Lanka makes biggest leap in Global Peace Index

The end of the civil war saw Sri Lanka make the biggest rise in the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) released in London today.

Sri Lanka leaped nearly 30 places to be ranked at number 103 out of 158 countries with a score of 2,145 on the index.

The Asia Pacific region’s overall score improved by the largest extent from last year and included three of the top five risers.

The 2012 GPI is the sixth edition of the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the GPI ranks 158 nations using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators which gauge ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society and militarization.

“Sri Lanka experienced the greatest improvement in its overall peacefulness following the ending of its civil war.  Bhutan showed robust gains to enter the top 20 for the first time mainly as tensions eased surrounding ethnic-Nepali refugees.  The Philippines also showed a robust rise across a number of indicators,” the Institute for Economics and Peace said.

The trend data also show a substantial gap in peacefulness between democracies and other government types.

Data on Sri Lanka

Flawed democracies perform substantially better than hybrid and authoritarian regimes which suggest that measures of government repression, such as the ‘Political Terror Scale’ and the ‘Level of Internally Organised Conflict’, are close predictors of peacefulness.

“What comes across dramatically in this year’s results and the six year trends is a shift in global priorities.  Nations have become externally more peaceful as they compete through economic, rather than military means.  The results for Sub Saharan Africa as a whole are particularly striking  – regional wars have waned as the African Union strives to develop economic and political integration.” said Steve Killelea, founder and Executive Chairman of the IEP.

“Peacefulness has returned to approximately the levels seen in 2007, but while external measures of peacefulness have improved, there has been a rise in internal conflict. This is particularly noticeable in the rise in fatalities from terrorist acts which have more than trebled since 2003.” (Colombo Gazette)