June 08, Colombo: Sri Lanka has shown a significant improvement in the 2018 Global Peace Index (GPI) jumping 13 notches to rank 67th out of 163 countries with a global score of 1.954.
Sri Lanka was again the second most peaceful nation in South Asia, and the second largest riser in the region last year.
The GPI, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), covers 99.7 per cent of the world’s population in 163 countries, using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources, and measures the state of peace using three thematic domains: the level of Societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and the degree of Militarization.
Although Sri Lanka's scores for terrorism impact, the incarceration rate and military expenditure improved, there are some worrying signs for the future, the, GPI report noted.
The scores for both refugees and IDPs and political instability deteriorated, a reflection of waning confidence that President Maithripala Sirisena can deliver the reforms his government promised.
There are also signs that communal tension is once again on the rise: the government declared a state of emergency in March 2018 to prevent violent demonstrations by radical Buddhist elements of the Sinhalese majority against the country’s Muslim minority in the city of Kandy from spreading nationwide.
South Asia experienced the largest regional improvement in peacefulness, with Bhutan, Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal all improving. Inequality of peace in the region continued to widen over the year, with the least peaceful nations continuing their decline, while the most peaceful - Bhutan and Sri Lanka - continued to improve. Bhutan ranked 19th, Bangladesh 93rd, India 136th, Pakistan 151st and Afghanistan 162nd.
Iceland has retained its place as the most peaceful country in the world since 2008, followed by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark in the top five while war-ravaged Syria and Afghanistan remained at the bottom of the rankings.
The average level of global peacefulness has declined for the fourth consecutive year, falling by 0.27 percent in 2017. The results of the 2018 Global Peace Index (GPI) find that 92 countries deteriorated, while only 71 improved.