

Home Whats New  Trans State Nation  One World Unfolding Consciousness Comments Search

Home > Tamil National ForumSelected Writings by Sachi Sri Kantha >  Perversity of Pyromaniacs; part 1 � Revisiting the June 1981 Torching of Jaffna > Perversity of Pyromaniacs Part 2: Amirthalingam�s Speech on the Torching of Jaffna in May-June 1981Perversity of Pyromaniacs  Part 3: V.Yogeswaran�s Speech on the Torching of Jaffna in May-June 1981  >  Perversity of Pyromaniacs Part 4: Thoughts of a Bibliophile

Selected Writings by Sachi Sri Kantha

Perversity of Pyromaniacs;
part 1 � Revisiting the June 1981 Torching of Jaffna

The dictionary definition for pyromania states, �A compulsion to set things on fire�. This is a three part series in which I have chosen to highlight the pyromaniacal deeds of the Sri Lankan armed service personnel and how it has been presented in the �First Draft� of history. The twenty fifth anniversary of the most outrageous example of cultural genocide perpetrated on Eelam Tamils by the Sri Lankan armed services is nearing and there is a need to assemble the available details for the digital archives.

In this part 1, I provide the descriptions relating to the June 1, 1981 torching of Jaffna as I have culled from the random jottings of historians, journalists and my own entry in the diary of that period. I had felt that there is a need to gather these random observations into a single file. In part 2, I�ll present the parliamentary speech delivered by the then TULF leader, A.Amirthalingam on June 9, 1981. This I consider as the most pertinent, near-complete description of what we have in hand now about the events relating to the torching of Jaffna. In part 3, I�ll present the eye witness testimony of V.Yogeswaran, the then TULF MP for Jaffna, via his touching parliamentary speech made on June 9, 1981. Yogeswaran was an unfortunate victim of the aggression of Sri Lankan armed service personnel.

Pyromaniacs among the Nazis

To comprehend the pyromaniacal deeds of the predominantly Buddhist Sri Lankan armed service personnel, it is not so irrelevant to first learn about the pyromaniacal deeds of the Nazis. Though pro-Sinhalese commentators like Dayan Jayatilleka and H.L.D.Mahindapala as well as the scribes belonging to the House of Hindu Publishers like Nirupama Subramanian have labored hard to portray the LTTE as the political descendants of Nazis, the real history demolishes this myth. The fascination for the Nazi ideals and Nazi tactics has been strong among the Sinhalese Buddhist anarchists in the 1930s decade, when Hitler rode to power.

The key thread linking the German Nazis and Sinhalese Buddhist activists was the magic phrase of �Aryan dominance�. A dip into the newspaper archives of Colombo�s dailies of the 1930s decade would prove the fascination Sinhalese Buddhists had for the dictator Hitler and German Nazis. The then budding politicians like Solomon Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike and Junius Richard Jayewardene prided themselves in being associated with the name and the deeds of Hitler. Thus, if one has to trace the roots of June 1981 torching of Jaffna, the path leads to what happened in Berlin on May 10, 1933. I provide an excerpt of the Nazi book burning campaign.

William Shirer, in his acclaimed chronicling of the Nazi deeds, had described the book burning conducted by the Nazi enthusiasts in the following words.

�On the evening of May 10, 1933, some four and a half months after Hitler became Chancellor, there occurred in Berlin a scene which had not been witnessed in the Western world since the late Middle Ages. At about midnight a torchlight parade of thousands of students ended at a square on Unter den Linden opposite the University of Berlin. Torches were put to a huge pile of books that had been gathered there, and as the flames enveloped them more books were thrown on the fire until some twenty thousand had been consumed. Similar scenes took place in several other cities. The book burning had begun.

Many of the books tossed into the flames in Berlin that night by the joyous students under the approving eye of Dr Goebbels had been written by authors of world reputation. They included, among German writers, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Lion Feuchtwanger, Jakob Wassermann, Arnold and Stefan Zweig, Erich Maria Remarque, Walther Rathenau, Albert Einstein, Alfred Kerr and Hugo Preuss, the last named being the scholar who had drafted the Weimar Constitution. But not only the works of dozens of German writers were burned. A good many foreign authors were also included: Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Helen Keller, Margaret Sanger, H.G.Wells, Havelock Ellis, Arthur Schnitzler, Freud, Gide, Zola, Proust. In the words of a student proclamation, any book was condemned to the flames �which acts subversively on our future or strikes at the root of German thought, the German home and the driving forces of our people.�

Dr.Goebbels, the new Propaganda Minister, who from now on was to put German culture into a Nazi straight jacket, addressed the students as the burning books turned to ashes. �The sould of the German people can again express itself. These flames not only illuminate the final end of an old era; they also light up the new�.� [Book: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 1971, 8th printing, Pan Books, London, p.300]

Pyromaniacs among the Sri Lankan armed services

William Shirer�s book was first published in 1959, fourteen years following the defeat of Nazis. He had presented the details briefly about the book burning savagery of the Nazis. Now, 25 years have passed after the bibliocaust in Jaffna conducted by the Aryan enthusiasts among the Sri Lankan armed services and needled by the Sinhala Aryan demagogues Cyril Matthew and Gamini Dissanayake. Where is the William Shirer amongst us? When reading the assorted published descriptions assembled below, one can feel (1) how much the details � the names of persons and entities � have been incompletely presented, and (2) how some incidents appear to have been subliminally slanted and interpreted as per the chronicler�s perceived focus.

Just make a note that on that horrendous night, precious and irreplaceable cultural records of Tamils went up in ashes in four distinct locations which were within the Jaffna constituency; (1) Jaffna Public Library, (2) Eela Nadu newspaper�s archives, (3) the headquarters of TULF party, which contained archival political material, and (4) the personal library of V.Yogeswaran, the then MP for Jaffna. The available cultural material in these four locations were not complimentary. In the early morning of June 1, 1981, the brown-skinned Buddhist Aryan cadres in Sri Lanka assembled and instigated by the two Cabinet Ministers Cyril Mathew and Gamini Dissanaike out-Nazied the Nazis in book burning.

Among the assorted published descriptions which I provide below in chronological order, the one with good precision, providing the context and the details, was penned by Gamini Navaratne as a commentary to the Times of India newspaper, in 545 words. Navaratne served as this newspaper�s Sri Lankan correspondent and he later even lived in Jaffna � the only Sinhalese journalist to live, work and edit the Saturday Review journal - in the post-1983 phase. But, even Navaratne�s report had omitted the number of books and manuscripts (~95,000, which was nearly five fold to the number destroyed by Goebbel�s Nazi cadres in 1933) which were destroyed from the Jaffna Public Library collection.

Sachi Sri Kantha [academic]

May 31, 1981 and June 1, 1981 were Sunday and Monday respectively. I was then affiliated to the University of Peradeniya as an Assistant Lecturer. Usually, during the weekends, I returned home to Colombo and on Monday morning traveled again to Peradeniya. My unpublished diary entries for two days were as follows:

June 1, Mon: Travelled to Peradeniya in the 5.55 am Kandy train. Received an invitation letter from the Convenor, one Mr.K.Kulanayagam of Main Street, Puloly East, Point Pedro, to participate in the Committee Meeting of International Research and Documentation Centre, to be held on 6th June, at Mr.Kathiravelupillai�s house (68, Crosset Lane, Chundikuli). Unfortunately I can�t attend this meeting.
[�Mr.Kathiravelupillai� mentioned in the entry was none other than S.Kathiravelupillai, who had died on March 31, 1981 in Madras, after being the Federal Party and TULF
MP for Kopay from 1965.]

June 2 Tue: Yesterday�s events in Jaffna seem to be very turbulent. Following the death of one police[man], the Jaffna city had been attacked and looted, and unidentified persons had set fire to Jaffna MP, Yogeswaran�s house,jeep, to Jaffna Public Library, and to another 50-odd shops and houses. Following the 1977 Ethnic conflict, and 1979 Emergency period, yesterday seems to have initiated another riot of events. I had to travel to Colombo to attend to Mr.Selvarajah�s funeral. So, went to Kandy around 5:30 pm and board the Colombo bus. I was in Colombo 9.15 pm, and when I reached home, Aiyah cautioned, �Why Appu you are travelling in these panicky days? Lot of tension is prevailing.�

[Mr.Selvarajah mentioned in the entry was a family friend of mine. He was the live-wire of the Ilangai Sangita Natya Sangam and the husband of musician Suntharalakshmy Selvarajah, and they lived in Murugan Place, Wellawatte; he had visited with me the previous Saturday afternoon and had solicited a memorial article for Mrs.Punithavathy Tiruchelvam, the mother of Neelan Tiruchelvam, from me since Mrs.Tiruchelvam was a patron of the Sangita Natya Sangam. That night itself, he passed away from heart attack.]

Gamini Navaratne [Sri Lankan Sinhalese journalist]

�This correspondent had visited Jaffna, 430 km from Colombo, shortly before the development council elections. Most people interviewed then were lukewarm towards the separatist cry raised by the TULF, though they generally supported that party in the absence of a viable alternative. They were more keen to try and get their other main demands conceded by the government by persuasion and live in peace with the Sinhalese. (They have been clamouring for a more equitable sharing of state power and revenue, better educational facilities, more state jobs and more land).

But since the police violence, their mood has perceptibly changed due to both frustration and anger. Almost every Tamil interviewed during my second visit after the tragic episode he saw no alternative to Eelam (home).
During the elections to the new decentralised administrative units styled �development councils� � the first of their kind � the authorities feared eruption of violence not only in Jaffna but also in the 16 other districts where polling was due on June 4. So the government made massive security arrangements for the occasion. But eventually violence was confined to Jaffna and it occurred on a scale unanticipated by anyone.

A former member of parliament Mr.A.Thiyagarajah, the UNP�s top candidate at Jaffna, was gunned by terrorists on May 24. The incident generated anti-TULF feeling among the public because the terrorists are generally believed to be present or past members of its militant youth wing which is impatient with the slow progress towards Eelam. In government circles in Colombo there was talk of the need to �teach the TULF leaders a lesson�.

Then on May 31, four policemen were wounded in a shooting incident at a TULF meeting. One of them, a Sinhalese, died instantly. This was a signal for the �men in khaki� to go on a rampage � assaulting, looting and setting afire public and private institutions, homes and shops the same night. What surprised most people was that the police violence continued the next night � even after the arrival of the defence secretary, Col.C.A.Dharmapala, the army chief of staff, Brig.Tissa Weeratunga, and the police chief, Mr.Ana Seneviratne, and the tightening of security.

The institutions destroyed include the Jaffna public library, one of the finest in Asia, the office of �Eelanadu�, a leading Tamil daily published in the north, the TULF headquarters and the residence of its youth wing leader, Mr.V.Yogeswaran, who is also the MP for Jaffna.

Reports reaching Colombo spoke mostly of �men in khaki� because the informants were unsure whether the marauding gangs consisted of Sinhalese policemen, troops or outsiders wearing uniforms. Probably all three elements were involved. Indeed, some police units and a number of soldiers were withdrawn from the peninsula immediately. While the authorities blamed the shooting of the policemen on the terrorists, some reports indicated that there was a fight among themselves. Among the policemen hit was a Tamil who died several days later.

The declaration of emergency rule on June 2 in Jaffna brought the situation under control. Ten persons were shot by the security forces �for breaking curfew�. Quite a number of people, mostly youths, were killed by the police and troops during the emergency. Unofficial estimates put the figure at 50. So far, 20 bodies have been found in various part of Jaffna district.� [feature; �Race Riots in Sri Lanka- Government in a Dilemma�, Times of India, June 1981. Please note that unfortunately, I don�t know the exact date of publication, since I received this material as a photo copy from one of my contacts, and the date has been inadvertently omitted in the copy I received.]

S.Venkat Narayan [Indian journalist]

�Violence and tension have settled like a dark monsoon cloud over the island ever since last May, when a ruling party candidate for Jaffna district development council was gunned down at an election meeting, allegedly by members of the Eelam Tigers, an extremist group that wants a separate Tamil nation through violent means. A week later, four policemen on duty at a Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) meeting was shot in the back by another group of Tigers. As a retaliating measure, the police and army struck back by burning the famous Jaffna Public Library, the offices of Ealanadu (a Tamil daily), the headquarters of the separationist TULF and the residenc eof V.Yogeswaran, a TULF MP suspected to be a Tigers supporter. [�Sri Lanka � Trouble in Paradise�, India Today magazine, Sept.1-15, 1981, pp.16-25]

Virginia A.Leary [American academic, who functioned as a fact-finding observer on behalf of the International Commission of Jurists]

��On May 24 [1981], Mr.A.Thiagarajah, a Tamil who headed the UNP list of candidates, was assassinated. Since the UNP is the governing majority party in the country and a predominantly Sinhalese party, the killing was perceived as a threat to Tamil politicians not to enter the UNP lists. On June 9, 1981 Mr.Gamini Dissanayake, Minister of Lands and Land Development, stated in parliament that �those who take to politics opposed to the Tamil United Liberation Front run the risk of death.� On May 31 two policemen were killed during a TULF rally, in disputed circumstances. According to some sources, the policemen shot each other during a dispute. According to others, the two were shot in the back of the head by unknown assailants. The ICJ [International Commission of Jurists observer was unable to verify personally the veracity of either account of the deaths. This event precipitated a rampage by police in Jaffna (which is described in the next section under violence by security forces) and led to the imposition of a temporary state of emergency in Jaffna (Report; Ethnic Conflict and Violence in Sri Lanka, International Commission of Jurists, Geneva, 1981, pp.26-27)

��on May 31, two policemen were killed, and two wounded during an election rally. According to both government and Tamil sources, a large group of police (estimated variously from 100-200) went on a rampage on the nights of May 31-June 1 and June 1-2 burning the market area of Jaffna, the office of the Tamil newspaper, the home of V.Yogeswaran, member of Parliament for Jaffna, and the Jaffna Public Library. The widespread damage in Jaffna as a result of the actions of the police were evident during the visit of the ICJ observer in Jaffna in August. According to government sources, the police, who had been brought to Jaffna from other parts of Sri Lanka, mutinied and were uncontrollable. They had allegedly been enraged at the attacks on police at the election rally and at earlier failures to bring police killers to justice. In the early days of June several killings of Tamils were reported, allegedly as a result of police action. Tamil leaders pointed out that it was the responsibility of the government to maintain law and order and that several Cabinet ministers and high security officials were present in Jaffna when some of the violent events occurred.

The destruction of the Jaffna Public Library was the incident which appeared to cause the most distress to the people of Jaffna. The ICJ observer heard many comments from both Sinhalese and Tamils concerning the senseless destruction by arson of this most important cultural center in the Tamil area. The Movement for Inter-racial Justice and Equality sent a delegation to Jaffna to investigate the June occurrence. The delegation�s report, in referring to the arson of the Public Library stated,

�If the Delegation were asked which act of destruction had the greatest impact on the people of Jaffna, the answer would be the savage attack on this monument to the learning and culture and the desire for learning and culture of the people of Jaffna�There is no doubt that the destruction of the Library will leave bitter memories behind for many years.� [Note: The dots are as in the original.]

The 95,000 volumes of the Public Library destroyed by the fire included numerous culturally important and irreplaceable manuscripts.� (Report; Ethnic Conflict and Violence in Sri Lanka, International Commission of Jurists, Geneva, 1981, pp.31-32)

A.Jeyaratnam Wilson [Eelam Tamil academic]

�Gamini Dissanayake and the government�s notorious Tamil-baiting minister conducted a campaign in the Ceylon Tamil Jaffna peninsula. There were assassinations of government supporters and police personnel, and the police force, along with sections of the army, reacted with savagery. They burnt the Public Library of Jaffna, a repository of priceless documents�

The terrible and fateful burning of the Jaffna Public Library is an eternal blot on the ruling United National Party. As to why the President [Jayewardene] permitted two ministers in his government, whose antipathy to the Ceylon Tamil demands was well known, to campaign in the Tamil areas remain inexplicable. One of them, Gamini Dissanayake, explained to me that the President had requested him �to keep an eye� on the other minister, but neither of them could control or prevent the violence of the security forces.� [book; The Break-Up of Sri Lanka; The Sinhalese-Tamil Conflict, C.Hurst & Co, London, 1988, p.163]

�It [TULF] claimed compensation for the irreplaceable Jaffna Public Library and redress for the victims of state violence. A Committee headed by Lionel Fernando, a liberal-minded Sinhalese senior public servant serving as Government Agent of Trincomalee district, was proposed by the TULF for the purpose of determining compensation and accepted by the President. But recommendations this Committee subsequently made were not fully implemented. The President pledged 10 million rupees towards the reconstruction of the library from a public fund he controlled, but in the end only a fraction of that sum was given. This was a personal undertaking, and its fulfilment could have demonstrated the government�s regret over an unforgivable public outrage.� [ibid, p.164]

K.M.de Silva and Howard Wriggins [both academics; the former the foremost contemporary Sri Lankan historian and the latter, the American ambassador to Sri Lanka, during President Jimmy Carter�s tenure]

��The stage was set for a tragic sequence of events. To meet the threat posed by this mounting violence the police force was strengthened by a large contingent of policemen and police reservists sent from Colombo. These reinforcements checked the violence temporarily, but became themselves the target of violence. On the eve of the elections a terrorist group shot and killed some policemen who were on election duty. This incident provoked just the response the perpetrators of this violent act had anticipated and desired: the unfocused anger of the police and one of the worst incidents of police reprisals in the encounter between them and the young political activists in Jaffna. The violence was inflicted on property more than persons, culminating in a mindless act of barbarism, the burning of the Jaffna Municipal Library.� [book; J.R.Jayewardene of Sri Lanka (1956-1989), vol.2, Leo Cooper/Pen & Sword Books, London, 1994, p.445]

M.R.Narayan Swamy [Indian journalist]

� Uma [Maheswaran] was determined to sabotage the DDC polls. On May 24, the PLOT shot a UNP candidate, A.Thiyagarajah. One week later, a PLOT gunman � probably Uma himself � opened fire at a TULF public meeting near Jaffna town, killing two policemen. The killings unleashed massive anti-Tamil riots in Jaffna and elsewhere in Sri Lanka. Police and the military went berserk, and one of the buildings which went up in flames in Jaffna in the violence was the town�s public library. One of the hundreds who saw the monument of Tamil glory burn down with its invaluable collections was Prabhakaran.� [book; Tigers of Lanka � From Boys to Guerrillas, 2nd ed., Vijitha Yapa Bookshop, Colombo, 1996, p.73]

T.Sabaratnam [Eelam Tamil journalist]

�The incident at a public meeting at Nachimar kovil in Jaffna on the night of 31 March [sic! � it was May] sparked a massive police and army attack in Jaffna. It was a propaganda meeting in support of the TULF, presided by the mayor. As the meeting was in progress, some militants shot the three constables on guard duty. Two died, the third suffered injuries.
Half an hour after the shooting, a posse policemen drove to the meeting site. They torched the temple, adjoining houses and two cars, commandeered a bus, drove to the Jaffna bazar and set fire to a row of shops on Hospital Street, after which they went to the home of Yogeswaran, set his jeep and his friend�s car on fire. Yogeswaran and his wife scaled the rear wall and escaped. The rampaging policemen then went to the TULF headquarters and torched it, set fire to the Jaffna Public Library, which housed 95,000 volumes, some of them rare books and manuscripts. Mr.David, a famed etymologist, collapsed the next morning on hearing the news. A provincial newspaper office was also set on fire.� [book; The Murder of a Moderate � Political Biography of Appapillai Amirthalingam, Nivetha Publishers, Dehiwela, 1996, pp.278-279]

On the Diseased Mind of Pyromaniacs

Why is it that pyromania appears to be an endemic disposition among the Sri Lankan armed service personnel? As far as I know, no research has been conducted among Sri Lankans. How dare one could study such a perverted behavior if some Buddhist parliamentarians themselves can be tagged as alleged victims of such a disorder? But recent research by psychiatrists in Canada and Finland provide the following attributes to pyromaniacs. To highlight the findings of Graham Glancy and his colleagues,

(1) �Firesetting is primarily a male phenomenon.�
(2) �Most firesetters are raised in dysfunctional family systems.�
(3) As per classic psychoanalytic theory, �firesetting was presumed to serve as a substitute for forbidden masturbatory impulses because the excitement of engaging in firesetting provided sexual arousal for the perpetrator. Support for the psychoanalytic association between firesetting and sex can be found in a subset of cases in which masturbation coincides with such activity.�

I provide below a tangential evidence of verbal aggression with sexual overtones as exhibited by Cyril Mathew (1913-1989), the then UNP Cabinet Minister and one of the prime instigators of the June 1981 torching of Jaffna, in 1979. Cyril Mathew�s adolescent-grade uncivilized oral aggression on Mrs.Mangaiyarkarasi Amirthalingam, the wife of TULF leader A.Amirthalingam, is in public record and deserves notice. While Mathew (garbed with parliamentary privilege) harangued Mrs.Amirthalingam, who couldn�t defend herself in the parliament, V.N.Navaratnam � then a senior Tamil parliamentarian and an attorney with a gift of clinical precision� had aptly diagnosed Mathew�s predicament as �mental illness�.

The following heated exchange between Cyril Mathew and the TULF MPs occurred in the Sri Lankan parliament on April 3, 1979, as recorded in the Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) of that date, vol.4, no.13, columns 1670-1675.

�Cyril Mathew: Sir, pardon me for what I say from now onwards, but if a woman enters the political fray, then she must be ready to give and take. She has not observed any rules in her attacks and I am not going to observe any rules other than the parliamentary rules. She has no protection in this House�What is she wanting? Deep down in her mind some trouble spot is there. What are her desires that she wants to express? Is she a maniac? Is she a megalomaniac or is she a nymphomaniac?�What is wrong with this woman? Can no one control her mouth? Has the husband got the potency to control her or not? Has he control over her tongue or any other organ?

A.Amirthalingam: Mr.Speaker, is this decent language to be used in Parliament? (Interruption)

M.Sivasithamparam: No sense of shame. If your wives are attacked like this, how would you feel about it?

Mr.Speaker: I might say they are not happily worded, but I cannot say they are unparliamentary.

V.N.Navaratnam: It shows the mental illness of the person who is speaking.

A.Amirthalingam: A depravity of the mind is being shown by the hon.Minister.

C.P.J.Seneviratne: Wait we will show you something else.

Cyril Mathew: May, I pray, advise them, if none of them can control her, if nothing else can control her, in the name of heaven I appeal to them, poke a living feathery cock-bird into her mouth so that the muzzled crowing of the cock-bird will at least smother the vituperations that come out of her throat. That alone will stop her.�

Cyril Mathew continued in the same vein further, as follows:
�Cyril Mathew: This foul-mouthed woman �from her mouth emanates shit, verbal shit and nothing else.

M.Sivasithamparam: Sri Lanka�s parliamentary language!

Cyril Mathew: What is unparliamentary there?

A.Amirthalingam: To you nothing is unparliamentary �

Cyril Mathew: Take back what you give.

M.Sivasithamparam: I hope �The Hindu� editor will publish that also.

Mr.Speaker: I leave it to hon.Members to choose their language.�

I should add that the above-cited oral aggression of Minister Cyril Mathew on Mrs.M.Amirthalingam was not an exceptional example of him picking on a Tamil woman who couldn�t defend herself in the Sri Lankan parliament in person. Another Tamil woman who was at the receiving end of Cyril Mathew�s perverted oral aggression in the parliament around that year was Prof.Mano Sabaratnam (a senior lecturer of zoology at the University of Colombo, and one of my mentors), who was falsely accused by Cyril Mathew of favoring the Tamil students at the university entrance exam by means of providing bonus points for questions. Until now salient issues relating to Cyril Mathew such as (1) his serious character flaws bordering on lunacy, (2) his despicable role in contributing to the estrangement between Sinhalese and Tamils during 1977 and 1983, and (3) why the then President Jayewardene needed Cyril Mathew in his Cabinet, have been left untouched by Sri Lankan academics. If President Jayewardene was the contemporary Sri Lanka�s version of despotic Emperor Caligula, Cyril Mathew played the role of Caligula�s favorite race horse Incitatus between 1977 and 1984.

Another retrospective study from hospital records and forensic psychiatric examination statements of arsonists during a 21 year period (1973-1993) in Helsinki University Central hospital by Nina Lindberg and her colleagues provide the following characteristics of arson recidivists. To quote their results from a sample of 90 arson recidivists among altogether 401 arsonists (all male over 16 years old) �The mean age of the arson recidivists was 32.2 years. Four out of five of them had never been married. The mean IQ of the subjects was 93.0. 17.8% were mentally retarded (IQ under or 70). 61% suffered from co-morbid alcohol abuse/dependency�� One can be sure that if a psychiatric profile is taken among the arsonists employed in the Sri Lankan armed service personnel as well as the political instigators of the arsonists, it should neatly fit the psychiatric profile derived from Helsinki data by Nina Lindberg and her colleagues.

G.D.Glancy, E.M.Spiers, S.E.Pitt and J.A.Dvoskin: Models and correlates of firesetting behavior. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 2003; vol.31(1): 53-57.
N.Lindberg, M.M.Holi, P.Tani and M.Virkkunen: Looking for pyromania � Characteristics of a consecutive sample of Finnish male criminals with histories of recidivist fire-setting between 1973 and 1993. BioMed Central Psychiatry, 2005; 5: 47.


Mail Us Copyright 1998/2009 All Rights Reserved Home